Sunday, 12 July 2015

An unashamed plug for Daily News in vapers.org.uk

Firstly I must state a conflict of interest, I along with a number of others (12 currently) voluntarily find news articles ,research papers and blogs of interest ,these are then assembled,curated and published by the mysterious editor.

The idea originated in October 2014 with the first Daily News published in November, this is put out on the website http://vapers.org.uk/, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/vapers.org.uk and Twitter https://twitter.com/vapersorguk

Obviously I am slightly biased, but the content and presentation would lead me to suggest this is the leading daily resource, especially for busy people who cannot spend all day trawling through a multitude of Facebook posts. Twitter used to be a very good resource especially when it had the 'Discovery' feature,but sadly this has now been removed.

If you have never tried the Daily News give it a go and register your appreciation with twitter and Facebook likes (500 just achieved btw) , the other alternative is to receive your Daily News by e-mail

to find the above,simply click http://vapers.org.uk/category/latest-news/ to find the subscription information on the right hand side of the page

If you do have interesting blogs or news articles not covered that you feel would be of general interest contact vapers.org.uk through any of the above avenues mentioned earlier .

Happy Reading

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Evolving Nicotine Usage and Consequences

I must state from the outset that my conversion from ciggies began in February 2013 on a nicotine level of 24 mg/ml and  continues at the same strength to this day. All advice given in those early days from any respected source (forums) stressed that at least 18mg/ml or higher was required for a successful transition

Expert advice from Professor  Bernd Mayer expresses this in great detail here http://www.bernd-mayer.com/how-to-switch-from-tobacco-to-electronic-cigarettes/  another interesting blog covers aspects here by Norbert Zillatron https://nzillatron.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/dimishing-dependency/ 

There does however seem to have been a massive change in nicotine strength usage and patterns over the last 12 months which can be attributed to a number of factors 

These results have been obtained by kind permission from Kevin Crowley whose excellent ongoing survey I highly recommend everyone to take part (note current info relates to ~2700 persons) in https://vapinglinks.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/the-vaping-truth-survey-is-now-live/


The above shows a vast amount of information but the most remarkable is the massive change in user nicotine strengths.

Liquid manufacturers and vendors statistics confirm this is happening(sales data) , its not as a result of  panic over impending draconian and illogical regulation this is a consumer led evolution .

Or is it ? read Paul Barnes excellent blog http://fdm.ukvaping.com/2015/07/what-are-we-fighting-for/ are vendors and manufacturers driving the, or reacting to, consumer demand? 

( I am sounding like this guy now https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvfTa_B3hGA so will promptly shut up)!

So maybe its the rapid evolution of the products that researchers such as Ann McNeil have noticed and done preliminary studies http://www.kcl.ac.uk/ioppn/news/records/2015/April/New-e-cigarette-research-on-type-and-frequency-of-use.aspx  BUT this omits that devices have  further evolved,  to be far more efficient at delivering satisfying results via reduced nicotine concentration liquids,This highlights the problem for researchers, struggling to produce current real world data in a rapidly evolving market.

The next two results show this dramatic shift in the users choices of devices 



So what are the consequences ?

1) Probable increased usage of e-liquid in the latest high-end devices(high wattage possibly temperature controlled) with 'sub-ohm' tanks, using a low nicotine concentration content, as users self titrate, probably to the identical total of daily nicotine used(guesstimate). This in itself should not be especially harmful but just may increase the possibility.

2) Advice to new switchers is a very important and  a problematic area, should folks give advice as in the opening paragraph ie relatively simple devices that require high nicotine concentrations, but becoming  increasingly unavailable and will be regulated via the TPD to 20mg/ml (barely enough to satisfy new switchers)

Alternative advice could be to suggest the latest high powered devices and tanks but this avenue has many potential pitfalls.

3) Kevin's survey (below) shows 25% of consumers who either currently or could mix their own liquids, this has increased enormously over the last few years as the numbers of experienced users has multiplied. 

May 2016 in the EU will see the TPD introduced with mixing supplies under direct threat regarding  bottle size restrictions and usable strengths. Obviously the survey throws up many other unintended consequences, the most disturbing for regulators should be the first two on the list, especially 'Will go to the black market'.


4)Regulators,advisers and their researchers appear ill informed in many aspects eg market share http://alanbeard.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/e-cigarette-market-myths.html current,factual 
 information is required to aid their comprehension of smoking harm reduction. However, opportunities can be totally overlooked,due to misinformation,poor advice and possibly hostile external influence. For an eloquent plea to her own legislators read http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE1507/S00032/is-nz-ready-for-consumer-driven-quit-smoking-programmes.htm this summary from Professor Glover  

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Breaking Out #1

These are just a few rambly thoughts put down more for me to refer to,but may provoke others to add and refine in a far more eloquent manner

Vaping advocacy involves getting across truthful messages,education and information about campaigns, but we have had very limited success so far in this. This is not a criticism,simply a statement of fact,that the 'message' is only heard by relatively tiny numbers of devotees inotherwords 'preaching to the converted'

Without me ranting about Vaping  Facebook groups and Forums that have little interest in such matters(some rare exceptions)  it brings me to other options that need exploration

Following a series of twitter exchanges with friends it led me to thinking about something we all have probably considered, maybe tried,maybe failed. As a forerunner to me trying and obviously succeeding with my conversion to e-cigs I used to spend long hours on a pedelec(electric bike) forum

Lo and behold I stumbled across this month old thread (at that time) http://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/threads/electronic-cigarettes.13501/ as a heavy smoker @40/day over a 45 year period I was inspired by the thought process and experiences charted by the author and inspiration for the blog @neptune  and swiftly joined a forum (http://allaboute-cigarettes.proboards.com/ and received some great buying advice - needless to say it worked! Can I add that the pedelec forum thread is the longest running most popular thread on an Electric Bike Forum.

this was started in pedelecs in an 'off-topic' chat section , Similarly but with less success I started something similar in another pastime http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/portal/

*updated* @balbecdaze (Liam) put forward this as another eg
http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/1912752-AIBU-to-STILL-feel-positively-evangelical-about-electronic-cigarettes-thread-2

We all have pastimes !! that we may belong to on forums - have they got an off-topic section?

Another very obvious way is to write factual replies in newspaper articles and journals,avoiding angry ranting if at all possible - they are great free opportunities to further our messages

These are very simplistic ways of trying to spread the message 'outside of the box' ....we need very many more ......to be continued


Saturday, 4 July 2015

Apathetic, Broke or Ignorance

There has been a number of calls for collections of money in recent times to assist various campaigns, an ill-fated e-cigssavelives campaign in 2013 , 2 crowdfunders for Dr Farsalinos in 2013 and 2014, Dodo-Boxes for the Efvi campaign 2014 and NOW donations to a political party that has pledged to use the money to help to gain signatures in Wales https://ldwales.nationbuilder.com/ecigs_donate

One thing that has always struck me throughout each of these campaigns is the relative difficulty in getting the required totals achieved

Consumers

Apathy   - how many know about these campaigns who just ignore them? 'seen it all before' , 'nowt to do with me' , 'why should I bother' , 'its scaremongering', 'not going to happen'. Forums and Facebook pages abound with chat about new devices,swaps,coil builds etc  but getting involvement in advocacy/petitions/collections is so bloody difficult. Some actively make this difficult (5th columnists - luckily few of those, but they do exist!) by hi-jacking and poisoning the purpose of the thread. I simply ask these people a question is it all about YOU?  maybe it should be about giving smokers the same opportunity that we have enjoyed. YOU may be able to manage in the future,but what about the millions of smokers who will not have ready access to products or even forums?

Broke - Undoubtedly times have been hard in recent years, but even a modest token donation of £1 boosts the totals and indicates both moral and financial support. A single  10ml bottle of bought liquid £3-£6! - could that money have been donated if you thought about it?

Ignorance- Many excellent resources exist , there is no excuse to be in the dark!
eg
 http://nicotinepolicy.net/
http://gfn.net.co/2014
http://www.ecigarette-politics.com/
http://www.clivebates.com/
http://vapers.org.uk/
http://www.vapourtrails.tv
http://www.ecigarette-research.org/research/index.php
this represents a tiny amount of excellent quality resources
join http://nnalliance.org/ as a supporter(free)

Another feature that is perplexing to me and really the purpose of this blog

Vendors 

Firstly, let me state categorically this is not directed at all vendors but, and a very big BUT at way too many 

WHY

1) No donations from you towards fundraising ?
2) Why not informing customers properly about important campaigns with newsletters,mailshots,Fb + Twitter entries?
3) Why not actively campaigning as above- Is anything on your website about ANY campaign ?
4) Why is activism in general ignored by you ?

graphic courtesy of @VaEHp  who points out what you already know, its the will to do it that's sadly lacking!

I have heard many moans from the dedicated consumer activists about this irresponsible, incomprehensible lack of feckin interest from vendors who seemingly don't care a jot, why should they be left to fight OUR battle alone?

Now is the time to MAN up not just STOCK up - because that will be a distant memory unless you get involved NOW

just as a reminder ,even though you shouldn't need it read Dave Kitson's excellent blog http://wp.thehappyvaper.com/?p=874

btw an important update from Totally Wicked - downloadable support forms for vendors + consumers http://article20legalchallenge.com/support-the-legal-challenge/