Is vaping like riding a bicycle with a helmet?

By Vape Contributor
on May 08, 2019

Is vaping like riding a bicycle with a helmet?

The impact of smoking on health is huge, obviously. Half of all lifelong smokers die early because of the habit basically losing 3 months of life expectancy for every year they smoke after the age of 35. Also, most would agree the habit is both physically and psychologically addictive. Vaping has now come along and tries to help people quit smoking; however, the jury might still be out, but Public Health England claims that vaping may be contributing to at least 20,000 smokers quitting every year.

Vaping clearly has its critics (Google vaping news and you’ll 90% of the critics). Medical professionals seem reluctant to encourage smokers to make the switch to vaping despite research from the likes of Cardiff University who showed that vaping does not act as a gateway back to tobacco, nor does it normalize smoking among youth. Similarly, the Royal College of Physicians actually announced these findings back in 2016, and now, Embarrassing Bodies' Doctor Christian Jessen has put his name to a campaign calling on fellow doctors to heed this advice and support their patients to switch from smoking to vaping (what a great idea).

There is a growing list of evidence which shows vaping can reduce smoking related harm and yet despite that, more than half of hospitals across Europe ban vaping on their grounds and the majority US hospitals ban it completely. It’s time we were consistent and gave clear advice to smokers to help combat the misinformation they are all too often bombarded with, about vaping.

A study commissioned by the UK Vaping Industry Association, and the widest to date into the health, financial and social benefits of vaping, found that vapers make an average saving of £346 a year compared to when they were smoking, which could equate to an annual nationwide saving of almost £1.1bn. Plus, the long term impact of vaping might be unknown, but is "likely to be very small, and is substantially smaller than that the implications of smoking," according to the RCP. In fact, the available data suggest the risks are unlikely to exceed 5% compared to the risks of smoking cigarettes and the actual figure may even be lower.

Vaping has already proven itself as a great way for people to quit smoking and for that reason alone we should encourage the habit. We all recognize that this doesn’t help the addition to nicotine but let’s try to reduce the risks that come with traditional cigarettes. This is very similar to our love for riding bicycles that we’d never say is harmful to us but we’d always encourage riders to wear a bicycle helmet to reduce the risk of injury. In similar fashion, we’d encourage smokers to vape to reduce the risks of smoking traditional cigarettes.

Disney's Vaping Ban Begins Today

By Vape Contributor
on May 01, 2019

Disney's Vaping Ban Begins Today

If being able to smoke within Disney World or Disneyland was on your bucket list you could now cross it off. Starting today, all forms of smoking, including vaping, are banned from all their U.S. parks including ESPN Wide World of Sports.

Previously, park guests were able to smoke in designated areas inside Disney's parks. Now, smoking will be limited to designated areas outside of park entrances.

All Disney employees will be in charge of smoking enforcement, spokeswoman Erica Ettori said in March when the ban was first announced. She said Disney does not plan to punish visitors if they are caught breaking the rules. They'll be led to the designated areas outside the park and then granted re-entry.

If it feels like it was already rare that you saw smokers in the sea of Mickey Mouse ears, it’s because smoking at Disney was already extremely limited. Magic Kingdom, the world's busiest theme park, only had two designated smoking areas.

While the ban on smoking has grabbed the most attention, it’s not the only change going into effect Wednesday.

Also joining the list of things banned from Walt Disney World will be strollers larger than 31 inches wide and 52 inches long and bags or coolers of loose ice.

Why the bans?

"Walt Disney World Resort makes updates from time to time and the removal of smoking areas is intended to provide a more enjoyable experience for everyone who visits," the company said in the release. "The reduction of stroller sizes is intended to ease guest flow and reduce congestion, making the park experience more enjoyable for everyone who visits."

Disney says the ban on ice is to "streamline the bag-check and entry processes." They recommend guests use reusable ice packs.

US Bipartisan Bill to Increase Tobacco Sales to 21 and Restrict Online Sales

By Cali Steam Blogger
on April 19, 2019

US Bipartisan Bill to Increase Tobacco Sales to 21 and Restrict Online Sales

In the United States House of Representatives has introduced a new bipartisan bill that would set the national age to purchase tobacco and vapes products to 21 years of age. The bill would also address how tobacco products are purchased over the internet.

The bill was introduced by Alabama Republican Representative Robert Aderholt and is called the Stopping Consumption of Tobacco by Teens Act or SCOTT Act for short. The bill is a tribute to outgoing FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb who amplified the teenage vaping crisis to epidemic levels.

Representative Aderholt said, “this is bipartisan legislation that builds upon the work that FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, has done towards stemming the tide of youth adoption of vaping products over the past few years...The fight to curb this epidemic will not end with his departure, as proven by this first step in taking tobacco out of the ready reach of underage children.”

The SCOTT Act is also known as HR 2084 and is co-sponsored by California Democrat Juan Vargas proving that anti-vaping initiatives are popular on both sides of the aisle. A bipartisan Senate bill to ban flavored vaping products, excluding tobacco, was introduced last month.

In addition to banning sales of all tobacco and vaping products to people under 21, the SCOTT Act requires online sellers of vaping products to verify a buyer’s personal information through a third-party database (which most online vape retailers, including ourselves here at Cali Steam already do). However, it would also requires a signature on delivery by an adult 21 or older. This would increase shipping cost by at least $2 per package that we oppose here at Cali Steam. Many of our customers already complain about shipping costs and we try to cover shipping costs on larger orders but the added cost would fall back on our customers.

Supporters of HR 2084 believe the laws will prevent 18-year-old high school students from buying and distributing tobacco and vaping products to underage classmates, although similar legislation to make alcohol sales illegal to under-21’s has not eliminated youth drinking. We do not believe this bill will help improve the underage vaping problems as many states already ban sales to minors under the age of 21.

We encourage our customers to reach out to their local representatives to encourage them to vote no the SCOTT Act. For doing that you can use the coupon code “VOTENO” to get 20% off your entire online order at calisteam.com.

San Francisco Vaping Ban Takes a Political Stand

By Sponsored Post
on March 24, 2019

San Francisco Vaping Ban Takes a Political Stand

San Francisco, like many cities in America, has picked its enemies by it's own public policy. It's recent ban on smoking throughout the city has bypassed sales on cannabis, alcohol and many other "sin" drugs. Why you'd ask the city has targeted these particular products is anyways guess. One thing is sure, relationships and connections are probably at the center of the decisions that don't necessarily make practical sense.

One of the largest vaping companies in the world, Juul, is based in Silicon Valley. The city attorney and a member of the Board of Supervisors have proposed to bar e-cigarette firms from renting city property and, more sweepingly, block the sale of e-cigarettes in the city.

The stated rationale, of course, is a concern for public health. After all, vaping companies prey on a young audience with candy-flavored offerings and a hip, streamlined device. For other users, e-cigarettes are sold as a pathway from the chemical harms of tobacco, though the danger of nicotine addiction remains unknown.

E-cigs are no fad, with the big tobacco company Altria in December buying a 35 percent share of Juul, based on Pier 70, giving the company a value of $38 billion. This city, an ostensible temple of clean living, is home to the leading edge firm in the vaping game — and yet the proposed measures can’t chase it out of town as long as its lease runs.

That annoying reality no doubt is stoking the latest legislation. But the crusade needs a reality check. It’s not as if reasonable steps are not being taken to study vaping and restrict its appeal to youth. The city cracked down on flavored e-cigarettes through a ballot measure last year. The federal Food and Drug Administration is entering the picture with its own limitations aimed at curbing sales.

Vaping is a tempting public villain. Manufacturers should be treated with skepticism about claims that vaping is a benign habit. What vaping doesn’t deserve is a dose of shortsighted demonizing that does little to change the bigger picture of tobacco abuse and other health dangers the city is loath to confront.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera isn’t buying that version. “That’s all bull—,” he told us. He wants to suspend e-cigarette sales immediately. Young vapers can pull end runs around city rules, and assurances from e-cigarette firms about controlled access are worthless, he contends. Also, the FDA has let vaping firms market their products without testing and then given those companies a long deadline to conform. That’s why he’s demanding a sales suspension.

But he and Supervisor Shamann Walton, who is sponsoring the crackdown, are sidestepping the larger issue: smoking itself. Cigarette sales are still legal. Roll your own unfiltered joint, smoke a cigar, light a pipe or fire up a cigarette. You can do it all in San Francisco, now and in the future if the featured proposals are enacted. Vaping is only one corner of a vast, dirty habit.

There’s no love here for e-cigarettes. Inhaling potential toxins in any form is a clear health danger. But this crusade offers no cure beyond symbolism. Juul won’t be ousted from its perch on Pier 70. If it left, it could continue its work in another city. Tobacco and marijuana will remain on the shelves.

Fear of Change Leads Many to Neglect Possible Positives to Vaping

By Cali Steam Blogger
on February 15, 2019

Man Raising Hand in Opposition of Potential New Vape Laws

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is threatening "unprecedented" action against America's most popular tool to quit smoking, the vape.

As many anti-vaping groups and similar organization herald these threats by the FDA many are trying to understand why they’d cripple the e-cigarette industry that has been the only thing to challenge traditional cigarettes for nearly 100 years.

This fear has spread like wildfire within the last couple of weeks with the release of the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey that showed a surge in teen vaping. However, is this surge just showing the “fad” of teens trying things their parents discourage them to do because it’s “cool?” The percentage of high school students who have vaped at least once in the past 30 days has increased 11.7% in 2017 to 20.8% in 2018. The greatest fear by the FDA is that these teens will become addicted to nicotine that’ll alter their growth and develop into more dangerous addictions like smoking traditional cigarettes.

However, from our own experiences with adult customers we have found that over 80% of our customers were past smokers and have used vaping to quit smoking. Something very different from what the FDA assumes will happen with today’s teens. Although we do NOT support teen vaping and ensure our products are never sold to teens it’s a bit outlandish to assume these teens are going to switch to smoking traditional cigarettes when the majority of the market has done quite the opposite.

Although Gottlieb, the commissions of the FDA is focused heavily on reducing teen vaping it goes without much credible evidence that vaping develops additions to alcohol or other drugs. Furthermore, in a recent study on the gateway effect cited by Gottlieb it suggests kids who vape are more likely to progress to smoking than kids who don't vape with one important caveat; "We cannot establish causal relations or rule out the possibility of residual confounding by underlying risk-taking propensities." Simply put, like most studies conducted on this topic, the authors cannot establish a causal pathway from vaping to smoking. Claims of a gateway from vaping to smoking are about as convincing as they were for marijuana being a precursor to heroin.

The FDA is planning a massive regulatory lock out for an industry and products without significant evidence to disprove that vaping could be a potentially better harm reduction product to traditional cigarettes.

While we cannot and will not deny that the epidemic and volume of teens vaping is alarming we do not believe that justifies the millions of adults who have used vaping to end horrible addictions to traditional cigarettes. Furthermore, we should also be focused on the dramatic decrease of teens who smoke that has dropped from 15.8% to 8.1% since 2011. And the current rates of high school smokers is at record lows of less than 2%. The story of teen smoking in recent years is not one of failure, but of tremendous success.

No one wants to see kids using e-cigarettes (even vaping insides and companies), just like they don't want kids to be using alcohol or marijuana. But unlike alcohol or marijuana, e-cigarettes offer a life-saving alternative to the nearly thirty-four million adults who still smoke.

In January of this year the New England Journal of Medicine published a study that e-cigarettes are almost two times more effective at helping smokers quit than traditional nicotine replacement therapies. So would it behove the regulations to target how we decrease nicotine contained in products like Juul or others that continue high levels of nicotine? Could this be a solution that would appease both sides of the argument?

According to researchers at Georgetown University, up to 6.6 million lives could be saved if vaping replaces smoking in the next decade. Gottlieb himself has said that if every smoker in America switched to e-cigarettes, it would be a significant win for public health. So why the threats to end an industry with potential life saving capabilities?

Almost half a million Americans die from smoking every year, nearly seven times the number who died from opioid overdoses in 2017. But to this day there is no information on FDA's website making clear the benefits of switching from smoking to vaping. Instead of encouraging adult smokers to vape, Gottlieb is proposing to limit adults' access to these products based on one year's worth of data.

FDA has a long and inglorious history of excessive regulation costing lives. The destruction of the vaping industry via regulatory barriers, flavor bans, and censorship about their benefits would make the errors of the past pale in comparison; the tragedy is that the people who will be most affected won't be around to complain about it, and those who introduce it won't be in office to be held accountable.

Vaping in the American Armed Forces

By Vape Contributor
on February 06, 2019

Vaping in the American Armed Forces

Vaping has taken over traditional smoking within the military.

The rate of smoking among military service members has dropped dramatically in the last few years and appears to be at lower levels than the general population. This is according to results from a recent survey of troops regarding health related behaviours and habits.

Across all military service branches, 7.4% of service members smoked cigarettes daily in 2015, compared with 12.9% of adults in the general population, according to the results of the most recent Defense Department Health-Related Behaviors Survey of Active-Duty Service Members.

And the number of troops who are occasional smokers, those that smoked in the last month, dropped by nearly 50% since 2011 — down from 24% to 14%.

However, when you look at electronic cigarettes 11.1% of service members said they were daily e-cigarette users, and 12.4% had vaped within the last month. In the junior enlisted ranks, nearly 20% are current e-cigarette smokers. The results would show that traditional smokers within the military have migrated to vaping.

The Marine Corps has the highest percentage of those vaping among the service branches, at 16.1%, followed closely by the Navy with 14.5%. The rates within the Navy are even despite the high restrictions on e-cigarettes imposed by the Navy. About 11.2% of Army soldiers said they regularly use e-cigs, while 10.5% of airmen vape, followed by Coast Guardsmen at 9.3%.

The latest Pentagon survey shows how different troops are consuming nicotine, albeit these results is from data from 2015. However, a new survey is currently underway and set to conclude on February 28th that would highlight continued changes of these health related behaviours among the Armed Forces.

The rise of e-cigarette use among troops occurred suddenly and correlates with the rise of e-cigs among the general population.

Sales of traditional tobacco on military bases has fallen. In the Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores, sales decreased by nearly half from 2011 to 2017, from 68 million units to 37 million units. Marine Corps exchanges showed a similar decline, down from 5.5 million in 2011 to 2.5 million in 2017. Navy exchange stores are selling about one-third less tobacco products, down from 15 million in 2011 to 10 million in 2017.

The trends for e-cigarette sales vary among the military exchanges, which started selling the products in 2012 or 2013. Like the vaping trend cited in the 2015 health survey, sales of e-cigarettes at exchanges on Army, Air Force and Navy bases increased steadily through 2015 or 2016. But the sales have decreased since then.

The new health survey among the troops that will conclude shortly will shed light if e-cigarette use among soldiers was a temporary spike of if the upward trend has continued.

We here at Cali Steam support our Armed Forces around the globe and thank them for their service. We also support safe and effective methods for those addicted to nicotine to obtain our products and others safely.

Why Vaping Is Better For Your Budget than Smoking

By Sponsored Post
on February 03, 2019

Pixabay.com Picture of Vape Money You'd Save with Vape Products Compared with Traditional Cigarettes

Nowadays there seems to be a growing perception that vaping is expensive. It is easy to understand why, with the sleek e-cigarette designs, wide range of flavoured e-liquids and nicotine salts on the market, as well as high-end mods making this seem like a luxury habit.

However, when you break it down, how much does vaping cost compared to a regular cigarette habit?

First, let’s look at the cost of smoking cigarettes.

Within the US, the cost of cigarettes is subject to state taxes, so the cost can vary greatly from state to state. The cheapest you will be able to pick up a pack of cigarettes is around $5.50, with this ballooning up to a whopping $14 in some states such as New York.

Now, imagine you smoke a pack a day. At the cheapest rate of $5.50 a day this would translate to $38.50 or just over $2000 a year. In the most expensive states you’ll be smoking through around $100 a week and an incredible $5000 a year, enough to cover a rather nice overseas holiday. Some reports say these figures are actually much higher, for example smokers in Connecticut are said to spend nearly $56,000 a year on costs related to smoking!

Now let’s compare that to the cost of vaping.

On average, vapours spend around $15 to $18 dollars on a 30mL bottle of e-liquid. You may even be able to get quality e-liquids for less than this – you can find Cali Steam X e-liquids, for example, on sale from $13.95. To get the equivalent hit to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, you would consume around 2.5 of these 30mL bottles per month.

So 2.5 bottles a month at $15 to $18 each works out to $37.50 to $45 a month, or $450 to $540 per year.

Of course you will also need to purchase an e-cigarette and a few accessories. There is a wide range available when it comes to vaping kit, and these vary greatly in terms of cost, but you will be able to buy a good quality e-cigarette, tanks, coils and batteries for around $60.

Now if we spread this cost over two years, your total costs associated with vaping will come to around $480 to $570 per year. This is a lot cheaper than the $2,000 to $5,000 you would spend on tobacco cigarettes!

To make an international comparison, UK vaping companies 30mL of e-liquid for around £10 ($13), which works to a projected annual cost of around £300 ($392), compared to an annual cost of smoking of  £3796 (just under $5,000).

Of course, all of this is in addition to the health benefits of vaping compared to smoking, which means that vaping is not only better for your wallet, it could also literally save your life.

Understanding Health Studies on Vaping

By Cali Steam Blogger
on January 28, 2019

Understanding Health Studies on Vaping

Did you know that there are over two dozen vape studies published on a weekly basis? That’s more than two reports a day!!! The majority of them are on vaping and its impact on the human body. The areas of focus are very broad and can range from health risk studies to nicotine addiction. Many of these studies are published with a political purpose or marketing initiative in tow with lots of money to back up their efforts from scientists and universities alike.

It’s almost without saying that the majority of these studies DO NOT state that vaping is “safe.” Anytime you put chemicals in your body there are risks associated with that. The consensus among these studies is that vaping is safer than smoking traditional cigarettes but still not “safe.” However, the side effects and overall health risks of vaping are debated widely among all these studies.

So, what impact does vaping have on the bodies vital organs like the heart and lungs? There is no long-term vaping research in this area because the industry is just to new to have concluded such studies. Additionally, something that has been challenging for all studies is determining pre-existing conditions since in most vapers cases they were traditional smokers before. Yet there has been one study that took a group of non smokers and tracked them for almost four years as they vaped. The research found that the vital organs of the vapers to the control group were rather similar. So although it cannot be concluded that harm my appear in later stages it does prove short term impacts of vaping could be limited. You can read more of the study at this link.

Over the last several years there have been several studies that have looked at the various scientific methods of those papers that have been published regarding vaping. The following are some of the most popular and widely shared on the topic.

  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine

Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes (2018)

  • Health England

E-cigarettes and heated tobacco products: evidence review (2018)

  • Royal College of Physicians

Nicotine without smoke: Tobacco harm reduction (2016)

The two British reviews come to more optimistic conclusions than the American one, but all three, conclude that vaping poses far less risk than smoking. Take a look at the articles that are carefully indexed to allow you to search for general topics easier.

Hope Rises for Vapers as they #TellTheirVapeStory

By Cali Steam Blogger
on January 16, 2019

Hope Rises for Vapers as they #TellTheirVapeStory

Stacey Hess was born in the heart of the tobacco industry, and tried her first cigarette when she was attending grade school. "It's kind of what you did in the South, when you're 13 years old. I think things are a little different down here.” For the next 20 years, she couldn't kick the habit: "I tried the gum, I tried the patches, I've tried the lozenges, and none of that stuff worked." What ultimately did work was vaping.

"I immediately realized I was feeling better," Hess said. "I could breathe better. It doesn't take long for your lungs to kind of heal themselves."

Reporter asked, "Did you feel like there were changes going in your lungs?"

"I did," she replied. "I wasn't coughing when I woke up in the morning any more. That was a big thing. I think a lot of smokers go through that: They cough as soon as they wake up. I wasn't doing that any more, and I haven't done that since."

Hess is now hoping to share that feeling and, she's convinced, help save lives, as a volunteer for an advocacy group called the Louisiana Smoke-Free Association.

But e-cigarettes are winning over more than just former smokers. In fact, they are gaining cautious support from a growing number of public health experts. In June no less than the American Cancer Society noted that while the long-term effects of e-cigarettes are "not known," they are "markedly less harmful" than traditional smoking.

"Nicotine's not. It's all the components of combustion. Nicotine's not a completely benign compound – it has side effects. But the cause of cancer, and the carcinogens in tobacco, are the products of the combustion."

In other words, it's not the nicotine that will kill you, it's the smoke. But Gottlieb and others are quick to point out that what may be a helpful for adults looking to quit is also enticing to teenagers.

"What I've learned, not only in the tobacco industry but also taking on the sugary beverage industry, is that they also falsify data. And so that's what's most alarming. If the FDA's going to really be studying this, I want independent, pure, empirical research and data to drive this policy conversation."

But walk into a vape shop anywhere in the country, and you see another side of the industry. About half of the vape market is still made up of small businesses mostly staffed and owned by former smokers like Steve Nair and his wife, Brandy.

The FDA is still reviewing the impact of vaping, and figuring out how to regulate the entire world of smoke-free tobacco products, a process that is expected to take years.

People like Stacey Hess, though, aren't waiting. She's now trying to convince her father – a smoker for 40 years – to try vaping ("It's not for me," he laughed), while also enjoying what she says are the benefits of a smoke-free life.

Like father, not quite like daughter: Stacey Hess swears by vaping, but her dad is sticking with traditional cigarettes.

Hess said, "I wish I had never started smoking to begin with."

The reporter asked, "How's your health?"

"My health is improved. I actually went to Denver last month. And, you know, the elevation is a little different up there, and I actually did a hike and I wasn't winded. And I was like, man! There was no way I could have done this before!"

Top 5 Picks to Watch in the Vaping Industry for 2019

By Cali Steam Blogger
on January 05, 2019

Top 5 Picks to Watch in the Vaping Industry for 2019

As we ring in the new year we look to the hottest topics that’ll shape 2019 in the world of vaping. Below are our top five categories of items we believe will impact the industry.

  1. Regulations & Taxes
  2. Technology
  3. Consolidation of the Industry
  4. Continued Growth in Users
  5. Product Diversification

Regulations and taxes will continue to be the focus around the globe as the FDA in the United States continues to fight “the epidemic of youth vaping” and local cities fight for various flavor bans. We’d also expect governments to continue to look for additional revenue streams from vapor products as they are an easy voter target for more government funding.

Technology again will be at the forefront of the industry with lightning fast innovations coming to closed pod systems, e liquid flavors and nicotine levels etc. We’ll see the focus of products on safety and reliability as those have been struggling points for the industry in the press for many years. Expect to see cross over products within the closed pod systems sector with interchangeable systems that’ll be adaptable to multiply systems.

We’re also expecting to see a ramp up of companies consolidating within the industry. This could mean vape companies themselves will begin to join forces or cross industry consolidation similar to the Juul and Altria partnership. As the industry matures the thousands of vape companies that sprung up over the years will look to consolidate to further grow and expand their offerings.

As with any new industry the vape industry will continue to grow. There will be a huge push into 2019 to convert additional traditional smokers to vaping. This will be a continued trend across the globe as additional research will point to the benefits of vaping over traditional cigarettes.

Lastly, rounding out our top five choices is product diversification. We are already starting to see traditional vaping companies pivot into industries like CBD and hemp. This will continue as vaping companies grow and look to increase their brand loyalty on other similar products. We expect to see some exciting ventures into new product offerings from vapes, CBD and cannabis in those areas where it’s legal.

Although there are many challenges and hurdles yet for the industry to endure we see a bright future for our customers and vapers alike. Welcome to 2019 and have a safe and Happy New Year from the Cali Steam Team.

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