Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Vype rechargeable - first impressions


The Vype bites back.

This is not a proper review or analysis, of the new rechargeable Vype - or "Vype Reload", as it is called, because I have only just received a sample. So this is just a quick first impression of it.

My main gripe about the original Vype disposable was that I considered the battery life to be too short, so it looks like the Vype has come back with an answer - the Vype reload :

For 14.99 you get 2 Vypes - which includes 2 rechargeable batteries "to last longer when you are out and about" - and you know what ?  I think that this version of the Vype will work out.

The branding is good, the packaging is cool and if the target markets are smokers experimenting with an e-cig, dual users and social smokers then it fits the bill.
(Social smokers do exist and their numbers are completely underestimated. The Vype Reload would be perfect for them. Grab a couple of refills on a Saturday night and that's it for the weekend)
Perhaps the Vype Reload would not be at all suitable for the regular e-cig user, but it isn't pitched at us, but as a mass market product for smokers to try, I think that this could be a winner.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

More from the McAvan Chatgate saga

Linda McAvan, often dubbed "the Angel of Death" or "the most dangerous woman in Europe" for her attempts for ban or restrict the sale of electronic cigarettes as an alternative to smoking, is in more hot water.

Following from her live webchat about the subject, which was exposed as a fake both HERE and HERE , she has published a statement on her blog to try and explain the farce.

The official EU Parliament webchat was promoted as a Q & A session for people with questions about the Tobacco Products Directive and electronic cigarettes, but Linda McAvan avoided questions from members of the public in favour of soft questions that appear to have been planted by assistants.

The statement on her blog, quite frankly, just doesn't add up.

I was made aware that online forums had suggested that I had responded to questions posted by members of staff at the European Parliament - a fact I was unaware of at the time.
Right, so it is just complete co-incidence that genuine questions were ignored and planted questions from with the EU Parliament were answered ?

Interesting to note that if she has been made aware about what the online forums have suggested about this, then she must also be aware about what else the online forums are saying about her !

The following quote from her statement shows that she knows that she is being underhand :

however I do not respond to those who pose abusive comments
The implication being that the reason that other questions were ignored was that they contained abusive comments - if this is what she is trying to imply, then she is a liar.

Perhaps she is unaware that the EU Parliament chat app has a complete record of the entire discussion available for all to see - you need to be logged in to Facebook, but it is HERE. As well as this, several people have downloaded a copy.

THERE ARE NOT ANY ABUSIVE COMMENTS - just polite questions from real people.

So for her to say there were abusive comments, when anyone can see that there are not, can only be described as a deliberate attempt to mislead and spread false information to defend her position - a position that seems to be becoming more untenable by the week.

The problem for Linda McAvan is that she has been trying to defend the indefensible - that electronic cigarettes should be regulated as medicines, when they are not medicines. They are consumer products that if left to flourish will be able to compete with and displace tobacco cigarettes and deliver a huge public health bonus. That medicalization will stifle the products and therefore defend cigarette sales.

As her position is indefensible, she appears to be using half-truths and an element of deceit (false abusive comments claims) as the only way she can proceed.

Her final comment in her statement is

 I will continue in my efforts to represent the European Parliament’s position on this issue.

Lets hope that this comment is true. The European Parliament have considered her plan to medicalise e-cigs - and rejected it.


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Intellicig XL Clearomiser kit

When something new comes out, I love to give them a try to see what they are like.

It is really nice when they turn out to be just a little bit better than what you thought they were going to be.

It is just a clearo starter kit - but I was pleasantly surprised with it.



Sunday, 20 October 2013

Skycig - (updated)

A short while ago, it was announced that Skycig had been bought up by an American tobacco company. This made it the second e-cig company in the UK to be owned by tobacco.

I am sure that it won't be long before the advertising and marketing begins to go up a gear.

As a shopkeeper, I have noticed that the product, Sky Start, has appeared in several wholesalers and is priced so that it can be retailed at somewhere between 9.99 and 14.99.

The price is right, for a mainstream intro-starter kit to be sold over the counter as an alternative to cigarettes.

So, I had to buy one to see what they are like.



[ In the above video, I did not mention that the cartomiser (SD Karto) that I used of compare with the Skycig carto is one that I have used very often, and it is with this experience that I used to estimate that it is roughly equal to a 10 pack - eg, 2 SD Kartos would last 1 day for a pack a day smoker]


I contacted Skycig via twitter, to question their claim that 1 cart refill is equal to 30cigs.

After a few replies they published a blog post HERE to explain their calculations.

The Skycig calculations are riddled with a number of basic errors.

The first error occurs when they take a reading of 0.5mg per cig of nicotine from a packet of cigarettes and compare this with the 18mg of nicotine that they say is in their cartomiser.

This is not a valid comparison:

- The figure on the side of the cig pack is that actual dose of nicotine that is delivered into the bloodstream, not the amount of nicotine in the cigarette.
- The 18mg figure for the cart is the amount of nicotine in the cart and not the amount of nicotine delivered into the bloodstream.
- Electronic cigarettes do not deliver the nicotine with 100% efficiency (estimates vary between 25-40%)

So you cannot make a direct comparison with the figure on the side of a cigarette pack and the figure on the side of a cartomiser (or e-liquid bottle)

Another error occurs when they use a "puff count" machine to compare the number of puffs obtained from a cigarette and the number of puffs taken from a cartomiser.

Smokers tend to take shorter, sharper drags. E-cig users tend to take longer slower drags - so one puff on an e-cig will probably be equal to at least 3 or 4 puffs on a tobacco cigarette
So again the figures are not comparing like for like.

For these reasons - with the errors that are part of the Skycig calculations - I stand by my claim that the 30 cigarette figure for a cartomiser is rubbish, wrong, misleading and false.





The BMA and football sponsorship deals.

Does BMA stand for British Medical Association or Bullshit Manipulated Advice ? I am beginning to wonder.

In an article in todays Scotsman newspaper, the BMA suddenly become self-appointed experts on the subject of football sponsorship deals and use this as a pretext to promote their misinformation and propaganda about electronic cigarettes.

Leading the charge, this time, is Dr Andrew Thomson, a GP. I didn't realise that sport, football, economics and business were all part of a GP's training, but there you go.

He starts off with a pearl of wisdom that comes from years of study to declare that :
"Sport is a healthy activity"

But, soon follows with the twisted propaganda :
Football teams “should be leading by example to encourage healthy living rather than advertising a smoking product, which contains the addictive substance nicotine”.

- Football teams have never been given the role of "leading by example" they are there for the fans to enjoy.

- They do "encourage healthy living" if they are encouraging smokers to switch to a reduced harm alternative.

- They are not "advertising a smoking product", they are advertising an alternative to a smoking product.

- They do contain nicotine, a recreational stimulant like caffeine (which also creates dependency amongst its users) - so what ? nicotine doesn't create a health issue, so what has it got to do with a doctor ?

Then anti-smoking group, ASH, steps into the fray to stir the pot - desperate to be seen as 'important' and looking like they are worried about having its funding slashed if smokers switch - they instinctively side with the GP to help stop smokers using an alternative.

Chief executive Sheila Duffy said: “There is a real concern that seeing people behaving as if they are smoking by using electronic cigarettes could normalise smoking. Tobacco companies are increasingly buying up e-cigarette businesses and could play on this.”

- Concerned about people behaving "as if" they are smoking - it is not the smoking, it is the behaviour they are concerned about - Puritans.

- Electronic cigarettes DO NOT normalise smoking - they normalise alternatives to smoking amongst smokers

- The number of e-cig companies owned by tobacco firms, in the UK, has gone from ONE to TWO whilst 99% of electronic cigarette firms have nothing to do with the tobacco industry.

It was left to Charlie Hamshaw-Thomas, director of E-Lites, to provide a dose of sanity into the article when he said :
"“The BMA are ‘experts’ without evidence playing puppet to the pharmaceutical industry’s agenda.”

Notice that the BMA are not trying to get Carlsberg out of football sponsorship - probably because they know that they would be loudly told to "fuck off" - which is exactly what they should be told to do with this.


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Power not Truth

Today is the birthday of Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher.

How does this relate to e-cigs ? I hear you ask.

Well, I was browsing around and reading a bit about the chap and suddenly one of his famous quotes jumped out and hit me. It seemed to resonate with many of the issues surrounding the discussion of e-cigs in general, and the political process in particular.

"All things are subject to interpretation , whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth"

I take that to mean that for any given subject there are several interpretations, and that the prevailing view belong to those that have to most power, not that which has the most truth.

To my mind, this perfectly sums up the debate around electronic cigarettes amongst Politicians and the Media, and is especially correct when applied to the discussions surrounding the Tobacco Products Directive.

With e-cigs, there is the truth - and then there is the interpretation of the truth by those with the most power.

The truth is that e-cigs provide a gateway for smokers to change from tobacco smoking to a much less harmful alternative  -  the interpretation by those with the most power is that e-cigs provide a gateway for young people to start smoking.

The truth is that e-cigs are orders of magnitude less dangerous that smoking  -  the interpretation by those with the most power is that we do not know about the total safety of e-cigs and so they cannot be recommended.

The truth is that e-cigs can provide a choice to nicotine users, in terms of the range of different devices and flavours that make them a better choice for vapers than tobacco  -  the interpretation by those with the most power is that e-cigs inconsistent and therefore need regulating.

The truth is that the fast growing use of e-cigs normalises the idea that smokers have a choice  -  the interpretation by those with the most power is that e-cigs glamourise smoking.

I could go on.

The truth is out there - it is how it is interpreted that counts.


All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/f/friedrichn109379.html#iZlA7PJ0d2SVK9cK.99

Monday, 14 October 2013

The weasel words of Jeremy Mean !

Now, there are some people that would say that a subject with this title could fill an entire book rather than just a blog post, but this time I will just limit myself to the article that appeared in yesterdays Telegraph newspaper entitled E-cigarettes, all you need to know.

Leaving aside that the Telegraph feels that we "need to know" that Kate Moss is a fan of e-cigs and various other (perhaps, more important) issues with that article, lets have a look at the words of Jeremy Mean, the e-cig spokesman for the MHRA.

The article informs us that the MHRA wants to see e-cigs regulated as a medicine because "there is a problem with quality control" - is there ? Where is the evidence that quality control is a "problem" ?
It continues by saying that these regulations should come in by 2016, yes they should have done if everything had gone to plan, but the MHRA did not count on MEPs thinking for themselves and concluding that e-cigs were not medicines and therefore medical regulation would be absurd.

Mr Mean is quoted as saying "Our tests show that different products vary in how much nicotine they deliver" - Firstly, lets be correct here, wasn't it BATs tests that the MHRA used ? And, of course products vary in terms of nicotine, that is the whole point - people choose what works for them, but Jeremy Mean presents this as if it is some kind of problem.

More twisted double-speak comes in his next paragraph.

There are also fears that e‑cigarettes could “renormalise” smoking and promote nicotine addiction. “This is precisely why they need regulating as medicines, so that they are not sold to under-18s or targeted at non-smokers,” he says.

E-cigs do not re-normalise smoking, that is supposition, opinion without evidence - the reality much more simple - e-cigs normalise the use of e-cigs for smokers, nothing more nothing less, it really is that easy.

The double-speak gets worse when he says that they "need regulating as medicines" so that they are not sold to under 18s or targeted at non-smokers - Jeremy Mean misleads Telegraph readers into thinking that only medicines regulations can achieve this - and deliberately fails to mention the fact that the MEPs voted for amendment 170 to protect e-cigs from Mr Mean and that this amendment specifically states that sale to under 18s and marketing at non-smokers would be prohibited, without any medical regulation required.


Saturday, 12 October 2013

(10,000) Jobs saved - as MEPs vote NO to medicinal regulation.

The Lancashire Telegraph reports that 200 jobs have been saved, in Blackburn, as a result of the recent vote in the European Parliament - when MEPs rejected a proposal to regulate electronic cigarettes as medicines.


Blackburn is home to both Totally Wicked and Liberty Flights, two of the largest and well established e-cig vendors in the country.

There are many issues about the medicalisation of e-cigs, health and cost are two, but lets look at jobs.

If the decision to regulate e-cigs as medicines would wipe out 200 jobs in Blackburn - just imagine what the figure would be if this figure is calculated across the whole country. Thousands upon thousands of jobs would be lost.

There are many other firms across the country that would be wiped out.

Remember, it is not just the people that are directly employed by e-cig companies whose jobs are at stake.

I am not altogether convinced that my off-licence would have survived the recession had it not been for the growth in e-cig related sales. In fact, it didn't - it is now more of an e-cig shop with an alcohol licence rather than an off-licence that also sells e-cigs.

Totally Wicked, one of the companies named in that article, supply their products to a network of shops all over the country - They are not the only ones. To give an example, another company, Ecigwizard supply to 150 shops (including my own shop). At a time when the high street is suffering, new retail stores are opening up that specialise in electronic cigarettes - these jobs would also be wiped out.

The 200 jobs that are mentioned in the article about Blackburn represents just the tip of the iceberg when looking at the total number of jobs that are under threat.

I would estimate that, as a minimum, there are at least 10,000 jobs at stake here.

The equivalent effect on employment of MEPs voting to wipe out Virgin Atlantic or JCB overnight.

In two years time, that figure will have doubled, for sure. ( The equivalent of wiping out BOTH Virgin Atlantic and JCB overnight ).

 The debate has been around 'public health' and 'harm reduction' but when one looks at the whole picture it becomes clear that any decision to regulate e-cigs as medicines would be absolutely catastrophic on so many different levels.

Medicinal regulation would be a total economic disaster for the UK.


Name change for a new blog.

Right, so I have decided to change the name of the blog.

Out with the old ecignews, and in with mattgluggles  -  Glugglers blog.

When I started the blog, I intended to write about e-cig news, latest developments and so on - but what happened was that the 'news' was changing every day, with the latest developments in the EU, and at such a pace that by the time I had an opportunity to write about it the news had already been posted 100 times elsewhere.

Which meant that my blog became redundant.

So rather than a 'news' based blog, I have decided to change the name and the theme - it will be more on an opinion based blog - which it always should have been - where I can post my take on things that are mostly, but not always, e-cig or smoking related.