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Health Concerns

Disclaimer: As per FDA regulations a retailer engaged in the sale of vapor product can not make any health claims regarding electronic cigarette devices. The information found below is not a health claim on behalf of Zee Cigs Vapor and should not be viewed as such. These are quotes from recent news articles and should not be viewed as health claims made by Zee Cigs.

Back in 2009 when Shawn first rolled out ZeeCigs Vapor the list of notable eCig studies, reports and expert opinions regarding Vapor Electronic Cigarettes were lacking to say the least with only a handful of studies and reports to publish. Fortunately the studies and creditable information regarding vape eCigs grew along with public demand. Unfortunately this information has been seriously lacking in United States with both the FDA and CDC providing very little information regarding the use of eCigarette products.

As a matter of fact, the FDA has held steadfast at limiting vapor products in several ways. Initially the FDA banned the importation of all eCig vapor products which was left in place until a court ruling changed the restriction. This led to an increasing demand for vaping product along with valuable data from cigarette smokers. The FDA has received tens of thousands (if not more) letters from current and past eCigarette users as testimony. Even with these testimonies the FDA has not published any data. In fact, a week after the RCP report the FDA released deeming regulation which will once again restrict vapor products to the American public in a devastating manner.

Alternatively much of the western world beyond U.S. borders has voiced opnions regarding vapor products. In April 2016 a landmark report was released by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) located in United Kingdom. It is important to note that RCP is one of the most respected medical opinions in the world similar to the Mayo Clinic here in the United States.

Below is a portion of the Forbes news article regarding the recent RCP findings along with the link to the Forbes article itself and the RCP findings.

Royal College Of Physicians Says E-Cigarettes Can 'Prevent Almost All The Harm From Smoking'

In 1962, two years before U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry released his famous report on the health hazards of smoking, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) covered the same subject in a report that went further than Terry’s, linking cigarettes to cardiovascular disease as well as lung cancer and chronic bronchitis. Today the RCP issued another landmark report that should inspire imitation in the United States, endorsing e-cigarettes as a harm-reducing alternative to the combustible, tobacco-containing kind.

“Large-scale substitution of e-cigarettes, or other non-tobacco nicotine products, for tobacco smoking has the potential to prevent almost all the harm from smoking in society,” the RCP says. “Promoting e-cigarettes…and other non-tobacco nicotine products as widely as possible, as a substitute for smoking, is therefore likely to generate significant health gains in the UK.”

The same is true for the United States, where public health officials tend to view e-cigarettes with fear rather than hope. The RCP report carefully addresses the concerns raised by critics of vaping.

Is vaping safer than smoking?

“E-cigarette vapour contains a far less extensive range of toxins, and those present are typically at much lower levels, than in tobacco smoke,” the report notes. “In normal conditions of use, toxin levels in inhaled e-cigarette vapour are probably well below prescribed threshold limit values for occupational exposure, in which case significant long-term harm is unlikely. Some harm from sustained exposure to low levels of toxins over many years may yet emerge, but the magnitude of these risks relative to those of sustained tobacco smoking is likely to be small….Although it is not possible to quantify the long-term health risks associated with e-cigarettes precisely, the available data suggest that they are unlikely to exceed 5% of those associated with smoked tobacco products, and may well be substantially lower than this figure.”

Similarly, a 2015 report from Public Health England said “it has been previously estimated that [electronic cigarettes] are around 95% safer than smoking,” which “appears to remain a reasonable estimate.” Given this huge difference in risk, it is completely irresponsible for government officials and medical authorities to discourage smokers from switching to vaping by implying (or stating outright) that tobacco-free, noncombustible e-cigarettes are just as dangerous as the real thing.

The RCP argues that appropriate safety regulations could further reduce the hazards posed by e-cigarettes. But it warns that if regulation “makes e-cigarettes less easily accessible, less palatable or acceptable, more expensive, less consumer friendly or pharmacologically less effective, or inhibits innovation and development of new and improved products, then it causes harm by perpetuating smoking.”

Do e-cigarettes help smokers quit?
“Smokers who use nicotine products as a means of cutting down on smoking are more likely to make quit attempts,” the RCP says. “Promoting wider use of consumer nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes, could therefore substantially increase the number of smokers who quit.”

In England, the RCP notes, e-cigarettes have surpassed nicotine replacement therapy (NRT, i.e., gum, patches, nasal spray, etc.) as an alternative to smoking. While the evidence so far is limited, it suggests that e-cigarettes are at least as effective as NRT in helping smokers quit, and there is reason to believe they will work better for many people, since vaping more closely resembles the activity it is supposed to replace.

The National Health Service’s Stop Smoking Services (SSSs) recently started to help smokers trying to quit with e-cigarettes, and the early data are promising. “The average quit rate in all smokers using SSSs was around 51%, and among e-cigarette users it was 66%,” the RCP reports. “Although factors other than the product itself are likely to be involved in this difference, the finding is certainly consistent with high efficacy as a cessation therapy.”

Data from England indicate that “smokers who use e-cigarettes at least daily are indeed twice as likely to make a quit attempt, or else to reduce their smoking, [as] those who do not.” Although that study did not find that e-cigarette use made success more likely, “independent clinical trials and observational data from the Smoking Toolkit Study [a British survey] indicate that e-cigarette use is associated with an increased chance of quitting successfully.”

Are e-cigarettes a gateway to smoking?

Critics of e-cigarettes worry that they will “renormalize” smoking and increase its incidence by fostering nicotine addiction among people who otherwise never would have used tobacco. But there is very little evidence that is happening. To the contrary, smoking rates and vaping rates are moving in opposite directions, and regular use of e-cigarettes does not seem to have much appeal among people who have never smoked.

“There is no evidence that either NRT or e-cigarette use has resulted in renormalisation of smoking,” the RCP says. “None of these products has to date attracted significant use among adult never-smokers, or demonstrated evidence of significant gateway progression into smoking among young people.”

If there were a significant gateway effect, surveys should identify people who have never used tobacco but who regularly use e-cigarettes (often enough to get hooked on nicotine) and eventually move on to smoking. But if such people exist, there are not many of them.

“E-cigarette use in Britain is, to date, almost entirely restricted to current, past or experimental smokers,” the RCP notes. “As with NRT, there is no evidence thus far that e-cigarette use has resulted, to any appreciable extent, in the initiation of smoking in either adults or children; the extremely low prevalence of use of e-cigarettes among never-smoking adults and children indicates that, even if such gateway progression does occur, it is likely to be inconsequential in population terms.”

By contrast, the impact of turning large numbers of smokers into vapers could be dramatic. “The growing use of electronic cigarettes as a substitute for tobacco smoking has been a topic of great controversy, with much speculation over their potential risks and benefits,” says John Britton, chairman of the RCP’s Tobacco Advisory Group. “This report lays to rest almost all of the concerns over these products, and concludes that, with sensible regulation, electronic cigarettes have the potential to make a major contribution towards preventing the premature death, disease and social inequalities in health that smoking currently causes in the UK. Smokers should be reassured that these products can help them quit all tobacco use forever.”
Full News Article from Forbes

You can also read the entire RCP Statement by clicking on the link below, this way you have actually heard it (read it) from the horses mouth which can be helpful when having conversations with friends and family regarding electronic cigarettes and your view on the health risks involved.

RCP Statement on e-Cigarettes

France’s Public Health Tabac Info Service Says Vaping Is Effective For Quitting Smoking, Reducing Disease Risks For Smokers

Vapers rejoice: The tide is turning towards e-cigarettes in France. France has become the latest country to issue official guidance in favour of e-cigarettes, suggesting they are an effective tool for smokers who are looking to reduce or replace tobacco.

Tabac Info Service, run by government body Public Health France, said this week “according to the latest work of the High Council on Public Health (Haut Conseil de la Santé Publique), electronic cigarettes can constitute a tool to help stop or reduce consumption of tobacco“ and also “reduce the risk of developing serious illnesses such as cancer”. The stop-smoking campaign has said e-cigarettes are "much less harmful than traditional cigarettes".

It also found vapers who continued to smoke while using e-cigarettes still reduce their tobacco consumption by an average of nine cigarettes per day, meaning vaping can be used as a "progressive tool" for quitting smoking. Tabac Info Service's conclusions echo those reached by Public Health England last August, which concluded e-cigarettes were 95 per cent less harmful than traditional tobacco, and the Royal College of Physicians in a landmark report in May.

Brad Rodu Article: UK e-Cigarette Perceptions More Accurate Than U.S.

Words, and honesty, matter in communicating public health advice. Today, survey data in the U.K. and the U.S. demonstrate the effects of truth-telling versus obfuscation regarding e-cigarettes. I have previously noted stark differences in the characterization of e-cigarette use by health authorities in the two countries. Evidence-based assessments by Public Health England and the British Royal College of Physicians encourage smokers to switch to e-cigarettes, while government agencies and trusted medical organizations in the U.S. obscure the relative safety of e-cigarettes.

Reflecting the above, new surveys demonstrate that 55% of adults in the U.K. correctly believed in 2015 that e-cigarettes were less harmful than cigarettes, while only 26% of Americans held that view. The British survey was conducted by Action on Smoking and Health U.K. I generated the U.S. numbers from National Cancer Institute Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) data. There were minor differences in the wording of the survey questions, but I think the results are comparable and informative. While the U.K. results aren’t ideal, the U.S. results are deplorable and must be attributed to the misinformation campaign waged by public health authorities.

Read Full Article

Spreadsheet Lists All e-Cigarette Research And Commentary In "Web Of Science" Published From 2008 To The End Of 2015.

First things first. A humble thank you to Amelia Ruby for sharing this extensive spreadsheet. Above we listed some of the articles and findings regarding eCigs and the positive or negative effects. With our media driven facebook pace informational streams out there it is difficult to find authentic articles, studies and stories regarding electronic cigarettes in the United States without manipulation or unbiased reporting. If you're curious to know how many findings have either not been reported by the U.S. media outlets or purposely downplayed than look no further. The below link lists all studies performed (which can be easily googled for additional information). Folks, when Shawn started Zee Cigs and in the first few years only a handful of articles were available.

Click on the link below and you will find not a dozen, not one hundred, but nearly one thousand studies, articles and reviews and this is only up to 2015. The spreadsheet is a treasure trove of information including electronic cigarette harm reduction data, systematic review of health effects of electronic cigarettes, success rates data, toxicity reports, pregnancy data, state based reports, cessation data, youth usage data, eCigarette vs nicotine inhaler data and much much more. If you have been searching for truthful non biased information you have found the motherland or all information regarding eCigarettes.

Spreadsheet lists all e-cigarette research and commentary in Web of Science published from 2008 to the end of 2015, sorted by funding agency (scroll to right, row highlighted in yellow). Thanks to Amelia Ruby for sharing.

View Spreadsheet

What About eCigarettes Exploding In Your Mouth?

On the subject of health concerns another valid safety situation should be mentioned regarding the safety of electronic cigarettes as a device, which of course brings us to vapor eCigs exploding which has happened. So the question is how and why and of course, could it happen to me?

It is important for you to be aware of the different types or eCigarette models as certain models do carry a great deal of safety risks and possible harm. All vapor eCigarette models use Lithium Ion batteries to power the device. Lithium Ion is a mainstream battery and can be found in almost every major portable electronic device including, cell phones, smart phones, laptops, ipads and yes even iWatches.

There are two fundamentally different eCig models on the market in respect to this situation. There are the mainstream regulated models and then there are the unregulated "Mechanical Mods". On this subject "regulated" refers to electrical voltage regulation and not consumer product or government administration regulation. If an electronic product does not have regulated protection built in it can short out and even be a fire hazard. This protection is usually built within the circuit board of the device allowing it to automatically shut down if a short occurs.

Mainstream eCig models (like the ones sold here on this website) have built in regulated protection (commonly listed in the product description as "protected"). The risk of these models breaking down is extremely rare. How rare? You are running the exact same risk with a cell phone or laptop. However unlike a laptop an eCig model has a much smaller amount of Lithium Ion on-board. while on this subject it is important to mention that if a Lithium Ion device like the ones listed above do some-how malfunction Lithium Ion does not explode but rather starts a chemical run-away reaction venting chemical vapor and becoming very hot to the point that a fire can result depending on materials surrounding the device but they do not blow up.

So, at this point you might be asking yourself, how could an eCig explode as I know I've heard about it. Well the first thing to do is identify what an unregulated unit is and what steps need to be made to result in explosion. Unregulated units are commonly called Mechanical Mods. I want to pause for a moment and explain that the word "mod" in the e-cigarette industry is common and does not refer to unregulated. The key is the word "Mechanical". Mechanic mods hit the vaping scene a few years ago and were very popular with DIY'ers as it allowed them to push these models to limits that were previously unobtainable in regards to vapor output.

A "Mechanical Mod" is mechanical by definition and hence its name. It is simply a metal tube, a battery and a push button switch. There are no fuses or protections in place. Mechanical mods are usually used with rebuildable atomizers or clearomizer (RBA's/RDA's). That's right, the user builds their own heating element by tightly wrapping kanathal wire into a very small coil. This process is complex, knowledge intensive, and you guessed it, prone for mistakes and errors resulting in electrical shorts. Very intelligent users have built some very complex and impressive units aka "rigs" and responsible DIY'ers use these devices with little issue.

In the "Mechanical Mod" world of vaping, Lithium Ion run-away is more common than not, especially with novice builders. Note "run-away" not explosion. To cause an explosion one last variable needs to be in the mix which is vent holes. Mechanical Mods are usually designed with small holes in the metal tube that houses the battery and these holes are a vital safety feature. In the event that a mechanical mod has a Lithium Ion run-away reaction the vent holes allow for the batteries vapors caused by the chemical reaction to escape from the tube. BUT!!! if the tube was made without vent holes the vapor has nowhere to escape causing pressure within the tube, it then can explode.

To get an eCig to explode you need an eCig with no built in protection and without vent holes. With this type of unit a short in the heating element can cause an explosion.

If you are asking yourself why someone would take these risks with the dangers involved we do have two proven reasons, for a period of time many vapor retailers were selling Mechanical Mod's without explaining the risks so a good deal of users were unaware of the risks. With recent media stories showcasing these very rare events these units are not being offered by respectable retailers. But in some rare cases this is still happening online and in brick and mortar locations. If you are looking at foreign eCigarette retailers (such as china) do your homework as these models are still being offered for sale with no safety warnings.

The second and more popular reason is that a great deal of vapor users are after amazingly large clouds of vapor. If you happen to see a youtube video of a person blowing out a ten foot plume of vapor chances are they are using a mechanical mod. The issue at hand is many vape users are after the vapor output and put little time into learning "ohm's law"and/or purchasing electrical testing equipment and of course not inspecting their units for vent holes leading to serious safety concerns.

As a side note the "mechanical mod" has played a pivotal role in the world of eCigs as Chinese manufacturers followed the progress and incorporated many DIY'ers designs into "Protected" units which are now offered as mainstream units featuring "Sub Ohm" technology. Sub Ohm technology has been important in the world of eCigs as many heavy smokers found previous eCig models lacking in vapor performance. with the introduction of "Sub Ohm" models a much larger demographic of smokers have been able to make the switch from cigarettes to e-Cigarettes.

What About eCigarettes Catching Your Pant's On Fire?

Most media coverage in the U.S. regarding eCigarettes has been mostly negative, admittedly, these are sensationalized stories which do attract viewers which could explain the negative coverage. In 2015 a sensational story was showcased which did make headlines and was featured on youtube and around facebook with millions of views. Security camera footage showed a man in a gas station with his pants pocket catching on fire. The title of the story was "e-Cigarette catches man's pants on fire".

To be frank, it caught everyones attention including the vapor industry as that seemed extremely unlikely. So was the story true? technically yes and technically no. The eCig in question was not an eCig, it was actually a removable 18650 Lithium ION battery. These batteries look a bit larger than a removable AA battery but are made of Lithium ION so there is much more energy stored onboard compared to a AA battery. 18650 batteries are used in hundreds of products from flashlights to camera equipment and yes also in certain eCig models as they are removable just like any other common battery. In fact they are becoming very common in many eCig models as it allows a user to swap batteries very quickly and they are powerful enough to power most eCig units for an entire day.

So what happen to the guy in the gas station? well he had a removable 18650 battery in his pocket right next to a set of keys, the set of keys came into contact with the positive and negative sides of the battery and as the keys had no fuse or protection it caused the Lithium Ion battery to short and cause a run-away resulting in a chemical run away reaction which did catch the fabric (pant's) on fire.

He could have been using these batteries for many products such as a flashlight or camera equipment, but in this case they were used for his electronic cigarette, and so the story goes which was circulated throughout the world as "e-Cigarette catches man's pants on fire". Common sense would dictate not to place any removable batteries in your pocket along with other metal objects. To be clear on this subject, standard eCig units have a power button and is incased within steel, these units also have "protection" built in for safety. Generically they are called eCig batteries as the lower end is the power source and they do house the Lithium Ion but it is important to note it also houses the built in protection to prevent short circuiting.

Counterfeit's Can Be Dangerous, A Constant Issue In The eCig Market!

Wherever you may roam in your eCig purchases it is important for safety sake to point out the real dangers of counterfeit product as the eCig industry has been plagued with this issue since it's inception. As mentioned above regarding "Protected" units the importance of safety should always be paramount. So you may be asking what is a counterfeit eCig? They are units that have been designed to imitate the major brand designs. They will even have the same (or similar) markings as the real mcCoy but with these knock off's it all comes down to what's under the hood. Counterfeits will be using cheaper chip sets, these sets may or may not have working protection built in, in addition the materials may release harmful residue. For example a low grade metal may have been used for the heating element causing health concerns or sub standard wicking may have been used also causing possible health standard issues.

So how does a new or novice eCigarette user know the difference between the real McCoy and a knock off? The most helpful advice in this situation is the saying "You get what you pay for". If the price point seems to low or your offered an unbelievable deal by a clickable ad then buyer beware. The counterfeits are much more ramped in the China market but the situation of knock off eCigarettes is a global issue and does reach into the United States. Even at the level of brick and mortar retailers so this issue is not limited to online. Keep it simple and stick with well established retailers as they are on the hook with regards to selling safe equipment.

Regarding foreign online retailers the "Buyer Beware" suggestion is pinnacle regarding the asian markets. U.K., Canada and much of Europe has already implemented government safety standards and retailers are held to a pretty high standard so if you find yourself traveling or are viewing this information outside of the United States this information may be useful. Another helpful hint is checking the "contact" section of online retailers, if the information is lacking or only a web form is available this to should be a warning sign. Many China based online websites will hide the country of origin, you should with regard to online fraud safety as well as product safety.

eLiquid Safety, Know What You Are Inhaling.

When it comes to safety this is also a very important subject with regards to "Health Concerns" as you are physically inhaling the vapor. When Shawn started ZeeCigs his first major project was finding a reputable eLiquid manufacturer in the United States. In addition, all of the ingredients needed to be made in the United States as USP laws are strict and China regulation is almost non existent (most foreign eLiquid is made in China). When the "Made In The USA" Zee eLiquid was rolled out in 2009 ZeeCigs was the third manufacturer of USA Made eLiquid, talk about grass roots timing. Later on the name of the eLiquid line was changed to ÜbberBliss for marketing purposes. ZeeCigs also rolled out Cloudchasor as a MAX VG eLiquid for vapor users looking for more vapor output and less flavor. Since Shawn is a fellow eCig Vapor user it was paramount that the eLiquid be made to the purest of levels.

In the early days of electronic cigarettes it was pretty easy to tell the difference between premium eLiquid and foreign China based e-Liquid (which is also called eJuice and Smoke Juice). Vapor eCig users who were health conscious would naturally stray away from the China made eLiquid and for good reason. In 2014 an explosion of U.S.A eLiquid brands started to hit the U.S. market, in 2015 we witnessed the number nearly double and as of 2016 there has been yet another large increase of new ejuice vendors popping up with little signs of a slow down. One would make a reasonable conclusion that as supply increases so does demand however the number of new vapor users per year versus new eJuice suppliers does not match up, so what gives? Profit!

eLiquid can vary greatly with regards to cost and in this genre the options and internal costs are nearly limitless. The word premium has been diluted and the wording of "Made In The USA" has also been manipulated. In 2014 two large white label eLiquid manufacturers gained a great deal of ground in the eLiquid wholesale industry resulting in a lucrative situation for investors. Simply create a brand, come up with some catchy labelling, recruit an outside firm to bombard retailers with wholesale offers and yet another brand is born. Hundreds if not thousands of USA brands are all coming from the same manufacturers making it even more confusing for the consumer. The real item at hand is reputation and eLiquid quality. Early USA manufacturers were intertwined with the vapor market and had a good understanding of ingredient quality, consistency and reputation. Lately the eLiquid market has become more geared for pure profit with little regard to the end user.

Harmful ingredients can and are being used in many eLiquid brands and we highly recommend that you take the time to visit the "eLiquid Safety" Section located in our "eCig Info" Section.