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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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Happy Girl Casey Donovan Spotted Vaping

Casey Donovan made a splash in the third series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here when it was shown in Australia. She did so well, she won the show. That wasn’t her only achievement though. In the 45 days she spent in the jungle, she quit smoking (something of a requirement, we would think, given the meagre rations and lack of luxuries campmates are allowed).

But since the programme finished, it looks as though Casey has continued to stay away from the cigarettes. She was spotted out and about in Melbourne recently, enjoying a puff or two on an electronic cigarette as she went.

The I’m a Celebrity experience can turn into a nightmare for some campmates. However, Casey looks as though she benefited from it in more ways than one. Not only did she win and stop smoking, she also lost 17 kilos – that’s just over two-and-a-half stone. Losing weight seems to be par for the course for this show, but we hadn’t thought of an enforced ban on smoking before.

Casey gave a series of interviews following her successful stint on the show, and she mentioned she’d quit smoking and hadn’t been allowed to smoke off-camera, either. She also said she wanted to quit for good, and she seems to be making good on that aim, thanks to the e-cigs she has been spotted with.

Celebrities puffing on e-cigarettes isn’t an uncommon sight anymore. There have been plenty of instances where celebrities all over the world have been spotted using electronic cigarettes. Many of them were originally smokers, so it looks as if they are using the e-cigs to help them kick the habit just as many other people from other walks of life are.

What is your opinion on seeing famous people vaping? Do you think they act as positive role models to young people who might be thinking of quitting smoking? Seeing famous people make the switch from smoking to vaping does have a powerful influence, and it could help bring down the number of smokers still further.

Whatever the case, Casey Donovan seems delighted at her experience on the Australian version of I’m a Celebrity. If it ultimately helped her to give up smoking permanently, along with the help of vaping once she got out and back to normal life, we can’t imagine anything better than that.

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Brits Are Switching to E-Cigs Faster Than Their European Neighbours

More Brits than ever are making the switch from smoking to vaping, according to new figures. Ernst & Young recently conducted research into the topic, and found one smoker makes the change to vaping every four minutes. That holds true for the period since 2013.

The research also revealed 4.2% of Brits identify themselves as vapers. This is the highest figure in the whole of Europe, way ahead of France, where the next-highest figure is 3%.

Fewer smokers than ever in Britain

The Office for National Statistics has also revealed the total number of smokers in Britain has dropped to its lowest level ever. Data began to be gathered in 1974, and 2015 saw 17.2% of adults smoking. This is down by nearly 3% in five years, from 20.1% in 2010.

Data also reveals e-cigarette users are on the up. Some 2.3 million people across England, Scotland and Wales currently vape. Half of those people were vaping to help them try to quit smoking – a huge figure and heartening to those who are trying to encourage the habit as a method for quitting tobacco smoking.

Perhaps most interesting of all is the reduction in smoking among the 18-24 age group. The research found 20.7% of people in this age group are smoking – and this is 5% lower than it was five years ago. Is this because some have gone on to vape instead, or they simply haven’t started smoking in the first place?

Whichever way you look at it, the figures make promising reading. The rise of vaping in recent years has provided a real alternative for those who are trying to stop smoking. It will be interesting to see whether the number of smokers drops further, and vaping continues to rise.

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A Berkeley Professor’s Insight into Vaping

Opinions on vaping vary widely in different parts of the world. Some view it as an unknown alternative to smoking, with potentially-harmful side effects we don’t yet know about, while many view it as a smart alternative to smoking.

One man from Berkeley, Professor Stephen D Sugarman, has taken a refreshing approach based on common sense. He has written an op-ed piece that has been picked up by many sources, encouraging more people to take up vaping to help reduce the number of people who are smoking.

15% of American adults are smokers

This is one of the first facts the professor hits us with in the report. He then goes on to mention that over 480,000 Americans die from smoking-related conditions annually. That is a stark figure.

It is no surprise then to read that many smokers in America want to stop the habit – and Professor Sugarman suggests vaping is the ideal way to help them do this. He compares how a cigarette is smoked to the process of vaping, too. When cigarettes are smoked, the tobacco is burned, releasing harmful smoke as it does so. Conversely, there is no tobacco present in electronic cigarettes. So, while they both contain nicotine – the addictive substance that keeps people smoking even when they want to stop – this is not the enemy.

Putting e-cigs in the same category as cigarettes

Unfortunately, the US Food and Drug Administration has put vaping in the same category as smoking. Vaping liquids and e-cigarettes are viewed as being tobacco products, but this is incorrect, as there is no tobacco in vaping products.

All the evidence, as the Professor notes, points to vaping as being far safer – perhaps 20 times safer, according to evidence – than smoking. It should therefore be the ideal method smokers can use to help them quit tobacco smoking. And yet the official American line is that it is just as bad as smoking.

Another notable fact included in Professor Sugarman’s op-ed piece is that teen smoking rates in the US have dropped significantly since vaping came onto the scene. This blows a certain theory out of the water – the theory that vaping encourages kids to smoke, when in fact, it looks as if the opposite is true.

What are your views on the professor’s report? Do you agree with him? Are you frustrated that vaping is often included in the same category as smoking?

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Cancer Research UK Takes a Stance on Vaping

Electronic cigarettes are still in their infancy when compared to cigarettes. However, many already have confidence in the e-cigarette’s relative safety compared with smoking.

Now, Cancer Research UK has responded to the evidence produced thus far and supported the use of e-cigs to help people quit smoking. Since smoking has long since been known to cause various cancers (of which lung cancer is only one), it makes sense the charity would support any method that helps people quit.

An infographic on their website shows tobacco is the biggest cause of preventable deaths in this country. Additionally, it points out the ever-growing body of evidence that vaping is helping lots of people quit, where before those same people may have struggled or failed to do so.

Scientists funded by the charity have also revealed those who convert to vaping as a complete alternative to smoking had far less cancer-causing substances in their bodies following the switch. While nicotine is present in e-cigarettes, the tobacco and its cancer-causing substances are not. A switch to vaping means more people could potentially avoid getting cancer in the future, or suffering from any of the other diseases commonly associated with tobacco smoking.

Cancer Research UK is using a balanced approach to the topic. They support the use of vaping as a method to help people give up smoking permanently. However, they point out the importance of ensuring vaping is not glamorised. They do not want the children of today trying vaping products and then being persuaded to switch to smoking in the future. There is little evidence of this occurring, but it’s understandable the charity would wish to err on the side of caution.

It’s an interesting and supportive stance, though, and one we support. What are your views?

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Could Trump Save the US Vaping Industry from Over-Regulation?

The vaping business in America currently sits on a knife edge. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) brought in a new ruling back in May 2016 which meant all vendors selling electronic cigarettes must now seek approval for their products. This pre-market application process is costly enough to put all but the biggest vendors out of business. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a report early in December warning of the risks posed by electronic cigarettes.

Now, experts are hoping President Donald Trump, who was inaugurated as the new President in January, succeeding Barack Obama, will turn things around for the industry. Overall, the focus is on making it harder to buy and access electronic cigarettes, and to highlight them as a dangerous product and one that could encourage youngsters to start vaping and smoking.

Six-figure costs for applications

The deadline for submitting applications under the new ruling is 8th August 2018. That may sound like a long time away, but the next 18 months could see the demise of many operators in the industry. It is thought many vendors simply cannot afford the likely costs of the applications, which could be upwards of $100,000 per vendor.

America has sought to make e-cigs the enemy, and has placed them largely in the same category as cigarettes. Yet reports from around the world indicate they are much safer than cigarettes. Here in the UK, vaping is viewed as a legitimate and good way to help people give up smoking. Indeed, many former smokers point to vaping as the method they used to help them quit.

Clearly, the same pattern is not going to be followed in the US unless there is a sea-change in the way vaping is viewed by the government. Experts supporting the vaping industry hope they can get through to President Trump and ask him to identify the crucial differences between cigarettes and vaping.

The R Street Institute has issued a report focusing on eight harm reduction proposals for tobacco to be considered by the government. The report states nicotine is not the most dangerous aspect of smoking, and therefore e-cigs are a much healthier way to take in the substance while helping people quit. The study has been co-written by Clive Bates, who was formerly a director of Action on Smoking and Health in the UK.

Will there be changes?

It would appear the Trump administration currently has far more on its hands than vaping. However, those who created the report are obviously hoping the President sees it and changes current policy regarding electronic cigarettes.

What do you think about the current state of affairs in the US? Do you think the new requirement for approval will decimate the market for vaping? Do you think the law should be changed, and do you think Donald Trump will be the one to do it?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section. We’d love to hear what you think.

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Australian Nicotine Ban Remains Firmly in Place

The number of Australians who smoke has fallen notably since the Sixties. Compared with other nations around the world, the percentage of smokers in Australia is also very low.

So, it probably shouldn’t be a surprise to learn a recent attempt to allow nicotine to be used in electronic cigarettes in the country has failed. The TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) in the country recently announced the current ban on nicotine in e-cigarettes will stay.

The person who made the attempt asked that nicotine should not be included within Schedule 7 when it was at low concentration – 3.6% or less. The argument was that low concentrations of nicotine would make using electronic cigarettes easier for those who couldn’t quit smoking or did not wish to.

A professor at the Sydney School of Public Health at the University of Sydney, Simon Chapman, supported the decision. He also pointed out the significant drop in smoking rates among Australians has been achieved since the Sixties without any help from electronic cigarettes, which have only been developed recently. Those wanting to swap from smoking to e-cigs will no doubt be disappointed at the ruling. It cited concerns at young people becoming hooked on nicotine via vaping rather than smoking, among other things. However, research indicates this rarely happens.

Nicotine is viewed as a poison in Australia. That means it is illegal to sell it in any form other than under licence as a recognised and approved medication. So, you cannot buy nicotine-containing e-cigarettes anywhere in the country. However, it can be legally imported by individuals to use for their own needs (but for how long, we wonder).

Do you agree with the current ruling on nicotine in e-cigs across Australia, or do you think it’s time for a change? Let us know in the comments.

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