Currently the e cigarettes that vapers use to successfully switch are diverse, customisable and can be tailored to individual needs. There are many flavours, strengths and types of e liquid, and contrary to the belief of some dissenting voices, these are being purchased and used by adult vapers. These products are the ones that have produced the positive results in smoking cessation statistics, and very few negatives in uptake amongst non-smokers of all ages. However maligned the products are, however negatively the marketing of them is misconstrued, the products on the market today are working.
In 2016, under the current regulatory framework, we will see two types of e cigarette. One will be medically licensed and the other will be the newly EU TPD compliant consumer product. Leaving aside the fact that only two medical licences have been applied for (and according to ECITA’s analysis of the process are in my opinion unlikely to be granted) lets look at what these products would be like.
The medically licensed product.
The first thing that would be lost from the experience are the flavours. Just this one point would make these products ineffective for me to have been able to switch from smoking to vaping. I would have lasted three days. Even though the accusations of “marketing to children” could not be applied to medicinal products, each flavour would have to undergo its own rigorous testing protocols, each of which is prohibitively expensive and unnecessarily over complicated. I understand why some people in public health would consider this a good thing, but testing of flavours for inhalation to advise consumer products standards is already being done. Dr Farsalinos continues studies into why vapers like flavours, why they are important and the safety of them. He is producing good quality work which I would like to see continues and is taken up by others. As has been stated many times, flavours in ejuice are important, they are a huge part of the mechanism by which vaping becomes an effective replacement for smoking.
There will be a limited choice of juice variability. Apart from the flavours, the other thing that varies with individual vapers is the ratio of PG to VG in our juices. Medical products will have to medically test each ratio they manufacture in each flavour with the same complex and expensive testing procedures, and are likely therefore to only produce a single ratio. If it’s high in PG, that will mean a fair proportion of the people vaping now won’t be able to vape at all. If it’s high VG the same thing will happen. Even going middle of the road at 50/50 would have the same effect; vapers need variety. Making my own juice, tweaking the flavours and PG/VG ratios to be perfect for me, would also be impossible.
The next thing that these products are likely to have is fixed dosage. This means that there is less variability in the experience of using one, which makes it less like smoking. The ability to tailor the experience on the individual device would be lost for a start. For instance dialling up the wattage for the stimulant effect of the first vape of the day, and dialling it back in the evening for relaxation. Smokers tend to instinctively smoke in different ways for the different effects, vapers can do the same thing when vaping; the ability to do so very quickly becomes instinctive. Again we lose another big chunk of the effectiveness of the device.
It will be tamper proof, which means I can’t tinker with coils, kanthal wire and wick any more. I’m not a cloud-chasing sub-ohm vaper and I have no desire to be so. Coiling and wicking a rebuildable simply allows me to further customise and tailor my experience to best suit me, so that vaping is better than relapsing to smoking for me. Those who do cloud chase, do it for the same reason, it makes vaping fun for them, and any risk is still minimal compared with smoking tobacco. One must always remember that the risk of vaping is versus tobacco smoking, not against an unattainable zero risk profile gold standard. For me rebuildables with 1.4 -1.8 ohm single coil at no higher than 12w (and generally around 8w) gives me the best flavour and experience. Finding that combination took me a couple of months, and it was fun working out how to get there. My best friend vapes exclusively on mini protanks at 2.4 ohm at 8 watts. How likely is it that one medical product would suit us both perfectly?
It would also very probably be
fugly not aesthetically pleasing. The beautiful designs of hand crafted vaping equipment are artwork. From the stunning engraving, to the colours. The finishes on the ergonomically shaped hand carved wood, these products are the ones being created by vapers, for vapers. No medical device will ever live up to the standards already set. We who were shut out in the rain and the cold for so long, now demand beauty in our equipment, and joy in our experience. I’m sorry, but a plastic thing that looks like a menstrual product really won’t be as effective. Our beautiful products are not there to entice non-vapers into nicotine addiction, any more than beautifully designed cigarette lighters are there to entice the unwary into smoking. They are there because vapers want to use beautiful things to celebrate a positive life choice. This is also part of the mechanism which makes vaping effective.
Medical products will put the new vaper into the wrong mental place for an effective switch. Prescribing something as a medicine to cure an addiction to tobacco, with counselling, is treating us as if we have an illness which needs a cure. This puts us back into the “quit attempt” mindset every past failed quit (damn you, NRT) has instilled us with. Fear, self-loathing, shame, social outcast status. Withdrawal fears, weight gain fears, mood swing fears, self esteem fears; failing a quit attempt is humiliating. I’ve already seen one friend of mine so terrified at the thought of going through all of that again its taken FOUR MONTHS to get her to really try an e cigarette. She would never have even tried a medical product, and I understand her point of view perfectly. I wouldn’t have done either. We would instinctively brace ourselves against an expected unpleasant experience, and so are more likely to have an unpleasant experience and relapse. This is why the variability and the customisation and the flavours and the diversity and the fact that we “switch” rather than “quit” is so important. It changes the head-space of the new vaper, puts them in a different mindset which is far more positive.
Finally these would only be produced by the big companies that have the money to pursue medical licences: The pharmaceutical industry, and the tobacco industry. One produces NRT and the other cigarettes; I don’t believe either of them really wants to make the sort of products that vapers want and need.
Medically licensed e cigarettes are liable to be about as effective as a chocolate fire-guard.
The consumer products.
On the face of the directive flavours are not banned, BUT there is so much red tape around the introduction of each individual flavour that the TPD does effectively ban them without banning them. So fewer flavours. Here again the TPD regulated devices have failed me; I could not have switched without them. I would still be smoking. 20mg cap in nicotine concentration strength means that many vapers would not be able to switch. This again makes the e cigarette less effective. Making my own juice; banned. I can’t buy the nicotine base any more, even though the strength of base I buy is low enough to be vaped without being diluted, it’s both stronger than the legal limit and in bigger bottles. Less effective. There will be a limited choice of juice variability. Consumer products will have to produce test results for each ratio they manufacture and are likely to only produce a single ratio. Less effective. Leak proof. Leak proof filling mechanism. There goes everything I could possibly use except the cartomiser system that wasn’t effective enough to let me switch. Definitely less effective.
Variable voltage and or wattage devices: Effectively banned, test data for every possible wattage or voltage setting would have to be provided. Customising the experience on a single device would be impossible. Tanks over 2ml: Banned. Which means that all of the vaping tanks I use are no longer available, Rebuildables – not tamper proof. Banned. There goes my RSST, and my drippers. There goes my customisable experience. Less effective.
All of the many small companies making the second and third generation gear will vanish. With gone them the innovative new designs that have brought vaping so far in such a short time will also stop. There will be no fourth generation. The juice companies will either stop trading or continue with a greatly reduced range. The only thing that will survive is what was available about 7 years ago; the very beginning of the e cigarette. There are two major industries who are setting themselves up to be ready to sell cartomiser type cigalikes. E-cigarettes that use single fill cartomisers containing juice with less than 20mg strength. Pharmaceutical and tobacco. Isn’t that a surprise? The TPD was designed to hand the effective higher dose ecigs over to the pharmaceutical industry, and leave the less effective products in the consumer market. The fact that the tobacco companies are also placing themselves to be able to profit from the back swing of the market is just good business sense.
“On nicotine containing products the need to ensure a level playing field for pharmaceuticals and products with high nicotine dose was confirmed. For products with low nicotine content labelling provision was introduced to facilitate consumer choice/information”
The outcome of the regulations won’t actually achieve any of these things. Consumer choice will be eliminated, the e cigarette will go back to it’s primordial soup stage, and the disinformation will have won. What it will do is kill the e cigarette stone cold dead. You can see that it limits consumer choice so effectively that the products themselves will become ineffective. It will also promulgate a thriving black market of products that will be less safe than those we have on the market today. It’s a whacking great pile of foetid dingo kidneys, mashed up by Vogons, reformed, chopped up, recycled as manure, digested and regurgitated like leftover kebab on hangover Sunday.
Those that made the regulations will nod knowingly in 4 years and say it proves that they were right all along: companies couldn’t market to children so they closed down, flavours were obviously a part of that because look at how few flavours there are now, the beautiful vaping gear will all have gone so obviously that was all a big tobacco lie. And the fact that vaping is no longer effective and smoking cessation rates have gone back up? Well it was all hype. A flash in the pan. They will also nod sagely as the black market products produce health issues, and say “we told you so.”
I’m sorry if that sounds like a rant, but I and many like me can see exactly where this is going, and we are afraid its too late to stop it.
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