The Debates About Electronic Cigarettes

Ex-smokers think it’s a no-brainer: e cigs are good news. Government bodies aren’t sure what to think. The World Health Organization has vilified them. Which opinion carries the most weight? Does each side have something valid to say? Consider these electronic cigarette debates and come to your own conclusion.

Thoughts from Vapers

While many smokers still don’t trust e cigs, a lot of them will try nicotine patches, lozenges, gum, and cold turkey only to turn to electronic cigarettes. Consumers who have already made the switch are adamant that the only changes they have noticed are good ones.

For instance, it’s common for a person’s health to improve considerably once he gives up cigarettes and starts using e liquid. Poignant accounts show that individuals on the brink of death have turned their lives around to claim a new lease on life. Countless advocates for electronic vaping devices claim they could hardly breathe, climb stairs, or talk without coughing before they swapped analogs for electronic nicotine replacement. Now they can imagine a future with their loved ones and spend more time being active with their children and/or grandchildren.

A lot of these people were addicted to nicotine and feared withdrawal. They gave it up by weaning down from high levels by 0.6% or even smaller increments until they reached zero.

They point out that cigarettes cost them a lot of money. Addicts will always put the source of their addiction before everything else, but now vapers are freed from the financial ties which stopped them from saving money for better things or getting caught up in debt because they could not give up cigarettes.

Community has grown up around the vaping industry. People from all areas of society and at every age meet at vaping exhibitions, vape stores, and online to form friendships and even romantic liaisons.

Entrepreneurs, whose prospects looked grim due to the recession, open vape shops, make a living, employ local people, and contribute to city taxes. Their bustling stores are good for other businesses; a lot better than empty buildings would be.

Against E Cigs

Studies prove there are many times more chemicals in cigarette smoke than there are in e liquid vapor. That does not mean, however, that this vapor is innately “safe.” Firstly, toxins have been identified, perhaps coming from e liquid ingredients, but possibly released from overheated materials used to make e cigs.

Nicotine remains a problem and vapers sometimes forget that it’s a poison. They argue it’s not as potent as cigarette smoke and too much is made of this stimulant, but doctors disagree. They argue that anything which changes a person’s brain chemistry and causes an addictive response should be studied more carefully.

Vapers’ children are opening and drinking bottles of e liquid containing nicotine and becoming sick, or even dying, as a result. Teens are attracted to e cigs but don’t think about the potential to become addicts.

Why do teens want to vape? Studies show an alarming rate of experimentation among under-age individuals (the age for vaping being the same as legal smoking age). They are drawn to flavors that sound like soda pop and candy. A lot of advertising promotes e cigs as hip, cool, and sexy. Parents, health officials, and government agencies are concerned.

They are also concerned that e liquid is not being produced in sterile, controlled environs. Instead of laboratories, many companies simply mix juice in a room behind their shop. It might be nothing more than a kitchen or a staff room without filters, stainless steel tables, or other safety and hygiene measures in place. Ingredients used to make their juices could be inferior, unregulated, and customers wouldn’t know. They behave as though “safer” is the same thing as “safe.”

Counter-Arguments

The e-waste created by e cigs bothers environmentalists. The obvious answer to their complaint is to show evidence of how costly cigarette smoking has been to the US environment. Marine life is threatened by cigarette butts. Cigarette smoke contributes to air pollution.

Both sides assert strong points, but consumers can arm themselves with knowledge and look forward to the results of exciting medical and scientific research.

SFATA For Smoke Free Alternatives

The SFATA represents vapers and e cig manufacturers at the commercial end of things, acting as educators and advocates for their industry. The Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association is the biggest association of e-cig related trades-people, open to almost anyone: educators, individuals, vendors, foreign manufacturers, wholesalers, and more. The SFATA speaks up for online and vape store owners to determine their needs and challenges while training them to speak up for themselves.

Membership

Becoming a member yields several benefits. For one thing, a company’s reputation is enhanced by the presence of that little logo on a web page. According to their site, individuals belonging to the group have more influence in some government arenas than those who do not.

Members are invited to join events and read content online which is not available to the casual reader. There is even an insurance rebate with one company. They host a regular convention and post a newsletter.

Membership in this non-profit organization is based on the type of company/group applying and/or sales. There is not a single set fee but a schedule breaking this down for individuals (the lowest rate), companies, academics, and others.

SFATA logoRoles of the SFATA

Members of the SFATA engage with other advocates in the e cig world; lobbyists at the government level, but also movements to educate the general public.

SFATA members speak with health officials and government agencies in their areas and nationally with the desire to emphasize how positive e cigs are to the smokers and to the public in numerous ways be they health-related or financial. Their purview is regional, national, and international.

They call for “Facts not Fear” which is the SFATA motto in the face of ignorance. The public and the government spread ideas about the hazards of vaping, but not always with adequate information to back-up their claims and notions.

While arguments should be balanced and show both sides of the story, the SFATA stands up for companies working in any aspect of hardware or vapor production, including the supply chain part of this industry. It is clear that the industry faces uncertain times so they need as many official voices speaking for them as possible. The SFATA provides one.

Funding for the SFATA

For some reason, there is a belief that Big Tobacco provides some financial support for e cig advocacy organizations such as the SFATA. This is not true. Only vaping-related companies are permitted to join this group. Their website suggests that this means Big Tobacco companies selling e cigs through their subsidiaries are not included or permitted to join, but that’s not clear. They certainly don’t receive funding from R.J. Reynolds et al. All of their money comes from dues and donations.

Where is the SFATA Located?

Vapers can locate the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association at an address in Washington DC, or they can contact the organization at a number in Hallandale, Florida. They run a website where information about upcoming vape shows and other events is posted. Speak with a representative in person, or one can probably also meet a rep at an upcoming event.

Here’s a video from their YouTube channel where they were addressing some legislation in California:

Vaping: From Beginners To Advanced

When it comes to vaping, you don’t have to start at the very beginning. But smokers are often tempted to start here for psychological reasons. Mini cigs (known as vapor cigarettes and cigalikes) look so much like real cigarettes that smokers feel comfortable trying them.

Egos seem too big but are fairly easy to use and often preferred by new vapers because they are more cost effective. However you cut it, vaping is cheaper than smoking cigarettes unless you become addicted to trying every high-end juice and buying collectible items.

Beginner E Cigs

Usually, a smoker learns about vaping by trying a disposable e cig. They can be purchased from all sorts of corner stores, drug stores, some major department stores, and gas stations. These locations sometimes carry rechargeable devices too such as the Vuse e cig or rechargeable express kits by major brands like South Beach Smoke and Cigavette.

What you find, however, is that the disposable option is cheapest and least intimidating in the short term. As a smoker merely curious but not committed to the idea of quitting, this is the simplest route to take.

A rechargeable e cig is also easy to use as long as you have no problems using charging devices and screwing or snapping two things together: a battery and a matching cartridge. One huge advantage of e cigs at this level is that cartridges don’t have to be refilled. You pay a premium for pre-filled cartridges but it’s worthwhile at first.

Next Level E Cigs

Within months, it’s typical to become bored with mini cigs and their limited pre-filled flavors. With the purchase of blank cartomizers or clearomizers which connect to mini batteries, it’s possible to add a much wider variety of juice flavors to your repertoire. But once you are happy re-filling clearomizers, why not upgrade the battery?

It doesn’t cost much to jump from 280 mAh to 650 mAh: it might even be cheaper, especially once you factor in the cost of e juice compared with pre-filled cartomizers: $2 per milliliter vs. as little as $0.50 per milliliter.

An eGo battery functions the same way a manual mini cig battery operates. Press the button to activate your atomizer and take a puff. Clearomizers come in disposable and rebuildable formats, in plastic metal or glass, and assorted resistance levels. Glass is better if you are partial to anise-flavored juices, lemon-lime, or hot cinnamon.

Batteries don’t have screens and the lighted tip is gone. You can’t adjust voltage, but larger batteries are available in sizes from 400 mAh to 1300 mAh. Halo, Kanger, Joye, and Aspire all make excellent products.

Advanced Intermediate

Before advancing to modifiable e cigs, there is another stage to take: the variable voltage “Spinner” battery. It still doesn’t have a screen but features a knob at the bottom. Turn it to select from 3.2 volts to 4.8 volts which allows you to regulate through the minimum and maximum output of your battery.

Advanced Electronic Mods

An Advanced Personal Vaporizer, or APV, is also known as a mod. Electronic mods have screens so you can see selected values for your voltage (and wattage, if applicable), the remaining charge for your battery, and ohms (atomizer resistance).

At this point, your battery is capable of much more power and in the case of some advanced machines can do more than heat vapor: an MVP by Innokin also acts as a wireless power source of other handheld devices. When fully charged, you can vape and also charge a cell phone. If it’s used solely for vaping, the MVP will last a day or maybe a weekend.

But most vaping devices are made specifically for vaping. Electronic devices, including the Sigelei 100W box mod, South Beach Smoke Curve, and Innokin Cool Fire II make it easy to correlate volts/watts with resistance. There is such a thing as too much heat for your atomizer’s resistance depending on how sophisticated your device is.

Protective features might simply switch the device off if resistance is too low and volts are too high, but if you like to create a lot of vapor it’s often handy to own a high-watt box mod suitable for 0.3 ohms or even less. To pull this off safely, a DNA chip monitors and evaluates the situation, setting volts in accordance with wattage and resistance so your device doesn’t self-destruct.

Mechanical Mods

When you don’t have a screen showing power values and resistance, you have to really understand the relationship between power and resistance. Your mechanical device has a button to fire the atomizer. It is threaded to accept an atomizer. Inside the tube there is a contact pin and room for a specific type of battery. Creating clouds and the ideal heat range relies on your understanding and the quality of products you buy. The vaper who owns a limited edition $200 mod is passionate about this craft.