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FDA Prepares New Regulations For E-Cigs

By Shanon Steeves

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We first broke the story of possible U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation on e-cigs back in February. At the time, however, there was no official statement regarding when or even if these regulations would go through. But now it looks like FDA regulation is inevitable, with officials expected to finalize their rule by the end of the year.

The E-Cig Boom

The electronic cigarette industry remains a “wild west” of sorts, as it’s quickly turned into a multi-billion dollar industry without providing lawmakers with enough time to decide the best way to regulate it. From coast to coast, smokers across the country are turning in their packs in exchange for smoke-free, nicotine-rich (or nicotine-free depending on your preference) electronic cigarettes.

There’s no end in sight for the e-cig boom. Last year, sales of the device and its related accessories topped $1 billion, drawing attention from the now-struggling big tobacco companies. In fact, many tobacco cigarette companies have since launched their own e-cigs. As the old saying goes: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!

FDA Regulations: What To Expect

The FDA has a tough road ahead of them when deciding how to regular e-cigs. They must achieve a fair, balanced set of laws that govern the production, distribution, sale and use of these relatively new devices. If the laws are too lax, they will be slammed and criticized by their constituents for not doing enough. On the other hand, if the laws are too strict, they could potentially cripple an industry that offers a safer, healthier alternative to smoking.

This is a very complicated issue and we must be quite careful how we proceed. I call this sort of the Goldilocks approach. The regulation must be just right. The porridge can’t be too hot, and it can’t be too cold,” said David Abrams of the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at the American Legacy Foundation.

While we know that the FDA plans to regulate e-cigs — and that it will likely happen either this month or the next — we still don’t know what changes they plan to make. The most plausible scenario is that the FDA will treat e-cigs in a similar manner as tobacco cigarettes, restricting sales to minors and banning their use in public establishments.


Electronic cigarette convention: photo by Lindsay Fox.

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Simple Ways To Reduce Stress Levels

By Shanon Steeves

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Do you go throughout the week in a constant state of stress? If so, you aren’t alone. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), approximately 69% of Americans report physical symptoms brought on by stress. Symptoms triggered by stress may include high blood pressure, insomnia, fatigue and changes in eating habits. Whether you experience any of these symptoms or not, there are steps you can take to reduce your overall stress levels.

Top Sources of Stress:

  • Finances
  • Work
  • Economy
  • Family responsibilities
  • Relationships
  • Health problems affecting family
  • Health problems affecting one’s personal health


Arguably, one of the greatest stress-reduction outlets is exercise. Releasing the built-up tension through physical activities is an excellent way to lower stress levels while promoting better health.

Contrary to what some people may believe, you don’t need an expensive gym membership to perform a beneficial workout. Jogging and/or running for a couple miles around the neighborhood will burn calories while giving you something known as a “runner’s high.” Basically, this euphoric feeling is the result of an increased production of endorphines — hormone chemicals linked to happiness.


The human body needs a minimum of 7 hours sleep each night to operate and function at optimal levels. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body will respond by manifesting fatigue, irritability and other symptoms related to stress.

Make it a point to get to bed a decent time every night. Sleeping for just 5 or 6 hours at night isn’t going to have a significant impact on your stress levels if it’s a one time thin, but doing it regularly for 7 days a week will certainly raise your stress levels.

Enjoy an Electronic Cigarette

Of course, you can also reduce your stress levels by taking an e-cig break. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, recently discovered a link between nicotine and lower stress levels. Participants in the study who were given nicotine on a regular basis experienced significantly lower stress levels than participants who were not given nicotine.

The findings suggest that people in anger provoking situations may be more susceptible to the effects of nicotine,” said Jean Gehricke, a psychiatry researcher at the University of California in Irvine

 Taking a couple puffs from an e-cig allow you to enjoy the stress-reducing benefits of nicotine without all of the harmful side effects commonly associated with smoking.

Electronic cigarette e-liquid: photo by Lindsay Fox.


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The Environmental Impact of Cigarette Butt Pollution

By Shanon Steeves

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I know what you’re thinking: cigarette butts are biodegradable, right? Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common myth that smokers believe. Cigarette butts will eventually degrade over the course of many years, but during this time it will release toxins into the environment, polluting the water, soil and air.

According to a 2007 U.S. Department of Agriculture. Tobacco Outlook Report, there are an estimated 360 billion cigarettes consumed each year in the U.S. alone. Worldwide, there are trillions of cigarette butts littered each year. While some smokers are responsible and throw their butts away in receptacles, others carelessly toss them out the car window or onto the ground.

How Cigarette Butts Impact The Environment:

  • Fish, aquatic wildlife, birds and other animals may swallow them, leading to stomach blockages and/or disease.
  • Releases toxins into oceans, streams, lakes, rivers and waterways.
  • The chemicals in a cigarette butt can alter the normal pH of both freshwater and ocean water, resulting in an unnatural shift of the ecosystem.
  • Releases toxins into the soil, tainting it so it can no longer yield healthy plants and vegetation.

How Long Do Cigarette Butts Last?

Cigarette butts are made of a synthetic compound known as cellulose acetate. This plastic-like compound takes approximately 2-25 years to decompose, all the while poisoning the surrounding environment.

It’s a common belief that cigarettes are made with biodegradable materials, but unfortunately this is merely a myth that smokers have spread around throughout the years. Each cigarette that’s tossed on the ground or out the car window will persist for a minimum of several years.

Celebrate Earth Day By Making The Switch

With Earth Day fast approaching (April 22), there’s no better time to make the switch to e-cigs. Unlike traditional tobacco cigarettes, there’s absolutely no butt pollution with these devices. You can continue to enjoy nicotine — flavored or unflavored — without polluting the environment with cigarette butts.

Electronic cigarettes are a better choice for the environment for a number of different reasons. In addition to their lack of butts (which is a huge benefit), they also posses fewer chemicals than standard tobacco cigarettes. A single tobacco cigarette contains approximately 4,000 chemicals, many of which are known carcinogens. An e-cig, on the other hand, contains nicotine along with a few basic flavor additives.

So, go ahead and make the switch to e-cigs today! Not only is it better for your health, but it’s also better for the environment.


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5 Tips To Improve The Battery Life of Your Electronic Cigarette

By Shanon Steeves

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Are you constantly forced to charge your electronic cigarette due to a poor battery life? Just like smartphones and tablet computers, e-cigs may lose their ability to hold a charge after a while. You may get a full 3 days use out of a single charge at first, but then it gradually decreases to 2 days or even 1 day. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to improve the battery life of your e-cig.

Use Lithium Ion Batteries

Lithium ion batteries are the recommended choice for e-cigs. These are the same batteries found in smartphones, so you can rest assured knowing they are the best choice. Lithium ion batteries are powerful, versatile, and hold a charge longer than other types of batteries.

Of course, you should only use batteries that are designed specifically for your e-cig. Don’t attempt to use a non-approved battery with your e-cig, as this could result in permanent damage. Always check your e-cig specifications beforehand to determine the type of battery it uses.

Avoid Moisture

Water and batteries don’t mix. Even small amounts of moisture can significantly degrade the battery’s overall performance, so keep it dry at all times. Allowing moisture to seep into your battery can lead to corrosion, electrical resistance, and a wide range of other related problems.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Although it’s not quite as damaging as moisture, direct sunlight can also negatively impact the performance of an e-cig battery. When e-cigs are stored in direct sunlight for long periods of time, the battery heats up and loses some its charge.

Choose a dark, climate-controlled area to store your e-cig. Moisture and sunlight are two elements that can significantly lower the battery life of your e-cig, so it’s important to keep your device, and its components, away from them.

Use Your E-Cig Daily

You might be surprised to learn that using your e-cig on a daily basis can help preserve its battery life. Lithium ion batteries — the kind found in most e-cigs — are designed for regular use, which is also why they are used in cellphones. By using your e-cig each day, even if it’s for just a couple puffs, you’ll keep it running smoothly while protecting it from a loss of charge.

Don’t Drain It All The Way

Another tip that may improve your e-cig’s battery life is to avoid draining it all the way. If your battery is about to die, go charge it. This is a small step that will ultimately help protect your e-cig’s battery life.

Vapor Chef e-liquid: photo by Lindsay Fox.


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Reynolds Publishes E-Cig Safety Following National Report

By Shanon Steeves

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Reynolds American, maker of the highly popular Vuse electronic cigarette, recently published new safety guidelines on their website to help reduce the chance of accidental ingestion. According to the U.S.-based company, Vuse electronic cigarettes are designed to “minimize chances for accidental exposure.”

News of the company’s latest move to push e-cig safety comes less than a week after the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report highlighting the growing number of calls to the Poison Control hotline involving e-liquid (liquid nicotine) consumption.

According to the CDC’s report, approximately 2,405 calls were made to the hotline between September 2010 and February 2014 involving accidentally e-liquid consumption and exposure. Over half (51%) of the calls were related to children 5 years of age and younger. Children are the most vulnerable to nicotine poisoning since their bodies are still developing.

Given the rapid increase in e-cigarette-related exposures, developing strategies to monitor and prevent future poisonings is critical,” said CDC officials in a statement to the press.

Following the CDC’s report, Reynolds American published new guidelines on their website, including a “keep out of the reach of children" warning. The company wants to emphasize the importance of safety among all e-cig users.

Reynolds American’s Vuse electronic cigarettes also have built-in safety features to help reduce the chance of accidental ingestion/exposure. According to a statement made by the company, Vuse e-cigs permanently disable after they run out of e-liquid; thus, creating a strong, leak-proof seal.

The hard-body design of Vuse e-cigs should minimize the chance of accidental ingestion/exposure. These disposable e-cigs completely disable themselves when they are out of e-liquid, so there’s really no chance of trace e-liquid leaking from the device after it’s disposed.

Vuse cartridges are designed to permanently disable when they are empty, to prevent degradation of structural materials and refilling by consumers. They are designed to minimize the possibility of any leaks, to be tamper-resistant and choke-hazard resistant.”

Lawmakers who are eager to place on bans and regulations on e-cigs should realize that it’s not the device to blame for the rise in e-liquid poisoning, but rather careless users who leave their e-cigs out in the open for children to access. If more electronic cigarette manufactures address the need for increased safety — not regulatory measures — perhaps we’ll see a lower rate of calls involving e-liquid ingestion.

Zig-Zag electronic cigarettes.


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Wisconsin Bill Aims To Protect E-Cigs From Indoor Smoking Laws

By Shanon Steeves

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With New York City, L.A., Chicago and numerous other cities having recently passed laws banning the use of e-cigs in public establishments, Wisconsin Senator Glenn Grothman is taking a different approach by protecting it from the state’s 2010 indoor smoking ban.

Sen. Grothman Introduces Bill To Exempt E-Cigs

Sen. Grothman recently introduced a bill to lawmakers that would exempt the smokeless nicotine delivery devices known as e-cigs from the public smoking ban. Currently, individuals are allowed to use e-cigs in restaurants, bars, clubs and other indoor public establishments, but there’s momentum building up that could place e-cigs in the same category as tobacco cigarettes; thus, banning their use in public buildings.

This might seem like a Hail Mary pass with Sen. Grothman as the quarterback, but there are several other state lawmakers supporting his stance. Sen. Grothman claims the only reasons why some lawmakers want to ban indoor usage of e-cigs is to control people’s lives. He also goes on to say that e-cigs are a safer, healthier way to enjoy nicotine than smoking tobacco cigarettes.

E-cigarettes provide a way for people to stop smoking, and it seems to me to discourage the use of these cigarettes by forcing people to go outside is not what we had in mind with our smoking ban. I mean, there’s no harm that comes from e-cigarettes, like the harm that you have from regular cigarettes — not to mention there’s no harm from secondhand smoke, so, why wouldn’t you allow it,” said Sen. Grothman.

Will The Bill Pass?

It would certainly be great news if Sen. Grothman’s bill passes, as it would encourage more people to make the switch to e-cigs. With so many lawmakers across the country banning e-cigs based strictly out of ignorance, passing this bill would be huge victory not only for the e-cig industry, but for everyone who enjoys the convenience of smoke-free nicotine.

Assuming Sen. Grothman’s bill passes, we would likely see other states take similar measures to protect the rights of e-cig users. There’s really no reason why e-cigs should fall under the came category as smoking tobacco cigarettes, which is the driving force behind Sen. Grothman’s bill.

If you are a Wisconsin resident, voice your opinion with state lawmakers. Standing up and sharing your opinion will help protect the rights of e-cig users not only in the state of Wisconsin, but throughout the entire country.

Do you think people should be allowed to use e-cigs in restaurants and other public establishments?


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5 Reasons To Switch To E-Cigs

By Shanon Steeves

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Are you still puffing away on traditional tobacco cigarettes? If so, you should consider making the switch to e-cigs. Millions of people have already made the switch, which has prompted tobacco cigarette producers to launch their own e-cig products. If you’re on the fence, check out the top 5 reasons why you should make the switch below.

Saves Money

Making the switch from tobacco cigarettes to e-cigs will save you tons of money. With the average price for a pack of tobacco cigarettes in the U.S. hovering around $6 bucks, smoking is an expensive habit that will eat a hole in your bank account.

Assuming you smoke just a pack a day, you’ll end up spending $2,190 on cigarettes alone! And that does not include the cost of higher healthcare premiums, respiratory illness, and other related costs.

Better For Your Health

The single most common reasons why smokers switch to e-cigs is because it’s better for their health. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking causes nearly half a million deaths in the U.S. each year, which translates into roughly 1 out 5 deaths.

Since electronic cigarettes are smoke-free, they don’t contain the same cancer-causing chemicals found in traditional tobacco cigarettes. This allows individuals to enjoy unadulterated nicotine without placing their health in jeopardy.

No More Burn Holes!

You can always tell if someone smokes cigarettes by looking at their clothes, furniture and inside their car. Rogue burning embers and cherries will fall off and create burns. Thankfully, this is eliminated with e-cigs, as they don’t create enough heat to produce a fire.

More Flavor Options

A lesser-known benefit of e-cigs is the massive amount of flavor options they provide. Whether you prefer the traditional tobacco flavored e-liquid or a more exotic flavor, such as watermelon or black cherry, there’s a flavor out there with your name on it.

In addition to the massive selection of flavors, e-liquid comes in a variety of nicotine strengths, ranging from 0 mg (nicotine-free) up to 24 mg.

Use Them Indoors

Certain cities have passed their own measurements to ban the use of e-cigs inside public establishments. For the most part, however, e-cigs can still be legally used indoors. If you’re at a restaurant, politely ask the server for permission to use your e-cig. Nine out of ten times, they won’t have any problem with it.

Electronic cigarette starter kit: photo by Chris F.


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Can I Use an Electronic Cigarette on an Airplane?

By Shanon Steeves

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Now that spring is officially here, many people are making preparations for those much-needed getaway vacations. While some people will drive to their destination, others will fly. Assuming you choose the latter, you might be wondering whether e-cigs are allowed on airplanes.

Federal officials and TSA agents have stepped up measures to ensure the safety of airline passengers; therefore, it’s important for travelers to do research the airline’s rules and regulations before their flight to determine what’s prohibited and what’s not. Here, we’re going to take a closer look at the rules regarding airline travel with e-cigs.

TSA Addresses E-Cig Use On Airplanes

The official TSA blog states the following:

E-Cigarettes are becoming more and more popular and I’m happy to report that TSA has no problem with e-cigs being packed in your carry-on or checked bags. Now as far as using them on a flight, I would suggest you contact your airline and see what they have to say. And, while not recommended by 9 out of 10 dentists, candy cigarettes are permissible as well.”

As you can see, the TSA states on their blog that e-cigs are okay to carry on board your flight; however, they recommend asking the airline to determine whether you can actually use them during flight.

DOT on E-Cigs

Before you begin using your e-cig on board a flight, you should know that the Department of Transportation (DOT) released a statement regarding its use.

Smoking of electronic cigarettes is already banned on U.S. air carrier and foreign air carrier flights in scheduled intrastate, interstate and foreign air transportation. See 49 USC §41706 and 14 CFR Part 252 (Part 252). Nevertheless, we plan to further address this matter in a notice of proposed rulemaking that would amend the existing general regulatory language in Part 252 to explicitly ban smoking of electronic cigarettes aboard aircraft.”

According to this statement, the DOT plans to categorize e-cig as tobacco cigarettes in the future, which would essentially prohibit its use during flight. Currently, however, there’s no rule from either the DOT or TSA that prevents it.

E-Cig Air Travel Tips:

  • Place your e-cig, battery, e-liquid, chargers and any other vaping accessories in your carry-on luggage.
  • Contact your airline beforehand to determine their stance on e-cig use.
  • Always ask the flight attendant for permission before using an e-cig during flight.
  • If a TSA worker questions you about the device, let them know it’s a nicotine delivery system.

Inside of a commercial airplane: photo by Hajime Nakano.


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Lawsuit Filed Against NYC For E-Cig Ban

By Shanon Steeves

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If you keep with our blog here at, you’re probably well aware of New York City’s recent indoor ban on electronic cigarette. With Major Bloomberg backing the bill, lawmakers were able to pass a law which bans the use of e-cigs indoors. Recently, though, an organization designed to protect the rights of smokers filed a lawsuit against NYC in an effort to overturn the e-cig ban.

NYC Bans Indoor E-Cig Use

Under this new law, e-cigs are now prohibited from being used in NYC restaurants, bars, offices, retail stores and even parks. This has created a storm of anger by individuals who wish to vape rather than smoke. NYC is known for its outrageous prices on tobacco cigarettes, but now it looks like they are targeting e-cigs as well.

Following the e-cig ban in NYC, several other cities stepped in to pass similar laws, including Chicago and Los Angeles. If you want to vape in either of these three cities, you’ll need to use caution to ensure you aren’t breaking any laws. It’s always a good idea to brush up on local laws if you intend to travel out of state.

CLASH Fights Against NYC E-Cig Ban.

The Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (CLASH) announced on Tuesday that it had filed a lawsuit against NYC in the state Supreme Court. According to suit, the ban violates both the constitution and the city’s One Subject rule.

The One Subject rule, which was introduced by NYC lawmakers, states that topics must address a single issue (hence the name). The recent ban on e-cigs essentially categorizes them in the same class as tobacco cigarettes, which could — according to CLASH — violate the One Subject rule.

E-Cig regulation is completely unrelated to the subject of [environmental tobacco smoke] exposure, the core of the SFAA. Local Law 152 is really about targeting personal behavior through regulation of a product rather than about protecting citizens from involuntary [environmental tobacco smoke].” said the plaintiffs’ complaint.

While anything can happen in court, legal analysts say CLASH has a good chance at overturning NYC’s ban on e-cigs. The city’s lawmakers did in fact cover two topics with one law, which would possibly contradict their One Subject rule. If CLASH can successfully prove this, we could see e-cigs being used in New York City establishments once again.

E-liquid containers at an NYC vape shop: photo by Lindsay Fox.

Do you think NYC’s e-cig ban should be overturned?

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E-Cigs Could Surpass Tobacco Cigarettes

By Shanon Steeves

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The widespread growth and popularity of e-cigs could rival or even trump tobacco cigarettes within the next decade. While smokers continue to throw away their packs in exchange for a healthier alternative, the days of tobacco cigarettes could be numbered — at least that’s the thinking behind some industry analysts.

Electronic cigarettes appeal to smokers because they allow individuals to enjoy nicotine without all of the harmful side effects commonly associated with smoking. There are dozens of different e-cigs on the market, ranging in terms of design, style, method of delivery, etc. However, they all work on the same basic principle of heating liquid nicotine (known as e-liquid) to the precise temperature where it creates a mist-like water vapor.

To say smoking is “unhealthy” would be an understatement. Worldwide, smoking is responsible for the deaths of 5 million people each year. As more and more smokers look for safer alternatives, the demand for e-cigs rises.

The Trend of Smoking In The U.S.

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 18.1% of Americans smoke tobacco cigarettes. While this may seem like a hefty number given the fact that there are a 313.9 million residents in the U.S., this is a stark contrast 1965 when over 42% of the country smoked tobacco cigarettes.

So, why are smokers finally kicking the habit? One of the reasons why we’re seeing a downwards trend in the number of American smokers is likely due to higher awareness. With all of the modern research and studies available, there’s no question regarding the dangers of smoking. This has encouraged a large portion of smokers to kick the habit in order to regain control of their health.

Electronic Cigarette Sales Hit $1.5 Billion

Last year, sales of electronic cigarettes hit $1.5 billion. This number is expected to grow beyond the $2 billion mark by the end of the year.

Even the CEO of V2 Cigs chimed in on the growth of e-cigs and how it rivals the tobacco cigarette industry.

If the technology continues to innovate the way that it has been, in 10-15 years from now, we are the replacement to big tobacco,” says Andries Verleur, CEO of V2 Cigs.

While it may take some time for e-cigs to reach the same numbers as tobacco cigarettes, they are steadily gaining momentum on all grounds.

ECC electronic cigarette convention: photo by Lindsay Fox.


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