Storm

Storm

Monday, 20 February 2017

Hey Ruth. This one is for you.


So you don't like that ordinary plebs blog about some of the rubbish you allow to be printed in that ideological rag that parades itself as a Science Journal. Well guess what. We do not care anymore. After years of being ignored, blocked, called industry shills and made the subject of some lunatic study, what else do you expect. Studies that have passed peer review that are clearly poor science appear with alarming regularity. They only passed peer review because the peers were also rabid Anti Tobacco/Vaping people. Any good, honest scientist/academic would have returned them to the authors marked 'This is rubbish. Try again'. Seriously. Go back and reread some of the utter bilge you have allowed to be published and be honest with yourself. Is it any wonder we blog and comment wherever we are allowed and  I say allowed because in most cases any departure from the holy scriptures is blocked or shut down.

Let me put it another way. What we see being published as research is being aimed at and used by legislators World wide to shape new laws that directly affect us, not you.  Should we not be allowed a say without being called names? When we are denied that say is it any wonder we get angry? You and your fellow Tobacco Controllers are interfering with our lives. Don't expect us to go quietly.

I notice you are 'opening rapid response'. Do you expect us to believe this will give us the chance to challenge what we see? It never has before. Feel free to comment on this blog. I won't censor anything.

Rant off

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Let Me Help You With That


I am writing this blog in response to a plea for help/tips for new users. I hope it will offer some useful advice that can be imparted to new switchers. It is far from exhaustive but I think it contains the essentials.

First let me give you my story. I am 60 years old and smoked since 9. I quit many times and failed just as often. 3½ years ago I was persuaded by my daughter to try ecigs. I have not looked back since. For me it was an instant success and I have not touched a cigarette since or even wanted to. Calling it a minor miracle is an understatement. If you don't want to quit smoking then ignore this. I don't want to demonise you in any way. If you do want to stop smoking then please read on.

  1. NEVER set targets. Remember all those times you have tried to quit before. That pressure you and others pile upon yourself? Avoid that, it rarely works. Buy your ecig and take it one day at a time.
  2. Seek out any advice from current users. We have done it and we understand how it works.
  3. Select an eliquid with enough Nicotine content to satisfy the initial cravings. I suggest no less than 18mg/ml or 1.8%. If you were a heavy smoker you may need higher, 24mg/ml or 2.4% although this is hard to find.
  4. FLAVOUR. I think this is the most critical part. If you pick a flavour you do not like you will not stick with it. Think about what you like. Blueberry is a very good starter flavour for many. Do not automatically go for Tobacco flavours. Most Tobacco flavours are a very poor substitute for cigarettes. Think outside the box. There are thousands of flavours out there and getting it right is the key to success. I like Lemon in the morning with my Lemon tea, various during the day and Chocolate at night. If you like drinking then you will need to find a flavour that compliments you tipple of choice. Think of it in the same way as wine/food choices.
  5. Drinking Alcohol. Mine and most smokers weak link when trying to quit. How many times have you avoided drinking because you know you will have the odd smoke. The good news is, with the right flavour and in the right environment, Vaping will overcome this. Most Vapers are drinkers and have no issues.
  6. Seek out Pubs that allow vaping. There are many only too happy to welcome you, after all, you will spend more money when sitting relaxed inside than popping out for a fag every ½ hour.
  7. DO NOT worry that you seem to be using your ecig a lot. That is quite normal. Your body does not absorb the same levels of nicotine that it can from a cigarette so you Vape more to compensate.
  8. Do not listen to the naysayers. This is your journey not theirs.

Let's move on to to the equipment itself. There are hundreds of different ecigs out there and to a new user it must look daunting. Don't worry. Most of them are not applicable to you, yet. A simple set up and the above advice is all you need to make it work. Once you know it works for you then you may want to upgrade your equipment.
You will probably end up with something like this. 

It consists of a Ce4 tank and an ego 650MaH battery. The tank contains an atomiser and this is where the action is. The battery heats up a small coil in the atomiser which vapourises the eliquid which you then breathe by sucking the mouth piece. All you do is simply fill the tank with liquid and press the button on the battery. All very easy and very inexpensive. These kits and a juice can be bought for less than the price of a packet of fags.
When using this type of tank you need to remember two things,

  1. Occasionally roll the tank to ensure the wicks are always soaked in eliquid otherwise you will end up with a burnt taste. Always keep the tank topped up as well.
  2. The atomiser is a replaceable item. They should be available from where you purchased your kit. They need replacing as soon as the taste changes to unpleasant. This can be anywhere from 1-2 weeks depending on how much you use it and the flavour of liquid. Do not try to push the atomiser beyond it's useful life. It tastes foul and produces nasties.

Now what about those great looking boxy things with big tanks that produce big clouds of vapour you ask. Well that is the next level of vaping. It may or may not suit you. Many people continue to use the above kits quite happily. Box mods (battery and control chips) combined with bigger, often rebuildable tanks are very common now. However they are not always suitable or cost effective for someone starting their journey. They do produce more vapour and flavour. They also allow you to use less nicotine but they are more expensive to buy and run. I would not recommend them until you are sure Vaping is for you.

See that nice new Vape Shop that opened near you? Drop in and have a look. Hopefully the staff will be helpful. You can probably try out some flavours. Remember my advice for starting kit and don't get tempted to buy the lovely shinies you see arrayed around you.

If you are on twitter, look me up @NealRoff and I will be happy to help and there are thousands of us out there that will do the same.

Contact your local Stop Smoking Service. They may be ecig friendly and be able to help. Some even run ecig workshops with the help of local Vapers.

Above all else. DO NOT listen to the scaremongering in the media. The science shows ecigs are magnitudes safer than smoking. That is all you need to know for now. Give it a shot. What do you have to lose.

Added due to oversight. If you relapse, don't beat yourself up over it.  Try and work out why and have another go.

Safety Tip. Easy to forget and I did. Batteries for ecigs are no more dangerous than for Phones, Laptops, Tablets and a host of other consumer goods. Handled correctly they are pretty safe.

1. Only use the charger that came with your kit and never leave to charge overnight. Buy a spare battery to overcome this.
2. When not in use, switch the battery off. Usually 5 quick clicks of the button. This prevents accidental firing.
3. If you do use replaceable batteries such as 18650's NEVER store loose anywhere. The slightest short can set it off with disastrous consequences. Coins and keys in your pocket are usually to blame. Battery cases are dirt cheap and could save a nasty accident.

Monday, 30 May 2016

 A CAUTIONARY TALE FOR VENDORS.

At the moment, I am in the process of getting ready for a band reunion gig after almost 30 years. Brilliant fun but hard work and time consuming. Some of you may remember that after my last trek back up to Northampton I discovered our drummer had tried and failed with Vaping. I returned home that time with assurances that he would visit the local Vape shop and try again. This weekend was another long journey and a chance to see how he had got on. A little background on him. He has had a few personal issues and the other band members had said how much this reunion had given him a new lease of life but nevertheless he is still at a pretty low point and financially not to well off. We went to pick him up for rehearsal and to my dismay he was smoking a rollie. When I jokingly said "whats that?" he held up a mod and tank in his other hand. He told me that the vape gear was not working for him and he was disappointed after spending nearly £90 on it, nearly £30 more than it was all worth. It was an Eleaf iStick Pico with a Melo mini tank. The tank was leaking, it was producing next to no vapour and he didn't have a clue what all the numbers on the screen meant. I stripped it down, set it up again and got it working  as a direct lung device but there was no way that as it stood it could be used MTL. The wide bore mouthpiece just would not allow it. I stuck a narrow drip tip on it and it worked reasonably. As luck would have it ( no luck involved) I had anticipated something like this and had brought a Protank mini, some coils, 2 Egos, charger and some juice. I showed him how to set it up, put some juice in and handed it to him. His face lit up. He did not have a rollie all weekend and was quite confident about it when I left. Now I appreciate that shops are there to make a living but he had been fleeced for £90, got a piece of kit that didn't work for him with no help to keep going. He also has no internet so his choice is limited. Here was a prime example of the smoker that wanted to Vape but because he did not get the help required would have given up Vaping, for the second time, and stuck with smoking. Some Vendors, not all, need to pull their finger out and take more responsibility otherwise they might just as well go back to the bootsales and sell utter shite. In 3 weeks I shall return for the gig in the hope it has worked out for him and with another bundle of kit and juice. The tear in his eye as he thanked me when I left was more reward than I could ever have hoped for.

On the subject of Vendors. The recent #LordsVapeVote has highlighted the vendor problem even more. There were a handful of vendors who went much further than required to try and help but the majority just ignored it. There is no way they did not know what was going on with the majority of Twitter users pushing it including most of the reviewers (great job people) but unless they do more to help with this fight they are going to end up out of business. Sad to say that many of them will be no great loss (Unfollow me, I have no fucks to give anymore) other than for the lack of outlets for future switchers to go to but if my mate is a good example, will it make much difference?



Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Confessions of a Crap Artist

Something has been annoying me for some time. Yesterday, that came to a head. I woke in the middle of the night with it nagging away so I am going to get it out and Twitter is not good enough.

Yesterday a new research paper was released. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0887233315001228
I am sure most of you have read this by now and am certain that the ANTZ will have done so. How do I know that? Because they have not commented, nor have they run to their pets in the media to twist the results to their agenda.

Now I am not going to write about the paper, no. This is not about one piece of research. This is about ecig research in general or more to the point, the lack of it.

The above research will no doubt be dismissed as it was funded, nay, carried out by BAT. When the ANTZ do comment, as they will have to at some point, they will scream COI and Big Tobacco, not on the actual validity of the research itself.

This is what is really bugging me. Why do we constantly hear “we don't know what's in them” and “there is not enough research” ? In the USA there is a pot of hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars earmarked for ecig research. Is this money being used on good research such as BAT have just carried out? No it is not. Study after study has been carried out drowning rats in eliquid, asking a few “youths” if they have ever tried an ecig, searching social media for the slightest mention of Vaping and likening ecig advertising to that of 1950's cigarettes. There has been a host of other useless drains on that huge pot of money. One or two almost came close to getting to the truth but with clear intent were twisted to hide the actual results. The Public and lawmakers are being lied to. They see the attention grabbing headlines from “respected” sources and look no further. Science has become a sham. A front for agenda driven groups Worldwide. It is hard to trust any research on any subject now and that is a disgrace.

That huge pot of money could have settled this debate in a matter of weeks with millions left over. Good people are doing good research for a pittance and all they receive for it is dismissal and public shaming.
A message to the ANTZ. Yes Glantz, I mean YOU. BAT have just showed you how to do research. If that does not shame you, nothing will. Read it, replicate it. Find the truth. Otherwise this is for you.

ANTZ “ I want the truth”

Us “You can't handle the truth”


ps. The title is another Phillip K Dick reference. Check the plotline out for relevance.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

FLOW MY TEARS


This is a first for me. I have thought about blogging many times but always felt there are better people out there already doing it. However, today, I had the pleasure of engaging a member of the medical establishment. We have swapped tweets before but today was different. The trouble with twitter though is the ability to write enough in a series of 140 characters. Often quite less as more people join the conversation. So I felt driven to write this. It is not aimed at said person but I hope he reads it and gets a little insight.

I am 59. I have smoked since 14 but dabbled with tobacco since 9. I quit many times with varying degrees of success. No, what am I saying. With ZERO success. Two years ago, my daughter persuaded me to try Vaping. She had been hinting at it for a lot longer and I knew it was working for her. She was advocating, which meant little to me at the time, and had become quite well known. So I relented and let her set me up with some Vaping gear and Juices. It worked. Overnight I quit smoking and have not looked back. I have not had one single urge to light a cigarette since that day. I was an inveterate smoker yet for the 1st time in the longest part of my life I didn't want to smoke. If God had came down and spoken to me I couldn't have been more shocked.

I followed my Daughter on Twitter and tried to get a handle on what it was she was having to fight for. I started meeting a lot of people just like me. Surely, no-one wanted to take away this miracle and cause so many people to inevitably return to smoking burnt tobacco did they? Well actually, they did and the more involved I got the more it became clear that vested interests were at stake. People who held positions of power and respect not only did not understand what it is like to be a smoker and why Vaping works, but were actually dismissing people as shills, anecdotes and astroturf. These were people like me, real people who had found a real answer to a lifelong struggle against tobacoo addiction. People who actually wanted to help other people find that same escape route that we had all discovered. Yet Public health and the Tobacco Control Industries, because make no mistake that is what they are, were prepared to lie, produce biased, flawed studies and then refuse to engage with the people they were damaging.

Now let me make this clear. I KNOW Vaping works. I KNOW it is magnitudes safer than smoking lit tobacco. I don't need to fight to save Vaping for personal reasons. I know enough now to pretty much ensure I can Vape for the rest of my life. NO. I am fighting to give every smoker the chance to find what I found. To be able to help every smoker find the right set up to Vape and never return to cigarettes. To not be limited to ineffective equipment designed by committees that have no clue what is required thus leading to the inevitable relapse and return to smoking. I am fighting for peoples lives.

To members of Public Health. I look inside me and can say without doubt, my conscience is clear. Can you really do the same.