HOW SOME ELECTRONIC CIGARETTE USERS AVOID HIGHER RATES ON HEALTH INSURANCE

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It’s really not surprising that insurance companies charge higher rates for smokers. After all, smoking puts you at increased risk for cancer, heart disease, and stroke. This year, the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, has caused premiums to go even higher for smokers with insurers sometimes charging 50% more if you use tobacco products.

However, once you switch to electronic cigarettes, is it fair that you should continue to pay the higher rates? After all, electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco and they reduce the health risks associated with smoking. These products do not emit smoke and do not contain tobacco, tar, or any of the many carcinogens known to exist in combustible cigarettes. For many vapers, the potential surcharges are reason for pause when filling out insurance applications.

Typically, consumers are asked two key questions that determine if they will have to pay the higher rates: Do you currently use tobacco products? Are you currently using any smoking cessation products? Vapers must think carefully before answering these questions. On one hand, electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco so technically, vapers can easily answer no to the first question. However, the second question can make things a little tricky.

The FDA has not approved electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation, but many people use them in that way. So if a consumer has completely stopped using cigarettes and is only vaping, then the answer to both questions might be “No” and the surcharge would be waived. In fact, the only way the insurer will even know that the consumer uses electronic cigarettes is if the information is volunteered.

Ultimately, each consumer will have to decide how to answer application questions until the FDA officially regulates electronic cigarettes and forces a legal definition. At that point, insurers will most likely be forced to automatically classify electronic cigarettes as tobacco products, forcing vapers to pay the higher rates.

 

NUMBERS DON’T LIE: YOU’RE MORE LIKELY TO BE POISONED BY TOOTHPASTE THAN E-LIQUID

Over the past two weeks, there has been a virtual firestorm as outraged vapers protest a recent article in the New York Times, which described e-liquids as dangerous and even deadly. Like most coverage from the mainstream media, The Times focused on electronic cigarettes as a lethal option and completely ignored the benefits that vaping can offer smokers.

Forget the fact that electronic cigarettes eliminate thousands of carcinogens. Ignore the fact that there is no tobacco, no tar, no ash, and no smoke. All they want you to think about is e-liquid and the fact that it contains – gasp! – Nicotine.

There is no denying that nicotine is a stimulant and drinking e-liquid could theoretically kill you. However, there has never been a single death by accidental e-liquid ingestion. The Times ignored the lack of fatalities and focused on e-liquid related calls to Poison Control, which totaled 1,300 in 2013. Around a quarter of those calls resulted in visits to a hospital. If you look at the booming electronic cigarette industry and the massive sales volume of electronic cigarettes last year, the number of calls to poison control is actually very minimal.

If you take a look at the 2012 report from the National Poison Data System, there are a number of substances that case far more poisoning emergencies and fatalities. There were 193,443 reported cases of poisoning from household cleaners. Alcoholic beverages led to 54,445 calls to Poison Control and believe it or not, toothpaste led to 20,206 reported cases of poisoning.

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When you think about over 20,000 people poisoned by toothpaste, those 365 hospital visits related to e-liquid seem almost insignificant. If the incidence of e-liquid poisoning increased to 15 times higher than 2013, it would still be less common than toothpaste poisoning. So if we are going to depict e-liquid as deadly and ban it out of fear of poisoning, it’s only fair that we outlaw the more deadly substances like household cleaners, alcoholic beverages, and yes – even toothpaste.

LEAKED MEMO SHOWS BIG PHARMA LOBBYING AGAINST ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES

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The electronic cigarette industry is rapidly growing and many smokers are choosing electronic cigarettes as a path to quit smoking. As electronic cigarettes sales boom, tobacco companies are quickly trying to recover their losses by launching their own vaping lines. Tobacco companies are not the only ones at risk for losing profits. Big Pharma is extremely invested in tobacco users with nicotine replacement therapies and smoking cessation drugs expected to be worth $4.6 billion per year by 2016. As electronic cigarettes cut into the potential profit margins, drug companies are actively lobbying to have the tobacco-free electronic cigarettes strictly regulated or banned.

The London Times was the first to report on a leaked memo from GlaxoSmithKline that revealed the drug company’s lobbying efforts. Glaxo offers multiple nicotine replacement products and they have a lot to lose if electronic cigarettes become the smoker’s choice for cessation. In the memo, Glaxo’s consumer healthcare division argued that electronic cigarettes should be regulated as medications instead of tobacco products. It went on to say that electronic cigarettes could act as a gateway, leading more people to start smoking.

As lawmakers debate how to set appropriate regulations for electronic cigarettes, there is no room for Big Pharma to cloud objectivity with selfish motivation. These drug companies should be required to disclose their funding and other involvement in electronic cigarette research because their studies are likely to be biased. Unfortunately, the drug companies have allies around the world including insiders at the FDA.

Lobbying is a major problem and the only way that it will stop is if the whistle is blown every time it’s discovered. Big Pharma has a lot of money to invest in making sure lawmakers take their best interests into consideration. Now that we know with 100% certainty that Big Pharma is targeting electronic cigarettes, is there any hope for fair regulation?

NICOTINE GUMS AND PATCHES ARE JUST AS BAD AS SMOKING

Apart from electronic cigarettes, nicotine gum and patches are two of the most popular smoking cessation products on the market. Hundreds of thousands of people use these products on a regular basis in an effort to curb their smoking. However, a recent study suggests nicotine gum and patches are just as bad as smoking.

Nicotine Gum and Patches May Cause Cancer

Harold Garner, a professor affiliated with the College of Science, the College of Engineering, and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, found a link between cancerous cell growth and the use of nicotine patches and gum.

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Smoking vs Nicotine Gum and Nicotine Patch

There are over 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, some of which includes the following:

  • Acetone
  • Acetic Acid
  • Ammonia
  • Arsenic
  • Benzene
  • Butane
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Formaldehyde
  • Lead – used in batteries
  • Naphthalene
  • Methanol
  • Nicotine
  • Tar

Opting to use the nicotine patch or nicotine gum in place of smoking greatly reduces the amount of chemicals a person exposes his or her body to, but this recent study reveals that traditional smoking cessation products aren’t always the best choice.

What’s The Best Way To Quit Smoking?

You might be surprised to learn that the most effective way to quit is going cold turkey. One study suggests that as many as 75% of all former smokers have kicked the habit by going cold turkey — using no gum, patch, or other cessation product. Granted, quitting cold turkey isn’t easy by any means, but it maintains the highest success rate of all cessation products.

Electronic cigarettes can also help smokers cut back or even kick the habit. These devices allow users to enjoy unadulterated nicotine without exposing themselves to the thousands of chemicals commonly found in cigarette smoke. And if a person wants to eliminate all nicotine from his or her lifestyle, they can do so by gradually decreasing the nicotine strength in the electronic cigarette.

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TOP 5 INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN THE ELECTRONIC CIGARETTE INDUSTRY

  1. Paul Bergen

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Paul Bergen was an important member of the Tobacco Harm Reduction Institute of the University of Alberta (Canada). He’s an active blogger on the “News and Opinions” section of the harm reduction site. In an interview, he pointed out that “some people… are vehemently anti-smoking and will fight any product that makes smoking more acceptable.” This is precisely why logical voices like his are increasingly valuable to the industry.

4: Dr. Murray Laugesen

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Dr. Murray Laugesen is the founder of Health New Zealand, has over 18 years’ experience as a researcher in tobacco policy and is the author of over 40 research papers. He‘s the founder of End Smoking NZ, a charitable organization dedicated to ending the use of combustible cigarettes by 2025 in New Zealand. His research on electronic cigarettes has established him as one of the foremost individual voices in the industry today.

3: Scott Ballin

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Scott Ballin makes this list for different reasons. He’s a tobacco and health policy consultant in Washington, and runs Tobacco at a Crossroads alliance. He’s an outspoken advocate of modernizing tobacco laws to account for products like electronic cigarettes as long as they take into account the “relative” risks. He’s currently advising at the University of Virginia on a series of harm reduction dialogues.

2: Professor Michael Siegel

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It’s hard to find somebody who spends more time scientifically dispelling myths about electronic cigarettes than physician Michael Siegel of the Boston University School of Public Health. A prominent figure in the tobacco harm reduction field, his Tobacco Analysis blog regularly gives his readers “the rest of the story” regarding any new studies or media reports. He’s been featured in the media numerous times and also conducts research into electronic cigarettes.

1: Professor Carl Phillips

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Carl Philips is a world-renowned expert on tobacco control, and he also ran the Tobacco Harm Reduction Institute at the University of Alberta in Canada. He’s a vocal supporter of electronic cigarettes, often attends panel discussions on tobacco harm reduction methods and is widely quoted online and in the media. He’s an ardent supporter of electronic cigarettes, frequently arguing that they are significantly less dangerous than tobacco.

 

NEW SURVEY: DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DUAL USERS AND FULL TIME VAPERS

Electronic cigarettes don’t work for everybody. Some quit smoking entirely after starting to vape, some just continue smoking, and some do both, becoming “dual users.” Understanding the difference between those who exclusively vape and those who transition to dual use is an important priority for researchers.

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A new survey published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos) examines this issue, looking at information provided by over 19,000 vapers and dual users. The sample was largely composed of “dedicated” vapers, forum users and those active within the online community.

Summary of Results

  • 19,441 people participated in the survey, with the vast majority being from Europe and America.
  • Most found out about the survey through forums, and their dedication to vaping is expected to be responsible for the high rate of smoking cessation in the group, with 81 percent having quit smoking entirely.
  • As a result of participants’ level of dedication to vaping, the results might not be applicable to the general population.
  • Dual users reduced their daily cigarette consumption from an average of 20 to 4 cigarettes.
  • The vast majority of vapers believe that electronic cigarettes are safer than tobacco cigarettes, this being the most common reason for using them. However, 11 percent of users (mostly former smokers) believe that electronic cigarettes are completely harmless, which is not true.
  • Out of the entire sample, only 0.5 percent (88 people) was non-smokers at the time they started vaping, and just over half of them used non-nicotine liquids.
  • Most vapers used 18 mg/ml liquids at first, and then dropped to 12 mg/ml. Over a fifth used liquids with more than 20 mg/ml of nicotine, and these were significantly more likely to have quit smoking than those using lower levels at first.
  • 58 percent of users experienced some type of side effect from vaping, with the most common being dry or sore mouth or throat, coughing (most common in dual users) and gum problems,
  • Accidents were very rare – e-liquid exposure was the most common accident, and only 1.5 percent of participants had experienced it.

REGULATION OF ELECTRONIC CIGARETTE ADVERTISING

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Using the FDA’s current regulatory framework for tobacco products, implemented under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, there are some areas of the electronic cigarette industry that may face regulation under current law.

The most damaging potential regulation would require electronic cigarette companies to comply with the current substantial equivalence determinations governing cigarette companies.  Essentially, this regulation would require all electronic cigarette companies that began operating after 2007 to have their products taken off the market until they demonstrate that they are in compliance with FDA regulations and are substantially equivalent to the other electronic cigarette products offered in the marketplace.

Given that almost every electronic cigarette company entered the market after 2007, and the notoriously slow process of obtaining equivalency status, complying with this requirement could result in a large time gap in which many electronic cigarette brands would not be available to the public.

If any kind of equivalency regulation is enforced or proposed, electronic cigarette companies should retain experienced counsel to begin the regulatory compliance and equivalency process as soon as possible.

It is also likely that the FDA will propose advertising and marketing restrictions on electronic cigarette companies.  As of right now, electronic cigarette companies face little-to-no regulations governing how they market their product(s).  Some of the larger electronic cigarette companies are even starting to run major celebrity-endorsed television commercials reminiscent of the cigarette commercials that aired in the 1970s and 1980s, before these practices came under governmental regulation.

Electronic cigarette companies must become intimately familiar with the advertising and marketing laws regulating their industry or risk facing potential class action lawsuits and investigations by the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general.

It should be noted that the announcement of proposed regulations does not necessarily mean that such regulations will be immediately passed into law, as-is.  There will likely be a lengthy public discussion and comment period, which will delay the final draft of the bill from being presented to Congress for a vote.  The foregoing notwithstanding, it is a best practice to plan a course of action early and retain experienced counsel to help navigate the murky regulatory climate.

 

SAFETY CONCERNS OF ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES

Are electronic cigarettes safe to use?

Compared with smoking regular tobacco cigarettes, using an electronic cigarette is safer. However, in the absence of a thorough clinical evaluation and long term population level surveillance, absolute safety of such products cannot be guaranteed. By comparison, the harm from tobacco smoking is well established.

Toxins have been found in a number of studies of electronic cigarettes, although these are at levels much lower than those found in cigarettes and not at levels which would generally cause concern.

One small study showed that after switching from tobacco to electronic cigarettes nicotine exposure was unchanged while exposure to selected toxicants was substantially reduced. Most of the safety concerns regarding electronic cigarettes relate to the absence of appropriate product regulation and inconsistencies in quality control. The current lack of regulatory oversight means that there is significant  variability in device effectiveness, nicotine delivery and cartridge nicotine content, both between and sometimes within product brands.

Research has identified possible concerns about specific products. A recent study by the US Food and Drug  Administration (FDA)  has raised some safety concerns over the presence of toxins, released in low concentrations, from the vaporisation process of certain cartridges. There is little evidence of harmful effects in the short to medium term from repeated exposure to propylene glycol, the chemical in which nicotine is suspended. One study concludes that electronic cigarettes have a low toxicity profile, are well tolerated, and are associated with only mild adverse effects. More research is needed on long-term impact, particularly on the lungs.

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TYPES OF ELECTRONIC CIGARRETES

There are three main types of electronic cigarettes or vapourisers:

 Disposable Products (Non-Rechargeable). 

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These are the most common type. They look just like normal cigarettes with a glowing LED on the end. You usually find them in petrol stations and super markets. This type of device is not a bad starting point to get the feel of a cheap electronic cigarette. You just open them up and suck on them like a normally cigarette. Some can be recharged and when they run out you can replace the cartridge on the end.
The issue with these kind of devices is the battery life is very short and runs out quickly. The only advantage is their small size.

 The Variable Voltage – Advanced Electronic Cigarette

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These devices are advanced models aimed at current users looking to get maximum performance from their device. You can change the power of the electronic cigarette which creates vapour. They also have other features. You can measure the resistance of your device and use large batteries to support the increased power consumption.

These devices are generally not for a first time user as normally it is advised to start with a basic kit before making the investment to upgrade to a variable voltage device. When you do we recommend the premium black pearl starter kit, an amazing device that is stylish, packed full of features and very easy to use. It comes bundled with everything you need to get started and can be used alongside your regular electronic cigarette batteries.

The Refillable/Rechargeable Electronic Cigarette 

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The best electronic cigarette for an average user is a refillable electronic cigarette. These devices allow you to refill easily with inexpensive e-liquid. They provide long battery life and perform great. E-liquid can be bought much cheaper than disposable cartridges. There are thousands of different flavours you can try. A refillable starter kit will give you two electronic cigarettes instead of one. When one is charging you have another available. The batteries last longer between charging and the electronic cigarette works much better. It provides a lot more vapour, better flavour and needs replacement for less often. A good example to try out is all in one-Full Kit- ICIGA™ Premium eVod Starter Kit.

 

 

Why Should You Choose Electronic Cigarettes And Not Traditional Cigarettes?

There have been introduction of different versions of electronic cigarettes in the market. Of late, one can enjoy his or her smoking experience due to the introduction of electronic cigarettes in the market. The benefits that this has brought compared to their traditional counterparts are incredible.  One of these is the fact that they do not pose any risk of fore. Statistics have shown that many people who are killed, is as a result of house fires which is mostly caused by either electricity failure or cigarettes smoking. This has been reduced greatly by the introduction of electronic cigarettes. They don’t produce fire leave alone smoke.

There are different full kits that one can buy in this respect, which contain all a smoker may need. One of these kits is the Premium evade Starter Kit. This electronic cigarette kit provides you with a healthier alternative in smoking. At the same time, there is no harm to yourself or the people who surround you. In addition, this pack does not contain any tar, poisons, tobacco or even nicotine which are considered hazardous. As you use the product, you will observe that there is no production of carbon monoxide which is associated to environmental pollution including posing great threat to human life.

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One other thing that cannot be underestimated is that while using this product, there is no any smell that is produced. At the same time, there is also no smoke or flames or even burns that one will experience. This means that one can consume this product at any given places such as in hospitals, police stations or any other public places. It also imperative to note that the Premium evade Starter Kit is portable and therefore, one can carry it where he or she goes. In addition, when it comes to cleaning, this electronic cigarette is the easiest that you can have. Production of vapour is excellent and no leaking is experienced.