Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The AHA and WHO "Policy" Statements

Heads up my vaping friends!

At the bottom of this post are the links to the American Heart Association's and World Health Organization's policy statements on e-cigarettes (or as they call them, ENDS) released this week, as well a couple of others in the last month.

I do love a good conspiracy theory. That all these 'reports' (and I use the term loosely) came out roughly back-to-back is probably suspicious. Naw . . . Pure coincidence, of course.

The AHA document is the more reasonable read but as you'll see in the video, the message is not so. These documents are full of perfectly reasonable regulatory statements such as not encouraging non-smokers to take up vaping (education) and advocating consistent quality control measures and product disclosures in the industry (regulation).

All of which actually do need to happen.

These reasonable statements, however, are designed to hide the radical anti-smoking agenda of these agencies. Which has nothing to do with vaping, except that they want it to. Things like stating that PVs may be a gateway drug to regular cigarette smoking for kids. 'PVs might, possibly, someday, eventually, according to prophesy get your kids to smoke cigarettes' is a scare tactic that is certain to get busy Moms and Dads all riled up.

I wonder if anyone at either of these organizations has ever actually met a teenager.

'That's against the rules, so don't do that!'

That'll work. Not.*

Whether you agree or disagree with WHO and the AHA on this issue, consider that when governments institute heavy handed regulation it is exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to reverse those regulations even when new evidence proves they are unnecessary and unfounded. Look at the history of hemp in the U.S. as an example. Even today this completely benign and massively useful plant is largely outlawed because the argument "we don't know, so ban it" won out.

It is surprising, in some respect, that the public and political backlash against PVs is prevalent in this age of issues such as legalizing pot. A case could be made that smoking a joint is more detrimental to your body than puffing on a PV, so why no massive outcry from the anti-smoking lobby to ban joints? The reason is because marijuana advocates successfully disassociated the activity from tobacco smoking and largely convinced the public that burning weed on occasion is a harmless activity. They're doing an outstanding job of educating about their point of view.

An alternate explanation is that the anti-smoking crowd has been participating in a little 'harmless activity' themselves, but we won't speculate too far on that . . .

To combat these types of 'policy' statements, we vapors need to do the same and disassociate vaping from smoking in such a way that the public and policy makers understand that it is different. A tall task because vaping is a replacement for smoking. A change in perception, however, is necessary to combat these types of over the top and blatantly manipulative requests for regulation.

I've long held that using the term 'e-cigarette' in general is a mistake for vapers, for example. It's a mistake because it associates the activity with smoking cigarettes. Which, in most people's minds, is a Very Bad Thing.

I'm guilty of using the term myself, of course. I did so in the introduction to my latest book. As a teacher, I need to be able to put a subject into context efficiently and effectively. As an author, understanding Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques is important to my livelihood. Using the term 'cigarette' when talking about vaping is expedient and reaches more people. It's instantly recognizable and provides quick context. But here's the thing (and one of the main themes of Virgin Vaping)...

Vaping is NOT smoking.

They are considerably different. The term cigarette is irrevocably tied to the burning of tobacco leaves. By association, vaping is as well. This is wrong. Given that these two reports rely heavily on the connection between smoking cigarettes and vaping being similar, we vapers need to push harder to differentiate the two.

I urge all vapers, and our non-vaping supporters, to take any opportunity to educate your friends, families, and strangers about vaping and, in particular, to help dispel the myth that vaping is just another form of smoking cigarettes.

A great place to start is by signing up for CAASA.

I'm also preparing a new blog post to appear here on Vape Right about how to educate your friends, families, and the general public about vaping. I'll also add a chapter on the subject in the forthcoming book about society and vaping called, Vaping & You.

I welcome your thoughts and experiences!

Share your experiences below (or shoot me an email) about how you approach non-vapers, smokers, loved ones, and friends. What worked? What didn't? What preconceived notions did they have?  What myths did you have to bust? What resources did you use?  That sort of stuff.

I'll compile any responses and put them in the blog and the book.

Vaping can, and has, saved countless lives. We need to get that message out there, discourage knee jerk ignorance, and encourage responsible regulatory action.

I look forward to seeing your thoughts on the matter.

Here's the links:

Video of AHA CEO Nancy Brown announcing AHA policy on E-Cigarettes:

The AHA policy document:

The WHO policy statement document:

A press release from the CDC about youth and electronic cigarettes:

And this hamfisted letter from a pile of State District Attorney's begging the FDA to pound on vapers:

Vape On & Vape Right!


*Forgive the hyperbole. Must be done sometimes.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Vaping as Cessation

I don't think vaping should be advertised as a stop smoking aid. Yet.

That may sound odd coming from a vaping enthusiast, promoter, and advocate. Why?

Mainly because there are only a few preliminary studies (very encouraging studies!) suggesting that it actually works as such. We use the term "quit smoking," but what cessation products are actually doing is weaning you off nicotine. Whether vaping is good for that, or not, is still under scrutiny. It's looking good, but we're not there yet.

In my book, Virgin Vaping, I intentionally point out that the reader's goal is to replace smoking with something that's better, not quit nicotine. Quitting smoking and quitting nicotine are no longer the same thing.

This may be a rather fine hair to split, but it is an important one.

The problem, and my objection, with the majority of "stop smoking using e-cigarettes" books and advertisements is straightforward enough.

Vaping, by itself, will not magically make you quit smoking or stop using nicotine. You have to have a plan. You have to have support. You have to have a program to follow. When you buy a nicotine patch they don't just give you a box full of nicotine soaked wads of cotton. Open the box and it's got DVDs, websites, lists of support groups, an 800 number, and a booklet with a step-by-step step down plan.

When you buy an e-cig, that's not what you're getting. You're getting an alternative to smoking, but it's not a quit smoking plan. You still need all that other stuff, or really strong will power and awesome tasting juice that tickles your fancy in just the right way. The latter is what I advocate.

That's exactly why I go to pains to explain the difference between smoking-to-vaping VS smoking-to-no-nicotine in the book. It's really two different things. Virgin Vaping is about switching not necessarily quitting.

Vaping should work as a cessation method, of course. It's possible. In theory. It's also possible it will be recognized as such and approved by the FDA some day. In the meantime, here's a brief rundown of how step down methods work and how they would, theoretically, apply to using an e-cigarette.

A step down method is exactly what it sounds like. You lower your nicotine intake bit by bit until you're done with it. Vaping actually has a couple of advantages over approved cessation methods because of the amount of control it gives you over the process, how easy it is to use, and how absolutely yummy it is compared to the old way.

First, you get to pick your flavors. So right there vaping is awesome because those patches taste terrible! And the gum is even worse. Stop smoking pills have nasty side effects that sound like a bad night at the bar. Nausea? Gas? Vomiting? Mental instability? Yeah, no thank you. I can get all that the old fashion way with a cheap bottle of tequila and a basket of taquitos.

Second, you can choose the level of nicotine with a much finer degree of control, which allows you to use both of the most common step down methods. Hell, you can mix your own juice if you're inclined to do it!

Method 1 is to reduce the amount of nicotine over time. You start off with 36mg juice, and then a couple of weeks later you drop it to 24mg, and then to 18mg, and so on until you hit zero. Drop the hand to mouth habit with some chewing gum or a plastic straw and you're there.

Method 2 is to lower the nicotine level by timing your intake and smoking (or vaping) less and less. You set a timer and have a vape session every hour. Then a couple of weeks later you go to every two hours. And so on. Eventually, theoretically, you'll quit. (I actually went from two packs of cigs a day to half a pack using this method. Couldn't get it any further, though.)

You can combine those two methods easily with vaping and step down at your own pace and use what works best for your lifestyle. In the third book (forthcoming) of the Vape Right series, Vaping and You, I'll look at some plans that work for other cessation products that easily adapt themselves to vaping. But you get the idea.

Regardless, vaping is just better. Whether you quit nicotine or not, it's a better deal all around.

Drop a quick reply to this post if you'd like to share your vaping experience and how you switched to vaping! It's wonderful motivation for those taking the plunge.


As always, your thoughts and feedback are welcome! Post below and share with your friends via Facebook, G+, and Twitter!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

One for You Virgin Vapers

One of the points of the Vape Right blog (formerly Vape-o-Rama) is to educate, and continue to learn, about vaping! Getting people to switch over from cigarettes to electronic cigarettes is something of a part-time crusade for me.

With that in mind, I'm please to announce the first book in the Vape Right series, Virgin Vaping. It's for all you smokers out there that are still on the fence!

It's available now and on sale! It's a quick and concise read, so it won't eat up all your time. Virgin Vaping gives you just what you need to get started the Vape Right way.

While this blog tends to be for people that are already vaping, I also want it to be a place where new vapers can come to learn and ask questions about e-cigarettes and personal vaporizers.

I've probably talked to hundreds of people about PVs, converting them over to the good side, and I love it when someone comes up to me and tells me how much better their life is because of vaping!

The Vape Right series of books is intended to further all that. Starting with rank beginners in the first book, then moving on to a more detailed "intermediate" Vaping Guide, and finally an overview of the vaping culture in Vaping & You, the whole series is aimed at getting more smokers to switch over and discover the joy of vaping.

If you're a virgin vaper and thinking about taking the plunge, jump on in with this new book. In it you will learn:

  • What a personal vaporizer is.
  • How a PV works.
  • The basic lingo of the vaping community.
  • Why personal vaporizers are different (and way better!) than cigarettes.
  • What to buy to start out properly.
  • Where to shop and what to expect.
  • How to use your new PV.
  • How to make the switch and make it stick.
  • And lots of tips on getting started the right way!

The whole thing is oriented toward and written for a beginner with no knowledge of electronic cigarettes. It's perfect for anyone who is interested in getting rid of the nic sticks and living a healthier (and tastier!) lifestyle.

Virgin Vaping is available now for the Kindle e-reader. The regular price is $2.99, but for the next two weeks (until Aug 25th) it's on sale for 99 cents! A perfect time to give it a try!

I hope you enjoy it and happy vaping!


If you don't have a Kindle, no worries!!! You can download a free reader app for PC, Mac, iOS, or Android.