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 …

First they came for E-Cigarettes..

...is there anyone who actually believes this legislation is anything to do with protecting consumers, rather than protecting competitors profits?

June 23rd, the first step in a long road top protect ourselves against people who want us to live one way, buy one product, from them...because its all really for our own good..

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Good for regulation!

First off, nicotine is a lethal poison in high percentage form. We've had a handful of deaths from high purity e-juice in the US already.

Second, what are the health effects of breathing the oils and glycols used in e-juice? We don't want to replace a carcinogen with something that might cause cancer or lipid pneumonia.

Finally, howinhell do I know just what is in that e-juice? It could actually be what is advertised, it might also be anything from ricin to plutonium.

OK, maybe not that extreme, but let's face it, a lot's made in China, which is a proper warning label.

But then, I remember my own nation's history, when it was a good idea to drink water with either radium or thorium in it - right until some rich family lost a family member to jaw cancer, then we began regulating things touted as health bringing, medicines, etc.

I'll give full disclosure, I am a cigarette smoker, smoking worse yet, unfiltered cigarettes. I've yet to meet an e-juice that is strong enough to begin tapering down, they've all, save one lethal percentage I didn't dare toy about with, been too weak and I'm not about to touch that 80% nicotine crap without a proper chemical lab to ensure it's 80%, protect myself from that toxic strength (nicotine is trivially absorbed by the skin) and ensure I can survive even a dose at a properly diluted dosage.

And not inhale a brew that clogs my lungs with something even worse than my Luckies already are providing.

Daddy might've raised a dummy, but he didn't raise a fool.

Jump through the hurdles, prove that your product has what it says it has in it and be as considerate as I am of my secondhand smoke - I hate my own secondhand smoke, I'll not inflict it upon another.

Do excuse the tobacco stench of my clothing though, it is indeed a nasty addiction. I throw serious PVC's if I stop, toying with V-tach since that heat stroke damaged my heart.

Oh, to further complicate things, I have atrial flutter, secondary to left ventricular hypertrophy, due to ignoring my own health while caring for a dying father and long undiagnosed and well compensated for hyperthyroidism, with the only specific symptom being hypertension until tachycardia and stage 2 hypertension began.

As the hypertension was well controlled and considering the family history, yeah, it got missed until all hell broke out medically.

Quitting smoking now would be... Complicated, I'll be conferencing in a number of my specialists soon.

Before things get *really* complicated.

First though, I'll wait for the Grave's to move into remission, which so far, it's moving rapidly in the correct direction.

If you haven't figured it out, I'm in the medically advanced class of people, understanding medicine, physiology and pathology well, courtesy of my previous military career. I can converse intelligently with physicians, even fellows in highly technical fields of research.

An abrupt change would currently be hazardous, so, it'll take planning and consultation first. My specialties involved military medicine involving plumbing problems or pathogenic illness or fractured limbs, mostly, endocrinology is a voodoo best left to the specialists. As the heart and kidneys are mixed plumbing and endocrine, yeah, specialist time.

I still have biochemical questions on vaping.

Newest isn't always bestest, as quite a few drugs and fads have proved in the past.

This, from one who could never, ever be considered a Luddite in any way, shape or form!

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Re: Good for regulation!

"First off, nicotine is a lethal poison in high percentage form. We've had a handful of deaths from high purity e-juice in the US already."

Now look at the number of deaths caused by laundry pods and detergents. Hint - it's a little bit bigger.

There is very little danger to health from the concentrations found in e-cigs, and the LD50 of nicotine is pretty highly contested. It appears that it should be far higher than that which is currently accepted (That is, it's not as toxic as people think)

"Second, what are the health effects of breathing the oils and glycols used in e-juice? We don't want to replace a carcinogen with something that might cause cancer or lipid pneumonia."

There are no oils in e-liquid. Glycols used are OK'd by the CDC and EPA for inhalation. The RCP report and PHE reports covered this in detail.

It'd not be surprising to find out that e-cigs increase the risks of some airway issues over a never-smoker or never vaper, but absolutely nowhere near the levels that lit tobacco does, and that is the only comparator that is required as that kills over 600,000 people a year in the UK and US alone.

"Finally, howinhell do I know just what is in that e-juice? It could actually be what is advertised, it might also be anything from ricin to plutonium.

OK, maybe not that extreme, but let's face it, a lot's made in China, which is a proper warning label."

Like the laptop you're using. Better chuck that out!

90% of the liquids on vape shop shelves are made in the US or UK using ISO certified clean room facilities, with batches, tracking, etc. They use USP grade bases and food grade flavourings. Flavourings are the only real concern, but most of them are OK'd to be heated up to the same range as foods as they cook and not be terribly dangerous, and again, still nowhere near as dangerous as lit tobacco. There are risks, but they are minutia compared to lit tobacco.

"But then, I remember my own nation's history, when it was a good idea to drink water with either radium or thorium in it - right until some rich family lost a family member to jaw cancer, then we began regulating things touted as health bringing, medicines, etc."

Don't disagree; it's a case of whether the regulations being applied are accurate, backed by science, and applicable to the risk involved that matter. The TPD and FDA Deeming Regs are, patently, not.

That's a problem. A big one, given that the products they are regulating have a staggering potential to reduce the existing harm that is happening right now from lit tobacco.

"I'll give full disclosure, I am a cigarette smoker, smoking worse yet, unfiltered cigarettes. I've yet to meet an e-juice that is strong enough to begin tapering down, they've all, save one lethal percentage I didn't dare toy about with, been too weak and I'm not about to touch that 80% nicotine crap without a proper chemical lab to ensure it's 80%, protect myself from that toxic strength (nicotine is trivially absorbed by the skin) and ensure I can survive even a dose at a properly diluted dosage."

None of the doses available (typically up to 54mg/ml) are even remotely lethal, and would barely be described as harmful to human health. I'll make some suggestions for you at the end regarding this as from the rest of your comment you may well be a good candidate for these things, but obviously, I am not a doctor, etc. If abrupt changes are dodgy, then consult a good doctor, preferably two, who are familiar with these devices and how they operate first.

"And not inhale a brew that clogs my lungs with something even worse than my Luckies already are providing."

There is no way for an e-cigarette of any kind to be able to deliver the same level of toxins as lit tobacco does, because there is no combustion involved, and it's the combustion that delivers - almost without exception - every piece of harm from smoking.

The Royal College of Physicians report on e-cigarettes. I'd strongly suggest downloading the full report from the link, and reading at least the chapter summaries, then going back and checking anything you think is a bit woofly, chasing citations etc.

It is specifically aimed at people like you who have misconceptions about vapour products, misconceptions, ironically, gleefully doled out by the press and some quarters of public health who go for the 'quit or die' method of smoking harm reduction. The RCP are pissed that people are misinterpreting this stuff, which is why, as one of the most august, respected health bodies on the planet, they analysed all the relevant data on e-cigs, and after that, recommended their use to smokers as a lit tobacco substitute.

Bear in mind the RCP are the ones who blew the whistle on lit tobacco harm in the first place - if anyone was going to shit on e-cigs, it'd be them. The RCP are what made the Surgeon Generals warning happen.

Having questions is a good thing. There's lots of data out there. Just be wary of shitty press reports. Read the literature.

A great example is the report that e-cig vapour causes DNA breaks in cells, in pitri dishes after eight weeks exposure. OK, not exactly human applicable, but worth nothing. This was bandied about the press as 'e-cigs are as bad as smoking'. Thing is, something that the press release for the paper didn't mention, and the news outlets repeating the press release didn't check. Because they also exposed the cells to cigarette smoke. Which killed all the cells in 24 hours every time.

Which actually shows that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful than lit tobacco in this situation - exactly the opposite of what was reported.

There's a good breakdown of this study here on it's own Pubmed page by Clive Bates - this study was being used by the anti-harm-reduction cabal. Now every time they link to it, there's a nice breakdown showing why they are wrong to link to it.

As for your history with vaping, if you've used a smaller device that utilises the 'mouth to lung' method (suck into mouth, inhale that back afterwards) then as a smoker of unfiltered smokes, you'd want at least 18mg/ml normally, in a liquid that is 50PG/50VG - the PG content and nicotine together give the throat hit you're probably looking for. if you were on greater than that, then you might want to look at direct lung devices, which you simply 'breathe in' without holding it in your mouth beforehand - kinda like carbing/sidestreaming your smoke. So if you found 36mg was getting you there in a mouth to lung device, 18mg would probably give similar satisfaction in a direct lung device.

Typically you use these with liquids that have a higher VG content, so you get less throat hit, but because they develop a *lot* more vapour, more quickly, you can use a lower nicotine level - as more is delivered to your lungs in one hit. It also tends to be smoother on the inhale, too.

But speak to your specialists, and ideally, speak to a specialist who is not anti-ecig. Or give them a copy of the RCP report to consult before your next meeting with them.

I, like you, was skeptical that e-cigs could be 'that good' (IE there must still be some major problem with them, there must be a reason for the medical community to not be behind them, etc) but I didn't smell of fags and my lung capacity came back so I was fairly 'meh' about it. Since that time (four years ago) I've been following the literature and - as you can probably tell from my posts - I'm agog that they haven't been grabbed with both hands and presented to smokers as just a good way to avoid the lit tobacco part, because there is so little evidence of harm, and what evidence there is, compared to lit tobacco, is genuinely very small.

Obviously with your current health....situation, shall we say ;-) then I'd say that being careful would be wise, but as a lot of your conditions can be linked to lit tobacco, I'd strongly suggest not ruling them out of a possible harm reduction/reversal strategy. I will say that they aren't for everyone, but do keep them in the sphere of possibilities.

Also, do watch this - it's a cheeky rip of a UK documentary that was shown last night, showing a bit more abut e-cigs, and their effects. They checked the volunteers health before and after. I think that's more likely to change your viewpoint than any dry public health report ;-)

Best of luck, regardless.

Steven R

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Anonymous Coward

Clearly a well rou...

Sorry, I mean biased article from the author.

Vaping is an unproven technology with unknown health impacts.

I know of people now who are taking in -far- more nicotine than they did as cigarette smokers (Yes, minus all the evil stuff that went along with it) and nicotine can have severe health impacts.

I also, don't want to be in a room with people vaping because again, it's an unknown technology with unknown health effects.

So yes, it needs to be regulated. Do you know what's going on in the factory that makes the chemicals you're taking directly into your body? The majority of which are produced in Asia probably under less than ideal conditions?

I also wonder, really do wonder, at what point people who vape will realise they are -no- different from someone sticking a needle into their vein and injecting heroin. Ignore the stereotype images and look at it objectively.

Drug users. One just happens to be legal, and one doesn't.

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Re: Clearly a well rou...

"Vaping is an unproven technology with unknown health impacts."

The Royal College Of Physicians strongly disagrees with you on that front

"I know of people now who are taking in -far- more nicotine than they did as cigarette smokers (Yes, minus all the evil stuff that went along with it) and nicotine can have severe health impacts."

Nicotines health impact, without lit tobacco, is on par with caffiene - it stresses the cardio system a touch, and has some neuro effects. Little else. That's why nicotine patches are not sold with any particular warnings with regards to overdose or continued use.

"I also, don't want to be in a room with people vaping because again, it's an unknown technology with unknown health effects."

See the above link to the RCP report. No-one has found anything of particular concern in second hand vape, other than, you know, barely detectable levels of anything, and certainly not anything that is a danger to human health.

"So yes, it needs to be regulated. Do you know what's going on in the factory that makes the chemicals you're taking directly into your body? The majority of which are produced in Asia probably under less than ideal conditions?"

Yes, it does need to be regulated, but not like this. And no, most liquids are not made in Asia. 90% of what you'll see on the shelves of UK vape shops is either UK or US made, using USP ingredients. This regulation will likely create a black market for 'out of spec' products like 100ml bottles of liquid containing nicotine, which will increase the risk of harm as they are not made in ISO certified clean facilities, but are instead mixed at home or in the back of shops. Do you see how bad regulation works now?

"I also wonder, really do wonder, at what point people who vape will realise they are -no- different from someone sticking a needle into their vein and injecting heroin. Ignore the stereotype images and look at it objectively.

Drug users. One just happens to be legal, and one doesn't."

That's nothing less than abject fuckwittery and villification of harm reduction at it's finest, and shows how little you know about the matter at hand. I bet you reckoned that needle exchanges were a mistake because the junkies deserved to get HIV, right?

The idiots are out in force today, for sure.

Steven R

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E cigarettes safety

The study included a group of e-cigarette users, who had been using them for an average of around 17 months, and measured the levels of nicotine and 26 potentially harmful chemicals in their body, by looking at samples of their urine and saliva.

The team compared the results to cigarette smokers, and people who both smoked and used e-cigarettes. They also looked at people who used nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), which is commonly used to help people stop smoking or as a long-term alternative.

“We looked at NRT users because we know these products are safe to use,” says Shahab. “We thought they would be a good comparison,” he adds, because long-term users get their nicotine hit from a smoke-free source, much like e-cigarette users.

Interestingly, the nicotine levels found in the samples from e-cigarette users were very similar to those who used NRT and to smokers. This suggests that people are able to satisfy their nicotine cravings through using either of these products.

The full benefit of using e-cigarettes is from completely stopping smoking

– Dr Lion Shahab, UCL

“Part of the reason why people use e-cigarettes is to stop smoking, and we have shown that they provide effective delivery of nicotine,” says Shahab.

But the key finding came when the team looked in the samples at the levels of potentially toxic chemicals. They found that there was a remarkable difference in the levels of these substances between the different groups. In fact one chemical, called NNAL (known to cause lung cancer), was 97% lower in e-cigarette users compared to smokers.

Not only did e-cigarette users have lower levels of these substances compared to smokers, but they were also found to have very similar levels to people using NRT – something that Shahab is quick to point out is known to be relatively safe.

“We have 3 decades of research into the safety of NRT, and we’ve not picked up any significant long-term health issues,” he says.

So if e-cigarettes have the same effect on the body as an established stop smoking treatment, then surely we can assume that these products are relatively ‘safe’ too? While nothing can ever be considered completely safe, we can compare it to the other things we experience in our day to day lives.

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Silver badge

V-liquid tip to quit

I used eCigs to help quit after a health scare. I had endless problems with a cheap eCig since it was early on when I got one and found that I could soak a cotton swab and put it under my tongue to take the edge off. Worked a treat. I had something in my mouth which duplicates the oral fixation habit and the nicotine for the chemical addition. I pushed myself to go longer between swabs every few days until I was completely off. A bonus is that even if your place of work bans vaping, you can still get your fix without going out in the hissing rain.

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