Category Archives: Vaping

How Nicotine Works as Both a Sedative and a Stimulant

Some people will tell you that nicotine gives them a burst of energy and some people will say it makes them sleepy. This is true on both accounts, but is likely because of the dose. Nicotine is actually both a sedative and a stimulant, but it depends on how much is consumed.

Nicotine as a Stimulant

Nicotine works as a stimulant in the body almost immediately because it stimulates the adrenal glands. This stimulation releases adrenaline, which causes a release of glucose.

The increase of glucose translates to increased blood sugar levels This gives you instant energy, just like when we eat processed foods like white bread. When this process happens with food, the body releases insulin to tell our cells to absorb this sugar and bring blood glucose down to safe levels. This is the crash that you get after eating crappy food that turns into sugar in the body. Your energy goes up but then your body forces it to come back down.

But nicotine works differently than food. Nicotine actually suppresses insulin output, which means the blood sugar remains in the blood, rather than being absorbed by the cells. This causes users to be slightly hyperglycemic, which means there is an excessive amount of glucose in the bloodstream. This is why doctors recommend against people with diabetes using nicotine.

All of this means that nicotine will give you a similar energy rush as processed foods, but the energy will last a lot longer.

Another way that nicotine can increase energy is because it causes a release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that encourages us to act and be motivated.

Nicotine as a Sedative

Nicotine can also be a sedative. Once nicotine reaches the brain, it causes the release of many different hormones and neurotransmitters, one of which being beta-endorphin.

Beta-endorphin reduces anxiety and is used in the body to numb pain. It’s the endorphin your body releases after some sort of physical trauma. It activates opioid receptors and has 18 to 33x the potency of morphine. This is your body’s natural painkiller. If you’re a runner, you’d recognize this is a runner’s high during a long endurance run.

Beta-endorphin can also ease emotional distress, create a sense of well-being, and produce a sense of euphoria.

Using Nicotine To Get Your Desired Results

Are you looking for energy or a way to relax?

Studies have shown that nicotine starts out as a stimulant in small dosages, but when the dose increases, it changes into a sedative.

So if you want energy, take a few quick puffs and move on. If you want to relax, take long drags and chain vape for a longer period of time.

There doesn’t appear to be an exact dose at which either effect changes. It likely depends on the person and their sensitivity to nicotine.

Big Industry Show Denver 2016

The Big Industry Show is a great B2B convention that focuses on the both the vaping industry and the marijuana industry. If you run a vape business, this is a great convention to meet like-minded business owners. I met so many nice people and found a lot of awesome products. I had a great time. Below are some pics from the show, or you can check out the full gallery on Flickr with my thoughts on the brand/products in the descriptions.

Continue reading Big Industry Show Denver 2016

Vaping Hero – A Kung Fu Movie From iJoy

Vape product manufacturer, iJoy, created a short kung fu film called “Vaping Hero.”

It’s pretty freaking good.

It starts with the bad guys preparing to torture a woman when the hero breaks in and kicks everyone’s ass. As they make their escape, henchman try to stop him along the way. Then the hero finally finds himself facing the crime boss. The crime boss is tough, but the hero breaks out his iJoy RDTA box mod and defeats him with a single blow.

That’s the jist of it, but you should really check it out. The fight scenes are awesome and the ending is pretty funny (but a little weird).

I’m really impressed with how high-quality this film is. They did a great job.

FTC Seeking Comments On How Vapor Products Are Marketed

The FTC is currently in the process of deciding how vapor products can be marketed and they are accepting public comments from vendors for the second time.

They did this for the first time in 2015 and were seeking comments about how vendors are featuring tobacco product marketing data in community education around tobacco and why vendors would value marketing and sales data pertaining to ENDS products.

They received 37 comments from health organizations like the American Heart Association and the Campaign for Tabacco-Free Kids, government entities like the National Association of Attorneys General Tobacco Committee, and industry members like R.J. Reynolds, Altria, and Fontem.

Cynthia Cabrera, the former executive director of SFATA, recently pointed out that the FTC notified big players in the industry, but didn’t notify any of the small vape businesses, which is a major part of the industry. It’s a good thing this was noticed because this gives smaller companies the opportunity to provide input.

The FTC is requesting comments on things like:

  • If you support data collection
  • If data collection is necessary for the FTC
  • Suggestions on improving data collection, such as what data they should collect
  • If State-by-State data collection is needed
  • How to minimize the burden of data collection
  • Sales data – on things like
    • types of products
    • open/closed systems
    • rechargeable/disposable
    • different types of flavors
    • nicotine strengths

The document is long so I only tried to summarize it.

I highly recommend that any business submitting a comment read it all the way through, because it will give you some ideas of how you can comment. For example, the document mentions that the RJ Reynold’s comment recommended against differentiating products by product types since most retail stores sell disposables and rechargeables, while vape shops sell tank products.

Another example I saw was that The Joint Public Health comment stated that one of the reasons youth and adults try e-cigarettes is because of flavors.

And Reynolds and Fontem opposed the collection of detailed flavor data.

You might agree or disagree with any of those statements, but either way, you should submit a comment.

I don’t own a vape business so I can’t offer any specific suggestions and I don’t want to give bad advice, so I suggest that if you’re a vape shop, that you reach out to SFATA or another industry organization for advice.

Update on 2016 Election Ballot Measures Against Vaping

voting-line

Here’s an update on the ballot measures that would have affected vaping in four states, which are California, Colorado, Missouri, North Dakota

California had Prop 56, which would increase taxes on tobacco products by nearly 70%. Unfortunately, this one passed by a landslide with about 63% of people voting yes. This really sucks for California because not only is it going to make vaping way more expensive, but it’s likely to lead former smokers back to cheaper cigarettes and also put a lot of vape shops out of business.

North Dakota had Initiated Statutory Measure 4, which would increase taxes by 56% for wholesale, resulting in an estimated 400% increase for the final cost of vaping products for consumers. In contrast to California, 61% of voters overwhelmingly voted no on this one.

Colorado had Amendment 72, which would triple the excise tax on tobacco and increase the wholesale tax by 62%. It did not include electronic cigarettes but was vague enough to apply to vaping in the future. Fortunately for Colorado, the majority vote was no at 53%.

Missouri had Proposition A, which would increase state taxes on tobacco by 5%. Again, the voters chose not to increase taxes. 55% of voters said no.

image attribution: By April Sikorski from Brooklyn, USA (vote here) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Big Vape Industry vs FDA Lawsuit Went to Court

Tony Abboud of the VTA recently sent out an email detailing the hearing of the big lawsuit against the FDA. There’s also a post on the R2BSF Facebook page.

On Oct. 11th, the judge heard the arguments from both sides in the Nicopure Labs / Right 2 Be Smoke Free Coalition vs FDA lawsuit. Arguments were heard for three hours.

Judge Ann Jackson asked nearly 100 questions, which Abboud says were fairly balanced among both parties, although the VTA believes the plaintiffs received more time overall.

The questions that were asked were focused on:

  • The FDA’s authority over non-nicotine containing parts and devices
  • FDA Authority on Non-tobacco E-liquids
  • FDA Authority on synthetic nicotine
  • If the court would be able to review the Administrative Procedure Act of the deeming rule
  • If the court should consider that FDA had to engage in a cost-benefit analysis
  • If the FDA could or should have moved the predicate date
  • and First amendment issues such as: if free samples are protected speech and about first amendment implications of the Modified Risk Tobacco Products provision of the Tobacco Control Act. That focuses on misleading claims (in the eyes of the FDA), such as vaping being smoke free, no ash, free of certain substances, etc.

The VTA also reported that a recurring theme during proceedings were about the FDA’s misguided characterization of the vaping products market. A specific example Tony Abboud mentioned was that the FDA claimed that 2/3 of the market is comprised of closed systems made by Big Tobacco companies, which isn’t correct.

The FDA also tried to justify their regulations due to the vape industry operating as if it was the “wild west.” The FDA also claimed that they were not regulating any vape products as long as it would not be used with a tobacco product.

Abboud stated that the lawyers raised all of the issues that they needed to bring up, so the judge should have everything she needs to know to make a decision on the case.

I’ve read some summaries from other sources who say that judge seemed skeptical of the vapor companies arguments and that she seemed misinformed of the industry. Dimitris Agrafiotis of the Tenessee Smoke Free Association said that the judge didn’t even know the difference between open and closed system products and that she had the typical outsider’s view of the vapor industry.

The judge also stated that the FDA does not have the authority to change the 2007 predicate date, since it’s part of the Tobacco Control Act. This makes it all the more important to continue supporting the Cole-Bishop amendment to get the predicate date changed.

Judge Jackson has several months to rule and can make a judgement at any time, so there’s really no telling when we might hear an update. Some people are saying it’s unlikely to happen before the end of the year. All we can do now is wait and see what happens.

Hands For a Billion Lives

handsforabillionlives-flyer

There’s an upcoming event everyone is talking about called Hands for A Billion Lives. The idea is to meet up in a pre-determined location and hold hands to form a wall and stand in silence. They say this signifies the vape communities stand against the FDA regulations and raises awareness for the A Billion Lives documentary.

You can find the locations on their website at HandsForABillionLives.com. The event takes place on Oct. 22nd, at 2:22 PM in your local time zone.

There are only 18 states participating so far, with multiple cities in some states. They are also looking for leaders to hold the event in their own cities, so if that’ something you can do, consider contacting the organizers at HandsForaBillionLives.com.

There’s only one here in Colorado where I live, but it’s about 3 hours away from me, so I won’t be attending, but I hope to see some videos after the event happens.

NJOY files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

njoy-daily2

NJOY, one of the biggest manufacturers of electronic cigarettes has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

A lot of people don’t realize how big of a role that NJOY has played in keeping e-cigs available to vapers. In 2010, they fought the FDA in court to prevent vapor products from being classified as an unregulated drug delivery device. After the FDA lost this battle, they began the process of trying to regulate vapor products as tobacco products, which is where we are today.

But without NJOY, we very likely wouldn’t have any of the vapor products we have today. We owe a lot to them. They have continued to support lobbying efforts for vapor products, supporting trade organizations and played a big part in consumer advocacy.

Something else a lot of people don’t realize is that NJOY is an independent company based in the United States. They’ve also always prided themselves on not being owned by a tobacco company. This is a company worth supporting and that’s why I talk so highly of them all the time.

NJOY hit it big when the vapor industry really started to take off. They received funding that valued them at $1 billion in 2014.

According to their bankruptcy filing, they now owe more than $32 million and have since accumulated a deficit of $234.5 million.

One of the claims stated in the filing was that NJOY’s King product, which is a disposable cigalike, went from $93 million in sales in 2013 to just $7.4 million in 2015.

So what happened between 2013 and now?

Some people think it’s because new and better products starting hitting the market and people weren’t as interested in cigalikes anymore. And in that time, thousands of new manufactures and stores started doing business, eating into NJOY’s profit. NJOY didn’t evolve much over the last few years and that could have played a part in their demise.

They tried entering the open-tank market with the release of the Artist Collection e-juice, but it seems that it wasn’t enough.

Other people believe that the FDA’s recent rulings on August 8th might have played a role. Dr. Michael Siegel pointed out on his blog that NJOY had substantial expenses in preparing for the FDA deeming regulations. While that probably was quite expensive for NJOY, it looks like there were many other issues that resulted in their large amount of debt, namely the failure of the King product, but also sponsorships and legal fees.

So what does this mean for NJOY?

Well, chapter 11 bankruptcy usually means that the company hopes to restructure and continue doing business on a smaller scale. But from what I’ve been reading, Chapter 11 an extremely complicated process and sometimes ends up moving into Chapter 7 bankruptcy and liquidation of the assets.

I hope it doesn’t come to that.

I’m sad to hear this news and Ireally hope that NJOY makes it out of this. I’m a big fan of their company and ethics. I also love their NJOY Daily cigalikes, their pre-filled tanks, and their Artist Collection e-juice.

My biggest fears are that they will either go out of business or sell off the business to big tobacco. Let’s hope for the best for NJOY.