back to article The ‘Vaping Crackdown’ starts today. This is what you need to know

Draconian new regulations on vaping come into effect today – but for many vapers, it won’t feel like a crackdown, at least, not right away, Written into the EU’s revised Tobacco Products Directive were new rules restricting the supply, manufacture and promotion of things which aren’t tobacco products at all, but which have …

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  1. Unep Eurobats
    Childcatcher

    So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

    It's like banning hard hats on building sites until you can prove they don't cause scalp disease.

    1. KjetilS

      Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

      Not even close to that...

    2. Phil W

      Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

      No, it really really isn't.

      A hard hat is a piece of safety equipment whose only purpose is to prevent you sustaining head injuries in a dangerous environment. Any negative side effect a poorly made hard hat might have (such as your mention of scalp disease, if such a thing exists), is still infinitely preferable to a fatal head injury.

      Consequences of wearing a (scalp disease causing) hard hat vs not wearing one?

      You may get scalp disease but you're alive.

      Consequences of inhaling tested and regulated chemical formulation vs untested and unregulated ones?

      Your fluids might cost more, but there is now a much lower chance of you inhaling something with dangerous or even life threatening properties.

      Despite the endless amount of positivity E-cigs have towards them from many quarters, they are still essentially a device design solely for the purpose of taking potentially toxic substances into your body. They are not, unlike a hard hat, a device with a safety or health purpose in mind that might have unintended negative side effects. All they are is a "possibly" safer, that is safer not safe way of doing something which is known to be harmful.

      The "possibly" there is important because while many government bodies will accept that e-cigs are in the short term clearly less harmful (and it's important we use the phrase "less harmful" and not "better for you", they cannot and will not comment on the long term effects of e-cig the technology simply has not been around long enough for anyone to know if there are any serious side effects from substantial long term use.

      On top of that up until now there has been no regulation of the substances you're choosing to inhale, you have no assurance as to content and safety of the liquids you are inhaling.

      Are E-cigs a good way to get off cigerettes and then tape off smoking/vaping altogether over a short term period? Absolutely.

      Are E-cigs better for you if you just replace your heavy smoking habit with a heavy vaping habit for the rest of your life? No-one knows, it could be, but equally it could turn out that long term inhalation of vapourised nicotine and other chemicals has consequences we don't yet know about, particularly if those chemicals are untested and unregulated.

      Don't even get me started on the quality of the electronics in these devices causing fires etc...

      1. Steven Raith

        Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

        LOL, starting fires. Lit tobacco causes three house fires a day in London alone and ciggie fires are the cause of half of all preventable deaths by fire. You show me when e-cigs get to within 10% of that number and then we can talk. The reason you see them in the news is because it's good click-bait.

        As for the hard hat analogy, it's not a very good one.

        Oh, and long term effects have been estimated because as you point out, there are no 30 year studies. However, as we know that cigarette smoke causes 100,000 deaths a year in the UK alone, it's nice to know that you infer that it's better that we wait for 3,000,000 people to die, than to throw them a lifeline and help get them off the fags.

        Both Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians have looked at the makeup of liquids and how they are vapourised, and it's the 'unknown unknowns' that make up for most of the remaining 5% of that 95% less harmful number.

        Basically, the sort of tests that have been done mean that there's a very low chance we'll find a large, even close to smoking like health hazard from them. And given the harm that smoking does, any smokers switching to vaping has reduced their risk profile massively.

        So no, it's not like regulating a hard hat. It's like comparing walking through a steelworks blindfolded, with earplugs, on stilts, to walking through a steelworks with your senses intact and unimpeded in good trainers (95% safer), to walking through in hard hat, steel toecapped boots and a boiler suit (not smoking or vaping).

        Thing is, no-one in the vaping world says they want no regulation - we want appropriate regulation. Article 20 of the TPD is quite patently not appropriate. They've been told this, by the users, the trade groups and the scientists whose evidence they misinterpreted to come up with the limits - and they've just hammered on, happily supported by the anti-harm-reduction cabal in tobacco control and the pharma companies, and fuckwit MEPs who don't understand what they're legislating, but want to appear 'tough on smokers'.

        That's why this is a thing.

        Have a look at the comments of the last article on this where I answered pretty much every point, or click my name to see a history of my posts, then click on the timestamp to see them in context. Chances are it'll cover 90% of any queries you have as to why this is going on.

        Steven R

        1. Salts

          Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

          @Steven Raith

          What you said, well informed and thanks :-)

      2. Thomasio

        Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

        A regulation of something that's freely available in 1000 other places cannot bring any kind of security, just the opposite.

        Up to the regulation, vape shops provided help for beginners, extensive advice of how to use things, what to do, what not to do and all that.

        For this advantage of getting good advice, vapers were willing to pay the slightly higher prices of vape shops compared to other shops.

        After the regulation prices will go up and many things will disappear from the vapers market, to an extend that most users will prefer to buy their stuff outside of vape shops, where the regulation doesn't effect the free sale of almost anything used in vaping, except of nicotine.

        But outside of vape shops users are on their own, buying flashlights instead of mods, PG and VG as chemicals, flavorings as kitchen flavors, all without any kind of customer service.

        That's 1000s of accidents waiting to happen, which nearly all would have been avoided if there were no regulation.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

        "Consequences of inhaling tested and regulated chemical formulation vs untested and unregulated ones?

        Your fluids might cost more, but there is now a much lower chance of you inhaling something with dangerous or even life threatening properties."

        What's the existing chances of "inhaling something with dangerous or even life threatening properties." with current e-cigs? Have there been incidents of such when purchased through brands or vaping shops? More, say, than the shite some people get from various "legal highs"? Or non-labelled allergy inducing foods? Or instances of food poisoning? All the above except for vaping have been in the news many times over the years. I don't recall seeing people being made ill or dying from unregulated vaping yet.

      4. Alan W. Rateliff, II

        Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

        The difference between the chance of inhaling a dangerous mixture in e-cigarettes is far different than, say, obtaining a bad cut of illicit narcotic. In particular, one is a product of a formerly self-regulating free market while the other is a product in a completely unregulated, self or otherwise, "black" market.

        Obviously I am not implying e-juice is the same as "Fatal Beauty," but this is exactly the FUD pushed by fervent supporters of pervasive and ubiquitous regulations.

        In a properly self-regulating free market, that is one in which the consumer actively participates, a bad e-cigarette formulation will bring about a massive public out-cry against the manufacturers, producers, and likely the distributors as well. Is it less likely that a regulated free market will result in fewer instances or lessened chances of obtaining a dangerous substance? That is debatable considering the myriad recent instances of regulatory agencies not doing their jobs -- which I have to find amusing were it not so serious as a well-known axiom is how the bureaucracy is lazy and slothful, and yet so much trust is placed upon it to protect us.

        Are these new regulations necessary? It seems to be yet another instance of the bureaucracy justifying its own existence and fulfilling a proclamation I once heard a city councilman make about, to paraphrase, how the council cannot permit certain businesses, which came about "organically" to fulfill a customer demand and need, to operate until mechanisms exist to regulate them.

      5. streaky Silver badge

        Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

        A hard hat is a piece of safety equipment whose only purpose is to prevent you sustaining head injuries in a dangerous environment

        An e-cig is a piece of equipment designed to stop the tobacco industry killing me. The TPD is a piece of toilet paper (I strongly resent calling it legislation because it was written like 3 years ago and wasn't fit for purpose then and sure as hell isn't fit for purpose now) that's designed to bulk out the coffers of the tobacco industry by regulating people back to smoking and regulating the e-cig companies they own into market owning positions.

        The EU is MURDERING EU citizens. We'd be safer if we policed petty crime with drones that fire missiles: if I had literally any money to spare to do it I'd take the EU to it's own court arguing my Art 2 rights, but I don't so they'll get away with it.

        And yes, not for nothing I'm dramatically under-playing what's actually happening here.

        June 23rd, don't forget to vote.

        1. Steven Raith

          Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

          I hate to be that guy - but leaving the EU on June 23rd won't make a jot of difference for at least three years, as we need to negotiate an exit plan, rework transitional regs, replace existing trade laws etc.

          And even then, if any vendor wishes to sell to the EU, they still need to comply with the TPD - but at that point, we won't have a place at the table to negoatiate on. So if the EU goes antiscience and jacks up the prices for compliance, vendors and manufacturers are even more humped then they already are.

          So I'm afraid Brexit ain't gonna fix this.

          Even ardent "leave" proponents accept this in the e-cig world that's why we're pushing to get TPD annuled, regardless of Brexit.

          Steven R

          1. streaky Silver badge

            Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

            leaving the EU on June 23rd won't make a jot of difference for at least three years, as we need to negotiate an exit plan, rework transitional regs, replace existing trade laws etc

            Utter nonsense - these things are really easy to tidy around, you can unpick EU regs as they stand in our laws really easily from outside the EU.

            even then, if any vendor wishes to sell to the EU, they still need to comply with the TPD

            Irrelevant - the kit people who don't want to smoke want to buy or already own isn't TPD compliant - only stuff owned by tobacco corps (that will never in a million years get 100% of people away from smoking) is. UK sellers can't sell their fit for purpose gear to the EU either way but outside the EU it can be imported into the UK and sold to customers outside the EU. That's a win for everybody except people who would still be in the EU but they're screwed anyways.

            Lets be clear here, the EU is killing millions of people who are alive today with these regulations. One is too many; given the EU has made it clear that these regs are not able to be moved because they're based on bad science and tobacco/pharmaceutical corp lobbying - the best thing the UK can do to save hundreds of thousands of lives and massive expense (via disability harming the tax take and through out of work benefits) to the treasury is to extricate ourselves from the problem: the EU.

            1. Steven Raith

              Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

              Yeah, you say that, but MHRA and DoH were dead set on making e-cigs medicinal only (IE a defacto ban) only a few years ago until vapers actually stepped in and told them what a fuckwitted idea that was - IIRC that was what basically created the New Nicotine Alliance to ensure that there was a somewhat central point for outreach to media and politicians (they currently have input on the APPG on e-cigs, and contacts in DoH and MHRA) as they weren't a thing back then.

              The UK is, in short, perfectly capable of making it's own stupid decisions without EU assistance!

              I won't argue that the TPD - and particularly Article 20, although the rest of it isn't exactly a subtle, nuanced piece of delicate, evidence based legislation that will shine a bright light throughout the world - isn't a slapshod piece of shit written up to, one presumes, satisfy the WHO with the WAR ON TOBACCO (that going by the main players in BT, they're losing badly - they're all making far more money than ever) because the TPD is blatantly a massive stinking pile of shit across the board.

              Conflation with an EU exit vote, however, means that those trying to counter us can claim it's just 'brexit rambling' and rabblerousing, and dismiss it as such, as being a 'niche anti-EU argument' and then it gets drowned out by all the other Brexit stuff.

              Which is why those of us who are putting in the hard work to contact MPs and Lords right now aren't making that connection between the two - it's plain dangerous and undermines the main message, which is 'it's shite, get shot'.

              Re timings for a leave if it were to be voted for, I have it on pretty good authority (IE Vapers in Power, New Nicotine Alliance) that yes, if we did leave the EU on the 23rd, we would still be beholden to the TPD and all other treaties till we sort out the formal exit. That's why they aren't making this a Brexit thing, because it's functionally irrelevant to us in the near term, and takes focus away from what matters - which is fighting the TPD.

              From the Beeb (but backed up by any other source you care to look for)

              How long will it take for Britain to leave the EU?

              This was a question asked by many people. The minimum period after a vote to leave would be two years. During that time Britain would continue to abide by EU treaties and laws, but not take part in any decision-making, as it negotiated a withdrawal agreement and the terms of its relationship with the now 27 nation bloc. In practice it may take longer than two years, depending on how the negotiations go.

              It took Greenland three years to get out, for reference - and that was back in the 80s before the red tape truly took hold; I'd expect a UK exit to take at least that long.

              If we can get the TPD fucked off, then we can talk about the EU overall, yeah? ;-)

              I will say though, seeing the shenanigans involved with TPD, I've gone from 'firmly remain' to 'on the fence'. It's seriously knocked my previous belief in the EU system, right to it's core.

              I expect that most people who are for exit have had the EU do something similar to them at some point in the past, and that's why I don't dismiss those who want to leave. I can see why, these days.

              Steven R

              PS: Small note, I don't represent VIP or NNA, in case I give that impression!

              1. streaky Silver badge

                Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

                Yeah, you say that, but MHRA and DoH were dead set on making e-cigs medicinal only (IE a defacto ban) only a few years ago until vapers actually stepped in and told them what a fuckwitted idea that was

                I'm fully aware of the history. The government is quite capable of directing the on policy. They can't however ignore EU regs. The EU won't move on the regs.

                Surely you see the problem?

                It took Greenland three years to get out, for reference - and that was back in the 80s before the red tape truly took hold; I'd expect a UK exit to take at least that long.

                I wouldn't. I mean it's not the end of the world but if it comes down to it you can leave in 30 seconds if you want to. Leaving the EU doesn't erase laws as they stand; you can still use the EU regs as guiding light and unpick stuff as you go, starting with the easy stuff.

                What takes time is bending over for the EU when you decided you want to leave. There's WTO rules on trade so you don't NEED to negotiate trade deals with the EU to trade with the EU - indeed I suspect that any negotiated settlement would actually be dangerous and get us back to where we started so actually we probably don't want an FTA with the EU regardless; companies wanting to sell to the EU would have to abide by relevant EU regs but that's true if you want to sell to the US you still have to follow their regs, and it's the same for everywhere else but you don't have to bend over backwards and get shafted everywhere else.

                Re: rambling, there's plenty of reasons to want to leave the EU; and this one is a monster that's going to result in the deaths of many people - it's one of many but as I say; it's pretty huge and they're intractable on this as they are in many other issues.

      6. Andus McCoatover
        Windows

        Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

        OK, so why do builders wear 'hard hats' on the top floor?

        Read too many Asterix comics?

    3. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

      Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

      "It's like banning hard hats on building sites until you can prove they don't cause scalp disease."

      While also restricting the weight of said hats, the materials they are made from, banning advertising of them, restricting the number of hard hats you can have on a building site at a time and the number you can order at a time, stopping you from buying them from outside the country, and generally trying to make like as difficult for manufacturers, retailers and consumers as possible.

      E-cig portions of the TPD are possibly one of the most insane peices of legislation I have ever seen:

      "Here's something which will make millions of people healthier and better off."

      "Lets force bunch of nonsensical rules on them to kill them off."

      "Great idea, our friends in the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries will be really happy with us for that! They've been loosing loads of money thanks to these devices."

      1. d3vy Silver badge

        Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

        "Great idea, our friends in the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries will be really happy with us for that! They've been loosing loads of money thanks to these devices"

        Knew I wouldn't have to wait long for that to come up. Its the same argument with homeopathy and "big pharma"

        My response - do you really think that if Brittish Tobbaco was that worried about loss of sales that they would just sit back and say... "Ah well fuck it, we had our day." No You'd see Marlborough, Silk Cut and B&H branded liquids and vaping machines on the counters in minutes and all off the smaller manufacturers out on their arses.

        Same with homeopathy - You can knock "big pharma" all you want and say that they are suppressing evidence that it works, but really it would be in their interests to prove sugar pills cure cancer because

        a. They are cheap to produce and

        b. The markup is ridiculous.

        As for B&T vaping would make them MORE money if they got into it because production costs would be much lower.

        Realistically all that is happening here is that the rules for vaping are being brought inline with normal cigarettes.

        1. Steven Raith

          Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

          And the extremely harsh regulations are there because cigarettes are vastly harmful, whereas e-cigarettes are not even in the same ballpark.

          As for tobacco involvement, earlier in the state of things, they were pushing 1st gen products to get medical licensing, and making very bold (and utterly bollocks) claims that open systems were extremely dangerous. So for them to start marketing their own open systems now would be tricky, as it goes against everything they've been saying.

          That's why they're fairly quiet these days on that front and just getting on with getting on, with their crap devices that aren't anywhere near as effective or popular as those made by independent manufacturers who have no ties to the tobacco industry.

          And for reference, yes, Pharma have had a very heavy hand in the lobbying for these rules. It's on record. I can point you to Hansard where it was the subject of much discussion amongst the Lords. They tend not to make such statements without evidence behind it, and many who were involved were MEPs during the lobbying stage, and you didn't see them denying what their honorable friends were suggesting....

          Just because you're not paying attention doesn't mean things aren't happening.

          As for AC, I again point you to the Royal College of Physicians, who are saying that the TPD is likely inappropriate and will probably damage public health as opposed to the status quo. This isn't some tinpot blogger, this is one of the most respected public health bodies on the face of the fucking earth.

          This isn't tricky, kids.

          Steven R

        2. Curtis

          Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

          Ahem, thank you for making the argument.

          Reference: http://www.tobaccotactics.org/index.php/E-cigarettes

          British American Tobacco: Vype

          http://www.tobaccotactics.org/index.php/E-Cigarettes:_British_American_Tobacco

          Lorillard (Later acquired by RJ Reynolds) : Blu

          http://www.tobaccotactics.org/index.php/E-Cigarettes:_Lorillard

          Phillip Morris, makers of your "Marlboroughs": Altria

          http://www.tobaccotactics.org/index.php/E-Cigarettes:_Philip_Morris_International

          the fact is that "big tobacco" ARE the ones pushing the regulations. Because they have financials to be able to afford the testing. In the US, we're looking at $1M per product/strength. So the small places, like "Dr Crimney's" that I use, are looking at for just ONE flavor $1M per strength. that's 0, 3, 6, 12. $4 Million dollars for one product line.

          further, the limits on "refill size" is a blatant attempt to limit the amount of liquid to roughly that of one pack of ciggs.

    4. John Lilburne Silver badge

      Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

      I don't really care if e-cigs have cancer in them or something else but ... recently whilst driving into work I've been seeing plumes of smoke emanating from the windows of cars. It is almost as if the Flying Scotsman is in there. That in itself seems to be a risk of blow back into the car, or into the car of someone waiting at lights besides them, making visibility inside the car a problem.

      Besides its bound to irritate Craig so that's a good thing in itself.

      1. Steven Raith

        Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

        Re in car visibility - crack a window, fans on low, and the positive pressure evacuates the vapour immediately, if you blow it in the direction of the window.

        You know, just like with cig smoke.

        If you think this is a problem, you're really reaching - and any idiot hotboxing their car as they drive can quite easily be pulled for existing laws on driving without due care, same rules used for when people dont' clear their windscreens in winter, etc.

        Steven R

    5. RobotGuy

      Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

      Or, you know, requiring that hard hats conform to British Standard BS EN397:1995 or equivalent which checks that they'll actually do some good.

      1. Steven Raith

        Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

        Except hard hats make specific claims to protect you from injury.

        e-cigs simply claim to be a more enjoyable, less harmful way to get nicotine.

        They have never claimed to be a smoking cessation device, for example, and as such, have no need to be held up to such high standards of efficacy. They are just another way of smoking, that happens, by design, to be significantly less harmful (and there is no debate on the science about this, unless anyone thinks they know better than the Royal College of Physicians).

        This, again, is why the hard hat analogy is, and I'm being polite here, not very good at all.

        Steven R

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

      No, Its closer to banning *NEW CARDBOARD HARD HATS* Tested and proven by the manufacturers to be every bit as safe as regular hard hats but without the drawbacks.*

      Read this bit really fast like a radio advert >>

      * Not actually tested, may include additional drawbacks.

      Cardboard hardhats should not be used on construction sites or in light rain.

    7. evilhippo

      Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

      Hahaha! You are going to get such grief from the state-fetishists for that remark!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So way more people getting direct dodgy imports from hong kong, which will lead to excellent scare stories in the tabloids. The perfect attack.

    It's bizarre. There's a weird alignment between big pharma, anti-smoking zealots, bureaucratic health organisations, governments and maybe tobacco companies - not sure on that as I'm pretty sure they'd happily get into the market, unless of course the plan is to increase the costs and difficulty so only big tobacco can afford to make them.

    Heh...

    1. Steven Raith

      It's not quite that bad over here (At least not in the UK - in Austria perhaps...) but in the US, that appears to be exactly what they're going for.

      $500,000 and 5000 hours of work per sku for market approval, as they're using exactly the same regs as for lit tobacco. So if you were turning over $250,000/PA selling liquid, with ten flavours and three strengths, that'll be $15,000,000 to remain on the market, thanks....

      Steven R

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "...and maybe tobacco companies - not sure on that as I'm pretty sure they'd happily get into the market"

      http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jan/04/british-american-tobacco-e-cigarette-wins-uk-medicine-licence

  3. Tom Sparrow

    That's quite a pro-vaping article.

    There's a lot of information thrown around in there as fact. It's not that I disbelieve it exactly, but it would certainly help the credibility somewhat if there were citations for some of them.

    1. badger31

      Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

      I agree that citations would help the cause, but it doesn't take anything other than common sense to see that being able to feed an addiction to nicotine without burning tobacco is definitely a step in the right direction.

      I agree that vapour products should be regulated, just like other nicotine products (patches, gum, etc.), but those products are allowed to be advertised and no-one is trying to get them banned. I'm struggling to see any significant difference between nicotine gum and nicotine vapour, other than vaping _looks_ like smoking.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

        I'm guessing you've never set about quitting smoking.

        1. IsJustabloke Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

          re "I'm guessing you've never set about quitting smoking."

          Its not hard, you just stop. If you really want to quit smoking then you will and all you have to do is stop.

          The fact is most people who say they want to give up don't really want to and so they find it difficult or look for reasons why they failed.

          as far as I can see, vaping is simply swapping one addiction delivery method for another but it is at least a healthier way of getting a fix. Mind you teh down side is that most people sucking on a vape' don't seem to realize just how silly they look :D

          1. John Bailey

            Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

            "Its not hard, you just stop. If you really want to quit smoking then you will and all you have to do is stop."

            Course it is sweetie. Just throw away the chemical dependence, and the decades of positive reinforcement. Piece of cake..

            Have you ever beat an addiction, and been honest enough to admit how hard it was?

            "The fact is most people who say they want to give up don't really want to and so they find it difficult or look for reasons why they failed."

            No.. The fact is.. most people who want to give up, but don't. Are still addicts.And if you are going to dismiss addiction so lightly, then you are not intellectually equipped to hold this conversation,

            "as far as I can see, vaping is simply swapping one addiction delivery method for another"

            Yep. So look a little deeper.

            You are correct.. e-cigs are a nicotine delivery system. Like patches, or gum, or inhalers. Crucially dropping pretty much all the nasty stuff from smoking at the same time.

            "but it is at least a healthier way of getting a fix."

            Yes. But not only the chemical fix, which is all the other options address.

            The addiction has a second less recognised part. The ritual.

            The behavioural modification that every smoker goes through. Which is why smoking and other forms of tobacco use has always had such a wealth of ornate or intricate paraphernalia.

            The (in my case) 30 year habit of putting a thing in my mouth and inhaling an irritant to get a chemical fix.

            This is an excellent example of positive reinforcement.

            Do something unpleasant for a happy drug.

            Same effect as potty training, exercise, sex, enjoying alcohol, and many other pleasurable things.

            But one not addressed by other cessation strategies.

            Drinking alcohol is actually quite unpleasant. Beer tastes horrible. But the alcohol reward makes our brains modify our ability to enjoy something. And outside alcopops and possibly liqueurs, spirits taste vile.

            Coffee, tea.. Both vile tasting fluids one must acquire a taste for. Because guess what.. Caffene is addictive.

            The capcasin in chillies.. Same. Which is why some people like myself, get really into hot foods once we are hooked. To the point where people who have got past the heat, enjoy the different flavours and nuances of the different varieties.

            Luckily this is actually a positive addiction. As chilli has a whole range of positive health benefits.

            For any smoker.. the chemical dependence is actually a trivial thing to break. Realistically.. the nicotine in your body leaves after a couple of hours. And the chemical dependency is gone in a few weeks.

            So why is it not a doddle to quit? Hold out a few weeks, and done.. Right?

            Because the nicotine is just the reward.

            The hard part is getting away from the feeling that something is missing. Smokers often complain about having nothing to do with their hands, or of feeling incomplete, or being unable to enjoy activities without a cigarette to accompany the act, or after it.

            That is the physical ritual part. And it's a bugger to break.

            So.. the reason e-cigs are more successful when used as cessation aids..

            They address BOTH parts of the addiction.

            The lesser chemical dependence, and the much harder behavioural one.

            I spent the best part of 6 months on zero nicotine juice before I finally got rid of the behavioural habit.

            Now I'm a non smoker.

            No cravings, no desire to smoke, no feeling of pleasure from smelling smoke, and crucially.. No psychotic resentment towards smokers.

            I don't smoke. If someone else wants to, I'm not going to get all precious about it. Because I'm not fighting an addiction that could reassert it's self at any time.

            "Mind you teh down side is that most people sucking on a vape' don't seem to realize just how silly they look :D"

            As opposed to the quiet dignity of the smoker, standing in the rain with a tube of burning leaves in their gob you mean.

            Or the witty and articulate drunks, peeing themselves to wash away the vomit on their shoes?

            Or perhaps the frequently admired crack addicts..

            Actually.. when you really look at addictions.. Vaping is kind of mild, is it not?

          2. Mr Commenty McComentface

            Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

            "Its not hard, you just stop. If you really want to quit smoking then you will and all you have to do is stop."

            You forgot the Joke Icon. Or rather I deeply hope you forgot it and don't believe all that. Yes, some people struggle to quit because they don't want to, but others genuinely struggle and to dismiss the addiction as "oh if you REALLY wanted to, it's no problem", is to display, on a massive scale, a lack of understanding of the psychology of addiction.

          3. Andy 97

            Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

            "Its not hard, you just stop. If you really want to quit smoking then you will and all you have to do is stop."

            Let's not turn this into an orgy of sanctimonious arse please.

          4. The Islander
            Unhappy

            Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

            Agreed. I smoked reasonably heavily in my aberrant youth, for over 3 years, was quite fond of the cigs, cigars, pipe. Quit overnight due to a combination of winter chest cold, jogging & doctor's warning. In other words I had an incentive to kick the habit. I still get an occasional minor longing for a cigar, after 30 years.

            Looking back, I don't understand why I tolerated putting odd things in my lungs. I don't understand why today, with so much information to hand and so much history to reflect upon, people take such a short term view of potential influences on health. I don't want to experience passive / secondary vaping. I totally agree that people should give up tobacco products.

            Substituting an unknown risk that has attached specific least worst negative impact(vaping) for a terrible risk with awful impact (smoking tobacco) is a short term relative improvement. Until those longer term data come in, we don't know for sure. We may reject the nanny state for molly coddling us, but should the great unwashed discover there has been a long term serious risk extant in widely used products, they want the state to intervene and protect and cocoon them from predatory suppliers, possibly arrange compensation too.

            That such logic can be applied to many questionable products in use in the first world about which precious little restriction appears to occur (consumable alcohol, internal combustion emission, pesticide, growth hormone, etc) is not a defence for vaping.

          5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

            You say

            "Its not hard, you just stop. If you really want to quit smoking then you will and all you have to do is stop."

            and then

            "as far as I can see, vaping is simply swapping one addiction delivery method for another"

            I think your second statement answers and contradicts your first. Yes, it's an addiction, and no, the vast majority of people can't "just stop". If they could, it wouldn't be an addiction in the first place.

          6. andersenep

            Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

            "Its not hard, you just stop. If you really want to quit smoking then you will and all you have to do is stop.

            The fact is most people who say they want to give up don't really want to and so they find it difficult or look for reasons why they failed."

            Ok, I'll bite. Yep, I enjoyed smoking, but I got tired of hacking up black shit from my lungs after almost 20 years of it and was concerned about the effects on my health.

            So vaping has offered me an alternative that is similar enough to smoking to satisfy me, with way less risk to my health. If there are currently unknown long term adverse health effects, that's fine. I will take that risk (which I think is minimal) as opposed to continuing to smoke cigarettes and suffer adverse effects that I have no doubt are very real. If I drop dead from vaping 10 , 20, 30 years from now, so be it. I gambled with my own body, of my own free will and lost. At least I won't have to deal with stinking like shit, and hacking up garbage for the remainder of my existence.

            As for looking silly, I couldn't give a shit less. People that dye their hair gaudy colors, or jam metal thru their faces, or cover their bodies in tattoos, etc. look silly to me. So fucking what?

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Naselus Silver badge

        Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

        "I'm struggling to see any significant difference between nicotine gum and nicotine vapour, other than vaping _looks_ like smoking."

        I suspect you may have been using the gum wrong, then, since there's a fairly big difference between absorbing something through your saliva and doing so through the walls of your lungs.

        I'm not anti-vape, btw (own one myself, enjoy using it, etc); we just have to be honest about the fact that there's no a lot of clinical information out there on the long-term effects. Recall that smoking was considered healthy (by medical professionals) as little as 70 years ago.

        Now, I smoke anyway (my e-cig is for fun, not for some crusade to quit smoking), but yeah, I do worry about something being advised for large-scale adoption as a means to solve one problem when we're not sure what it's effects will be; heroine was originally given out to wean people off morphine addictions and that turned out to be a pretty bad idea after they'd been doing it for 25 years too.

        I think a little heavy-handed regulation and a demand that vaping actually offer some evidence that it's genuinely safer than smoking before that regulation is lifted might be a good idea, really.

        1. Steven Raith

          Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

          Here's your evidence from the most respected public health body in the world.

          The summary on that page is fairly concise in it's approval of these devices, and the full document itself has some rather pointed comments about the TPD itself, and not in a good way.

          A little heavy handed regulation - such as preventing >20mg on the market, will prevent the heaviest of smokers from giving up as they won't get enough nicotine out of the weak-ass devices left on the market.

          Which is why the regulation needs to be appropriate. The TPD, quite frankly, is not.

          That's why the DoH have inferred that they aren't going to enforce it, and why the Lords are looking to pass a Fatal Motion, because what's the point of having regulation that no-one intends to enforce because they know it's not going to help anyone?

          Steven R

        2. moiety

          Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

          A lot of the assumptions and numbers being thrown around comes from this report from the Royal College of Physicians

          Long story short, e-cigarettes are estimated as being 95% safer than smoking cigarettes; mostly because the act of burning/oxidising produces a bunch of carcinogens whereas just heating up vapour doesn't.

          The e-liquid bases (MPG/VG) are fairly well understood because they have been used (and heated up) for years in commercial food settings, so people have been breathing them in for years. Doesn't completely rule out something showing up in the future; but it's very likely that any toxicity would have made itself known by now.

          Nicotine has also had a great deal of research done. It's not especially pleasant stuff in it's pure form; the chief danger being that you can absorb it through the skin. According to Wikipedia a "2013 review suggests that the lower limit causing fatal outcomes is 500–1000 mg of ingested nicotine, corresponding to 6.5–13 mg/kg orally". Not not for baby food or paddling in; but you're going to spew red white and blue before you can fatally dose yourself by oral means.

          The 5% of risk is mostly from the favourings. Pretty well uniformly these are all food-safe; but with vaping you're 1) breathing it in and 2) may possibly be getting more/higher concentrations of a flavouring than in regular food use. So there could be a few surprises there.

          1. Steven Raith

            Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

            The interesting point is that even if we did discover that some of the flavourings were potentially dangerous, they'd still be fairly minor compared to that of continuing to smoke - so perhaps they'd be 90% safer, rather than 95%. That is, it'd still be better to vape than to smoke. In fact, there's never any situation where it's better to continue to smoke if vaping is an option, period.

            In educated circles, the actual estimate is more like >98% safer, but as you correctly note, unknown unknowns being included makes the 95% number actually on the conservative, careful end of the scale. IE it's not overblown at all.

            Steven R

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

          suspect you may have been using the gum wrong, then

          You mean it's *not* a suppository???

      3. TitterYeNot

        Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

        "I'm struggling to see any significant difference between nicotine gum and nicotine vapour, other than vaping _looks_ like smoking."

        There's a quite significant difference.

        Nicotine in gum and sprays is absorbed slowly though the relatively thick lining of the mouth and/or nose, so while they reduce the overall effects of withdrawal if you're attempting to give up smoking, they do not give you an instant nicotine 'hit', more a background level of nicotine in the blood.

        Cigarettes and vaping products, on the other hand, produce a nicotine vapour that is inhaled and absorbed through the lining of the lungs. This lining has a large surface area and is very thin, so nicotine is transfered into the blood, through the heart and up to the brain in a matter of seconds, giving a 'hit' as it binds to certain neurotransmitter receptors and relieves withdrawal symptoms.

        This 'hit' is presumably why it seems so hard to give up smoking/vaping, as the act of drawing on a cigarette or vaping machine is strongly associated with the relief of nicotine withdrawal a few seconds later.

        1. moiety

          Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

          @ TitterYeNot - This 'hit' is presumably why it seems so hard to give up smoking/vaping, as the act of drawing on a cigarette or vaping machine is strongly associated with the relief of nicotine withdrawal a few seconds later.

          Psychologists call it reinforcement. Your smoking habit is attended by many oft-repeated actions (raising cig to mouth; inhaling; putting cig down again; exhaling; blowing smoke rings; whatever) and after a while, these actions become inextricably linked with the reward (nicotine hit). So a nicotine patch -for example- will top up your nicotine (but in a steady dose, not a spike); but will not replace any of the associated actions/rituals; leaving people trying to give up with a sense of "what the fuck do I do with my hands" which -depending upon the person- can be as distressing as the lack of nicotine. Vaping has similar actions; a visual component (which is quite important in my totally personal and wholly unscientific opinion) and therefore satisfies both the nicotine craving and the missing reinforcement behaviours.

          1. goldcd

            Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

            Yep - I used to find that upon leaving the office, I had a cigarette out the pack, in the mouth, lit and was inhaling - well without even having noticed and completely irrespective of whether I'd even decided I needed nicotine or not.

            Gums and sprays all tried to tap into this, patches are simply rubbish - I like my hit.

            Vaping doesn't make me break these habits (apart from once I've had a puff or two, I don't feel compelled to finish it).

            Fiddling bit is quite important as well - explosion of all in ones, mods, tanks, flavours, sub-ohms etc etc gives a much more satisfying range of things to tinker with. I quite enjoy it all.

            Pack of fags and a lighter.. well where's the fun in that?

            1. Triggerfish

              Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

              I actually moved to rolling tobacco to try and break that habit, walk to the bus stop have a cig, wait at the bus stop have a cig, rolling meant you actually stopped and thought about whether I wanted a cig, cigarettes are to easy to smoke and build a habit, I ended up smoking less smoking rollups.

              Vaping satisfies some of those habits, I can quite easily while working go without smoking if I am interested in what I am doing I think it's less addiction to nicotine for me (not saying their ain't some) and more the whole smoking thing, but when getting home and sitting around I want to smoke.

              1. Fr. Ted Crilly

                Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

                Ha, depends how good you are at rolling, having spent 30 earth years rolling I can assure you that:

                by feel , in the pitch dark, a bit pissed still at 3am rolling a fag is most definitely possible, as is walking and rolling. Driving and rolling is downright dangerous however.

                I never quite mastered one handed, it always need the second hand to arrange the baccy 'just so' could sort of do the rolling with one hand though.

                1. Triggerfish

                  Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article. @ Fr. Ted Crilly

                  Oh I can roll with the best of them, it's just the act meant I thought about it for longer than it took a cigarette and made you wonder if you needed it, especially when it's raining. Plus they go out, it slows down your smoking.

                  1. Steven Raith

                    Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article. @ Fr. Ted Crilly

                    I used to just pull my jacket up over my head and roll underneath it. Nice and dry.

                    You clearly weren't good enough at smoking, Triggerfish!

                    Steven R

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