Friday, 29 August 2014

WHO attempts to censor Clive Bates

As I wrote yesterday, the WHO report released on Monday has been massively criticized this week. As usual Clive Bates delivered one of the most thought through and well written criticisms ( and posted a letter he wrote to the WHO in response to a public statement made by one of their representatives ( The WHO has responded to this by threatening to sue him for using a parody of their logo. Please read Carl Philips' post on the topic here: This comes on top of their twitter messages that Dr. Farsalinos commented on here:

This is the logo that the WHO didn't like
This is the kind of behaviour you typically see in people all out of arguments. They've put themselves in a position where they actually know they are wrong, but are reluctant to admit their mistake cause they are afraid to loose their authority... or they have financial reasons not to admit it. They are all out of arguments so their only option is to spread lies and try to crush the opposition with all means available not caring about the mess they leave behind. My wrecking ball analogy from yesterday seems even more relevant today.

In my honest opinion the WHO are not doing their job very well at the moment. I think Carl Philips says what we're all thinking right now:
If the WHO is so defenseless against criticism that this is the only way they can respond to it, perhaps it is time to replace them with people and an organization that are more suited to their role.

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Thursday, 28 August 2014

The WHO report: Tearing down the firewall

Two days ago WHO released their dreaded report on E-cigarettes. There is a lot of problems with this report, and although WHOs position is not as bad as it once was there is still a lot of problems like many others have already pointed out:
The WHO was also active on twitter trying to spread their propaganda after the report was released, something that I think made Dr. Farsalinos (and a lot of others) quite pissed off:

Notice the snake in WHO's logo?
On Monday I introduced a counterpart to the gateway theory; "the firewall theory". To me it sounds much more plausible that e-cigarettes act as a firewall stopping people who otherwise would have started smoking cigarettes from doing so, rather than a gateway into the deadly habit. Non-tobacco flavours are the bricks of this firewall, innovative technology that distances vaping from smoking is the mortar and it is reinforced by huge health benefits for the users and people around them.

This theory should be like music in the WHOs ears. They are looking at something that not only could be a gateway out of tobacco addiction but could also make a lot less people start smoking. But instead they are doing their best to tear down this wall. They seem completely reluctant to acknowledge that the facts don't fit their precious gateway theory, so they they are now trying to change the facts by banning non-tobacco flavours, banning use in public spaces and trying to convince the public that the health benefits are not there. All of these will make vaping more similar to smoking. Think about it: If kids could only get hold of tobacco flavours, would this make it more or less likely that they switch to cigarettes? If you have to go outside to the smoking areas standing alongside smokers to be able to vape, would more or less vapers switch the wrong way? If all e-cigarettes looks like cigarettes and performs poorly, would that be good or bad for public health?

To me it looks like the WHO report is designed by Big Tobacco and backed up by Big Pharma to make sure e-cigarettes pose a health problem. All of the proposed regulations will make e-cigarettes more dangerous and the gateway theory more plausible. Because the big problem for Big Tobacco and Big Pharma today is that e-cigarettes work, and innovation will make them work even better, building an increasingly higher wall between them and their customers' money. So they've invested in a wrecking ball called WHO to tear down that wall.

Suicide bunnyAlice in vapeland

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

CDC says teens love e-cigarettes ... I give you: "The firewall theory"

Yesterday The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released another set of numbers (and lies) claiming to prove their gateway theory: Their numbers, they say, shows that the number of teens that has tried e-cigarettes have tripled from 2011 to 2013 and here comes their punchline: Among non-smoking youth who had ever used e-cigarettes, 43.9 percent said they intended to smoke conventional cigarettes within the next year, compared with 21.5 percent of those who had never used e-cigarettes.
"The increasing number of young people who use e-cigarettes should be a concern for parents and the public health community, especially since youth e-cigarette users were nearly twice as likely to have intentions to smoke conventional cigarettes compared with youth who had never tried e-cigarettes."
This is the conclusion drawn from those numbers by Rebecca Bunnell, Sc.D., M.Ed., Associate Director for Science in CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health and the lead author of the study.

So the CDC have concluded once again that their numbers prove the gateway theory... but in fact it does no such thing. The problem is that they conclude that the e-cigarette use is the reason why these people wants to try cigarettes, but their numbers say nothing about this. It's not possible to know this, at least when you haven't asked the participants that question. In fact, a more plausible explanation is that people who would have tried out cigarettes in any case is also much more likely to try out e-cigarettes. Of course the numbers can't prove this either, but in my eyes it's the more plausible explanation of the two. The CDCs own numbers even supports this as they show that teen smoking rates is declining:

Let's for a minute assume that the explanation I proposed is the correct one. As a former smoker and current vaper I know that going back to cigarettes is just not something I'm very likely to do, unless forced by regulation. The reason is that cigarettes gives me nothing more, in fact it gives me a lot less, than vaping. Cigarettes tastes, well, like shit compared to vaping, and in addition to this I, and I bet most American teens, know how bad cigarettes are for my health. There is just no good reason to start smoking if you've tried vaping.

Now let's assume the CDC theory is correct, and teens want to try out cigarettes because of their e-cigarette experiments, even if their own numbers shows that this is highly unlikely. Well the paragraph above is still valid. In fact a vaper who has never smoked cigarettes is even more likely to think cigarettes are inferior to e-cigarettes... by far. 

The CDC wants you to believe their numbers support their pre-defined conclusion and their gateway theory. This is not true. Their numbers however are not useless, they might very well give us indications of another, more plausible theory. I give you "The firewall theory": Vaping acts as a firewall that stops teens from taking up the deadly habit of cigarette smoking.

I'm far more worried about the 21.5 of the teens that have never tried vaping but still wants to try out cigarettes, than I am about the 43.9% of vapers that wants to try. And so should the CDC be, but they're not... because their boss has already decided that he hates e-cigarettes (


Monday, 25 August 2014

Swedish court bans nicotine e-cigs and e-liquid

The Swedish Administrative court ruled last month that e-liquid and e-cigarettes containing nicotine should be treated as pharmaceutical products and thus needs approval before they can be sold in Sweden (

The Swedish Medical Products Agency (MPA) has been trying to get such a ruling for a while now. In October last year they issued a sales ban on one of the biggest Swedish retailers (, a decision that was appealed to the Administrative court. Now the court has rejected this appeal. The court considers e-cigarettes with nicotine to be pharmaceutical products, something that gives the MPA authority to regulate sales.

The MPA says they have a good overview of the big importers and that they will will turn to the import stage, while the municipalities have the opportunity to do oversight of sales in small shops. The MPA hopes that the ban will lead to safer products entering the market and says that today’s products are not proven to be neither safe nor effective (, in Swedish). I'm sorry what? This stinks of Big Pharma all the way over to Norway. If the MPA really wants safer products on the market they would definitely not have done this, unless they are incredibly stupid. Honestly I do not think they are that stupid, so this just has Big Pharma written all over it.

However, the sales still goes on in Sweden (, also in Swedish) as the ruling has not take effect yet, and the company in Malmö that the MPA tried to stop in the first place has of course appealed again to a higher court instance. The owner says he is considering moving his business out of the country like many others, for example to Poland, Germany or the UK. Selling to Swedes from these countries is no problem, he says. So... it's pretty obvious what will happen in Sweden: People will move their business to another country. And I bet they'll have a thriving black market before long as well. So much for the safer products that the MPA say they want. I bet the MPA is as surprised as I am by the fact that no-one has applied for approval of any e-cigarette or e-liquid product yet.

This is sad news from Sweden indeed. Instead of moving forward, they have taken a step backwards when it comes to the legal status of e-cigarettes in Sweden. So now they have, from what I know and unless the appeal from Malmö goes through, the same status as here in Norway. I've been a bit hopeful lately that Norway would take a step forward and repeal the ban, as some of our governing parties have said they want that, and the Minister of Health says he is open to discuss it. Well that might be just something he says to keep voters happy, but at least it's not all negative. The sad thing is that Norway tends to look a lot to Sweden (god knows why), so I think this court decision might hurt the case in Norway as well, possibly stopping what could have been a great step in the right direction.

Now this all sounds very bad for all us Scandinavian vapers, but I'm convinced that vaping is here to stay. Despite the current legal status here in Norway, we're seeing a huge growth in e-cigarette use, and eventually the politicians will have to give in to the pressure, as science will continue to work in the favour of vaping. To Swedish vapers reading this I'd like to say: Don't panic, you'll be able to continue vaping, just look at us Norwegians. We're doing just fine. And don't give up fighting, your battle isn't even completely lost yet and the war is far from over.


Friday, 22 August 2014

EVUN sends letter to WHO on behalf of European Vaping organizations

The European Vapers United Network (EVUN) have sent a letter to Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, urging the WHO to view e-cigarettes as part of the solution, not the problem ( You can read the whole letter here: The letter is written on behalf of the Independent Vapers’ Associations and Organisations of Belgium, Netherlands, France, Spain, Denmark, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary. I'm happy to see Norway in that list, and I think the people in the Norwegian Union of Vapers (Norsk Dampselskap) are doing a fantastic job making sure Norwegian vapers' voices are heard both in Norway and in Europe.
We are constantly being told that flavours exist only to entice new consumers and especially the young towards smoking. They excite so much fear amongst those who advise you! But listen to our experience, to what we know and understand about these flavours that are so important for us, the adults who use them. They have allowed us to create a distance between the deadly habit we had and the far healthier one we have adopted or are moving towards. It is the presence of flavours, be they bubble-gum or vanilla, that makes the possibility of returning to smoking so unlikely for those of us who have completely adopted the product, because for most of us the taste of burnt tobacco has become nauseous.
This is what EVUN writes about flavours in the letter, and I think it's one of the most important parts. As I've written before (although some might disagree): To quit smoking isn't really that hard... it's staying off the cigarettes that's the hard part. Flavours makes staying off the cigarettes easy for me, and I guess for most other vapers that has quit smoking completely as well. I also keep asking myself: When did strawberry become a flavour that appeals to kids only? Most adults I know love strawberries and cream as much as their kids.

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Monday, 18 August 2014

The word "vape" is now added to the dictionary

Oxford University Press said on Thursday that the word "vape" is now added to the online version of Oxford Dictionaries to "reflect new language trends" ( I'm happy to see that the editors of the dictionary understands that vaping is not just another form of smoking. I kind of like some of their examples of use as well: "I’d rather people vaped indoors than smoked outside" or "my cravings went away as soon as I took a vape".

I hope certain journalists, politicians and scientists will have too look this up as well, and stop misleading the public. To be honest I think we'll still see a lot of these guys saying that we "smoke e-cigarettes", but at least now we can tell them to go read the dictionary when they do.
Suicide bunnyAlice in vapeland

Friday, 15 August 2014

E-juice Review: Mother's Milk by Suicide Bunny

Some weeks ago now I received a Zamplebox for review and when tasting one of the juices in it, Santerina by Omega Vape, I kind of recognized some tastes that I had tasted before. My review of the Zamplebox service will be posted soon by the way, I'm just waiting for Zamplebox to get ready for the competition that will be held with it. Anyway, I realized that the tastes I recognized was from Mother's Milk by Suicide Bunny that I actually tried quite a while ago, I think it was before I even started this blog. I remember I was trying out a lot of different juices at that time and most of the bottles ended up half empty in the bottom of the backpack I use to carry my laptop around in. So, kind of triggered by the Santerina experience, I dug out the bottle of Mother's Milk to try it again and write this review/recommendation.

Mother's Milk by Suicide Bunny
Tested on: Hellfire Hybrid (around 1.3 ohms)

This juice is often described as a creamy vanilla custard with hints of strawberry. I've seen people disagree strongly, complaining there is no strawberry, and some even say they get cinnamon, muffins and even chocolate milk. Some love it, some is kind of disappointed by it as they don't feel it lives up to it's reputation, but I still haven't seen anyone really hating it. The reason for all these different opinions kind of becomes clear when you try it out: It is a pretty complex juice, with quite a few underlying flavours, so I guess different tongues will get more or less of the different flavours.

Personally I get the creamy vanilla custard on the inhale and add a little strawberry to that on the exhale. So for me the description that most shops use fits pretty well. I've read that someone taste Nesquick, and when tasting it after I read that, I'm kind of getting that feeling myself. Maybe there is some chocolate milk hints in there. Some juices are like this... you can't really put your finger on the taste, until someone tell you and then you're like ... yeah... that's what it is.

As for throat-hit, I'd say this is ok, not to much of it to be honest. But then again, I'm not all after throat-hit in dessert flavours. I'm more after the great tastes that makes you want more. And I think Mother's Milk delivers a lot of it. It's by no means overpowering in any way, quite the opposite actually, it's pretty mild in my opinion. But still there is a lot of complexity and a very interesting vape, that tends to taste just a little bit different from day to day. It's sweet, but not too sweet, making it an excellent all day vape for me.

I think the complexity of this juice makes it one of those juices you just have to try out yourself. A lot of people will disagree with my description of it, and some will be disappointed while others will get a positive surprise.
Suicide bunny

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Vaping banned on train stations and platforms in Norway

Jernbaneverket (the Norwegian government's agency for railway services) released a press release yesterday saying that from September 1st smoking will be prohibited on all Norwegian train stations and platforms. 
"The prohibition applies to all forms of smoking, including electronic cigarettes."
As you can see they're obviously not aware that vaping is not smoking, including it in the ban as just another form of smoking. Disappointing...

I wrote an email to Jernbaneverket's head of marketing, Cecilie Pindsle, asking her on what was the reasoning behind including e-cigarettes in the ban. I've translated her answer below:
"The reason that we are including e-cigarettes in the prohibition is that as of today it is illegal to produce, import and sell e-cigarettes in Norway, and we do not know if the emission of vapor from e-cigarettes containing nicotine will lead to any health hazards. The authorities (the Directorate of Health) is now investigating e-cigarettes further, and as long as we have an unresolved status we choose as owners of the stations to include them in the prohibition - something we have the opportunity to do by virtue of general jurisdiction. In this way we avoid unnecessary confusion in the public regarding smoking on stations."
Again, a bit disappointing that they haven't really done any research on this matter. It is not illegal to produce, import or sell the equipment in Norway, only if it contains nicotine. And they've not looked into the hazards of second hand vaping either. However I understand that being a government organization they have to rely on the information they get from the Directorate of Health on the latter issue, so the Directorate of Health is to blame for that one. But the confusion argument is just lame in my opinion. Yes, some cig-alikes can be mistaken for cigarettes if you're not close to the user, but this confusion could easily be avoided when they put up signs or announce the prohibition on their speaker systems like they plan to do anyway. In addition to this the awareness of e-cigarettes in Norway is sky rocketing at the moment so I don't think anyone really would do this mistake... unless they deliberately want to of course.

I've written back to Cecilie Pindsle, pointing out the errors in their press release and reasoning behind the ban and urging them to reconsider. I haven't heard back from her yet and I don't have high hopes that I will either, but you never know. I'll certainly inform you if I do.

This might not seem like to big a deal for a lot of people, but it really is. This is a government agency banning vaping in a public space that they "own". Outside! I can live with bars and restaurants banning vaping, as these are not public spaces, but this is something totally different. I haven't heard of any bars or restaurants that bans vaping outside either for that matter. This is one step towards banning smoking in all public spaces, something I think will happen eventually. The big problem here is that vaping is viewed as a form of smoking and hence included in the ban, by a government organization. And the one's responsible for this is the Directorate of Health, that are not doing their job to be honest. They keep saying they do not know enough about, but it is their job to know enough.

On Facebook Norwegian vapers are speaking up against the ban on Jernbaneverkets page ( and I encourage everyone who haven't done so yet to post a comment there as well. But please be nice and informative when you do, don't go destroying the vapers reputation.

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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Norway's second vape shop opened yesterday

Inside's brand new vape shop.
Yesterday Jonathan Storm Sørensen opened Norway's second pure vape shop at Biri, a pretty small village by Norway's biggest lake, Mjøsa. In an article in local newspaper GD ( Jonathan explains that he started out with a webshop but now chooses to open a shop. Even thought Biri is a pretty small place, it's located between the Olympic towns of Lillehammer, Gjøvik and Hamar so he is kind of covering the whole Mjøsa region. Until now there has been no shops between Oslo and Trondheim and this is a market that grows fast at the expense of tobacco, he says. To be honest I didn't know where the first vape shop in Norway was and why he mentions Oslo and Trondheim, so I talked a bit to Jonathan on Facebook. It turns out there is a vape shop in Oslo which opened in January (, or have a look at their facebook page with loads of goodies: and right outside Trondheim (where I live) is located. Even though dampoteket is a webshop you can actually go visit them and probably buy some equipment there.

Jonathan served cake on the opening day :)
As many of you probably know the legal status of e-cigarettes is kind of weird here in Norway. Jonathan quickly emphasizes to the newspapers that he is not selling nicotine e-juice as this is not legal here, but users who wants nicotine have to go online to order. I talked to Jonathan about this and he says that he is still using nicotine e-juice himself, but has cut down from 24 to like 9-12 mg/ml since he started vaping a year ago. He also expects that Norway will have to follow the TPD when it is implemented in 2016. That means it will be legal to sell nicotine e-juice here as well, within the limits of the directive of course. 
"It will probably become legal and regulated. In a way this is a good thing as it ensures that the juice will be "pure" enough, but there is a risk that it will become very expensive and that not everyone will be allowed to sell it. I don't think whether I get a permit to sell or not will affect my business too much, as everyone will always need the equipment, but of course there will be some losses. But I hope I get a permit to sell", says Jonathan.
He also says he is very satisfied with the opening day. Lots of customers and the local branch of NDS (Norwegian union of vapers) even had a vape meet there yesterday.

As I've said several times lately, the trend here in Norway at the moment is that vaping is becoming more and more visible and "normalized". I expect that we'll see more vape shops popping up during this year. I'm guessing that some of the other Norwegian web-shops already have plans, or will be inspired by Jonathan and will start planning now. I must say I am a bit disappointed in Jonathan's timing though, as I was in a wedding in Gjøvik just a week before he opened :) Would have been fun to see the shop. But hopefully I'll have time to stop by next time I'm in the area.

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Sunday, 3 August 2014

E-juice review: Smokers Angel UK Premium Butterscotch, RY4 and Strawberry

After my last review of 3 juices in this range I asked James (who runs the shop) what his own favourites were and he mentioned both butterscotch and RY4. So I had to try those two and threw in a bottle of strawberry as well... and it turns out that was a good call. All the juices tested were 18 mg/ml nicotine.

Tested on: Hellfire Mega (around 1.3 ohms)

The tastes of brown sugar and butter was the first thing that came to mind when trying this out. A very sweet juice, but I kind of like the slightly burned taste of it. At first I thought it was a bit to sweet for my taste, but I have to admit it's kind of growing on me. Still, might be a bit to sweet for an all day vape for me personally, but great with a cup of coffee once in a while.

Tested on: Mini Aspire BDC (read my review of this here)

This one was mentioned as a great all day vape by James, and I have to agree. It's not a very strong tasting vape, but gives you just enough of the tobacco and caramel you're probably after when you buy a RY4 liquid. I haven't tasted to many RY4s for some reason, the ones I've tried I haven't liked that much. They kind of haven't tasted tobacco and caramel like I wanted it to. But this one does, and I like it. My mini aspire is kind of my out and about atty, so this juice has been my out and about juice for a while now. Worth trying out.

Tested on: Hellfire Mega (around 1.3 ohms)

Now this was my favourite of the
three this time. It reminds me a lot of a strawberry milkshake they used to sell here in Norway when I was a kid, the kind you buy in a supermarket and it says on the package you have to shake it for 20 seconds before drinking. I wouldn't say this is a pure strawberry liquid, more like strawberries with a bit of cream and sugar. Mmmm! Definitely one I'd recommend trying out.

  • All my reviews are my honest opinion even if I am affiliated with the company manufacturing or selling the product. 
  • The juices reviewed was sent to me free of charge for the purpose of this review.
  • This review contains affiliate links.

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