Vape-ruption at City Hall

Vape-ruption at City Hall

I’d like to start this off with a question…
How many butts does it take to fill up an ashtray?
But before I answer that, let me just say that today, which will probably be yesterday by the time this gets posted, on January 7, 2015, Big Chief Vapor Products was witness to the New Orleans City Council’s Community Development Committee’s complete lack of respect towards the vapor community as a whole. Now, I have to admit before I go on, the committee wasn’t all bad. Both Councilman Jason Williams and Councilman James Gray cast nays towards the ordinance, which still passed through to the City Council with a 3-2 vote because of Councilwomen Susan Guidry, Stacy Head, and Latoya Cantrell. And speaking of Councilwoman Cantrell, the author of the ordinance we were all there to get amended, she seemed to be quite cold and uncaring when it came to even recognizing that people were there to represent the vapor industry, or that there even was a vapor industry in the first place.
But anyway, before I get ahead of myself, let’s start from the beginning…
For anybody that’s been living under a rock the last few months, back in November of 2014 Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell introduced a bill that would first designate vapor products as smoking products, and then ban their use within 25 feet of ANY business, including vape shops. That would basically make it illegal to vape inside of a vape shop within city limits, which would make it nearly impossible for customers to taste flavors before they bought them, and decimate the local industry. Today the Community Development Committee met to hear from the public before they voted to see if the bill should move on to the City Council, with a few amendments. One amendment changed the distance from 25 feet to 5 feet, and another assured that cigar shops would be able to keep on smoking, all while completely shunning the entire vapor community. But again, I’m getting ahead of myself.
So to start the day, Big Chief decided to throw its support behind all the New Orleans vapor shops that were being threatened by this ban, and we all took a little field trip over to City Hall. The ownership duo of Heather Hutton and Marcus Campo crammed us into the back of their truck, and we met up with blend-master Kevin and loyal customer Dylan in the council chambers. And upon arrival, after first stepping foot into those council chambers, we were taken through a time portal of some sort and transported straight back to 1976… or 1981…? It was kind of hard to tell.
It smelled of elementary school auditorium, with chairs covered in some strange sort of green carpet-type fabric, all tattered and torn from decades upon decades of butts sitting within them, rising and dropping with the sway of emotion that such a room brought. And as they were sat within by us, they quite literally crumbled beneath us… so we moved a row up.
From there, Marcus set his sights on a local physician who was there in support of the smoking ban, to get his opinion on the use of vapor products, otherwise known as e-cigarettes. That doctor then proceeded to explain how he would rather see his patients using e-cigarettes than smoking tobacco, and literally laughed at the fact that the council was attempting to ban them due to their ‘unknown dangers’. But then the meeting began, and it was all sort of downhill from there… at least it felt that way.
From the start it was all about secondhand smoke, with e-cigarettes being mentioned at a glance every once in a while, and never in a good way. This was made most notable by the woman representing the American Lung Association. Now, I can write an entire article on them alone, and how they may possibly be a bit biased when it comes to commenting on vapor products, because of who they get funded by. This was a point brought up by Chad Rogers from Salty Dog Vapor down in Houma later in the meeting, who was basically laughed at, but I’ll get back to the point.
Jennifer Coffer of the American Lung Association introduced the panel, which started off with Cynthia Hallett, Executive Director of American’s For Non-Smoker’s Rights, who had a good 10-15 minute speech to open up the meeting, because she was one of the 7 special representatives (6 of which were for the bill, with 1 against), and Cynthia not only explained how deadly secondhand smoke from cigarettes was, but also lumped in e-cigarettes as being just as deadly, which is simply ludicrous.
In her own words, eliminating e-cigarettes would “prevent another form of air pollution”, and she warned that, “Some may try to persuade the council that e-smoking devices just contain vapor-mist,” before mocking vapers with the wiggle of her head and a shift in her tone as she stated, “Oh, it’s just water vapor.”
Cynthia then went on to quote ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers), who says, “Electronic cigarettes do not produce a vapor, but rather a dense, visible aerosol,” and went on to name a few known carcinogens that were detected in this aerosol.
What she failed to mention, however, was that many of these chemicals are produced naturally by humans simply by breathing, and are exhaled from our body with each exhale every person ever breathes out, and the rest can be found in the air on a regular basis, thanks to things like oil refineries and cars. E-cigarettes are apparently quite similar, because they also seem to emit the very same trace levels of these chemicals, although at rates that we typically breathe in on a regular day-to-day basis, and have been deemed safe and not dangerous at all by several of the top scientists in their field.
After that she threw in a quite interesting left hook, which had nothing at all to do with e-cigarettes other than the fact that she very strategically placed them each in the same sentence. So within the same breathe that she talks about this ‘mysteriously dangerous’ vapor of e-cigarettes, she quotes the US Surgeon General, who stated that, “There is no safe level of secondhand smoke.”
Now, let me pause this for a moment so we can take a closer look at all this. And first of all, ignoring the fact that she blatantly took a quote regarding tobacco and placed it on e-cigarettes, I’ve read quite a few dubious studies that have made far more dangerous claims about e-cigarettes, and not one of them was brought up by any of the detractors.
They could’ve easily brought up the Japanese study that claimed to find 100 times the formaldehyde in e-cigarettes, or the studies funded by the FDA and the ALA which are often cited as claiming very much the same thing. But if they did, they might be forced to explain away the coils that were “burned to a crisp”, or the human volunteers that were exhaling formaldehyde and having it detected on the machines before the vaping exercises ever began, or the poor attempt at doing the math on how much formaldehyde was in a tobacco cigarette to begin with.
What that tells me is that they did their homework in regards to which studies held the findings they wished to show, without leaving room to be questioned on their validity. So they chose the much easier route of choosing a simple study that did find these things out, and just neglected to mention a few details.
It was wise, tactical, and cunning, and it led straight back into the talk of secondhand smoke, which persisted for another 35 minutes before public commenting at last began.
So after a bit of back and forth between the pro-ban and the pro-tobacco parts of the crowd, a few people did get a couple of quick opportunities to talk a bit of good about the vapor industry, until this woman from the ALA got a second turn at the microphone. Her name was Jennifer Cofer, and she used her time at the mic to basically demand that the council disregard any comments made by us unintelligent and lowly e-cigarette users, who get their information from nonsensical research studies and lab tests, and strongly insisted that the provision regarding e-cigarettes remained in the bill.
Well, okay, maybe she didn’t really say all that. Her actual quote was more like starting off right where her little buddy Cynthia left off earlier, but her tone gave away the fact that she had a very clear agenda in being at that meeting, “As we know, there’s no safe level of secondhand smoke,” she began, and immediately wanted to speak about the e-cigarette “fact”. She then made it clear that the ALA was working hard with the FDA to make a final deeming regulation on e-cigarettes, but that “there is no ruling just yet on what we know is in it.”
Ah, she slipped a little, you see. But she caught herself right away by bringing up the CDC and how they found “some cancer-causing poisons in e-cigarettes,” without mentioning how they were only found at trace levels that are already commonly taken in by the human body on a regular basis. And that’s about when she pulled out the sympathy card and said that her grandparents didn’t know what was in their cigarettes 60 years ago, so “we don’t want another generation having to say that in 60 years,” before encouraging the council to keep their e-cigarette ban in the bill.
So anyway, the public comments kept coming, mostly in favor of the ban, until the Big Chief ownership duo of Heather and Marcus took the microphone. And to give a little behind-the-scenes scoop here, Marcus had a 5 page, all-out speech prepared, that he worked tirelessly to perfect, poured all of his heart into it… only for the council to give him 2 minutes to address the 25 page bill, and cut him off after only a few paragraphs.
Still, I think he got out some very important points in his short amount of time at the microphone.
He began by letting the council know that, “I hope to increase the committee’s understanding of the vapor industry, so they you will be able to make an informed decision on any regulation regarding these products.” Most importantly, however, especially after hearing all this talk of dangerous chemicals hidden in the vapor of e-cigarettes, Marcus made it clear that, “Everything around us contains contaminants,” before calling out the FDA and the ALA by saying that what has been failed to be mentioned is the fact that, “These same results only proved that the contaminants found were so trace and nonexistent that they were deemed not harmful by the FDA itself.”
Marcus then went on the quote Mitch Zeller, a director at the Food and Drug Administration, who said, “If we could get all of those people who smoke to completely switch all of their cigarettes to noncombustible cigarettes, it would be good for public health,” and Professor John Britton, the Chair of the Tobacco Advisory Group at the Royal College of Physicians, who stated, “If all the smokers in Britain stopped smoking cigarettes and started smoking e-cigarettes, we would save 5 million deaths in people who are alive today. It’s a massive potential public health prize.”
“In fact,” Marcus added, “Dr. Kyle Happel,” the physician that he spoke with before the meeting began, who was actually one of the special guest speakers, “Says he, himself, does not believe there to be any studies showing secondhand vapor to be harmful. He even laughed at the idea of it, and said that he would direct his patients to use these products.”
“As far as Cynthia Hallett,” Marcus went on to challenge her claims from earlier, and I’m quoting this word for word, “She quoted some studies earlier… I believe it was the… ashtray or refrigerator union.” The comment even made Councilwoman Cantrell giggle a bit, probably because she questioned Cynthia about ASHRAE earlier, and it does sound pretty close to ashtray. Then he closed it with, “I’m not too sure about those studies, but all the ones we’ve looked up are having to do with medical professional’s opinions, and we believe those are the ones that count.”
So after Marcus was abruptly cut-off, knowing how little he was actually able to get across, I began to notice a disturbing pattern, which repeated itself time and time again.
(The following 2 paragraphs have apparently been exaggerated by my memories, due to the emotions that ended that day. After watching the tape back, I believe everyone at the mic was given the same amount of flexibility. Sometimes the people talking about vapor products were just extremely quick in their comments, and finished voluntarily before the clock ran out, while both sides of the bill were given equal amounts of time to speak beyond their limit. But I would like to keep these paragraphs unedited as a valid representation of what it did feel like as that meeting boiled down to an end, and that feeling may have contributed to the ultimate eruption.)
I started watching the clock that was counting down for each speaker, high up on the right wall. Each speaker was to be given 60 seconds to speak, which seemed a bit short, yet fair… I guess. But then I started watching that countdown clock reach zero, and depending on who was speaking, they would either be thanked and shoved aside or allowed to keep on speaking.
What I’m saying is that whenever a supporter of e-cigarettes took the stage, they were promptly cut off as the 60 second clock expired. But if it was a supporter of the bill, it seemed they were allowed to just keep on talking until they simply ran out of good things to say about it. Even the detractors of the bill for tobacco related reasons seemed to be given a lot of time to talk. It was as if Councilwoman Cantrell simply had no urge to learn or even hear anything concerning electronic cigarettes. And if I’m being honest – this is just my personal opinion – the whole thing really felt like some big show, just some sorry sitcom about how democracy went wrong. (I still believe that last sentence to be a valid representation of that meeting.)
It ultimately led to Anthony Kolesa, one of the most prominent figures in the New Orleans vapor community, being completely and almost blatantly left out of the debate. After questions were directed at Councilwoman Cantrell when she warned of an end to the meeting, by Chad Rogers of Houma, she assured the vapers that lined those back walls and dotted the crowd that she would allow their side a chance to speak. That was right before Kevin Dettman of Big Chief was called to the microphone, and he promptly and graciously seceded his time to Chad, to assure he was no longer ignored.
The council then heard points that hadn’t been made before, as Chad almost pleaded, “I want to make sure that above all, there is a provision included for vape shops, to allow for them to vape in the vape shops.” But this wasn’t his parish, and it isn’t our parish. The council still needed to hear from Smoke Cignals, the very first vapor shop in the city of New Orleans. But shortly after Chad talked for as long as he was allowed and stepped back into a rousing ovation from the crowd, and after an all too convenient and oddly long pro-smoking-ban speech by the returning Cynthia Hallett, Councilwoman Cantrell called an end to the meeting.
It was almost cute for a second. You know, like she just forgot about Anthony and she was just going to say, “Oh, yeah… didn’t mean to forget about you, come on up.”
It would have been a simple enough thing to say, sure. But I think it was probably a little bit too simple of a thing to say, and she was just in a hurry to pass this thing and get to lunch or something, because from then on, she went about ignoring the entire vapor community.
As shouts of, “Let him speak,” began to rise up throughout the room, just inches away from turning into a full-blown chant, an officer arrived to start removing maybe 30 or so extremely compliant vapers from the chambers, and Councilwoman Guidry tried to tell them, “Gentlemen, that’s not going to help,” as Councilwoman Cantrell almost sighs behind her, “Yeah.”
During the commotion, D.J. and I found ourselves standing up in protest after a pro-smoking-ban supporter seated in front of us turned to start demanding that we stop applauding our fellow vaper’s efforts to be heard. I then found myself assuring this woman that this was all a sham, a ruse, some gimmick that we were all supposed to buy into, and her side had already won, yet it only seemed to further her anti-vaping rant against us, forcing us from our seats to storm from the room in a fit of complete and utter disgust.
With calls for sanity and cries of neglect sounding out around us as we left the chambers, a two minute hold was called to calm things down. Outside, a representative of Councilman Williams was assuring the disgruntled vapers that their side had indeed been heard, and while we were away, back inside the chambers Councilwoman Stacy Head posed a question to Councilwoman Cantrell regarding the tasting of vapor products, and asked, “Do any of the amendments, or the amendments to the amendments that have been put forward today, allow for the exception for the tasting of the flavors of the vapor… cigarettes? I don’t know too much about the technology of these things, but apparently it’s like tasting olives or nuts (giggles), and you have to taste them to know whether you like them, and these people have to do that in their facility.”
Councilwoman and Committee Chair, Latoya Cantrell responded with, “At this time those amendments are not on the table. But as you know, once we move this forward there will be additional amendments that council members will choose to move forward on.” She seemed to assure that our concerns would be addressed.
But by the time D.J. and I made it back into the chambers, it was just in time to watch the committee pass the ordinance through by a vote of 3-2. And even though it may not yet be law, and it may not be their intentions, but if things continue along this path, and the vapor community is ultimately excluded from these debates, the council will not only be cutting New Orleans out of the fastest growing industry in America, they will in essence be telling all smokers in the city of New Orleans that e-cigarettes are just as bad and dangerous for their health as smoking tobacco, which could possibly create more tobacco smokers in the long run, because they already heard several detractors of vapor products state today that “we already know the dangers of smoking cigarettes”, so smokers might as well stick to the real thing.
Councilmen Williams and Gray, however, were each able to see the separation in the room, that this debate, despite its end, hadn’t yet come close to reaching a conclusion. They understood that not every voice had been given a chance to speak, and made it clear that they wanted all the amendments included in the ordinance, with all the voices being heard, before anything was passed on to the City Council, thus they voted nay.
But that brings me back to that question I posed earlier…
The answer is 3… it only take 3 butts to fill up an ashtray.
Those butts were sitting up there in those chairs today… their names were Latoya Cantrell, Susan Guidry, and Stacy Head … and they’ll make an ashtray out of New Orleans if someone doesn’t help them to amend their poorly written and ill-informed attempt at saving it.
Thank you for reading.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, R.M. Plaiscia, and do not necessarily represent those of Big Chief Vapor Products or any other vapor organization.
RMP – 37 Weeks Smoke Free!!!

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U.S NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH – 81 STUDIES SHOW STRICT REGULATIONS ARE NOT WARRANTED ON E-CIGARETTES!!

If there is one thing that has remained prevalent about e-cigarettes, it’s the fear that they seem to generate, and that fear only reinforces the idea among current tobacco smokers that they’re better off with their traditional cigarettes. One tainted article spreads unwarranted fear among the people, and those people then turn lies into truth by spreading the false message to others. Thus, more and more people continue to argue against the use of e-cigarettes – citizens, politicians and doctors alike.

No matter the research that is done, more and more seem to be sounding off against the possible life saving device. But often times their logic seems to be a bit misplaced, like this quote, for instance…

“So far there hasn’t been very much chronic use of e-cigarettes. So it’s not possible to say there will be no harm.” Those are the words of Dr. Norman Edelman, a senior medical consultant for the American Lung Association, and he disagrees with advocates of e-cigarettes. He believes that e-cigarettes do cause harm, and that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should have sole authority over all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

“It is imperative that the FDA finalize proposed e-cigarette regulations by the end of 2014,” and he demands, “The FDA needs to crack down on quit-smoking and other health claims that e-cigarette companies are making.”

I’m guessing that he’s basing his fears on the fact that, in his own words, “there hasn’t been very much chronic use of e-cigarettes. So it’s not possible to say there will be no harm.” But he seems all too ready to conclude that it is possible to believe that there will be harm, based on the same lack of chronic use.

What sense that sort of logic makes, I’m not really sure, but that’s exactly what I’m talking about. Dr. Norman then goes on to state that, “Since we are talking about a recreational drug (nicotine) — it’s not essential to life, it doesn’t cure any illness — it would only make sense to regulate it rigorously until we find out whether it’s good or bad.”

I’m sorry, Dr. Norman, but if we should be rigorously regulating recreational drugs, then who’s regulating the caffeine industry? Should we make coffees and sodas, along with their boundless flavors illegal?

And where’s the regulations when it comes to the opiate industry? Why are pain killers so openly dispensed when, according to the CDC, they kill over 15,000 people per year? But e-cigarettes, which have not been linked to a single death, should be harshly criminalized? Why?

There is no answer, so I digress.

What Dr. Norman truly fears, I cannot be sure, but a recent study partly funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, which was recently published in the July 30 edition of the journal Addiction, should put all his fears to rest.

The team of researchers concluded after reviewing 81 previous studies that “strict regulation of electronic cigarettes IS NOT warranted based on current evidence”. They even go on to say that “allowing e-cigarettes to compete with regular cigarettes might cut tobacco-related deaths and illness”.

After a statement like that, such a device should be heralded as a savior – the cleanser of blackened lungs, destroyer of tar, the decimator of the tobacco leaf. But instead it is demonized on a worldwide scale.

In Australia it is illegal to sell any liquid containing nicotine.

In Brazil, the sale, importation and advertising of any type of e-cigarette is strictly forbidden.

In Hong Kong, the sale or possession of any e-cigarette device is not authorized, and both are punishable with a fine of up to HK$100,000 and/or a prison term of 2 years.

In Mexico, the selling and promotion of non-tobacco objects that include elements generally associated with tobacco products are forbidden.

In Turkey, the sale of electronic cigarettes and e-liquids are illegal.

And on and on…

Still, many are continually trying to allow the masses a glimpse at the truth that rests beyond the endless spin of the media, like study researcher Thomas Eissenberg, co-director of the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, who stated in a recent article on WebMD, “Current evidence suggests that there is a potential for smokers to reduce their health risks if electronic cigarettes are used in place of tobacco cigarettes and are considered a step toward ending all tobacco and nicotine use.”

That’s huge. I mean, just imagine a world where Big Tobacco has a legitimate contender standing against it, threatening to steal away their customers and save their lives. It would be like life competed against death, quite literally, and it would be quite interesting to see if e-cigarettes could actually topple the almighty giant that is the industry of Big Tobacco.

Some, like Dr. Norman, believe the risks outweigh the reward. But if any of the previous studies hadn’t made it clear enough, this study does…

“If there are any risks, these will be many times lower than the risks of smoking tobacco,” said the senior author of the study, Dr. Hayden McRobbie, from the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at Queen Mary University of London. “We need to think carefully about how these products are regulated. What we found is that there is no evidence that these products should be regulated as strictly as tobacco, or even more strictly than tobacco.”

These are things that the FDA must take into account when making their final ruling, and hopefully they will. They should not rush into making any sort of hasty decision, and refrain from damaging a possibly life saving market.

Prof Peter Hajek, of Queen Mary University in London, also an author on the paper, acknowledged as much when he told the BBC, “Regulators need to be mindful of crippling the e-cigarette market, and by doing so failing to give smokers access to these safer products that could save their lives.”

“If harsh regulations are put in place now, we will damage public health on a big scale.”

RMP – 19 Weeks Smoke-Free

FDA Regulations ….. Closing Down Vape Shop!

The FDA is accepting comments from consumers concerning the deeming regulations on e-cigs they have proposed.  These regulations are high cost with little effect and will put most neighborhood Vape Shops out of business.  These regulations will force all products to be submitted and approved by the FDA costing business close to a half a million dollars. Voices for Small Businesses follow the link to learn more.  

Vape Shops provide customers with support as well as options to customize their product to sit their needs.  This is what has made this method so successful to millions of people who struggled for so many years in the battle with combustible cigarettes.  Don’t allow the FDA’s regulations take our vape shops from so many of Americans who rely on them.  Vape Shops save lives EVERYDAY how many lives will these regulations save?  

Kick Ash Like A Big Chief ………. Get involved Today!!

FDA 4th CTA Meme

Follow the link below and submit your comment Today!

 

Submit Your Comment to the FDA

Chattin’ Chief vs. The Myths Against Vaping – Part 3

Chattin’ Chief vs. The Myths Against Vaping

Part 3 

 

No loud headlines this time – no segues or intros either – but welcome nonetheless to the third and final installment of the Chattin’ Chief’s attempt to shed a bit of light upon the smoke-screen being released by the anti-vapor movement, namely a recent Live Science article titled “4 Myths About E-cigarettes” that I’ve been disputing. Now, let’s get right to it…

E-cig ‘Myth’ #3 – E-cigarettes Help You Quit Smoking

First of all, before we get to any studies, it should be made clear that this particular ‘myth’ is more of a personal preference. It is my personal opinion that some people just don’t want to quit smoking cigarettes, and for those people there is nothing that will ever help them do so. However, from my own personal experience, the people that e-cigarettes can help tremendously are those who already wish to quit smoking. Maybe they’ve previously tried other methods, nicotine patches, gum, cold turkey, warm ham – hey, anything’s worth a try, right? – only for nothing to work. That is who e-cigarettes can help, because they actually work to please the same senses as cigarettes, without any of the negative side-effects.

But to LS (Live Science), this idea is seen as a myth. Because they are actually so similar to cigarettes in the way that they act, as if the inhalation and exhalation of a cloud of vapor is no different from a cloud of smoke, it seems that many people simply refuse to believe that they could possibly be safe or helpful in any way, and those people are trying to convince everyone else of the same thing.

So to dispel this ‘myth’ that e-cigarettes can successfully help smokers quit, they quote a ‘recent scientific review’ that concludes “e-cigarette use is not associated with successful quitting”. And to really get that over and sell it even more, LS then takes aim at young people as they go on to say that “there is even some evidence that e-cigs may get non-smokers hooked on nicotine. Studies have found as many as one-third of young e-cigarette users have never tried conventional cigarettes.”

Although they don’t openly state where their information was taken from, I’m pretty sure they’re speaking of a NIH (National Institutes of Health) study that quoted a recent survey, “The Utah Department of Health found that 32% of e-cigarette users reported that they had never smoked conventional cigarettes.” Now they don’t specify whether or not that’s just in Utah, or how many people were actually surveyed, but it does fit the one-third estimate that LS claims, so it probably is the number they’re talking about.

But no matter how not-cool that is, we can’t go using the results of a single survey to say that e-cigs can’t help people quit smoking.

That’s just not true.

Actually, it’s quite the contrary, because in a recent New York Times article, published on May 20th, 2014, they note that “a large study in England has found that smokers trying to quit were substantially more likely to succeed if they used electronic cigarettes than over-the-counter therapies such as nicotine patches or gum”.

Now let me repeat that… a large study found that “Smokers trying to quit were substantially more likely to succeed if they used electronic cigarettes than over-the-counter therapies such as nicotine patches or gum”.

So why all the fuss?

Why are the incredible benefits of these devices so incredibly hard to believe?

Why are the FDA and the WHO and all these random news outlets speaking so negatively against the life saving possibilities of e-cigarettes?

What message are they actually trying to get across?

Now I may not hold the answers to any of those questions, but I do know that I didn’t want to smoke cigarettes beyond the age of thirty. To be honest, though, despite my wanting to quit smoking cigarettes, I really didn’t want to quit, if that makes any sense at all.

I knew it was bad for me, deadly even, but it was that tobacco that made me feel comfortable in an uncomfortable world. It was something I could rely on in a reality filled with disappointment. But it was also burning a constant hole in my wallet, not to mention my lungs.

I knew it was killing me – the morning cough, constantly hacking up gunk from my lungs, that heavy wheezing in my chest whenever I took a deep breath. I knew I needed to quit, but quitting isn’t a simple thing. Not at all.

The way I see it is, as a smoker, I compare my relationship with cigarettes with that of an infant and its nipple. As long as it’s near, everything’s fine. But the moment it’s gone, the sky starts to collapse. It becomes a habit quite quickly, and paying insane prices for them just seems easier than trying to give them up. But that gets expensive pretty fast.

I did my own math, and I was spending approximately $56 per week on cigarettes, just to sustain a habit that was literally killing me. So in the plainest of terms, I was paying fifty-six dollars per week to slowly kill myself.

I mean, seriously, that’s what it comes down to.

I knew it needed to stop, but there was no sandwich meat that was going to help me, neither cold turkey nor warm harm. Also, I wasn’t going to lie to myself. Patches and gum weren’t going to work. They weren’t going to work because I don’t want to be chewing on or injecting nicotine into my arm. I want to mimic smoking a cigarette. That simple. I needed my nipple, but not the deadly circumstances that traditionally came with it.

So I began by trying the cheap e-cigarettes at random gas stations, but only to fall right back to tobacco each time. They just didn’t do a good enough job of mimicking the effects of conventional cigarettes, not for me.

It wasn’t until a little shop on Genie Street named Big Chief Vapor Products opened up that I was introduced to the true e-cigarette movement. With each e-juice mixed in-house, where I hold the ability to control my own intake of nicotine, controlling the mimicking effects of e-cigarettes in whatever way I saw fit, I was able to find a perfect mixture of VG, PG, and nicotine that fit exactly the experience I was looking for.

That was three months ago, and I haven’t once thought about smoking a cigarette since I stepped foot in their door. Now I understand completely that three months is more like the blink of an eye compared to my sixteen years of smoking cigarettes. But I’d like to think that I know myself, and I know that I’ve never been this long without a cigarette since before I started smoking. I also know that as long as Big Chief Vapors is around, as long as e-cigarettes and e-juices aren’t banned by some legislative act of ignorance, I’m never smoking a tobacco cigarette again. To be quite honest, I believe that e-cigarettes saved years of my life, and I’d be pretty damn upset if the FDA actually tried to take those years back away from me.

But if I can be real for a minute, it wasn’t e-cigarettes alone that saved my life, no. I’d walked that e-cigarette road before, and I only found failure at its end. So when it comes down to it, I believe that it was the owners of Big Chief that saved my life. If they would not have opened up, I wouldn’t have quit smoking. I’d still be waking up coughing my lungs out, killing myself for 56 dollars a weeks.

Now, however, thanks to no one but them – because I honestly would not have been able to quit without their understanding and kindness, their patience and knowledge of the products – my cough is completely disappeared, and as long as I don’t get run over by one of these crazy drivers down here, I’ve at least been granted a few extra years of life, years that I otherwise would not have had.

So, seriously, be smart about it… be wise. Nicotine addiction is a very serious thing, so treat it as such. Maybe an all but assured chance of cancer is your thing – it surely seems to be what the FDA is fighting to keep in place – but if it isn’t. If you’re anything like me, and you’ve been searching for a way to quit smoking, just try to remember…

It’s just a nicotine addiction. And at its core, it often devolves into nothing more than a simple hand-to-mouth fixation, the feeling of that hit in the back of your throat.

Now I really don’t mean to sound like one of those old cigarette commercials, but honestly, after remembering that, the only real questions left are… would you rather mix your nicotine with substances like acetic acid (an ingredient in hair dye), ammonia (a common household cleaner), arsenic (rat poison), benzene (a natural constituent of crude oil), butane (lighter fluid), cadmium (battery acid, also used by the Super X to attack Godzilla in 1984’s ‘Return of Godzilla’), carbon monoxide (also released in car exhaust fumes), hexamine (more lighter fluid), toluene (used to manufacture paint), lead, tar, and yes, even acetone and formaldehyde (nail polish remover and embalming fluid, respectively), not to mention all the other 7,000 chemicals that are created by the simple combustion of a cigarette that I didn’t even feel like typing?

Or would you rather mix your nicotine with two simple ingredients that are already approved safe by the FDA, propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, and a little bit of flavoring?

Ask yourself how much you’re spending per week to kill yourself, and figure out if it’s worth it.

For me, it’s really a simple answer.

But I think CASAA Scientific Director, Carl V. Phillips sums it up better than anyone when he said of the study of all studies that we discussed in Part 1, “This study assures us that e-cigarettes are as low risk as other smoke-free tobacco and nicotine products, like smokeless tobacco and NRT. All of these products are about 99% less harmful than smoking, and so smokers who switch to them gain basically the same health benefits as if they quit tobacco and nicotine entirely.”

Did you just hear that?

Of course you didn’t. You’re reading a computer screen, silly.

But seriously, did you just read that?

“Smokers who switch to them gain basically the same health benefits as if they quit tobacco and nicotine entirely.”

That is HUGE!

And that’s the Scientific Director of CASSA talking. Oh, good ole Carl V.

So enough with the over-dramatization of the naysayers…

It’s time to face the facts…

And the fact is… electronic cigarettes are so much safer than cigarettes, it ain’t even a race, and instead of taking lives, these little electronic trinkets hold the ability to save a great many of them.

So deal with it. It’s a good thing.

 

I’m RMP – 12 Weeks Smoke-Free

Peace and Love… Always!!!

Join The Fight Against The FDA’s Proposed Regulations @ casaa.org!!!

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Chattin’ Chief vs. The Myths Against Vaping – Part II – LIQUID NICOTINE IS TOXIC!!!

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Chattin’ Chief vs. The Myths Against Vaping

Part II – LIQUID NICOTINE IS TOXIC!!!

Sorry about the loud headline, but I really wanted you to read this. And now that you’re here, I’m going to make sure that you leave this page that much more knowledgeable about the truth regarding e-cigarettes, which may not actually be as bad as all these headlines make it sound.

So hello and welcome to Part 2 of the Chatting Chief’s attempt at shedding a bit of light upon the smoke-screen which the FDA is trying to push upon us in order to gain control of the entire vapor movement.

If you missed out on Part 1, be sure to check it out, (E-cig Myth #1 – E-cig Vapor Contains No Harmful Second-hand Smoke) because I’ll be continuing right where I left off.

This is a direct response to an article written by Live Science, titled “4 Myths About E-cigarettes”, where they go on to make it sound quite dangerous to be vaping anything.

In our first ‘myth’, we saw how they twisted different studies to their own whim in order to ‘bust’ it, which only further spreads the same disinformation that the FDA wishes the masses to believe as truth. And, with this second ‘myth’ presented to us by LS (Live Science), we’ll see more of the same as they continue shining a bright light on anything they can twist to sound negative while completely ignoring all the positives, as I remain as truthful as the actual studies allow me to be.

Now, on with the show…

E-cig ‘Myth’ #2 – E-cigarettes Are Safe

Despite this being such a broad topic, I’ll try to stay on track with the article that I’m disputing by following their exact course, and this is the section that LS uses to attack liquid nicotine. So the first thing that they and so many other articles seem to mention, usually in dramatic fashion, is that “liquid nicotine is extremely toxic if swallowed”, touting that as a reason to restrict its use.

So I think it would only be fitting if I, as well, jumped onboard this bandwagon to wield this catchphrase as my own, as you may have noticed up yonder. But don’t worry. I haven’t sold out and I haven’t been brainwashed. I’m just trying to make a point.

The statement itself is not a lie; however it seems to be a truth that is often manipulated to be used as a simple one liner that can easily draw a few people’s eyes. At least that’s the idea. Here… let’s try it again…

Liquid Nicotine Is Toxic!!!

Quite dramatic, right? Sure. And I’ll bet a link like that gets quite a few clicks. But I could say the same about a lot of things that we use on an everyday basis, that are all probably just as deadly, some even more so than liquid nicotine…

Gasoline is Toxic!!!

Dishwasher Detergent is Toxic!!!

Air Freshener is Toxic!!!

Cigarettes are Toxic!!!

Each should stimulate the same exact feelings of fear that so many seem to have towards e-cigarettes. Just adding the word TOXIC is meant to incite sensations of paranoia and nervousness, yet for some reason, as much as each example is true and as much as I’d like them to do just that… they just don’t.

But why, I have to ask. Why can’t I be so afraid of these very dangerous things that I come into contact with each and every day? And that’s when I realized… ‘Bam’… that was exactly the reason why.

I’ve grown up using these all too common things, watching other people use them on a daily basis, just like I watched other people smoke their cigarettes and puff on their cigars, and as I live now, I’m genuinely not afraid of any one of those things, no matter how much I should be.

I put gas in my car just about every other day, it seems, and wash dishes way more than I’d really like. I live with a few animals, so air fresheners of all sorts are simply inevitable, and I also smoked cigarettes consistently between the ages of 14 and 30. Still, despite my ignorance of these items, each one of them is equally dangerous if used in the wrong way.

Gasoline is flammable, even harmful if inhaled, and don’t even try to drink it.

Dishwasher Detergent is the #1 cause of child poisonings, according to the Poison Control Center.

Air Freshener’s work because they “interfere with your ability to smell by disabling your nasal passages with an oil film or a nerve-deadening agent”. They also contain over 130 VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), of which “24 are classified as toxic or hazardous under U.S. federal laws,” according to a 2011 study published in Environmental Impact Assessment Review by researchers at the University of Washington, where they tested the leading air freshener brands for safety.

And cigarettes, or any form of tobacco for that matter… do I even have to explain what they do?

But e-cigarettes are new and scary, and that’s why this myth isn’t finished yet, no. Now, apparently, e-juice is beginning to “entice” children into drinking it. “The chances of this happening may increase with flavored liquid nicotine, which may come in enticing-looking packages and can smell tempting,” so says LS in their e-cig myth article.

They say it “mistakenly has this reputation for being safe because it’s purchased over the counter,” but I’d like to know… since when did everything sold ‘over-the-counter’ become safe?

Clothes detergent is pretty bright and colorful, looks quite flavorful, enticing, if you will, and I can grab that right off the shelves… does that mean I’m supposed to feel comfortable enough to chug it?

Cigarettes are sold over-the-counter. Does that make them safe? Does it make children believe that they are safe? And if so, why doesn’t anyone complain about cigarettes being sold over-the-counter?

Anyway, they then go on to mention that “a teaspoon of standard liquid nicotine would be enough to kill a person who weighs 200 pounds”. Okay, so let’s dig a bit deeper into that figure…

When it comes to the Poison Control Center, they claim that “60 milligrams of nicotine is enough to kill a 150-pound adult,” and that is taken by most to be an unwavering fact, just because it comes from the PCC, though there are researchers out there who dispute this number.

German toxicologist Bernd Mayer, part of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, is one of those researchers. He became curious how this number was generated, so he ultimately traced the source of those calculations back to two mid 19th century researchers who were experimenting on themselves.

The year was 1856 – the same year that Last Island, Louisiana and all of its luxurious majesty became washed from the face of the Earth by a mighty hurricane – and Austrian pharmacologist Carl Damian von Schroff was publishing his pharmacological text book, where he describes the self-experiments of two researchers known only as Dworzack and Heinrich.

He reports that “The symptoms were determined exactly in self-experiments by (Wilhelm) Reil and later by Dworzack and Heinrich. After 1–4 mg (milligrams) of nicotine, these authors felt a burning sensation in the mouth, scratchy throat, increased saliva excretion,” and so on.

As time passed, this text book notes that the subjects “became agitated, suffered from headache, dizziness, numbness, cloudy vision and hearing, light sensitivity, anxiety, nausea, vomiting,” you get the point. And “After 45 min the experimenters lost consciousness. One of them suffered clonic seizures for 2h, particularly of the respiratory muscles, also tremors of the limbs and shivering over the whole body. After the initial recovery, feelings of exhaustion, drowsiness and bleakness remained for 3 days.”

Now, taking all that into account, let’s jump forward fifty years…

The year was 1906 – the same year that a mighty earthquake devastated the city of San Francisco – and Rudolf Kobert, a renowned pharmacologist and pioneer of toxicology in Germany, made the following calculations based on those previous reports from 1856…

“The lethal dose of pure nicotine is also difficult to determine,” he admitted, “because it easily decomposes a bit and, on the other hand, mostly contains more or less water; however, in accordance with the severe symptoms evoked in several experimenters by 0.002–0.004 g (2-4 mg) it (a lethal dosage) is certainly not going to be higher than 0.06 g (60 mg).”

And ‘BAM’, that right there is where the Poison Control Center gets their number – “60 milligrams of nicotine is enough to kill a 150-pound adult,” – from a one-hundred year old study that did some math on a one-hundred-and-fifty year old study.

Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up.

And in regards to his discovery, German toxicologist Bernd Mayer, the one that first sought out the origin of these lethal calculations, states that, “Some of these effects resemble typical symptoms of nicotine overdosing, but 1–4 mg of oral nicotine will certainly not evoke the severe adverse effects described, such as clonic seizures and loss of consciousness. Curiously, Kobert mentioned the Pharmacologist Wilhelm Reil but ignored Reil’s account on very mild symptoms caused by self-ingestion of up to around 7.5 mg of nicotine.”

“Thus, Kobert estimated the lethal dose of nicotine on the basis of highly dubious self-experiments performed in the mid of the nineteenth century while ignoring conflicting data. His excellent reputation as a leading scholar in toxicology has apparently led to uncritical acceptance and citation of the 60-mg dose by contemporary fellows and successive researchers.”

So, in his closing, he states, “This value is still accepted without scrutiny and taken as the basis for worldwide safety regulations of tobacco and other nicotine-containing products. Nicotine is a toxic compound that should be handled with care, but the frequent warnings of potential fatalities caused by ingestion of small amounts of tobacco products or diluted nicotine-containing solutions are unjustified and need to be revised in light of overwhelming data indicating that more than 0.5 g of oral nicotine is required to kill an adult.”(His entire study can be found HERE)

And that leads me to my final point, one that this LS article and many others just fail to mention, and that is the fact that pure liquid nicotine IS NOT sold over the counter. What is sold over the counter is a mixture of mostly vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG), flavoring, and only a small amount of actual nicotine.

Still, though, this is not an excuse. We cannot hide from the fact that nicotine in any form is indeed poisonous, even ‘toxic’, if you will. But just because it is a toxic substance, that does not mean it should be treated as being completely unsafe.

Just like every other toxic substance that we handle each day, it is up to us to properly handle our e-juice. Just be sure to stay smart about it. Use common sense – keep it all clear and out of the reach of any children or pets, at all times, make sure nothing is leaking and everything is sealed tight, throw empty bottles straight into the garbage can – and I think that’s the only real way that we can assure that our liquid nicotine is indeed kept as safe as any other toxic substance can be… no differently from gasoline, or dish detergent, or air freshener.

Another selling point of the anti-vapor club, though, another ‘myth’ that they are there to dissuade the masses from believing, is whether or not e-cigarettes can help a smoker actually quit smoking cigarettes, and that’s the subject I’ve been all too excited to tackle since starting this, next time, in the conclusion of “Chattin’ Chief vs. The Myths Against Vaping”.

(Spoiler Alert!)

I’m RMP – 12 Weeks Smoke Free

Peace and Love… Always!!!