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Vape News in Brief – July 5th, 2017 Edition

Vape News in Brief – July 5th, 2017 Edition

 

Greetings, and happy Fourth of July weekend! Time once again for our weekly roundup of all things vape, as seen through the lens of the global media. With no further ado:

 

A new study finds that 113 pets in the UK were poisoned by e-liquid last year. That's certainly regrettable, and it offers us another moment to remind everyone out there to make sure that your liquid supply and vaping gear is secured and firmly out of reach of both children and animals, who might be attracted to sweet smells and ignorant to the danger of nicotine. Keeping things in perspective, however, e-cig poisoning cases were outnumbered by chocolate (579), rat poison (759), artificial sweeteners (253), and even vitamin D tablets (148).

 

More from the Big Tobacco front: British American Tobacco is publicizing a new study that suggests that, unlike tobacco smoke, vapor has little effect on the body's ability to heal small cuts and scratch wounds. Exposure to tobacco smoke 20% of the time, the company says, is enough to entirely prevent such wounds from healing. On the other hand, even 100% exposure to vapor, even when that vapor contains more nicotine than its tobacco counterpart, no difference was noted in the body's healing ability as compared to complete non-exposure.

 

Keep Austin Normal – the otherwise quirky Texas city's council has voted for a complete and total ban on vapor products everywhere tobacco is banned. That's pretty much every public space in town. Unfortunately, despite Austin's claimed penchant for the "weird," it's just following in the footsteps of many other US municipalities clamoring to "de-normalize" personal vaporizer use.

 

Canada, meanwhile, is moving toward a legislative framework that will place restrictions on the sale and promotion of vapor products while recognizing them as a significant harm-reduction tool that offers benefits to current smokers. Instead of fighting wrong-headed bans left and right, we can only hope for a time legislators stateside will give vapers a seat at the table to craft sensible laws to ensure consumer safety (including youth sales restrictions) while being frank about the science at the same time.

 

Hooray for science! Here's more on that wound study, along with a debunking of previously-spread suggestions that vaping leads to blood vessel damage and heart disease. There is, however, a nod to the contested study linking e-cigs to DNA alteration, and a troubling-yet-seemingly-legitimate study linking some chemicals in vapor to bladder cancer – the same ones are present in tobacco smoke, but a risk is a risk.

 

More science – dual users, or people who continue to smoke while partially converting to vaping, are less likely to consider themselves smokers, and therefore don't believe their behavior is as risky as it is. The evidence shows, though, that continuing to smoke even when replacing the majority of one's cigarettes with vaping means that there's little or no health benefit whatsoever from vaping. Nearly all of us started out as dual users, taking weeks or months to wean ourselves off cigarettes entirely – but completing your quit is an absolute must if you want to reap the health benefits of switching.

 

Boo, fake "science!" – yet another new study suggests that teens who try vaping are three times likelier to try smoking as those who don't. The study admits that it didn't attempt to identify the reason why vaping teens would experiment with tobacco, which is a critical flaw – most smokers take up the habit in their teens, evidence has long shown. Some people are inclined to experiment with nicotine and a host of other substances, others aren't (good for them!). Common sense, though, suggests that a willingness to experiment with one product (vaporizers) would naturally represent a greater willingness to experiment with another (cigarettes). Without giving this factor any consideration, and without considering that teen smoking rates are at all-time lows (which suggests at least some potential smokers are either solely vaping or returning to vaping after their tobacco experiments), findings like these have to be dismissed as what they are: junk "science."

 

As warned, vape shops across Pennsylvania are closing their doors following the imposition of a 40 percent state tax on vapor products. The move was intended to close a budget gap on the backs of those attempting to quit smoking, but many have predicted it'll backfire as shop closings lead to lower overall tax revenue and increased unemployment.

 

Down under: This editorial sagely advises Australian lawmakers, who are considering legalizing vapor products (they've existed in a grey area with liquid nicotine verboten until now), to set aside arguments in favor of demonizing smokers. It makes more sense, the *Sydney Morning Herald* says, to focus on getting as many people as possible to voluntarily quit smoking, even if it's by switching to a harm-reduction alternative like vaping rather than by using other nicotine replacement therapies or quitting cold turkey. After all, the easier it is to quit, and the more people are encouraged to do so, the better off we'll all be – right?

 

Duncan Hunter Jr., the semi-famous vaping congressman from El Cajon, CA (a San Diego suburb) is at it again, puffing away during a legislative session to illustrate what he found to be a nonsensical new regulation to ban nicotine-containing e-cigs on planes that doesn't address the legal treatment of devices containing nicotine-free liquid. We can't say whether or not this helps the cause, but it's amusing nonetheless.

 

Remember those findings a few notes up about vaping leading to teen smoking? They're already being debunked. Click through, if for nothing else, to look at the chart of numbers released directly by the US government showing that even as teen vaping was on the rise (it's now in decline, thanks to tighter age-restriction laws), cigarette use was declining.

 

Here's an "exploding e-cigarette" story that actually gets the facts right. Unfortunately, the irresponsible vaper at its heart is blaming Sony for the fact that he chose to carry a spare battery in his pocket without attempting to place it in a carrying case, which allowed it to come into contact with loose change and keys, leading the cell to discharge at a dangerously rapid rate. We can't stress the importance of battery safety enough – please check out our blogs for more on this issue and NEVER carry your batteries unless they're safely secured.

 

Remember that Pennsylvania tax that's killing the vape industry? Californians have it even worse, with the tax on e-liquids containing nicotine rising twice in the last six months. The tax rate is now more than 65% of the wholesale cost of a bottle of liquid.

 

Whew, it's been a busy week! Tune in next Sunday, where there's sure to be even more that, as a responsible and well-informed vaper, you need to know…

acuity