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Thursday, 28 February 2013

Living the movie "Up" - the erratic blogger.

I'm run ragged. Taken on more than I can chew. Overloaded. Stressed.

Did you see the movie "UP" ?

I'm like Carl Fredriksen chucking all his furniture out of his house so he can get on with his new adventure of helping Russell and rescuing Kevin, the bird.

Everything seems to be happening at once. I hope my new adventure starts soon - all the preparation is stressing me out....or is this already my new adventure...the journey IS the goal?

I'm just trying to get to Paradise Falls. Move House to be exact. Trying to sell your house is taxing, especially if your garden went to pot over the winter. And even worse, if the house you are going to have to go into is much smaller than the one you are selling. You really DO have to chuck your stuff out! I'm chucking out lots, hoping the balloons will lift us off soon.

Russell is, for me, one of our daughters having a glitch in her pregnancy, and whose beautiful two year old, is more often at our house while her Mummy goes back and forward to hospital. We don't know when Russell's passing out parade is - but she really deserves a medal. And so do I.

Kevin is the precious bird that needs saving - vaping - horrible enemies are trying to capture Kevin! I have spent a lot of time trying to rescue Kevin. We need vaping never to end up as a skeleton of its former self located in some dusty historical museum.

I do hope you've seen "Up" - its a really profound movie, on many different levels.

I'm living "Up".  I might have to take a break from my blogs while I do. I guarantee they are going to be erratic.

Fortunately I have a faithful "Dug" called Bobby. I love being his master and he loves me! He can't talk - but I understand what he tries to say - well mostly....and he's always nice!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Tips for UK letters and my favourite links

If you are writing letter to your MP's and MEP's there is a SNAG for using "Write to them". You cannot put in a live link, so it is better to use ordinary email.

The Risk Profile of E-Cigarettes is an excellent article to back up a letter - it's useful to have something to support us.

If you are writing specifically about the EU hearing in five days time - you couldn't get better than - Clive Bates (former director of ASH) Medicines regulation for e-cigarettes – when caution can kill

I have spent loads of time replying to my replies and sending extra links for my respondees to research with. I have had good, bad and indifferent responses.

Still working at it.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Spreading the love

I met an old friend for coffee yesterday. We were laughing about the story I have already told here, about the night in the early days of my vaping when she and her husband came for a meal. I eulogised all evening about vaping to boredom point. I had a device that I'd dug out of the cupboard which I had used unsuccessfully in 2008. It was terrible - I told her dramatically"I wouldn't give it to my worst enemy" and demonstrated how bad it was and why. I showed her my new device which was technologically far superior and with which I was successfully using and not smoking with it. She looked very interested if not impressed. I saw a convert!  Just as they left, I grabbed the 2008 model and gave it to her in case it might be helpful. She reminded me yesterday!

She agreed it was terrible and I re-assured her she was not my worst enemy. And I promised to send her some really NICE stuff I have that I've grown out of.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Wave the flag vapoteur pioneers!

I believe we have lived through the heyday of vaping. It has been, for me, THE most exciting experience - new, spontaneous, pure and inspirational.

The same euphoria must have been experienced in the early days of motoring when there were no road rules, no licences required and the whole thing was an uncharted adventure.
Everything was mixed up with horses and carts and jubilation at the joy of moving "horseless".

Cigarettes are the horses and electronic vaping devices, the new horseless carriages.

My grandmother saw the first motor car to arrive in Africa. It was bright yellow and a little "umfaan" was paid to walk ahead waving a flag to warn pedestrians ahead. It traveled at 5 miles per hour.

It was a modern miracle. Thousands of people came out to look at it. Horses and carriages never seemed the same again. Society moved into the new technology. But soon there were regulations and limits and taxes and feuds and competition and innovation and races and deaths and accidents and statistics and busybodies and fuel, and pollution and more taxes and parking areas and charges and government controls. The euphoria faded.

Vapers are not going to be left alone. There will be regulations and limits and taxes and feuds and competition and innovation and deaths blamed on vaping and accidents with devices and busybodies and black markets and more taxes and vaping areas and charges and government controls. The euphoria will fade.

We drive cars now because they are more efficient than horses and carts. I have the same faith in electronic vaping devices. They are better than the old burning leaf method. I believe they will go on into the future. Even Tobacco Control sees their advantage and they want them for themselves!

It is our duty to empower ourselves as we go into the future. We need to be little "umfaans" waving our flags for vaping so those around us can see us and understand the miracle. Lets vape openly while we can. Let's live now and enjoy the way it is now  - we are so privileged - us - the pioneers!

This flag is free for anyone to use - please disseminate it! Thank you Mr Armand.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

What we need done - who will do it?

Vapers need scientific data to support the anecdotal evidence that vaping reduces smoking and/or leads to quitting cigarettes.

I have just read a study that investigated ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems). It has tables, statistics and god-know-what on different aspects exept the one we need - are ENDS successful? Why couldn't they have included that in the study?

"This study represents a snapshot in time of the use of ENDS
from mid-2010 to mid-2011. As the market evolves, awareness,
trial, and use of ENDS is likely to increase. The association
of trial and current use with beliefs about the relative
safety of ENDS highlights the importance of marketing in 
shaping public perceptions around the product. Should regulatory
authorities approve direct claims about reduced
harm, one might expect greater adoption of these products,
at least among current cigarette smokers. If credible evidence
can be provided that ENDS reduces the number of
cigarette smokers and does not attract use among nonsmokers,
then the net public health effect is likely to be positive."

Well - I ask - why didn't this study cover that too?

Who will do it?

Friday, 15 February 2013


I got my first replies from Labour MEP's in the Northwest. One simply stated that my letter had been re-routed to the MEP that had already replied thus -

Because e-cigarettes are a relatively new product they are regulated
differently in each EU country.  Some countries allow e-cigarettes to be
sold without any regulation at all.  Others have banned the sale of
e-cigarettes.  As the UK is part of the EU's internal market it is important
that we harmonise the way we deal with this product, otherwise consumers
could be buying unregulated products which do not conform to basic safety
standards, either within their own country, or by easily purchasing it over
the internet from a neighbouring country.

 Well, I can guarantee this will happen if  WHO directive is adopted!
The European Commission has proposed that all 'nicotine containing products'
with more than 2mg per unit should not be classed as tobacco products.
Instead, under the Commission's proposals, nearly all e-cigarettes will need
to get authorisation as a pharmaceutical product, in the same way as
nicotine patches, sprays and gums.
This is exactly the thing that must be stopped yes?
Of course there is a balance to strike.  On one hand e-cigarettes have the
potential to be a helpful way to help somebody quit smoking entirely and
greatly improve their health.  On the other hand e-cigarettes currently can
contain up to 48mg of nicotine - far more than a regular cigarette, making
them highly addictive.  As nicotine is the drug that makes cigarettes
addictive, somebody that tries e-cigarettes could be much more likely to go
on to smoke regular cigarettes.  Furthermore, there is no evidence that
e-cigarettes are safe, and it is concerning that they are being marketed as
a 'healthy' alternative to smoking.
Oh dear - they do not have "potential" to help someone quit smoking - they DO. 
Do I believe vapers will start smoking? Mmmm. It's a no brainer that vaping is 
healthier than smoking.
Currently we do not have any conclusive evidence either that e-cigarettes
are helpful for giving up smoking, or that they encourage it.
While we do not have this scientific evidence to rely on I think it is
wise to have a cautious approach to e-cigarettes.   If they are
effective in helping people to stop smoking, then it is appropriate that
they are regulated in the same way as other smoking cessation tools, such as
nicotine patches. 
Ooooo Nooooo! 

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Letter to my MEP's in the Northwest

The EU are debating the WHO Tobacco Control directives on the 25th of this month (February)  I don't smoke. But I do use electronic cigarettes.

The WHO directive, though, is also about electronic cigarettes, not banning electronic cigarettes outright, but wants the nicotine content of electronic cigarette e liquid to be set at 4mg of nicotine and become medical devices, which in effect bans them as they are used now. This will seriously affect the electronic cigarette community who are now almost a million in the UK of which I am one.

I smoked for 50 years and the more we became marginalised by legislation and public opinion was turned against smokers, the more determined I became never to give up smoking. In 2011 I started "vaping" ie. using an electronic device, and the habit of smoking simply fell away from me - a miracle! Since then, I have promoted vaping as a solution for devoted smokers like me to change to a less harmful habit. My life has changed. I am physically better. The dentist is impressed. The doctor is impressed. My family is impressed. I am impressed.

The recommendations from the EU will be taken on by our Parliament (because they have to). WHO is working to the beat of Tobacco Control's drum and the huge investment that Drug Companies have made to profit from Patches, Gums, Sprays to stop people smoking. The fact is that electronic cigarettes are far more successful in getting people to quit entirely or - like me - to continue with nicotine usage in a less harmful manner.

I hope you find time to investigate the phenomenon of elecronic "vaping" that is leading to smoking reduction in millions of people worldwide. They have done this, and are doing it, all by themselves without force, without any lobby group pushing them or manipulation from the State.

It is important that electronic Cigarettes are NOT made medical devices, or legislated against in anyway but by the "lightest touch" otherwise those lives that are being saved, will be lost - mine included.

If you know about "vaping" - properly know - you will become an empowered spokesperson for me. I will need to rely on you. You are my voice.

Thank you,

Yours sincerely,

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

I've been vaping "lite" - don't cock up what we've got

I tried a new mix of PG and VG with less nicotine. I usually make a mix with no flavour at 18mg (1.8%) and then I add flavour to my tanks. I only use tanks.

But recently, I have been using 10mg nic. It's not as satisfying.

Tobacco Control was so vociferous in the 70's about nicotine being a killer, that the Tobacco Corporations designed "Lites". They had holes around the filters to let in air. On the TC smoke testing machines, they naturally tested less for tar and nicotine. But people aren't machines! The draw was so terrible and the satisfaction so poor, that I never smoked them if I could avoid it - and I used to stick sticky tape around the filter to block the holes, if I really really had to smoke one. But millions of people were bamboozled into thinking "Lites" were better for you. They weren't. People just smoked more!

If Tobacco control had not meddled, "Lites" would not have happened. Cigarettes became more poisonous, not less. It is likely that early cigarettes that had natural tobacco leaves in them that was not altered by industry weren't as harmful as what we ended up with.

I am comfortable vaping 18mg nic and a flavour. I am even happy vaping with no flavour. I tried vaping with no flavour and no nic - but I always felt some aspect was lacking. But some people do that. I want the nicotine because rightly or wrongly, I believe it keeps me well.

So, vaping has evolved to be highly satisfying to devoted smokers like me (50 years experience) and I am one of millions of devoted smokers who no longer smoke. So the way vaping is set up at the moment, WORKS. Now when the "experts" get involved, if they don't spout rubbish about banning e cigarettes, I can see them banning flavours (because what they do to us is an unknown - and it is unknown). And then, the suggested 4mg nicotine strength is not going to satisfy.

Their meddling will cock up vaping just like it did with analogues.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Vaping "lites"

I watched the report on ecigigs on the television this morning.  I was reasonably pleased with it.  But when they were talking about regulating eliquid,  I suddenly remembered a report I read that Tobacco Control issued on their historical mistake of demanding nicotine be reduced in cigarettes. This caused the tobacco companies to put all kinds of additives in cigarettes and people smoked more causing more damage instead of less.

If the EU cap nicotine in eliquid to be 4mg - we will all be vaping "lites "!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Pulling up my socks

I had a weird experience yesterday in which I reminded myself to stay in control of my mind.

I'm really getting old?

Clean socks on feet with my normal walking shoes and Hubby and I and dog walked uptown. I wasn't comfortable. Socks seemed to be bunched under the sole of my right foot. Shopping done ( very mingy small bone for the dog - butcher not in a generous mood at all) and laden with other parcels, we made our way home.

Socks really felt bunched and pokey under the ball of my foot like I was walking on a sharp pebble.  I decided I must have developed a "foot condition" so I looked it up on the Oracle (Internet). It's called Metatarsalgia. I have dropped metarsals in by feet because of wearing very very high heels all my life so I wasn't surprised. After that self diagnosis, I was so busy, I simply hobbled around for the rest of the day until bed time.

Shoes off, socks off - what a relief - and something dropped onto the carpet off the sole of my foot. I picked it up. It looked like a plastic disk - from a button? - a teddy Bear's eye? - with a sharp spike sicking out of the middle of it. Problem discovered!

I find it extraordinary that I didn't think to look inside my sock for the problem rather than thinking it was a new "medical" condition developing in me.

But I do know the cause of my thinking. I am healthy, strong and energetically optimistic after smoking for 50 years and drinking hard when I was younger. I take no medication, have no medical "conditions" at all and seldom see a doctor. Most people I know in my age group have got loads wrong with them, take medications by the dozens for this that and another thing - and a lot of them, unlike me,  have been "good" all their lives. so I am expecting to get something sometime  - how sad is that?

Vaping has made me feel more confident about my health and I feel good about it. But I have to go on feeling well rather than expecting doom and gloom. Pull up your socks woman (but check them first!) and be positive.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Reporting back to Niagara, and everyone else - job done!

Do you remember Oo oo I found my stash, should I roll myself one?

I got lots of advice on that one "Chuck it", "Smoke it", "Toss it", "Dump it" "Uh uh" - Even a reply to the post from 

"Go directly to trash bin now, do not stop for vape, do not stop to answer tele. Do not smell or touch said items. Report back on success of mission!"

I am now reporting back.

I rolled a ciggie and wondered if a puff or two would taste good. but fate was on my side. we had a family emergency and the little ciggie stayed next to my bed, unnoticed by me in all the chaos following, until this morning.  This morning I "did" my house - usually only when visitors are coming. And I had a visitor today. So I was forced to try and look a bit less slovenly and tidy the place up. Without a second thought, I dumped the baccie, the rolling tin, the little ciggie, all the filters, the papers and the lighters into the rubbish bag with which I was touring the house.

Job done!


Monday, 4 February 2013

The serene vaper

I do like to keep on top of what is happening in my vaping life. I'm not a shopper, so new devices, new e liquids, reviews on vaping them, and the things that used to fascinate me , are not so interesting to me any more - I have the feeling of "been there, done that". I'm becoming like some vapers I know who are perfectly happy with the equipment they have, the flavours they use and how vaping has panned out for them. I used to think they should show more interest!

I'm quite conservative with "things" anyway - never buy much - hate shopping - sit in old chairs shaped to my bottom - sleep in old pyjamas, well washed and comfy - get the stuff I need off Freegle - give the stuff I don't need away on Freegle - will accept second-hand clothes - eat frugally - don't drink. I'm not a consumer. We repair things in our house - we are old stock. There's a real serenity in living like this.

The only things I have a lot of, are original art and computers (some of them original too!) can't throw my computer babies out somehow. They just get re-programmed by me to do specific jobs, like just offer loads of games for the grandchildren, or just movies, or just teaching, or just presentations. That way, I know they are set up and ready to go. Grandpa is my oldest laptop. He has a heart condition. When he overheats he needs resuscitation, so he stands on little pads at each corner to keep him cool underneath. I've never had a computer completely die on me. I've found a way to bring them back to life every time. 

I've become serene about my vaping. The less gear I have the better. My best device is all mechanical - they can cremate me with it (no batteries of course). Electronic things are not so reliable. I've had batteries do very strange things, and unlike my computers, you cannot bring them back to life - you have to throw them out! I even made a video called obituary for a battery. I'm not a happy consumer - just a happy conserver.

It's ideas that interest me now - following the history of vaping as it unfolds in the world around me. I read almost every blog I can get my hands on, newspaper articles, reports and follow the enemies and friends of vaping. I get mad. I get happy. I get hopeful. I get despondent. I am still fascinated - interested - but innerly serene. I know that long after I'm gone, there will still be vapers like me out there, fighting the good fight, or happy that it's been won.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Oo oo - found my stash - should I roll myself one?

We are wanting to sell our house and downsize. We have LOADS of stuff in our attic - some boxes from the last move seven years ago, which I haven't unpacked yet. So I am sorting and chucking out. If you haven't used something for seven years - is it important in your life? We sold the family treasures years ago to buy our first house in the UK. No family treasures up there - just junk.

Also up there are all the "households" of our children, moving into and out of various flats, husbands and education facilities. I am chucking everything out - unless they rock up at our place and take it away asap.

But - the find of the day was my stash of Cutters Choice rolling tobacco, filters, papers and a rolling machine I didn't like very much. I haven't looked at it since November 2011.  It's all in great condition - baccy is moist and smells divine.

Now the question is - should I roll myself one?

What do you think?