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Vaping Regulations Hit Spain

Different countries have different approaches to vaping. But Spain’s new legislation looks set to be among the stricter approaches taken. The Tobacco Products Directive is now well-known among vapers across Europe. The Spanish version of this is known as the Royal Decree 579/2017, and it came into force on 11th June this year.

It means Spaniards won’t be able to buy atomisers larger than 2ml soon. Furthermore, vapers will be limited to a maximum container size of 10ml when purchasing e-liquids. British vapers will probably be able to identify with these regulations, but the situation in Spain could be about to get a lot more challenging.

If the Spanish government has its way, it will bring in a total ban on selling all vaping products online. Since many people resort to getting their vaping products online, this will present a major challenge to those who are vaping to help them quit smoking. Indeed, some have warned it may be possible that some will go back to smoking. Additionally, as there are few vaping shops in Spain, some might be tempted to resort to buying vaping products from the black market. This could potentially be dangerous – and Spain is not the first country to experience this possible hazard.

Many countries are unduly harsh with e-cigarette regulations. Some believe it is as dangerous to health as smoking, even though all the evidence suggests otherwise. Making it harder for people to vape is not supporting those who wish to give up smoking. Indeed, it is likely the temptation of getting cigarettes within walking distance will be too much when compared to the long journeys some may be faced with to get their vaping equipment.

What do you think about the potential for this new legislation to affect vapers in Spain? Will you be affected by it? Let us know.

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Study Finds Air Quality is Normal in the Homes of Vapers

A study conducted by the San Diego State University has explored the air quality in people’s homes, and concluded there are many reasons why potentially-harmful particles may remain in the air. It will be no surprise to learn cigarette smoke was proven to be a major pollutant, and yet the resulting press release about the study failed to highlight the good news about vaping.

Their study revealed the air quality in the home of a vaper was no different to that of a non-vaper. Since smoking was highlighted as a major – if obvious – source of airborne particulates, it is reassuring to see vaping does not appear to lead to an increase of airborne pollutants.

So, why was this not mentioned in the press release they put together to promote the report?

Whatever the reason might be for that, the scientists who conducted the study said there was “no apparent difference” between the homes where occupants used electronic cigarettes and those where e-cigs were never used. This is good news for vapers, and for those fighting to allow electronic cigarettes to be used in public places. If it can be definitively proven they do not pose risk to those who use them, or those who are nearby, it will be a huge step forward for the vaping community.

Sadly, the coverage of e-cigs in the report was limited to just one sentence. We’ve covered that above, aside from omitting the fact they looked at 43 homes where vapers were present. So, perhaps it is time to look at this topic in more detail, or for the scientists who conducted the study to say some more about this good news. If anyone wanted to know if switching to vaping was safer than smoking, this must surely support that.

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Is Cloud Chasing Safe?

Have you heard of cloud chasing before? You probably know how much vapor can be exhaled after vaping even the smallest amount. But while cloud chasing might sound like something you do on a warm, summer’s afternoon, it is actually focused on blowing out clouds of vapour after you have puffed away on your electronic cigarette.

Put simply, cloud chasing is all about chasing the best cloud of vapour you possibly can. That might mean the biggest cloud, or the quirkiest one you can manage. Once you get that straight in your head, it doesn’t take a huge leap of logic to understand what cloud competitions are. These are occasions where lots of vapers get together and try to outdo each other with their efforts.

Rings, balls, and clouds…

Yes, they can all be achieved by those who have the know-how to make it happen. This takes practice, of course, just as blowing smoke rings takes practice among those who smoke.

When it comes to a cloud, it’s all about making it as big as you can. Beyond that, it’s down to you to see how impressive your cloud chasing can get.

Doesn’t this involve a lot of vaping?

Yes, and that is why nicotine is rarely – if ever – included in the e-liquids used by competitors who take part in these competitions. If you did vape with nicotine, you would take in a lot of it in a short time. And that is something no vaper wants to do.

Cloud chasers also opt for a different mix to the one they would typically inhale. They will usually omit the propylene glycol as well as the nicotine, while increasing the quantity of glycerine used. This is another key method for assisting in creating more vapour – and more vapour means a higher chance of impressing the judges and possibly winning the competition.

Is it safe?

While it is tempting to look at these competitors and to be inspired to have a go yourself, you should note the devices they use are not the same as the ones you probably use.

Some electronic cigarettes are specifically designed to be used in this way. This means if you tried cloud chasing with a regular e-cig, you would be putting yourself in danger of having an accident. Some e-cigarettes will emit a much larger plume of vapour than a regular e-cig would, for example. Additionally, the heating coil inside the electronic cigarette must have a much lower resistance than would normally be the case. This ensures there is much less stress placed on the battery. If you were to use a standard heating coil and battery, the odds of an explosion or overheating battery would not be in your favour.

It’s not just about the safety of the vaper, either

By using customised e-cigarettes and researching the best and safest ways to cloud chase, it also protects the safety of cloud-gazers – yep, the people who go and watch these competitions instead of taking part.

Taking vaping to a whole new level

While some vapers will be reading about cloud chasing for the first time, the hobby is becoming better-known. America is home to some major competitions, including the World Vaping Championship, which offers prizes worth around six figures.

What is your opinion on cloud chasing? Is this the first time you have heard of it? Maybe you already take part. Having read this, you may now be considering trying it yourself. Just remember, don’t use a normal electronic cigarette or e-liquid, as it could cause injury. Professional cloud chasers know how to get results without putting themselves at risk.

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Stiff Fines and Prison for Malaysian Vapers

If you thought the UK was strict on vaping, count yourself lucky you don’t live in Malaysia. The state of Selangor has announced a new law that will outlaw vaping in public parks, shops, petrol stations, and other locations such as hospitals and buildings with air conditioning.

Since Selangor is the biggest state by population in the whole of Malaysia, this new law could potentially affect many people. The country is also Islamic, and vaping has now been viewed as ‘haram’. This simply means Islam forbids you to do it – despite the fact many people living in Malaysia either smoke or vape. Clearly, the authorities want to change this, as you’ll see if you read on.

Although most people ignore the ruling against smoking and vaping, the new law could change things. Penalties are set to be harsh, too. If someone is caught vaping where they shouldn’t, they will be subjected to a potential fine of over $2,300. Oh, and that doesn’t include the prison sentence that could last up to two years. There is a possibility it won’t be enforced, but if there is no intention of doing so, why bring the new law in to begin with?

The law comes into effect as part of the Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations 2017. One newspaper reported the step as only part of the drive towards making the entire country smoke-free before 2045. However, it ignores the fact vaping is not smoking, and can be a productive solution for those looking to quit smoking.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think those in charge in Malaysia are being unfair to vapers, when this could be the best thing to help people quit smoking? Let us know your thoughts on the topic below.

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Anti-Smoking Expert Attacks Vaping and Bladder Cancer Claim

A couple of weeks ago, the American Urological Association made headlines after it claimed vaping could potentially lead people to develop cancer of the bladder. Now, an anti-smoking expert has spoken out on the unfounded claims.

Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos heard about the claim and made it clear it was based on no published studies into bladder cancer and vaping. Instead, it was merely mentioned as an abstract at a press conference held by the AUA. The information given in the press conference used data taken from just 13 electronic cigarette users, and 10 people who did not use e-cigarettes. No smokers were included in the group, and it was not confirmed whether any vapers in the study had previously quit smoking.

Two things were noted in the information – the presence of o-toluidine and 2-naphthylamine. It was stated that these elements were seen in higher levels in people who vaped, and who had been diagnosed with bladder cancer. However, Dr Farsalinos pointed out both these markers are also present in the world around us. This means non-smokers can have the markers present too. O-toluidine and 2-naphthylamine are both seen in higher levels in people who have bladder cancer. However, we do not know why this is the case, and there is no indication from the data used that people who vape will have higher levels than those seen in people who do not.

Indeed, Dr Farsalinos pointed out it isn’t even known for sure whether the two compounds are created within the electronic cigarette at all. Clearly, far more research should be done into this before information is presented as fact. As such, it has caused an unnecessary scare that should never have occurred.

Only by examining the aerosols used in electronic cigarettes will we determine whether these compounds are created there. And any future research must include non-smokers, vapers, and smokers in much larger numbers if it is to have any validity at all.

Thankfully, Dr Farsalinos has spoken out quickly against the press conference, and set the record straight. Vaping is still quite new, and while many smokers look on it as the best method for helping them quit, kneejerk reactions, poorly-researched material presented as fact, and other incorrect information does not help.

Let us know whether you heard about the report, and what your thoughts are on it and on the future of vaping.

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Anti-Vaping Surgeon General Fired by President Trump

The exact reason for the firing of US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy is unknown, but we do know he was fired by the Trump administration very recently. We also know Murthy released a report calling for vaping products to be treated the same as tobacco products. The report also stated children and youths were being encouraged to start vaping, and made it clear he was vehemently against it.

That’s despite the fact cigarette usage hit an all-time low of 15% in 2015. Many vapers have said they quit smoking precisely because they were able to switch to vaping. Many have found it far easier to quit with the help of electronic cigarettes – something Murthy and the report seemed to ignore.

Murthy’s deputy, Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, has replaced him in the role in an acting capacity. But no doubt lots of vapers will be glad he has gone, given his anti-vaping stance. However, some have stated their belief that the report was supported by the anti-vaping head of the CDC, Tom Frieden.

Whether this move has any impact on the possible future of vaping remains to be seen. The previous administration was known to be strict on e-cigs, with the complex registration process for vaping products now passed into law. Whether this will remain in place, we do not know. However, many American vapers must be hoping for a turnaround in the stance against vaping by the Trump administration. It is too early to tell what might happen next, but changes could be afoot. No doubt vapers will be hoping they’ll be changes of a positive nature.

Are you glad Murthy has gone? Do you think he was merely one of several who were against vaping, and the bigger picture may not change? Let us know in the comments below.

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Vaping Devices Banned on Navy Ships

Sailors in the Navy are about to lose access to their vaping devices, as a total ban on all electronic cigarettes and associated devices is set to come into force on 14th May.

According to an official statement released by the Navy, Fleet commanders will bring the ban into effect to “protect the safety and welfare of sailors”. It will also be implemented to protect all the vessels and aircraft used in the Navy. The statement further goes on to say the ban will remain active until further analysis into the use of vaping devices is completed.

While some people may think this is uncalled for, it would appear there have been cases where incidents have occurred that involved vaping devices. From late 2015, 15 incidents involving these e-cigs were reported to have occurred in the Navy. In one case, an electronic cigarette led to the cancellation of a flight by a naval aircraft, after smoke began to fill the cockpit.

Two other incidents were confirmed to have required firefighting equipment to deal with them. While the exact details of these incidents are unknown, it is possible some were due to problems occurring with the lithium-ion batteries that are used to power the e-cigs.

Temporary or permanent?

While the Navy currently says the ban on vaping devices on ships, submarines, and other Navy vessels and aircraft is temporary, there is the potential for it to become permanent. It all depends on the outcome of proper research into the use of the vaping equipment on ships and in other situations in the Navy.

It’s clear the risk of danger and a lack of health and safety could be to blame for this ban, and further research is clearly needed to see whether the ban will be kept in place, or whether a total ban will be necessary.

Fire risks on submarines or ships must clearly be evaluated, so there is as little risk of a fire occurring in this situation as possible. We must wait and see how long the additional research will take, and whether this ‘temporary ban’ will be extended to onshore locations, and indeed whether it may be extended to the other services, too.

What’s your opinion on the change? Do you think the Navy is right to ban vaping until it looks at how the incidents occurred, and whether they could have been prevented? Let us know your thoughts below.

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Data from New Study Backs the Case for Vaping

The study itself may have a long title (‘Comparative tumour promotion assessment of e-cigarette and cigarettes using the in vitro Bhas 42 cell transformation assay), but the conclusions it came to were very clear indeed. Conducted by BioReliance, the study found the emissions from cigarettes contained ingredients that promoted the development of cancer. Meanwhile, e-cigarette vapour that was tested in the exact same way did not produce these same ingredients.

Many e-cig users will see this as vindication that switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes was a smart choice, and one that has significant and beneficial effects on their health. The main author of the study, Dr Damien Breheny, said this was the “first time this particular test, the Bhas 42 assay, has been used to compare tobacco and nicotine products.”

Just one of many planned tests

British American Tobacco provided the funding for the study. According to reports, there will be other tests too, but the main thing to remember is that vaping has yet again been found to be much safer than smoking.

This should come as no surprise, as lots of studies have already been performed that have proven this to be the case. While the UK has a relatively relaxed stance to vaping, other countries have been anything but relaxed about the use of electronic cigarettes. All too often, they are treated as being akin to real cigarettes, when this is not true.

What are your opinions on this new study? Have you managed to give up smoking since switching to vaping? Are you glad you made the change? Do you wish the laws surrounding vaping were more relaxed than they are here? Do you see the smoking population getting ever smaller as more people make the switch to the healthier alternative?

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