e-cigarettes

Report from the front: I tried to go all of yesterday using the Blu e-cigs exclusively. By the end of the work day I was getting that little panicky anxiety sensation in the chest and ended up buying a pack of cigarettes to smoke one while waiting for the bus. (Even though, you know, I have half a carton left at home.) So the Blu was clearly not giving me more nicotine than regular smoke breaks through the work day would, even though I was able to use them in my office instead of having to go outside. I don't know if I'm a heavier smoker than ThatGuy, or if he's misidentifying lightheadedness from having to suck really hard to get good drags on the Blu as a nicotine high, or if my Blu batteries are just defective.

Today I'm using the 21st century, and that seems to be working better. Haven't quite hit the end of the day yet, but no anxiety so far, so I've presumably been getting enough of a hit to satisfy my cravings. If they have refills for the 21st century at Rite-Aid today (they said they'd be getting them in on Thursday, when I asked on Monday), I think I'll try to buy the amount I estimate I need for a week's use (which will be interesting—I haven't seen that much on display, so I hope they have enough) and if they are able to provide me with that I'll be able to see how long it actually lasts me and if I can go completely without real cigarettes for a week.

If I can't get a local supply of refills, it'll probably be time for me to stop browsing and make a plan for online ordering options.

You probably are a heavier smoker than me, but you may also have a bad battery or bad flavor cartridge. So far, I have not had a single cigarette since going Blu. Instead, I have literally just gone about my day exactly the same as I was before. I take the same smoke breaks, go outside and take the same walks, and otherwise simply go about my day. I have not recharged my battery since the first day, but I have gone through three flavor packs. So that's (in theory) about the same amount as if I was smoking actual cigarettes. I'd recommend trying a fully charged battery with a fresh cartridge on the Blu and see if that was your issue, but if you're getting the results you want from the 21st Century, then it might not be worth the trouble to test.

What kind of Blu starter pack did you get? Mine was an older style one that is advertised in their online store as "Original Starter Kit". I'm definitely suspecting my batteries, because the charge on the batteries doesn't seem to last more than "one cigarette" or so of use before they have to go back into the kit to be recharged. I haven't let the kit run down so I don't know how long that would take--I mostly recharged the batteries using the USB charger, since with this kit you have to screw the batteries down in the kit to charge them, which is awkward.

In any case, I was able to pick up some cartridges for the 21st centuries today, and I'll see how long they last me. I got twelve cartos, each of which is advertised as "Approx. 300 puffs!" I'd be happier if they were labeled anywhere with the actual quantity of juice, instead. The proportions of the ingredients are listed, but the actual volume of liquid is not. Is there 1mL of liquid here? That would imply 1 carto = 1 pack (assuming 100% of the content is metabolized, which it's not). Is there 2mL? Then if 50% is metabolized, it's a pack. Probably it's somewhere in between.

Time to do SCIENCE! and determine my rate of use experimentally.

So last week I picked up four refill packs of cartomizers (3 ea.) at Rite-Aid, which was all they had at the time. Four was just a little low--I came in just about on target, and that includes having finished off my last two packs of smokes from my last carton in the last week. So I figured hopefully they'd have more in this week and I could pick up five.

They had [em]one[/em] refill pack on the shelf, and of course nobody working at the time that knew anything about them. *sigh*

I guess I'll go out of my way to hit Walgreen's tomorrow after work and pick up some Blu refills. Hopefully the mismatched threading doesn't kill off these batteries, since I can't get the Blu batteries to work well for me. The 21 batteries and the Blu cartos could work out, though. Still resisting switching to ordering stuff online, even though it will probably save me money in the long run.

I am so freaking happy I have asthma. I have enough trouble with sugar, I don't need to have another addiction open to me. (Last time I had codeine, it affected me so strongly that I flushed it, because I really *wanted* more, right away. And alcoholism has occurred in my family as well. I've also *been* addicted to nicotine, due to a work environment so smoky it hung in clouds under the ceiling, and it took months for the desire to stand next to a smoker and inhale to go away. I'd get a whiff of smoke and my whole body would relax...)

Robear wrote:

I am so freaking happy I have asthma. I have enough trouble with sugar, I don't need to have another addiction open to me. (Last time I had codeine, it affected me so strongly that I flushed it, because I really *wanted* more, right away. And alcoholism has occurred in my family as well. I've also *been* addicted to nicotine, due to a work environment so smoky it hung in clouds under the ceiling, and it took months for the desire to stand next to a smoker and inhale to go away. I'd get a whiff of smoke and my whole body would relax...)

There is always smokeless tobacco!

My brother's been addicted to that since he was a teen.

Figured I'd give an update, since it's been a while.

I ended up switching to Blu, since Walgreens has a seemingly inexhaustible supply of refills for them, but Rite Aid usually didn't have more than one refill pack or so a week by the time I got off of work. I picked up another "starter kit" to get another couple of batteries, Just In Case. I'm not saving a huge amount on my cigarette bills, but my sense of smell is a wee bit better. I'm rediscovering why I disliked certain foods when I was younger.

Anyway, I may still check out the hobbyist stuff one of these days, but Blu's making me pretty happy with its convenience and local availability.

Overall, this experiment has been a success. I wholeheartedly recommend folks to give it a shot as an alternative if they smoke cigarettes. Hopefully the technology and market will mature further, and workable regulations will get worked out.

Wasn't there a story last month about some guy who had one of those e-cigarettes blow up in his face and take half his teeth with it?

Yup. Here it is.

That sounds like it was a faulty lithium battery -- they can do that.

Man, what a hatchet job that article is. Hypatian has already debunked the only two substantive assertions in the article (he posted a peer-reviewed article which, incidentally, pointed out the difference between the glycol that's antifreeze and the glycol that's in e-cigs and is, oh yeah, a food additive.)

There are still regulatory issues, but saying "this is completely unregulated by the FDA" implies that it's completely unregulated, period, when the issue is that the FDA simply might not have jurisdiction. And there is a little bit of regulation. (It's illegal for minors to buy them.)

I don't smoke anything, but when I see an article like this, I weep for journalism, and weep more for people who trust places like ABC to be informed.

All that said: it raises the question of quality control on these batteries. My gut feeling is that they're as safe as cigarettes (i.e. the acute harm of an occasional battery explosion is less than the diffuse harm of tobacco smoke for any given person), but it highlights how important that aspect of manufacturing is to the safety of the device.

Interestingly, I imagine that would get regulated by someone like the FTC or CPSC. So the actual regulation required in this case would still leave e-cigarettes "completely unregulated by the FDA."

If it were used to deliver nicotine, it would also have to pass FDA scrutiny. At least I think that's the case.

Edit - And it turns out FDA is developing regulations for them.

Ah, okay, that clears stuff up. From the link:

FDA did not appeal the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Sottera, Inc. v. Food & Drug Administration, holding that e-cigarettes and other nicotine-containing products are not drugs or devices unless they are marketed for therapeutic purposes, but that other nicotine-containing products can be regulated as “tobacco products” under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Therefore, FDA intends to develop regulations for electronic cigarettes.

The decision of Sottera begins:

Sottera, Inc., which does business as NJOY, is an importer and distributor of "electronic cigarettes" or "e-cigarettes," a product that enables users to inhale vaporized nicotine. The question before us is whether Congress has authorized the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") to regulate e-cigarettes under the drug/device provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act ("FDCA"), 21 U.S.C. § 351 et seq., or under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 (the "Tobacco Act"), Pub.L. 111-31, 123 Stat. 1776. We think that the statutes, properly read in light of the Supreme Court's decision in FDA v. Brown & Williamson, 529 U.S. 120, 120 S.Ct. 1291, 146 L.Ed.2d 121 (2000), locate the product under the Tobacco Act.

So (I think, IANAL, etc.): After that Brown & Williamson case, there was a hole in the law where the FDA apparently couldn't regulate some tobacco products, and the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act filled it, but the regulatory authority the FDA has is different in each act. So e-cigarettes would have fallen through that hole, and therefore may only be regulated under the new law.

From 2000-2009, it appears you could sell a product with nicotine in it that the FDA couldn't regulate, but not any more. However, how they can regulate remains different depending on what kind of product you're selling. And it appears that they can do less to you if you're trying to enable nicotine use than if you're using nicotine therapeutically (say, to help people quit smoking).

Thanks for making me research that. Now in addition to weeping for modern journalism, I'm weeping for US drug policy.

Yikes! That's definitely a very scary news story.

I found an article with some informed speculation about what sort of device was actually in use, and the safety issues with that sort of device.

And yeah, this is one of the reasons that solid regulations are necessary.

(And I am no longer quite so unhappy with how tiny and weak the Blu batteries are. :))

Hypatian wrote:

(And I am no longer quite so unhappy with how tiny and weak the Blu batteries are. :))

I couple of links from that article you posted, I found this:

Some Dude on The Internet wrote:

The safest battery is the largest battery, because one of the factors that causes the explosions is that the batteries are too small for the job. Smaller batteries ARE NOT safer. Even a little RC123 cell (16340) has around the same explosive power as a grenade of the same size. It's more than enough to do the job, when it's in front of your face.

I mean, Some Dude on the Internet's been wrong before, but it's reasonable to expect that overdriving the battery leads to increased risk of failure.

I still think that when you compare the incidence and total harm of exploding batteries with the incidence and total harm of inhaling tobacco smoke, though, e-cigarettes win.

The battery mentioned in that post isn't small in the sense I meant, it's small in the sense of physical size. It's an 800mAh battery, whereas the original Blu batteries (such as I have) are 80mAh. That's... a lot less potential energy. Packing more potential energy into a smaller space is of course not going to make it any safer. But having a lot less potential energy is.

I was kinda hoping this was a non spam post. Since this thread kinda went cold, there have been some interesting developments in the e cigarette market. I found this article very interesting. Specifically the part about njoy not being interested in working with traditional tobacco companies, but rather making cigarettes completely obsolete.

This may be odd to jump in this late on the thread, but I have recent ordered some disposable e-cigs online from Madvapes.com. For history, I am not a smoker (kind of) I would smoke socially with friends when out places and such but never actually had to purchase any. Recently later at night while gaming or just surfing the web I felt the urge to have a relaxing smoke while doing so, and being in a building that has a pretty strict policy and a few room mates, I dont wish to start smoking the traditional kind.

The disposable ones they sell are Hangsen, a chinese company that has a moderately good reputation. I was actually searching like crazy to find some in stores around where I am but then I discovered that the selling of e-cigs is illegal here in Canada...huh. So anyway, I was wondering if anyone has a good online supplier they would recommend, the shipping took two weeks and I don't wish to wait the second time around that long. Thanks!

I recently read that the Israeli government is going to equate the use of e-cigarettes to use of other tobacco products. This means that it would be now illegal to use them in places where smoking isn't allowed .

ynetnews wrote:

Because electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco, the law for the prevention of smoking in public places does not apply to them, but it turns out that electronic cigarettes still produce particles which damage health. "The use of some of these products is done through evaporation, rather than through combustion, as in tobacco products. Nevertheless, the evaporation process also produces various particles, including substances that are addictive and cause harmful emissions into the public sphere," the memorandum of law states.

Israel somewhat of a pioneer in health related legislation but it may be lagging behind a bit behind European countries. Israel recently legislated a law where pictures of models with a BMI of under 18.5 won't be allowed to be used. Pictures who have been doctored by graphic programs like Photoshop have to be clearly labeled as such. The purpose of the law is to prevent eating disorders .

This is precisely what government is NOT supposed to be about in America -- protecting you from yourself.

In this case, it's not even protecting you from something that's all that bad.

Niseg wrote:

I recently read that the Israeli government is going to equate the use of e-cigarettes to use of other tobacco products. This means that it would be now illegal to use them in places where smoking isn't allowed .

ynetnews wrote:

Because electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco, the law for the prevention of smoking in public places does not apply to them, but it turns out that electronic cigarettes still produce particles which damage health. "The use of some of these products is done through evaporation, rather than through combustion, as in tobacco products. Nevertheless, the evaporation process also produces various particles, including substances that are addictive and cause harmful emissions into the public sphere," the memorandum of law states.

Israel somewhat of a pioneer in health related legislation but it may be lagging behind a bit behind European countries. Israel recently legislated a law where pictures of models with a BMI of under 18.5 won't be allowed to be used. Pictures who have been doctored by graphic programs like Photoshop have to be clearly labeled as such. The purpose of the law is to prevent eating disorders .

Whelp. New York City is following suit.

Scientists generally agree that e-cigarettes are less dangerous than real cigarettes, and researchers reported in September in the British medical journal The Lancet that they work about as well as nicotine patches in helping smokers quit.
They're still highly addictive, however, and Quinn said OK'ing them could create new customers for tobacco products and undercut the message that smoking is something you should do only at home.

Get your nanny state jokes in while it's hot, folks.

Malor wrote:

This is precisely what government is NOT supposed to be about in America -- protecting you from yourself.

In this case, it's not even protecting you from something that's all that bad.

Unless you're a Doctor who's actually studied them, I can't believe that. Are they less bad than traditional tobacco cigarettes? Probably. Do they pose a threat of harm to people not "smoking" in the vicinity? No one really knows because the studies haven't been done and the laws haven't caught up.

No one really knows

Ergo, there should be no law passed.

Malor wrote:
No one really knows

Ergo, there should be no law passed.

We don't know the long term health effects of e-cigarettes, but there's nothing that should stop us from regulating what we do know is a highly addictive chemical. Hell, the fact that it's no longer tobacco means government regulatory control over it should shift from the BATF to the FDA.

Kurrelgyre wrote:

...Are they less bad than traditional tobacco cigarettes? Probably.

Your going with probably on that?

Kurrelgyre wrote:

Do they pose a threat of harm to people not "smoking" in the vicinity? No one really knows because the studies haven't been done and the laws haven't caught up.

I believe the point was that unless you actually KNOW then you allow it. That might not be the best plan ever but it is the general legal approach in the US. No proof it hurts... you can do it.

OG_slinger wrote:

We don't know the long term health effects of e-cigarettes, but there's nothing that should stop us from regulating what we do know is a highly addictive chemical. Hell, the fact that it's no longer tobacco means government regulatory control over it should shift from the BATF to the FDA.

FDA for the e-cig makes sense. Not sure who on the second hand air quality. OSHA would want a piece of it.
I don't know how I feel about second hand smoke from e-cigs. I haven't seen anything indicating people getting addicted to nicotine that way. And with no other health information I don't see a lot of concern. I would say we should study it asap. But until then I don't see a reason to restrict their use outside of say a health care setting.

realityhack wrote:
Kurrelgyre wrote:

...Are they less bad than traditional tobacco cigarettes? Probably.

Your going with probably on that?

Yes. The tobacco and tar may be gone, but the nicotine and who-knows-what-else-since-every-company-makes-their-cartridges-differently-without-a-complete-ingredients-list remain.

Malor wrote:

This is precisely what government is NOT supposed to be about in America -- protecting you from yourself.

This is a tough one for me, becuase I agree with you in theory, but the fact is I (and everyone else in the US) pay for a smokers addiction. We pay more for health care, etc.

So I guess I agree that the government - ie the people - shouldn't protect you from yourself it does have an interest in protecting the wallets of the group.

I have done a lot of research on vaping and vaping mods (those who support these, please stop calling them e-cigs, they are NOT cigarettes, and the term hurts the community). I haven't had a cigarette since Oct 2012, and I didn't start vaping to quit altogehter, I started to quit smoking, which is awful for your health. However, I do feel I can quit easier from vaping as my cravings are significantly reduced. I can go on long car trips with others and not need to vape, and at work I typically go out only once a day, where I used to go out 3-4x to smoke.

Also, here's some studies and research links http://www.tasteyourjuice.com/wordpr...

Robear wrote:

I think they will mostly regulate it for ingredients - e-cigs contain carcinogens that users are not informed about - but as long as cigarettes are legal, well...

They do? That's news. There's three ingredients in vape juice: Nicotine, Food additives (in flavored juices, for flavor, so you can get non-flavored if you wish), and propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is classified by the FDA as "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) for use as a direct food additive. As far as human consumption is concerned (because I don't think the industrial uses are relevant here), it's used in food, gelcap medicines, IV bags, inhalers, and a ton of other medical and non-medical products. We synthesize and use a TON of this stuff, and odds are, you consume it often. About the only debate left in the propylene glycol debate is long-term exposure sideffects, since until it's use in vape juice no one really thought to study it that way. We know how the body metabolizes it, and one IV bag exposes you to a much stronger dose than vaping can. Propylene glycol is even added to air units of hospitals because it has been shown to slow/repress the spread of airborne viruses.

As stated, vegetable glycerine is also used in some juices, and it's basically an organically synthesized version of propylene glycol. Where else you find vegetable glycerine is commonly in smoke/fog machines, since it produces better vapor then propylene glycol, but propylene glycol carries flavor better in vape juice. So a mix to get the best of both worlds is far more common today.

Debunked in several studies. The FDA had an agenda and did poor research to support what they wanted to say.

Robear wrote:
I also have felt that it's very easy to get too much nicotine on the Blu.

This is the part that concerns me the most. It's easier to get the nicotine when the side effects are reduced. That just makes the addiction stronger.

The nicotine isn't the most addictive products in cigarettes, the MAOIs and other chemicals that are added to make cigs more addictive contribute to far more addictive qualities. Plus, too much nicotine makes you feel queasy, so I don't see this as a practical concern. A person tends to stop vaping before you get to this point.

Hypatian wrote:

Yeah. Definitely some potential for abuse there. It's slightly ameliorated by the fact that vapor is less efficient at getting nicotine into the bloodstream than smoke is, and that it's slightly easier to track exactly how much nicotine you're getting and to vary the dosage (i.e. get weaker liquids).

Well, we don't fully understand how much nicotine is delivered in cigarettes or vaping. It's generally understood that vaping is probably less efficent of a delivery method, but it's unclear how much of the 1.8mg in a typical cigarette makes it into the bloodstream, and even less understood how much is transferred when you vape from a 12mg bottle of vape juice - just that it's generally regarded as less efficient.

various posts on second hand smoke

See my link above, there are studies on this. The exhale from vape juice contains no measurable nicotine and nothing that's any more harmful then what's already in the air you breath. There are several research groups, and doctors, busy doing and publishing studies on this stuff now, and everything independent supports similar conclusions. We do know what this stuff is, and have already used it in human consumption for decades. This isn't some newfangled fancy chemicals.

Now that post is over, I would like to talk about vaping mods (or devices). Most people start with the cigarette looking devices (ala the Blu, or something similar, I used Prosmoke) but I can guarantee once you get over your device having to look like a cigarette you can get a MUCH better experience, and it's way cheaper.

There are hundreds of different devices out there for vaping, and thousands of combinations. Here's a good combination that I've found, mostly through a lot of research. It works well for me.
http://www.gotvapes.com/index.php?ma...

The Mini VISION VIVI Nova 510. I like the mini because it's the same width as my battery. The regular Nova holds a ml more, but it's "fatter" than the battery, making it look quite odd (in my opinion). This is simple to use, screw off the top and fill on the side, between the atomizer (the thing in the middle) and the plastic outer case. Do your best not to get juice in the middle tube - this will cause some gurgling and potentially some leakage out the bottom. If you do, since most juice is fairly thick, it hangs out at the top. Just blot the atomizer top with a paper towel. It happens; it's not a big deal.
That thing with the cotton wicks is the atomizer. It will need replaced, as it is the "wearable part" in this setup. I don't have a good timeline for this, maybe every 3-5 weeks. You'll know because your vapes will get tough to pull, you'll get less vapor, and you might get some bad taste. You can also unscrew the top and look, an old addy will have black gunk (burnt juice) all around and above the wick. Toss it and buy more, like the pack below. In fact, buy some with your initial order; they're only $3 for 5. http://www.gotvapes.com/index.php?ma...


Battery
Here's the battery. It has an adjustable voltage at the bottom, which I have found to be a nice addition. I have the 1300 mah (milliamp hour) fat black. It easily runs 2 days on a full charge. Press the button and draw, that's it. Press it 5x to turn it off (like if it's going to be in your pocket and you're worried about accidentally pressing it) and 5x to turn it on. I don't turn mine off ever...
http://www.gotvapes.com/index.php?ma...


Accessories
There's two here you'll want. First is a gap cover, or eGo DCT Cone, between the battery and the mini nova. Some combinations don't need this, but for this combo this little piece makes it look a little more seamless between the two. http://www.litecigusa.net/EGO_Stainl...

And don't forget a charger. This is not the exact one that I have (I'm trying to keep everything from the same website to make it easier for your first order), but it should work fine. http://www.gotvapes.com/index.php?ma...

Want to buy Juice? I like Mount Baker Vapor, out of Colorado. They're cheap and have tons of flavors. Cost? About $5-$8 per 30ml. Compare that to 1 Blu cart which is 1-1.5ml, and you'll get an idea of the cost savings. Speaking of which, the Mod above (the mini-nova) is $6-$7, replacement attys are about 5 for $5, and the battery is $19.99 or less. Try the cinnamon roll juice from mount baker vapor, it's one of my staples. There is one "expensive" juice I like, Boba's Bounty from Alien Visions. It's 3x the price of something from mount baker, but it's a nice tobacco vape. Still not a cigarette, but you'll never get the taste of those exactly since you aren't (burning with fire) the juice.

Finally, check out Phil Busardo's website (tasteyourjuice.com) and his YouTube videos. He's a great resource and fun to watch/listen too (he has a background in radio).

For those not wanting to seek studies, here's one posted in Dec.

First Study to Examine Passive Vaping Under Real-Life Conditions Finds No Chemicals of Concern in Room Air
In the first study of human exposure produced by passive vaping under real-life conditions, researchers from Italy and Greece found no chemicals of concern in room air while five electronic cigarette users vaped for a five-hour session in a 60 cubic meter closed room.

The researchers compared the constituents of room air during passive vaping to those present during passive smoking. During passive smoking, levels of chemicals were as follows (all in micrograms per cubic meter):

Nicotine: 34
Acrolein: 20
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: 9.4
Carbon monoxide: 11
Xylene: 0.2
Toluene: 1.7

The detected levels of these same chemicals during the passive vaping session were as follows:

Nicotine:0
Acrolein: 0
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: 0
Carbon monoxide: 0
Xylene: 0
Toluene: 0

http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.co.u...