The E-Cig Industry’s Favorite Congressman Doesn’t Even Vape (Motherboard, March 2016)

The E-Cig Industry’s Favorite Congressman Doesn’t Even Vape (Motherboard, March 2016)



Tom Cole doesn’t vape. The 66-year-old Republican representative from Oklahoma prefers cigars, yet he’s currently a bit of an unlikely champion in the vaping industry. That’s thanks to a bill he has been trying to shepherd through Congress that would protect vaping manufacturers from a potentially fatal blow in pending regulations.

“To me, it just seems unfair,” Cole told me over the phone. “It seems to me like we’re regulating out of fear instead of out of knowledge.”

For the last five years, the Food and Drug Administration has been working through the process of regulating e-cigarettes and other vape devices by adding them to its list of controlled tobacco products. Currently, the agency only regulates cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, chewing tobacco, and snuff, but is adding cigars, pipe tobacco, e-cigs, vape pens, and e-liquids.

That process included releasing a set of proposed regulations, such as requiring warning labels and prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. But the proposal also defined a restrictive grandfathering date: any products that came on the market after February 15, 2007—virtually the entire vape market—would not only need to meet the new regulations but would also be forced to go through a costly application process that could push hundreds, if not thousands, of vendors out of business.

Cole’s bill, which was introduced last year and has been languishing in a subcommittee, would remove that grandfathering date. This wouldn’t mean vape products would be unregulated: they’d still be subject to whatever rules the FDA sets out, they just wouldn’t have to go through this additional, formal approval process that’s usually reserved for products that come on the market after new regulations are set.

“The products would still be subject to regulation, but we traditionally allow folks to grandfather [existing] things in and not put expenses on them,” Cole said. “There’s no particular logic for this date other than if you want to be punitive towards this industry, without a lot of evidence to justify that at this point.”

In pushing forward this bill, Cole has caught the attention of the vaping world. Redditors in a vaping subreddit have been posting for months about letters sent to their local representatives asking for support of Cole’s bill, and one vaping blog called Cole “the vape community’s potential savior.”

“Whether he knows it or not. His simple, fair, and common sense legislation will preserve hundreds of thousands of jobs,” Sham Shivaie wrote on Vape About It.

He’s not the only congressman popular among vapers. Representative Duncan Hunter is a vocal proponent of the industry who has been dubbed a “vaping hero” by some. He even vaped on the floor during a debate over allowing e-cigarettes on planes last month. But as a 39-year-old from California (home to a large portion of the vaping industry), Hunter seems a likelier candidate than Cole to hop on the vaping bandwagon. Besides a general Republican distaste for overregulation, what drew Cole to the cause? His love of stogies.

“I didn’t know anything about the vaping industry, per se. It’s not a practice that I participate in,” Cole said. “But I had people contacting me from the cigar industry because I’m well known for enjoying cigars. The two issues are married up, though the regulations on vaping seem to have the broader interest and more dangerous impact.”

Vapers don’t have a ton of allies on Capitol Hill, but have found support growing as individual politicians get alerted to the issues. As for the bill, Cole said he plans to appeal to members of the subcommittee where the bill is sitting and hopes to nudge it forward, but told me the best hope for the bill is if concerned vapers reach out to their representatives to alert them to the issue. In the meantime, the vaping industry and its handful of political supporters anxiously await the final regulations, which are expected some time later this year.

Until we see what the final rules are, there’s not much else Cole, Hunter, or any other politician can do.

“These folks have been living with the Sword of Damocles over their heads for years now, not knowing exactly when these rules will pop out and not knowing, clearly, what they will entail,” Cold told me. “We’re as much in the dark about that as anybody else is.”

Almost 900,000 people used e-cigarettes in England… (Independent, March 2016)

Almost 900,000 people used e-cigarettes in England… (Independent, March 2016)


Written By: Kashmira Gander

Read More At:

Almost 900,000 smokers in England have used e-cigarettes in order to break their habit, a new study has suggested. Researchers at University College London have estimated that 891,000 people have used one of the devices when trying to stop smoking in 2014.

This was opposed to using prescription medicine or receiving behavioural support. Around 8.46million adults smoke cigarettes in England. Around 37 per cent attempted to stop in 2014, with 28.2 per cent using an e-cigarette as an aid.

The study follows separate research showing that the chance of quitting rises by up to 50 per cent when an e-cigarette is used, compared with smokers who used traditional products such as nicotine gum or patches. The long term rate of quitting smoking cigarettes rises from around 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent when e-cigarettes are used – amounting to around 22,000 people, according to the new study published in the journal ‘Addiction.’

Professor Robert West, who led the research team, said that the technology appears to help a “significant” number of smokers to stop, who would not have done otherwise. However he said that the figure is not as high as “some e-cigarette enthusiasts claim.” Professor West added that the research goes against the idea that e-cigarettes undermine quitting if smokers use them to cut down, and are a gateway into smoking.

“These claims stem from a misunderstanding of what the evidence can tell us at this stage, but this is clearly something we need to watch carefully.“ Professor Peter Hajek, director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London who was not involved in the study, said that the devices have the potential to reduce fatalities linked to smoking.

He added that it was “unfortunate” that specialist smoking cessation services are currently not offering e-cigarettes, and are seeing a drop in interest. “This is unfortunate, as it is likely that even more smokers would switch to vaping successfully if e-cigarettes were combined with behavioural support that the services provide. Hopefully, findings like this will encourage the services to start offering e-cigarettes as a part of their overall toolkit.”

The data was compiled since the second quarter of 2011, by The Smoking Toolkit Study backed by organisations including the Department of Health and Cancer Research UK.

A separate study by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that 2.2 million people in the UK use e-cigarettes.

A chart made by Statista for The Independent showing how many people in the UK use e-cigarettes

Put together using the ONS Opinion and Lifestyle survey, data indicated that half of people who used e-cigarettes did so to quit smoking. Just over a fifith said they felt that e-cigarettes were less harmful than tobacco versions. However, despite vaping being cheaper on average, only 9 per cent cited this as their reason for using the devices.

The same number of people said they vaped because it meant they could stay indoors.

Study Vaporizes One of the Biggest Health Claims… (The Daily Caller, Feb. 2016)

Study Vaporizes One of the Biggest Health Claims… (The Daily Caller, Feb. 2016)
A man smokes an electronic cigarette vaporizer, also known as an e-cigarette, in Toronto, August 7, 2015. Many of the world 
Written By: Guy Bentley

A new study calls into question one of the most frequently cited arguments for regulating e-cigarettes and doubting their potential to reduce harms caused by smoking.

Published in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, the study shows levels of the carcinogen formaldehyde emitted from e-cigarettes are significantly lower than levels found in regular cigarettes. E-cigarettes work by having the heating coil boil the e-liquid to a point where vapor is produced and then inhaled. The study directly clashes with a letter published in the New England Journal of medicine.

Not only that, but e-cigarettes need to be turned to such a high power setting to produce anything close to hazardous levels of formaldehyde that it’s wildly unrealistic that vapers are in any significant danger from the chemical. This condition is known as “dry puff.”

“It burns the nose. It burns the throat. It’s very, very unpleasant. No vaper is going to just sit there and inhale that. It kind of forces the vaper to just shut it off entirely,” Kurt Kistler, a chemistry professor at Pennsylvania State University and co-author of the study, told Motherboard.

The results directly contradict a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine that warned e-cigarettes exposed vapers to dangerous levels of formaldehyde. The letter was subsequently mired in controversy over its accuracy.

Researchers at Enthalpy Analytical in North Carolina analyzed five different e-cigarettes. “There needs to be context because the term ‘electronic cigarette’ is not just one thing. E-cigarettes include a huge variety of devices, power settings, wattage control, voltage control, and even temperature control,” said Kistler.

Three of the devices turned to their highest setting produced levels of formaldehyde of less than one milligram each per day. This compares favorably with a pack of cigarettes, which exposes a smoker to 1.5-2.5 mg of formaldehyde. Even more reassuringly for vapers, the level of formaldehyde emitted by those three e-cigs was far lower than the 5.3 mg exposure the Occupational Safety and Health Administration deems acceptable in the workplace.

Kistler’s findings are in line with an array of e-cigarette researchers who conclude high levels of formaldehyde emitted from the devices largely depends on the power settings being at such a high level that no vaper could, in fact, use it.

One device tested was, however, emitting levels of formaldehyde far in excess of tobacco cigarettes. But the most likely explanation for these abnormally high levels, according to the researchers, is that a part of the e-cigarette — the coil — had become overheated after all the e-liquid was used.

“Our results demonstrate that large differences exist in the EC devices available in the marketplace, and that, depending on the device, changes in power applied to the atomizer can have dramatic, but different, impacts on both total aerosol yield and the formation of aldehyde compounds in the EC aerosol, with some devices far more capable than others of maximizing liquid aerosolization while minimizing thermal decomposition at higher power levels,” the study concluded.

Read more: