Hello out there! Dawn here your A Clean Cigarette blogger. As many of you know I come on once a week to publish a blog that somehow relates to electronic nicotine delivery systems. Some weeks it’s on research and science other weeks it’s on how to make crafts out of old ashtrays. Regardless of the topic, I have a lot of fun doing these weekly blogs and I hope you enjoy reading and sharing the
This week, however, we are going to do something that we have only had a chance to do a few times. This week instead of listening to me drone on and on we are going to get to hear from another member of the A Clean Cigarette Family, Zack!
Zack is from our Owosso store location. ⇓ ⇓ That’s him on the left, Lori the store manager in the center and Corey to the right. This store has a spectacular team! If any of you have had a chance to stop into this A Clean Cigarette location then you know that these guys have a lot of fun. Whenever you stop here you are guaranteed to smile.
I could talk about the team and the location for a whole blog post, then we wouldn’t have room for Zack our amazing Guest Blogger. So without further drone on by me, the A Clean Cigarette Blog Proudly Presents a post by Zack.
Disclaimer: This post is an Opinion Post By Zack who is a member of the A Clean Cigarette family. As such he gets paid by A Clean Cigarette but this post is in his words. A Clean Cigarette does not claim to treat or cure any illness or addiction and is not FDA approved as a smoking cessation aid.
Hello fellow smokers and ex-smokers, my name is Zach. Let me start by saying how grateful I am to be able to speak with you all. Like many of you, I am an ex-smoker who tried everything under the sun to rid the habit. Gums, patches, prescription pills, you know the drill. My lack of success with these products was incredibly frustrating. This frustration was due in part to seeing others around me successfully quitting, some seemingly with ease! Not to say I was bitter about others quitting, quite the contrary. Watching others drop the habit, while I continued to struggle, lead me to believe something was wrong with me. “Do I have a weak mind? Am I taking these Marlboros to the grave? Am I capable of quitting? Others can why can’t I?”. These questions raced through my mind endlessly, it was maddening! In retrospect, I believe these are feelings we’ve all had as smokers who struggled for a solution. Do you remember the first time you stopped into A Clean Cigarette? That feeling of walking out the door with a solution. The comfort of meeting people who were in your same situation. The epiphany, the realization that there is another option for nicotine, an option free of tar, smell, stigma. All the while satisfying the hand to mouth aspect of traditional cigarettes. Isn’t that option, that freedom, something every smoker deserves to have? We at A Clean Cigarette believe so. Not everyone shares this belief, however. There are many media outlets promoting smear campaigns against ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems) products, especially here in North America. Most of these are obviously biased towards an agenda, filled with faux science, and laden with deceit. The truth will prevail as it always does, but only with our help. As smokers who made the switch, I believe it is our obligation to fight for this truth.
The first ENDS products hit the market in 2004. In the United States since 2010, the smoking rate amongst adults and high school students has steadily been on the decline. In fact, in North America, smoking rates are currently lower than they have been in over 40 years. These are two facts, completely independent of each other. I am not claiming there is a correlation here.
This graph is comprised of North American statistics, directly from the CDC website. Europe has enjoyed much of the same success among smokers in recent years. Globally there are millions of ENDS users, many of which have quit combustible tobacco completely. I would like to focus on the differences in ENDS media coverage between North America and the U.K. Both countries have had great success with smokers making the switch to ENDS. If you were to analyze ENDS media coverage between the two countries, however, you would notice an alarming difference.
In the U.K. it is generally accepted that ENDS are a much better alternative to combustible tobacco. Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians estimate that “vaping” is 95% less risky than combustible tobacco. Nothing, with the exception of clean air, is good for your lungs. Nicotine is addictive. The U.K. simply accepts that ENDS are a less risky, effective alternative for smokers. Since 2016 there have been many regulations for the ENDS market in the U.K. Regulation is inevitable, it is simply the way our economy works. These U.K. regulations have been healthy, for the safety and education of the users. TPD (Tobacco Products Directive) regulations in the U.K. cover bases such as ingredient transparency, restrictions on potentially harmful ingredients, tamper evident child resistant packaging, etc. These are productive regulations that consumers deserve. The U.K. recognizes the massive potential for ENDS and combustible tobacco users. Therefore, these regulations are not stifling innovation and growth in the ENDS market, rather they are aiming towards the future of this global health phenomenon.
Here in North America media coverage and regulations are seemingly on the opposite end of the spectrum. I’m sure many of us have heard the stories, “E-Cigs are just as dangerous, if not more so than combustible tobacco”, “E-Cigs cause popcorn lung”, the list goes on. These claims are heavily contorted, based on faux studies that are highly questionable at best. We’ll use the popcorn lung argument as an example. Bronchiolitis obliterans otherwise know as popcorn lung, is a lung disease that has many different causes. Amongst these causes is the exposure to toxic fumes including diacetyl, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, etc. Researchers found that certain flavor options for ENDS products contained diacetyl (Here at A Clean Cigarette, we’ve made it a point to avoid diacetyl at all costs). In the age of social media this information quickly got out of hand. Soon there were a plethora of articles stating electronic cigarettes cause popcorn lung. While it is true there are some flavored e-liquids which contain diacetyl, there has never been a documented case of popcorn lung related to the use of ENDS products. These studies also forget to mention that the level of diacetyl in combustible tobacco is literally hundreds of times higher than that found in certain e-liquids. Where are the documented cases of popcorn lung caused by combustible tobacco? I’ve yet to find any. This is just one example of the exploitation of bad science, and the importance of doing our own research. Moreover, our FDA wants ENDS products classified as tobacco. Many states have astronomical tobacco taxes, some as high as 32%. These classifications and taxes would potentially make ENDS products simply unaffordable for common users.
These are regulations that will undoubtedly stifle progress and innovation for products that have saved our lives, as well as millions of others. This is a fight that lies in our hands, one that we can win. A turning point is among us. We can’t just lay down and hope for the best. Now is the time to do the research for ourselves, for our loved ones. We must learn to inform ourselves, rather than passively accepting everything spewed on unreliable social media platforms and televisions. Always try to find the source of the studies in the articles you read. There are far more unreliable sources than reliable ones. This can be intimidating and confusing to say the least. As a solid starting point, I would suggest sources such as Public Health England, Royal College of Physicians, Clive Bates, WHO (World Health Organization). These are merely suggestions, don’t take my word for it, the truth is at your fingertips. This is no time for apathy. We have the tools to win. We as smokers deserve access to ENDS products that save lives.
I want to genuinely thank you all for your time. I am so humbled and grateful to be a part of such an incredible movement and group of people. I would also like to thank Dawn for all the amazing work she does for us here at A Clean Cigarette. She will continue to keep us all informed on what we can do as consumers in this fight for our lives.
Can you guys see why I was so excited to have him write a blog for us? I freaking love the way he wrote this and the complement to me at the end didn’t hurt either! LMAO Seriously though, I am hoping to talk Zack into doing more of these posts so if you like this information as much as I did then give Zack a shout out either at his store location or in the comment area below.
Thank you, Zack, so much, you did a truly phenomenal job. Thank you.