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OWN #11 | 17-23 June 2019

It's cooling down out there, stay warm. Let's have a look at some news from this past week...

Helping the elderly give up smoking

It can be extremely challenging to convince an older person, who may have been smoking for decades, to give up the habit. Besides being extremely addictive, cigarettes are also very habit forming and "integrates" with one's daily life to the point where some things just feel "wrong" unless you are smoking while you do them.

This piece is written by a journalist who gave her 69-year-old father a vape in order to help him quit smoking. The result: he hasn't had a cigarette for 6 months - but now he loves the vaping so much, he does not want to give that up.

"It is such a relief to not be a smoker," said Casper LaVito, 69. "It's great. I can't believe it. I still can't believe it."

This is a fairly common effect of vaping to quit smoking. Despite what the media and "governing bodies" tell you, vaping is highly effective to help stop smoking.

I had this exact same response myself, and after being in this industry for over 3 years I have heard the same kind of statement so many times - people who never thought they would ever be able to break free from their smoking addiction finally manages to do so by vaping!

Now the rest of this article deals with the journalist's concerns that her father is now vaping, and has no intention of giving that up. This is also quite common, for better or worse. The fact remains that (from a purely logical point of view at least) vaping is orders of magnitude less harmful than smoking tobacco.

Is it a good thing to vape? Surely not, if you weren't a smoker previously. However, if you switched from being a smoker to a being a vaper you've just added years to your life - even if, down the line, there may be some negative effects due to vaping.

He said he has "no desire, no want, no care" to smoke a cigarette after 35 years of smoking, minus the few times he attempted to quit.

So yeah, smokers convert to vapers - and maybe that's not ideal. But the alternative might be someone who just keeps on smoking, and no one in their right might would consider that a good thing.

I empathize with this writer and her concerns. They have done a great thing but, as a non-smoker, it's hard to understand the level of addiction that comes with smoking, and just how hard it is to give up and stay away from it. Vaping offers the crutch many people need in order to do that, even if it isn't a perfect solution.

Read the article here:

E-cigarette explodes

Now that vaping is in the cross-hairs of governments, parents and activists, the latest vape explosion will surely add a lot of fuel to the anti-vape fire.

Basically, these devices use rechargeable batteries - the same as those used in cellphones and laptops. The difference is that because these are used to power a resistance wire (the coil that vapourizes the e-juice), they put a lot more strain on these batteries.

Make no mistake, these batteries are volatile and dangerous. However, most electronic devices that use them have built-in safety mechanisms, preventing them from being strained too much - the same goes for the majority of vaping devices on the market.

Most of the time, these incidents occur with mechanical mods - advanced vaping devices which have no built in circuitry, and hence no safety mechanisms. This is by design, and it's generally just a bad idea to use these - unless you are well educated on the function of and risks involved with these devices and even then, things can still go wrong.

Adults looking to use these products to quit smoking should not be discouraged by rare events like this, especially since most or all of the incidents linked to the injuries present here involve advanced 'mechanical mod' devices that likely represent less than 1% of American vaping product sales today.

The takeaway here isn't that vaping devices are dangerous - they're no more dangerous than your cellphone - it's that, like all electronic devices, you should buy them from respectable shops and use them as indicated. I've used hundreds of different devices over the years and I have personally never had a single issue of this kind.

Kudos to Health24 for publishing the full coverage of this story instead of using it as a way to demonize vaping, as most publications seem to be doing. Read it here:

Teens being tested for nicotine

In the latest "madness over teen vaping" a Nebraska school district will start testing students participating in extracurricular activities for nicotine.

"We hope to help students to resist the temptation to experiment with these products," Grizzle wrote in an email to USA TODAY.

Now, of course, no one is condoning the use of these products by children, but this is getting a tiny bit out of hand. Preventing children from obtaining vaping devices is key - the same as, for example, with alcohol.

The "The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave" indeed.

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