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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?

TOP 5 ELECTRONIC CIGARETTE TIPS

  1. Fully Charge Your Battery

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The amount of vapour you can get out of your battery depends on how much power is in it, so when you re-charge, make sure you do it all the way. Wait for the light to turn solid green, or if it keeps flickering leave the battery charging for the manufacturer’s recommended amount of time (around three hours).

  1. Prime the Atomizer

The atomizer is a small heating coil which turns the liquid solution into the vapor that you inhale. It needs to warm up a little before it works at peak efficiency, so one of the best electronic cigarette tips is to activate the battery prior to taking your main drag. On a manual battery, simply hold the button down for a couple of seconds before taking a puff. Take a couple of short, introductory puffs to prime the atomizer with an automatic battery.

  1. Don’t Store Your Electronic cigarette with other Metals

Storing your electronic cigarette in your pocket where it can come into contact with other metallic objects could potentially short out the battery and cause damage or cause the atomizer to be activated and potentially overheat in your pocket. The best tip for storing electronic cigarettes is to get a carry case.

  1. Take a Long, Slow Drag

One of the main differences between using an electronic cigarette and using a tobacco cigarette is that sharp, strong puffs aren’t ideal when you’re vaping. Instead, you should take a slow, gentle and long drag; this activates the battery without causing undue pressure and risking flooding the atomizer. This electronic cigarette tip is particularly useful for beginners, and you’ll get used to the new method pretty quickly.

  1. Don’t Use the Atomizer “Dry”

You’ll notice a burnt, unpleasant taste when the cartridge you’re using is running low on e-liquid, and you shouldn’t continue to push the atomizer in this state. If your cartridge runs out of liquid, activating the atomizer can cause it to overheat.

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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.

 

HOW TO PREVENT ELECTRONIC CIGARETTE LIQUID FROM LEAKING

Electronic cigarettes have been hailed by many as a safer alternative to tobacco smoking, but a persistent problem still dogs users of the vast majority of electronic cigarette brands.

Electronic cigarettes use a nicotine-infused solution to produce vapour, and this can occasionally leak out of the mouthpiece and give users a hit of bitter-tasting liquid. This is far from pleasant, and if consumed in large quantities it could lead to nicotine poisoning.

Taking a few simple precautions can reduce the amount seeping through or stop the cartridge from leaking altogether.

Things You’ll Need

  • Paper towel
  • Cloth
  • Cotton swab

Instructions

Don’t over-fill the cartridge. This is one of the major causes of leakage, and it’s easily avoided. Most “cartomizer” (a combined cartridge and atomizer) style cartridges only need five to seven drops of electronic cigarette liquid. Cartridges of differing sizes and from specific manufacturers can vary, but this is a good general rule to avoid leakage. Wipe any excess liquid away with a cloth or cotton swab before vaping.

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Remove the offending cartridge and blow through the side which connects to the battery attachment. Leaking cartridges can be caused by liquid that wasn’t vaporized hanging around near the atomizer. Blowing through the opposite side of the cartridge causes this to be pushed out of the mouthpiece, where it can be safely wiped away.

Store your electronic cigarette with the mouthpiece elevated. This is a simplistic approach, but it can be very effective. Instead of gravity pulling the liquid towards the mouthpiece, it works to keep it safely inside the cartridge.

Hold the electronic cigarette horizontally while you vape. Holding the electronic cigarette vertically with the mouthpiece pointing downwards makes seeping liquid much more likely. Make gravity work for you, not against you.

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Don’t inhale too hard on the electronic cigarette. Tobacco cigarettes produce more smoke when you inhale more sharply, but electronic cigarettes don’t work in the same way. Inhale gently to avoid sucking out any unwanted liquid.

ABSTINENCE VS HARM REDUCTION

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Every day 1,200 people die from tobacco related cancer. Smoking tobacco is the biggest cause of preventable death in the world. There are two types of thought on how to address this problem:

Tobacco abstinence and tobacco harm reduction.

 Both of these methods have their pros and cons, however in light of the recent electronic cigarettes popularity, tobacco harm reduction is gaining support from tobacco users and professionals.

Tobacco Abstinence Hypothesis

When it comes to preventing tobacco related deaths and diseases, there has always been one goal, get smokers to quit smoking, or tobacco abstinence

But there is a massive problem with this idea of abstinence. Smokers who want to quit face extremely low odds. Less than 7% of smokers this year will succeed. Of the smokers who do succeed, many risk relapsing for the rest of their life.

Nicotine is one of the most additive substances there is, if not the most addictive substance in the world. It does not help that tobacco companies adds over 601 chemicals to tobacco to make them more addictive. It is extremely difficult to keep people from smoking once they start.

But there is another theory…

Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) Hypothesis

THR splits tobacco into two parts: the harm caused by smoke and tar, and the harm caused by nicotine. Because nicotine addiction is the main problem when it comes to getting smokers to quit smoking, THR theory looks at the harm caused by nicotine itself compared to the harm caused by smoking. The good news is that nicotine is fairly safe in low doses, comparable to caffeine in effects and dangers.

So in short, THR aims to give smokers who are unable to quit smoking an alternative source of nicotine to reduce tobacco harm.

Any type of smokeless tobacco is considered a form of tobacco harm reduction because it does not involve smoke or tar. This typically includes chewing tobacco, tobacco strips-lozenges-stick-gum, and electronic cigarettes.

Nobody is going to claim these products are 100% safe, but many claim they are safer than smoking tobacco. It is another way to approach the problem, and it is gaining popularity quickly thanks to electronic cigarettes.

VAPING AT THE OFFICE

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In the old days of the electronic cigarette boom, nearly every vaper and vaping company boasted about rights to “smoke anywhere, wherever”.

Thanks to some notable bans and regulations, this is no longer the case. Perhaps one place that has benefited from electronic cigarette use during the workday is the standard office environment, even if they aren’t yet embracing electronic cigarettes en masse.

An employee who vapes is considerably more productive, having the ability to vape in the office and not spend 10 minutes of every hour outside.

The counterpoint is the presence of vapor in enclosed spaces. While we know it’s harmless, dissipating vapor, others might be put off by wafts of what they consider to be “smoke.” It’s an ongoing debate, and one that isn’t likely to be settled until the public receives proper education on what electronic cigarettes are, and more importantly, what they’re made of.

Many large corporations tend to take a staunch anti-electronic cigarette stance. Wal-Mart includes electronic cigarettes in their tobacco bans and does not allow vaping anywhere in their stores or offices.

In more extreme cases, companies are imposing penalties on employees who use cigarettes, adding an additional surcharge on their monthly insurance premiums. However, switching to vaping doesn’t help. These companies still issue penalties to employees who use tobacco-free electronic cigarettes. It begs the question:

Why should a non-smoker pay a smoker’s fee?

Despite companies like this, there are a few other corporations that are vaper-friendly. As of January 2014, McDonald’s was permitting employees and customers to vape, both in restaurant break rooms and in corporate offices. In fact, many companies are encouraging smokers to switch to electronic cigarettes, and are even incentivizing them with free electronic cigarettes to use in the workplace.

So which is the right approach? Should electronic cigarettes be treated as tobacco products? Or should companies encourage vaping so employees will spend more time at work, and less time taking breaks?

 

PREVENTING ELECTRONIC CIGARETTE ACCESS TO UNDERAGE YOUTH

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Electronic cigarettes are an adult product, and despite the endless chatter about flavours and marketing, they are positioned as such. Though most contentious anti-vaping groups will claim the industry is lurking in dark alleys, waiting to bait unsuspecting youth, it simply isn’t the case.

And, for the extremists who believe electronic cigarettes are actually a gateway to tobacco, I regret to report that scientists have confirmed there is no visible link between trying electronic cigarettes and taking up traditional tobacco smoking.

We need to come to grips with the reality of youth culture, peer pressure and the general order of things. Kids who become interested in trying nicotine products are going to try nicotine products. And, by and large, those products will be cigarettes and chewing tobacco.

Let’s face it, in the eyes of today’s youth, the “danger factor” of cigarettes likely make them much more appealing than “safe and boring” electronic cigarettes.

While disposable electronic cigarettes and e-liquid are becoming harder to get by the day, cigarettes and chewing tobacco haven’t gotten any more challenging to obtain. The same careless shop owners who sold tobacco to minors yesterday are doing it today.

Plus, let’s not forget the social aspect of cigarette smoking. I would venture to say that most underage smokers didn’t set out to buy a pack when they started. They borrowed a smoke from a friend or acquaintance. Then they borrowed another one.

It was only after realizing they enjoyed cigarettes that they bought them … and anything else like them.

Regulations are looming. The initial FDA proposals were less stringent than expected, but make no mistake, more are coming. Couple this with growing amounts of anti-vaping media coverage, reports of irresponsible, etc., and you have a mounting problem.

 

 

 

 

 

THE 13 BIGGEST MYTHS ABOUT THE ELECTRONIC CIGARETTE

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Myth 1:  Electronic cigarettes are dangerous because they contain nicotine, which is bad for your health.
Fact :  This is plain nonsense. Though nicotine is highly addictive, the effects on the human body are very small. Traditional cigarettes contain many more toxins that are harmful to the human body.

Myth 2:  Electronic cigarettes could be dangerous because nobody knows the ingredients.

Fact:  This is simply not true, as long as you choose a company that is open and honest about what they do, they should disclose a full ingredient list.

Myth 3: These devices can explode in your hands or face.

Fact: This is false, as long as you don’t mess around with the liquids or the actual device and disregard the instructions. Learn as much as you can beforehand, and you will find these devices will never explode.

 Myth 4: The cost of electronic cigarettes is very high.

Fact: This depends on the vendor. Iciga.co.uk has great offers and discount on prices. Overall, electronic cigarettes are cheaper in the long run than tobacco cigarettes.

Myth 5:  These devices cause cancer.

Fact:  There is research to totally dispel this myth. Electronic cigarettes do not contain harmful chemical likes tar and tobacco, which are carcinogens.

Myth 6: Electronic cigarettes are more addictive.

Fact: The nicotine in an electronic cigarette is no more addictive than nicotine in regular cigarettes.

Myth 7:  Second hand ‘vapour’ from electronic cigarettes is just like second-hand smoke.
Fact: Vapour is just that, vapour. Vapour does not contain smoke or tobacco by-products, and does not leave any lingering odours.

Myth 11: Electronic cigarette companies are luring in non-smokers

Fact:  Smart electronic cigarette companies don’t have to, as there is no proof of an increase in smoking due to these devices.

Myth 12:  Anti freeze is used in electronic cigarettes.
Fact: Anti freeze contains many highly toxic ingredients. PPG is a very safe and human-friendly ingredient used in antifreeze, but is in no way a toxic ingredient. It just happens that it’s used in antifreeze, just like water.
Myth 13: Minors are able to buy electronic cigarettes
Fact: Minors are not allowed to purchase these products. Most companies have an 18+ policy in place.