VapeNW.com Loses Their Shop and Warehouse in a Fire

Federal Way, WA vape vendor, VapeNW.com, is now temporarily out of business due to a fire in their building. They are a popular online vendor due to their low prices and fast shipping.

VapeNW was one of 9 businesses located in a strip mall that went up in flames at around 4am on Sunday, May 21st.

A call to report the fire came in around 4:20am with the person saying that smoke was coming out of the coffee shop. Firefighters responded and finally put the fire out around 11am.

The fire department stated that this building did not have a sprinkler system or fire detectors, which is not a requirement because this building was built in the 70’s.

The fire department released a press release stating that they have not been able to determine the case of the fire yet, but that fire patterns indicate that it originated in the northern part of the complex, which looks to me is not where VapeNW was located, but rather where several restaurants were.

VapeNW has stated that it was a total loss. The entire shop and their warehouse burned down, which means all orders that have not yet been shipped will not go out and they are also not able to process any returns or answer Help Desk tickets.

They are refunding all orders and are no longer taking orders online.

Nobody was hurt, but it’s sad news for VapeNW and for their customers. I’ve actually ordered from them several times because they always have really good prices and because they ship so fast. Hopefully they can get this all sorted out and get back in business in a new location soon.

High Schoolers Vaping Oxycontin in Ontario

According to Almaguin Highlands High School principal, Donna Breault, students in the Near North District in Ontario are using vaporizers to vape THC e-liquid with crushed oxycontin mixed in.

They are also sharing their devices with groups of people which are causing worries of spreading hepatitis.

According to the school district board chairman, David Thompson, there’s no way for administrators to know what is being vaped, because there’s no smell. So they’ve made the decision to outright ban vaping on school grounds entirely, including vaping in their anti-tobacco free policies.

This is pretty scary. Oxycontin is such a dangerous and highly addictive drug. I’ve known Oxycontin addicts and their lives are not pretty. I would hate to see a young high school destroy their lives so early.

What also scary about inhaling oxycontin is that oxycontin is coated in a plastic polymer substance. That means these kids are inhaling heated particles of plastics.

So with all of that being said, I can see why schools would want to ban vaping if a lot of kids are actually vaping oxycontin in school.

But it sucks to punish the kids who are legitimately using vaping as an alternative to smoking.

So if they don’t ban it, what’s the answer? I really don’t know. If you have thoughts on this, please feel free to share.

NJOY Submits a Citizen Petition To The FDA

The United States Foods and Drug Administration has a process that allows individuals and organizations to request that the FDA change their health policies through what’s called a citizen petition.

At any time, someone can file a citizen petition that asks the FDA to “issue, amend, or revoke a regulation or order.” The law also states that the FDA must respond to petitions within 150 days.

On May 17th, NJOY, the Vapor Technology Association, The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association, Turning Point Brands, Nicopure Labs, Five Pans, Johnson Creek, and other businesses submitted a citizens petition asking for the FDA to provide clear guidance for vape manufacturers about how to submit premarket applications and also to extend compliance deadlines by 24 months.

If you read the petition on Regulations.gov, you’ll see the reasoning behind these requests. For example the petition points out that it’s now nearly a year after the FDA released the Draft PMTA Guidance on electronic cigarettes and in that time, we still have not received recommendations from the FDA on completing Pre-Market Tobacco Applications or substantial equivalence reports.

That’s a pretty solid reason if you ask me.

This isn’t your typical everyday online petition that the government brushes off and ignores. The citizen petition process is a formal process that the FDA must follow as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations.

With that said though, the FDA still has final say in whether or not the requests in the petition are granted. There was an empirical study that reviewed every citizen petition filed with the FDA between 2001 and 2010, so nine years of data. What they found is that the FDA granted 19% of petitions and denied 81%.

Also worth noting though is that most petitions are from pharmaceutical companies trying to delay generic brands from coming onto the market. So the success rate or denial rate might not reflect the chances that this new petition from NJOY might have.

So what can you do to help? Go to CASAA.org to find the call to action. You can submit comments on the petition on Regulations.gov until November 8th, 2017. In your comment, you can share your experience with vaping, talk about how long you’ve smoked and how vaping has helped you quit or reduce smoking, what your favorite flavors of e-liquid are and why flavors are important to you, and how the FDA deeming rule has changed your ability to buy vapor products.

Old-Fashioned Vape Review of the SMOK Caterpillar RDA

This was my very first RDA, which I chose after doing a bunch of research on the best RDAs for beginners, which is probably a search term most people use when deciding to use their first RDA.

This was a popular RDA when it came out in mid-2014 and it was still somewhat popular at the time I bought it, which was in early 2015.

I did an embarrassing review of this two years ago, which you’ll find here if you want to check it out.

I still remember getting this and thinking about how sleek it looked. I couldn’t believe the quality of this RDA for only $12. That’s an amazing price for an authentic RDA, especially in 2015.

Smok Caterpillar Specs:

  • Stainless Steel
  • 10 small airflow holes, 5 on each side
  • An adjustable airflow ring
  • Flathead post screws with grips to hand-tighten
  • Decent sized deck
  • After brushing the dust off and using this atomizer again, I still feel like this is a decent RDA. Compare to the RDA’s of today, it’s extremely basic, but it works. Compared to an RDA like the Goon, the flavor is muted, but it’s not too bad.

    Does it stand the test of time? In short, no. But this was a cool RDA back in the day.

Nitecore Launches a New E-Liquid Mixer

Nitecore just announced their new DIY E-Juice mixer. Let’s take a look.

Quick Specs:

  • Has a heating plate that goes up to 70 celcius
  • It rotates at 70-1200 RPM
  • It uses a metal stir bar that either spins in the bottle or can spin the entire bottle
  • According to Nitecore, it’s nearly completely soundless

The guys on Plumes of Hazard didn’t like the idea of this product at all, but Wayne from DIYORDIE was really excited about it. Considering that this is for DIY e-juice, I’d have to take Wayne’s side.

The way it works is that you drop a metal stir bar into your container of e-juice. That container can be a bottle or a beaker, or whatever else you want to mix in.

And what’s cool about the heating plate is that you can speed steep your e-juice with heat while you’re also mixing it up.

When it’s done mixing, you get the stir bar out of the container by using a magnetic rod that comes with the mixer.

The capacity of the mixer is 17.5 oz and can mix 30-1000 ml of e-liquid, although they recommend a max of 200ml at a time.

It can also continuously run for up to 14 days.

Nitecore hasn’t listed the price on their site yet, but IMRbatteries.com has it on preorder for $120. That’s actually a pretty good price. That’s how much other magnetic mixers cost without the heating functions. For a magnetic stirrer with a built-in heat plate, you can expect to spend around $200 to $1000 from what I’m seeing online.

You can see their demonstration video on YouTube or visit the product page for more info.

The Latest Vaping News – The VapePassion Show Episode 71

Some of the topics discussed include:

  • New Nitecore E-Liquid Mixer
  • Get Blemished Products From Sub Ohm Innovations For Cheap
  • E-Juice Review: Honey Bear From Marina Vape
  • Old-Fashioned Vape Review of the Smok Caterpillar RDA
  • NJOY and Other Vape Businesses File a Citizen Petition With The FDA
  • 528 Customs Gives Bad Advice to Vapers
  • Kids Vaping Oxycontin in Ontario
  • VapeNW.com Loses Their Shop and Warehouse in a Fire

Continue reading The Latest Vaping News – The VapePassion Show Episode 71

E-juice Review: MangoER Boba

Mangoer Boba is an e-juice manufactured by Marina Vape. The cheapest place I’ve seen it is on Breazy.com for $14.99 for a 30ml bottle.

They describe it as:

Sweet, juicy mangos, with a subtle hint of pineapples, mixed into the perfect boba milk tea.

  • 70vg/30pg
  • Nicotine: 0, 3, 6, 12

I tested this in the SubZero RDA on top of the istick 100 watt TC. The RDA was built at 0.24 ohms and I vaped it at 75 watts.

Like everything that comes from Marina Vape it has a ton of flavor. It’s pretty sweet too.

I get the mango flavor for sure. It’s not really strong and not overwhelming. It’s pretty good if you like mango flavors.

The pineapple flavor is little more difficult to detect. I think I get it just slightly, because this e-juice does have a bit of a tropical taste to it.

I don’t really get the boba milk tea all that much

If you like fruity and tropical flavors like pineapple and mango, you’ll probably like MangoER Boba. It’s pretty good.

I’m seeing sites online selling it for anywhere around $15 to $20 for a 30ml bottle, so it’s a little expensive.

I see it on Breazy.com for $14.99 for a 30ml bottle. That’s about as cheap as I can find it.

Dr. Gottlieb Takes Over as FDA Commissioner and Addresses His Staff

Dr. Scott Gottlieb made his first official announcement to the FDA staff last week with an “FDA All Hands Meeting” letter.

In his letter he talked about his goals for protecting consumers and promoting public health in all of the many different ways that a doctor would. He also discussed his previous work with the FDA, which I think is just his way of helping his team understand that he’s experienced and that the FDA is in good hands.

The Relevant Details of the Letter

It was a very optimistic letter overall, but let’s get to the point that you’re probably most interested in – Gottlieb’s views on vaping.

He actually didn’t address vaping specifically, but he made some hints.

Here are the relevant parts of his letter.

“…there’s probably no single intervention, or product we’re likely to create in the near future that can have as profound an impact on reducing illness and death from disease as our ability to increase the rate of decline in smoking.

We need to redouble efforts to help more smokers become tobacco-free. And, we need to have the science base to explore the potential to move current smokers – unable or unwilling to quit – to less harmful products, if they can’t quit altogether. At all times, we must protect kids from the dangers of tobacco use.”

What Does This Mean For Vaping?

Many people in the vape community are highlighting that part about “less harmful products.” Before we jump to conclusions though, we should consider that he could be talking about pharma or NRT products like nicotine gum and the patch. He didn’t specifically mention vaping, although the very careful wording of his statements lead me to believe he’s talking about vaping.

And we know that Gottlieb has ties to the vaping industry. He was the director of Kure, a vape shop in Charlotte, NC, for more than a year and according to his financial disclosures, he had financial interest in that company as of March.

And while we’re on that topic, I’ve heard a lot of talk about Gottlieb saying that he would recuse himself from the vaping industry for a year, but I think people are misinterpreting what he said.

Gottlieb’s conflict of interest filing stated that he will not participate in any matter involving specific parties for one year after resignation.

In this letter, Gottlieb stated that he resigned from Kure in May 2016, which means that one year is now up. And even if it wasn’t, I think there’s some wording here that’s open to interpretation.

He says he won’t participate in anything related to specific parties, but he doesn’t say anything about industries as a whole. I think he worded this in a way that allows him to make decisions related to the vaping industry, but not specifically to benefit Kure.

That’s my interpretation of it anyway.

But we’ll just have to wait and see. I’m excited for Gottlieb to take over as commissioner of the FDA.

The Navy Has Developed a Safer Alternative To Lithium-Ion Batteries

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, or NRL, recently released some news that claims that they’ve developed a breakthrough alternative to lithium-ion batteries.

The NRL’s chemistry division has been working on creating water-based, zinc batteries, which they say are much safer than lithium batteries. They’ve actually developed and demonstrated working nickel-zinc batteries that contain a zinc sponge that replaces the volatile powdered zinc anode that’s normally used in lithium batteries.

The researchers say that this sponge improves on both energy content and rechargeability of lithium-ion batteries while removing the safety risks of traditional li-ion batteries.

Zinc batteries are actually the go-to standard for single-use applications due to their safety, but they until now haven’t been rechargeable. This is because they tend to grow conductive dendrites inside the battery that eventually grow long enough to short-circuit the battery.

But the sponge that these researchers have developed make it physically difficult for these batteries to form dendrites.

They’ve tested these batteries in three ways; extended lifetime single-use, cycling the batteries more than 100 times comparative to lithium-ion batteries, and cycling them more then 50,000 times in short duty-cycles.

They hope to deploy these batteries within an whole family of sizes. I’m not sure if that includes 18650’s, which is what we typically use as vapers, but this is very promising news.

This is also great news considering that the Navy just recently banned vaping devices on Navy ships and vessels due to the dangers of improper care of lithium-ion batteries. The Navy’s NRL press release specifically mentions this ban, which leads me to believe that they are considering their use for vapor products.

Does Vaping Lead to Increased Risk of Bladder Cancer?

Some recent studies claim that vaping might lead to increased bladder cancer risk as well as higher risk of mortality for bladder cancer patients.

This data was presented at the 112th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association earlier this month, which talks about how smoking is a clear cause of bladder cancer, although risk of vaping has yet to be determined.

This data took into account three different studies.

Smoking Intensity Predicts Survival in Bladder Cancer Patients

The first study reviewed data from a study collected from 1981 to 2009. This study showed that smoking more packs per day increases risk of death in patients with bladder cancer while smoking less than 1-2 packs per day significantly reduces risk.

My Thoughts

I have no idea what the researchers were thinking when they translated this data to vapers. Vaping isn’t anything like smoking and the results of this study is not at all relevant.

Bladder Carcinogens In Urine of E-Cig Users

The second study consisted of testing the urine of 13 electronic cigarette users and 10 non-users for five known bladder carcinogens.

What the researchers found was that 92% of the e-cig users tested positive for two of the five cancer causing compounds that they were looking for.

My Thoughts

There are some pretty big things missing from this research. For one, the sample size is extremely low. And how many of these e-cig users are dual users? And how long has it been since these participants last smoked a cigarette? And what products were these people using? And how were these compounds formed in the vapor? I also don’t know what methods were used of if vaping product were provided to the participants.

Something interesting that Dr. Farsalinos also pointed out in regards to this study is that previous research on the two cancer-causing compounds the researchers found is entirely dependent on environments. Both o-toluidine and 2-naphthylamine have been found in other studies to exist in the same amounts in smokers as it does in non-smokers, which is because humans can uptake these chemicals from their environments. Dr. Farsalinos says this is why these two biomarkers not always used to measure toxin exposure from cigarette smoke.

What the researchers should have done is test the aerosol for these compounds, not the urine of the participants.

Vapor Results in Tumor-Inducing DNA Damage

And finally, they showed data from a study that showed e-cigarette vapor inducing DNA damage in the bladder.

Their results showed that vapor causes tumor-inducing DNA damage in the bladder membrane.

They also found that nicotine, nitrosamine, and formaldehyde cause the same damage in bladder cells and inhibit DNA repair. They also say that nicotine can be nitrosatized in cells, which would metabolize into carcinogenic nitrosamines and formaldehyde.

My Thoughts

The problem with this last part is that they tested nicotine on cells. That’s not the same way nicotine comes into contact with our cells from vaping. You can also look at research on smokeless tobacco like chew and snus, which shows that it’s not associated with risk of bladder cancer. So if chew, which has nicotine, is not linked to bladder cancer risk, why would the nicotine in electronic cigarettes?

And the formaldehyde scare has already been debunked. Large amounts of formaldehyde is only formed from burnt wicks. And formaldehyde is also produced naturally by our bodies and is found naturally in many foods we eat, such as fruits, vegetables, and fish.

These Studies Are Useless

There’s clearly tons of misleading information in these studies and in the researcher’s conclusions, but when you look into the data, you see that there’s actually nothing conclusive or convincing here.

Let's Vape!