2014: Are Vapers Just the Latest Drug Users to Be Demonized?

Vapers and e-cig users need to join forces with the drug reform movement to fend off prohibitionist impulses. New Year’s Eve is around the corner and no doubt millions of smokers will make resolutions to quit. Many smokers would love to give up the habit. But smoking is an incredibly hard addiction to quit. Many heroin users say it is harder to quit smoking than quitting heroin. Thankfully, there is an exciting new tool that is helping millions give up on smoking: e-cigs and vaping. Stand on the streets of most major U.S. cities for five minutes and you will see people walking by with an e-cig instead of a cigarette hanging from their mouth. It is encouraging how fast e-cigs and vaping have taken off. Smokers aren’t stupid. When offered a safer alternative, millions have chosen it. The fact that e-cigs can be purchased at most delis and […] Read More

2014: We Should Cheer E-Cigs and Vaping, Not Equate them with Smoking

From New York to California, we are seeing cities passing laws against vaping in public. Walking down the streets of New York I see more and more people using e-cigarettes. I see them enjoying their e-cigarette outside a bar or as they hustle down the street and it is easy to imagine that these e-cigs have replaced their previous form of tobacco intake, the cigarette. I instantly feel solidarity and connection with these folks. I have my own long and complicated relationship with cigarettes. I have tried everything to break my habit. I have tried the patch and the gum. I have tried hypnosis and Wellbutrin. And out of all of the replacements and strategies, I have been most excited and optimistic about e-cigarettes and vaping. It is encouraging how fast e-cigs and vaping have taken off. Smokers aren’t stupid. When offered a safer model to obtain their nicotine, […] Read More

2014: How Worried Should We Be About E-Cigarette Liquids?

A debate with the New York Times. The following first appeared on Substance.com:  E-liquids—the liquid nicotine used to refill reusable e-cigarettes—are sold legally nationwide. But in the last couple of days, the seemingly harmless, smoke-free liquids have sparked some starkly contrasting media attitudes. Matt Richtel of The New York Times writes that e-liquids are a dangerous poison—even more so than tobacco in some cases. But Reason.com‘s Jacob Sollum vehemently counters Richtel’s assertions, writing that, considered more broadly, e-liquids are no more dangerous than vitamins. We broke down the arguments in order to directly compare their views on some of the key issues: What is the range of nicotine levels commonly found in e-liquids? NY Times: Most range between 1.8 percent and 2.4 percent, concentrations that can cause sickness, but rarely death, in children. But higher concentrations, like 10 percent or even 7.2 percent, are widely available on the Internet. Reason.com: The strongest fluid sold by 11 of the 13 […] Read More