Modified Risk Tobacco Products

Can we stop with the argument that e-cigs are not a tobacco product already, it is not only misleading but it is flat out wrong.

Now before you get your knickers in a twist hear me out, we all know nicotine comes from tobacco.

So, to say that it is not a tobacco product would be like saying cheese isn’t a dairy product. Yes, there is 0 nic liquid out, just as there is dairy free cheese out.

Do we change how cheese is classified due to the dairy free cheese?  No, cheese is still counted as a dairy product. So why all the push to say e-liquid isn’t a tobacco product?

We invalidate everything else we might say the minute we say “but it’s not a tobacco product”.

Does this mean we should just accept the fate of being taxed and regulated the same way as cigarettes? Not only no, but HELL NO!

This does mean we need to support good manufacturers/vendors in going through the steps for “Modified Risk Tobacco Products” Or MRTP’s.

This won’t be cheap or easy for manufacturers to do, however, in the long run it may very well make a difference in who can and should stay in business. The longer they wait to start, the harder it will be for them to get all the necessary information and testing done in any sort of timely manner.

Modified risk is not a new category, but it does seem to be misunderstood. So far only one company has applied for and had the application accepted by the FDA for MRTP status, and that is Swedish Match, a manufacturer of Swedish Snus.

It is time we start including lobbying for easier access for manufacturers to obtain MRTP status, as well as push for financial assistance for smaller companies who would otherwise be able to meet the requirements.

If we don’t start taking the initiative, the FDA will. Who do you want making the choices for you?


Vape Expo NJ

Most of us have head about this weekends Vape Expo that took place in New Jersey. For some of us the first thing that comes to mind, is why would anyone plan a major vaping event in a state that is so unfriendly to vapers?

New Jersey was the first state in the US to include vaping as part of their indoor air act, which basically means if public can attend and it is indoors you can’t vape. They didn’t make an exceptions for private clubs, so the waiver they had everyone sign is pretty much useless.

For anyone who thinks that 0 nicotine juices would be alright, you need to read how e-cigs were written into it

“Electronic smoking device” means an electronic device that can be used to deliver nicotine or other substances to the person inhaling from the device, including, but not limited to, an electronic cigarette, cigar, cigarillo, or pipe.

“Smoking” means the burning of, inhaling from, exhaling the smoke from, or the possession of a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or any other matter or substance which contains tobacco or any other matter that can be smoked, or the inhaling or exhaling of smoke or vapor from an electronic smoking device

NJ does make exceptions for cigar bars and lounges, however this trade show doesn’t qualify under those either. As a cigar bar is all or part of a bar that is set to allow smoking or vaping, and a cigar lounge is all of part of a establishment that is set to allow smoking or vaping.

Even by the off chance you could say the trade show was a business, part of the requirements for either is proper ventilation. If you have looked at the photos, or seen any of the footage from the event you have to agree the air was filled with vapor. So the ventilation did not meet the requirements.

So the event organizers set up a vaping even that had vapers breaking the law in the state. At this point it doesn’t matter if you agree with the law or not, the simple fact is it was broken. All day today I have read tweets showing how upset vapers where, not over the fact the law was broken, but over the fact it was enforced.

We need states to enforce the laws they have on vaping! If they don’t enforce them, that means they also don’t enforce restrictions on underage sales, without that, we are right back to them saying more laws for restrictions to minors are needed. They are not needed if they already have them, they need to be enforced.

Instead of being upset the law was enforce, be upset the law was written the way it was, and use that energy in getting it changed for the better instead of helping make it worse for us.

Right now we are our own worst enemy. Breaking the laws of a state doesn’t get the government on our side. What it does do is give them reason to distrust us even more.

Why The Words ‘Max VG’ Means Nothing

It is commonplace anymore to see juices listed as max VG. Sadly those words tell us nothing of the PG/VG ratio in them.

Here’s why: You have a 30 ml of juice marketed as max VG. Lets say you are wanting 12mg nicotine level, at 100mg nicotine base, that is 3.6ml of the juice or 12%. Is that nicotine PG or VG based?

Then you add flavorings, many average around 20% flavor, meaning another 6 ml of your juice. Most flavorings use a PG base, there are a few VG flavors out, but sadly not many.  There are also some vendors who use as much as 30% flavors. Which will lower any VG ratio even more.

So already you have a juice that maybe 32/68 PG/VG, but could also be 20/80 PG/VG This difference is all based off the nicotine used.

That ratio though could wind up being much lower in VG, as this is assuming that straight VG is used for the rest. Some juice makers also add water, or instead of using 100% USP grade VG, use a 50/50 mix. All of that would still be a max VG for them, but in reality if a 50/50 base is used, you will have less than 40% VG

Why is this information so important? Many vapers have a sensitivity to PG. Some like myself it is mild, in others it is more pronounced. One friend of mine is so sensitive that even her husband vaping a high PG juice around her will cause her issues. So where I can go up to 30/70 PG/VG without concern she can’t go over 20/80.

Most experienced vapers who are PG sensitive know the ratio they can handle and will look for juices in that range. A few years ago that meant contacting vendors and asking as there wasn’t many high VG options at the time. At this stage of vaping we have a variety of options.

Many of us no longer bother e-mailing a vendor to find out the PG/VG ratio as why should we waste our time doing so when other vendors have it on their site?

Another Post about Diacetyl

Lately diacetyl in e-juice has come back under fire. So I wanted to take a few minutes and share some interesting facts.

What is Diacetyl? The short answer is, it is a flavor additive that tastes like butter. The longer answer can be found on-line here

Diacetyl (IUPAC systematic name: butanedione or butane-2,3-dione) is an organic compound with the chemical formula (CH3CO)2. It is a volatile, yellow/green liquid with an intensely buttery flavor. It is avicinal diketone (two C=O groups, side-by-side) with the molecular formula C4H6O2. Diacetyl occurs naturally in alcoholic beverages and is added to some foods to impart its buttery flavor.

It has been known to cause what is referred to as popcorn lung (bronchiolitis obliterans (BO)  ) in workers in microwave popcorn plants. While this is troubling it should be noted that so far only one consumer has ever gotten BO.

Is it really that bad? While I want vendors to test their juices for diacetyl and other diketones, the question we should look at is: “Is this really that bad?” I find it curious that for something as bad as this is, to not have caused many of us to get BO from smoking, as diacetyl is one of over 500 chemicals added to cigarette tobacco under the name 2,3-Butanedione.

If 2 bags of microwave popcorn a day for 10 years can cause a man to get BO, then surly those of us who smoked 2+ packs a day for 10+ years should have also been at risk, but to my knowledge none of us have developed BO.

Now all of that said, I personally don’t want needless risks for such things as BO in my e-juices and I do applaud vendors like Mike at Roar Vapor who do test their juices and reformulate any that come back with it.

Just using flavorings said to be free of diacetyl isn’t enough. As while it is an organic compound it does have a chemical formula, one that can be a by product of chemical reactions in mixing different flavorings. Also it should be noted that higher amounts of some flavors can also show diacetyl when lower amounts of the same flavor does not.

A prime example of this is 2 juices that Mike had tested. Roar Vanilla and Roar Vanilla Rootbeer.

From the email between Mike at Roar Vapor and myself:

what you are referring to is Roar Vanilla and Roar Vanilla Rootbeer. Both juices, while having different amounts of flavoring, had the same flavorings in them except one. Roar Vanilla came back very positive with Diacytel while Roar Vanilla Rootbeer, which had the same flavors as Roar Vanilla but with the addition of a rootbeer flavoring, came back clean. They were both made and tested at the same times. 

Mike being the responsible vendor he is, pulled both flavors and reformulated them.

So what about those of us who DIY? As most of the juice I vape is DIY it is important to understand the risks of what I am doing. As many of us can’t afford to spend $300 per juice to get it tested, we need to rely on facts and common sense.

We know not all flavor manufacturers test their flavorings, in reality very very few do, but that doesn’t need to stop us from being on the safe side of things. Using high quality, highly concentrated flavorings helps. As the less of a favoring needed the less chance it has to naturally create chemicals reactions leading to unwanted things in e-juice.

At the end of the day it comes down to what we already knew, vaping is safer than smoking. Even with diacetyl in a juice it has been shown to be 100 times lower than that found in cigarettes.

What Makes a Real Vaper?

What makes someone a real vaper?

There is debate in the community about what group of vapers are real vapers. Some will tell you if you are not running some dual or triple cell mod with a super sub-ohm 0.09 coil you are not really vaping. Others stance is those who do are not real vapers, that real vapers don’t use sub-ohm set ups and chase clouds.

Labels such as ‘Cloud Chaser’, ‘Volume Vaper’, and ‘Tootle Puffer’ are getting tossed around all over the community, but why and are they really needed?

I will openly admit I don’t like vapers who are cloud chasers. My reasons are very simple, we are not fighting a war on facts and science. We are fighting a war on public perception. What you do in your home is completely your business. Once taken out of your home and into the public eye, it then becomes everyone’s business, and like it or not if Joe Public sees 100 people vaping and one of those is being a jerk and blowing clouds towards others or otherwise causing an problem, the other 99 will be forgotten and the one remembered.

For those wondering what a ‘Tootle Puffer’ is, it is a label coined in ECF (E-Cigarette Forum) meaning a vaper who uses low voltage/wattages and usually stays in standard to low ohm.

All labels aside, let me say this. It doesn’t matter if you are using a BT cig-a-like, an ego, or some over priced mod, if you are using it to vaporize e-liquid with or without nicotine, then you are a vaper. Same goes for carto tanks, or rba’s, you are still vaping.

There are no ‘Master Coil Builders’ or ‘Professional Vapers’, vaping is not a sport. It is a safer alternative to smoking. So I don’t care how many sponsors you have, they are just plain ignorant.

So let’s try to cut out the labels, we don’t have to like each others styles of vaping. We don’t have to even support them. We do however need to cut the crap and present a united front.

The only thing we need to ask is: “Do you advocate?”


Cotton Wicks

As some of you know I do not use cotton for my wicks.  This has nothing to do with if I believe cotton to be safe or harmful, but is the simple fact that I have tried cotton (both cotton balls and Japanese Organic) and had a reaction to it.

When this comes up I almost always have at least one person tell me they have never heard of someone having a problem with cotton or that this is super rare.  So I decided to start looking into it more.

One of the first things I found was that having a mild reaction to cotton wicks is not as rare as some may think.  If it was, I highly doubt within an hour of reading I would have found someone else who had issue with cotton and so has also quit using them for wicks.

The Kayfun Mini V2.1 with Eko/Silica Build

In the first few minutes of that youtube video Dimitri (A.K.A. The Vapin Greek) tells of his problems with cotton and why he has stopped using it.

Now this alone should be enough to tell people we need to have other options.  Not saying no one should use cotton, but if some vapers find they can’t use it, and everything coming out uses it, where does that put them.  Thankfully Dimitri and I can both rebuild, so for us there are other options.

What about new vapers tho?

We tell new vapers not to jump right into rebuilding for good reason, but now what if one of them has an issue with cotton as well?  It is hard to find anything other than protanks that do not use cotton heads.  Are they doomed to be limited to one option only?  How well did that work for most of us?

We need options out there, not just for those of us already vaping but for those who may start.  Vaping never has been and never will be a ‘One Size Fits All’.

If anyone wants to do further reading on cotton and possible effects, I did come across this case report, and while it speaks of one man, it does reference many studies done on breathing in cotton dust.  

Side Effects of Vaping

Almost daily there is another “study” showing the harmful effects of vaping.  Most of these use bad/no science or they twist the headlines, knowing most people will never read the study.

They do have one thing right, there are side effects from vaping.

Yes, I said it, there are side effects from vaping, but they are not harmful.  That is unless you count being able to taste or smell as harmfull.  Okay, I will grant you, being able to smell again might at times seem harmful.

One such side effect is instead of drinking maybe a glass of water a week, I now drink about 2 liters of water a day.  This is due to vaping making my mouth feel dry.  The water replaced a 2 liter a day soda habit.

I also can breath again, no longer tied to asthma inhalers and nebulizers to get me through the day.  This aids me in then being able to do more.  It also saves me trips to the doctors.

No more morning cough!  I use to dread waking, knowing the second I moved an inch the coughing would start.  My chest would hurt from trying to cough up what was left of my lungs every morning.

These types of side effects tho are not the only ones I have personally experienced.

Because of vaping I have had to learn things like battery safety.  This doesn’t just apply to e-cigs and mods either, it applies to all hand-held electronics.

Ohm’s Law, this is a biggie.  It helps in my rebuilding and goes hand in hand with battery safety.  You would think having replaced all the wiring on a 79 Ford T-bird or running the wiring in my room, I would have already known Ohm’s Law, but I didn’t.

I have learned more about science and research than I ever did in school.  Reading the before mentioned studies has taught me tons about how things work or more often or not shows me why they don’t work.

To go with the research and learning how to read the studies, is learning how to tell good science from trash science.  It is my hope I see more good science coming soon.

Mixing juices and understanding how things work I have also learned a bit of chemistry.  If only my high school teachers would have taught it in a manner that interested me.

A big side effect for me has been that I now actually care about politics.  I also advocate and try to educate.  Sharing what I have learned with others.

I have experienced many great side effects from vaping, as have just about every vaper I have spoken with.  So, yes I am glad there are side effects from vaping.