Global Forum on Nicotine 2016

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The Global Forum on Nicotine (GFN) has been attracting stakeholders from around the globe for the past three years with GFN 2016 having participants from 44 countries including policy analysts, regulators, academics and researchers. The agenda for the conference brought together key industry professionals to present their research and hold rigorous and honest debates on a wide range of topics regarding nicotine and e-cigarettes. Liberty Flights Ltd. was represented by IBVTA (Independent British Vape Trade Association), and below we have summarised the presentations of interest from a few key speakers at the event.

Dr Lynne Dawkins (London South Bank University, UK)

One of the speakers at this event was Lynne Dawkins who has been conducting research into e-cigarettes since 2010, her most recent study which she presented at the GFN was ‘Compensatory puffing behaviour in e-cigarette users’.

As we all know in Article 20 of the TPD (Tobacco Products Directive) nicotine strength is limited to 20mg/ml and, around 9% of all of e-cigarette users currently use above that concentration. The experiment was to determine whether e-cigarette users self-titrate when given a lower concentration of e-liquid, to compensate for the reduced nicotine.

What is self-titration?

E-cigarette users adjust their nicotine intake to maintain a personal optimal level in their system, this is usually achieved by puffing on the device for a couple of seconds longer or taking a few short, additional puffs straight after just to get that right hit.

Study Design

Two concentrations of e-liquids were used in this study one at 6mg/ml and the other at 24mg/ml, and there were a total of 11 e-cigarette users. All 11 participants followed the same procedure throughout the study which was repeated for both the lower and higher concentrations for each participant.

The results published show that puff duration, amount of puffs and the volume of e-liquid consumed was approximately twice as much in the lower nicotine strength compared to the higher nicotine strength.

Do papers ‘puff’ less when it comes to higher nicotine?

Yes. The results from this study show that the mean puff number for 24mg/ml was approximately 50% lower than for 6mg/ml. From this we can see clear evidence of compensatory puffing when a lower nicotine e-liquid is used. The mean volume of 24mg/ml nicotine e-liquid consumed was also approximately 50% lower.

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Fig 1. Puffing Topography

Is there a difference between hit and satisfaction when varying nicotine concentrations?

During the study participants rated the hit and satisfaction they got when using each e-liquid strength. The general trend is that users get approximately a 63% hit and satisfaction rating in the 24mg/ml, compared to 47% if it is a 6mg/ml e-liquid.

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Fig 2. Hit and Satisfaction differences.

Using this data, we can see the possible unintended consequences of the TPD regulations. New users that require that extra hit and satisfaction will find it even more difficult with nicotine concentrations below the 20mg/ml limit. This will generally make it harder for users to replicate the strong hit and satisfaction from traditional smoking which in turn may impact successful quit attempts.

Dr Christopher Russell (Centre for Substance Use Research, UK)

Christopher Russel Ph.D. focused his research on ‘how vapers help smokers quit’. Vaping anecdotes, when supplied on mass can become a reliable and credible source of information. This study focused on what users could do to help the next person quit, by sharing success stories and the benefits of vaping over traditional smoking.

E-cigarette users in Great Britain

In 2015, 2.2 million people in Great Britain used an e-cigarette, of which approximately 38% had switched completely away from smoking to vaping. However, there are still 36% of smokers in Great Britain who have not yet tried using an e-cigarette. This shows there is a large potential to persuade more smokers to try e-cigarettes ultimately reducing tobacco related harm.

What benefits of using e-cigarettes are experienced by users?

In this questionnaire, a total of 200 participants were asked to select any of 83 listed potential health benefits and harms of switching to e-cigarettes. At the time of the study participants had not smoked traditional cigarettes for around 14 months with 96% vaping everyday using 1 to 12mg/ml e-liquid.

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Fig 3. Changes experienced since users started vaping.

The figure above shows participants listed an improvement in their respiratory health as the top benefit from switching to e-cigarettes. Other benefits included improvements to mood, sleep and hygiene. Information like this could be instrumental in influencing a smoker’s decision to try e-cigarettes and ultimately switching completely.

What are the main reasons for e-cigarette users quitting?

Every e-cigarette user has their own personal reason for quitting, and the well-known risks attached to smoking lead many people to reduce if not quit completely. The figure shown below is users reasons for first trying an e-cigarette.

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Fig 4. Reasons for switching.

The cost saving implications, smell and social stigma of smoking are just a few of the reasons many have made the switch, and this should now be relayed back to smokers that are aspiring to quit just to give them that extra push. However, they should be made aware not to expect miracles when switching and that the change can be slow before they quit the habit completely.

What possible advice can be given to smokers aspiring to quit?

A lot of e-cigarette users are experienced and knowledgeable in the potential benefits of e-cigarettes over traditional smoking already and this can be used for the benefit of traditional smokers to help them quit. Many smokers want to hear vapers stories and experiences of using an e-cigarette before making the leap. In this study participants were asked what advice they would give someone looking to make the switch and we have chosen a few examples.

‘Every cigarette less is an achievement: going again after a slip is a bigger achievement.’

 ‘Small steps taken with purpose are better than impractical giant leaps.’

‘Define yourself by your achievements not your failures.’

‘If you smoke, don’t beat yourself up, it happens. Just go again.’

 Further motivational advice can be found on Dr Christopher Russell YouTube channel: youtube.com/vapershelpingsmokerstoquit

Neil McKeganey (Centre for Substance Use Research, UK)

Are e-cigarettes a gateway to smoking or a roadblock?

This topic is much discussed leading many people outside of the e-cigarette community to have the misconception that e-cigarettes act as a gateway to smoking. Neil McKeganey in his presentation, shed some light on this divisive issue.

Neil McKeganey carried out a study in which 120, 16-28 year olds were interviewed. This study focused on the perception of e-cigarettes in the younger community, the initiation of trying an e-cigarette and the perception of harm from e-cigarettes.

What do e-cigarette users have to say?

Below are some examples of questions and answers recorded during the study.

Question: What would happen if you couldn’t vape?

Answer: I would probably smoke to be honest.

Question: Would you say it is as harmful as cigarettes?

Answer: I wouldn’t say it was as harmful as cigarettes as I would say that smoking cigarettes is really bad in that other people around can get affected. Vaping wouldn’t affect others as much because it isn’t as harmful as smoking.

Conclusion

Most young people interviewed in this study saw vaping and smoking as being associated with very different harms. The predominant view within this study was that vaping had made smoking less attractive rather than more attractive implying that it is not a gateway to smoking. It may even be a gateway out of traditional smoking.

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Minhaaz Dadabhai

Scientist

 

References

https://gfn.net.co/downloads/2016/Lynne%20Dawkins.pdf

https://gfn.net.co/downloads/2016/Christopher%20Rusell.pdf

https://gfn.net.co/downloads/2016/Neil%20McKeganey.pdf

YouTube: Vapers Helping Smokers to Quit.

Liberty Flights Product Review – Battle of the Mini Box Mods

The Liberty Flights offices have been buzzing over the last few months with passionate discussions about the new mini box mod devices coming from, arguably the two biggest electronic cigarette manufacturers camps. Aspire were first out of the starting blocks with their ESP 30W. Vaping hard down their necks were Kangertech with their SUBOX Mini Kit.

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As product development manager for Liberty Flights, I spend some of my day, alas I wish it were more, sampling and testing pre-release devices from manufacturers and deciding which to offer online and in our retail stores. After vaping so much liquid that I am now persona non grata in the LF warehouse through these devices I can tell you that the decision was tough.

As the ESP doesn’t come with a tank in the kit, I paired it with an Aspire Nautilus.  The SUBOX mini comes as a complete kit with Kanger’s own Subtank mini.

Before we get to the brass tacks it is fair to say that both are amazing pieces of kit. Both affordable and both ooze style. As a designer and a vaper, a good-looking device is always a must and these two tick those boxes with big ticks.

As the ESP was first on the scene I will start with that. As soon as the ESP hit my desk I was impressed, rugged carbon fibre, easy to use settings and excellently shaped to fit in the hand. This quickly became my all day vape. After a couple of weeks use, the honeymoon period had not ended. I found myself with this device everywhere I went. The battery life (1900mAh) was ample; a solid day’s use out at 15 watts (my sweet spot for the Aspire BVC coils). The ESP has a range of 5-30 watts.

The consistent power output from the ESP meant that I didn’t need to change the coil, no burnouts at all.

Just as I was falling in love with the ESP, I started to hear rumours from a source at Kangertech about a new device they were releasing to compete with the ESP. I was sure that nothing could come between the bond that had forged between my ESP and me.

Then it happened. Kanger’s SUBOX Mini glided onto my desk and into my life.

As a kit option Kanger have hit the nail on the head with the SUBOX Mini. The kit is an excellent ADV for both new vapers and the experienced alike. The simplicity of the features mixed with the versatility between stock sub-ohm coils and a re-buildable deck, position this as perfect for novice and expert alike.

The attention to detail shines through and their eye for design is showcased through the new “Aqueous Ceramic” colour coating. The coloured, re-designed Subtank Mini seamlessly merges with the new K-Box Mini to give an elegant look. No miss-matched tanks and batteries here. Kanger seem to have fixed the well-known leaking issue in the Subtank range with the new design in the Aqueous Subtank Mini, I have used my version relentlessly for two weeks now and it is yet to leak.

After two weeks use with each, I was stuck with a difficult decision; pick a favourite. Although both are excellent pieces of kit, and a testament to the expertise and eye for detail of their respective manufacturer’s, my heart is telling me to go with the Kanger SUBOX.

The fact this comes as a completed kit really helped with my decision, visually I feel the ceramic coating really helps draw the clearomizer and battery into a single unit. The fit of the clearomizer to the tank has been flawlessly designed and the SUBOX outputs 20 watts more than the ESP. The Aspire ESP will still always be with me as a secondary device but the SUBOX kit will almost certainly, be my ADV for the foreseeable future.

That is until something new gets my attention.  How fickle one can be when it comes to loving and vaping.

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Darren Holden

Product Development Manager

 

World No Tobacco Day

This week the scientific community rose up to offer a collective message to the World Health Organisation calling on it to recognise e-cigarettes as part of the solution to the tobacco problem and not part of the problem, all viewed in a harm reduction context. Here is an article from Clive Bates that gives you a really good overview of the case being presented.

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It is a timely bit of positive news for the electronic cigarette industry given that tomorrow is the official World No Tobacco Day which is an initiative of the World Health Organisation. 

To mark this important day, Liberty Flights has decided to go a bit crazy with a load of promotions and discounts to reward our existing customers and encourage smokers who are considering quitting to make the switch on this significant day.

So, deep breath, here are the things we are doing:

  • A special 25% discount code to be used on our website – It will be published on our Facebook page very soon so please ‘like’ us and keep an eye out for that post!
  • A special Like and Share promotion on Facebook with a prize of 10 of our premium XO e liquids.
  • A Twitter Follow and Retweet promotion with a prize to win 10 of our premium XO e liquids.
  • 25% discount for all our retail store customers all day on Saturday 31st May. Our list of stores and their locations are shown below:

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Terms and conditions apply.

Please share this message with any of your friends and family who are smokers and might consider making the switch on World No Tobacco Day – it could be the best decision they ever make….

The Euro Vape Race and the Heroes of the EFVI campaign (Part Two)

A few weeks ago we published a blog piece that celebrated the achievements of the EFVI campaign so far and recognised some of the individuals who have been giving up their time and energy to rally support and awareness for the campaign. In this follow-up piece, we recognise some more of those individuals, give an update on further progress and also explore ideas for how to accelerate the pace of gathering signatures. Before we kick off we would like to re-iterate that the IMPORTANCE of this campaign cannot be over stated…

More EFVI Heroes…

First things first, our EFVI Heroes. Following up on the last blog, this is a further list of people we have identified that are doing a great job, unrewarded, to promote the EFVI:

SlimUKV (@slimUKV), Jo Lincoln (@jolincoln2), Dan MacDonald (@danmacdonald73), Deluxe Vapours (@deluxevapours), Vapingpoint @vapingpoint, Gordon Beard (@GordonAlanBeard), Dave Upton (@polwindave), JustVapesFury79, Granny Louisa (@grannylouisa), Jessica Harding (@jetsipha), David Hallam (@deejayh), Krisztian Pifko, Jay Kandola

Liberty Flights would like to send you a token of our appreciation, so if your name is here, first of all a big THANK YOU, and secondly please get in touch and send us your details so we can mail it out to you. If there is someone not in this list (or the previous one) that you think needs a mention, please do contact us.

The Dodo Box Campaign

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Since our last blog a fantastic idea for generating signatures has well and truly stolen the limelight. For those that have not heard about it, the Dodo Box campaign is a signature collection box that is being produced and distributed to vaping shops around the UK. This seems to be having a visible impact on the number of signatures collected, so much so that the UK has overtaken Denmark and is now second place in the Euro Vape Race!

The idea was generated via discussions on the UK Vapers forum and then a crack team worked behind closed doors (well in a private forum thread anyway…) to turn the idea into a workable plan. This was kept top secret while it was in development to keep the focus before being released to the main forum. The drive for volunteers was initially slow, but with support from David Dorn on VT Talk and the efforts of the EFVI team to promote the message via Twitter and Facebook, the ideas took off.

Earlier this week Liberty Flights had the pleasure of speaking with with SlimUKV, the man behind the Dodo Box idea who told us that the next ambition for the Dodo Box campaign is to help it spread to non-vaping outlets such as pubs and also to spread the idea across Europe so that all countries can benefit. He appeared on VapourTrailsTV earlier this week to help educate the German vaping community on the Dodo Box idea. The French also appear to have adopted the idea and are currently rolling out their own version using the popular Bulldog image rather than the Dodo (we like the Dodo best…). ‘Operation Bulldog’ is now underway.

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A mention should also be made here for Chris (a.k.a. @BathVaper) who is the mastermind behind the data collecting and tracking system as well as the special Google Map that is used to track progress by outlet and by region.

Our trade association ECITA kindly funded the first round of Dodo Boxes and have pledged to continue that support if the project is proven to be successful, and from the graph shown below, there is clearly a marked improvement. SlimUKV and the team are currently shaping up plans to secure the next round of funding so we await further news on whether extra financial help is required from vendors etc.

LF Dodo Box

Some other ideas that we have collected since the last blog:

In the last blog, we asked for ideas on what more could be done to get more signatures. Whilst the Dodo Box has stolen the show, here are our pick of the best ones to come through from the Liberty Flights community:

  • Buy leaflets and cards in large quantities and give them out.
  • Organise street storms – go onto the street, give out leaflets and collect signatures
  • Create collection points other than vape shops, e.g. build a kiosk in the major towns
  • Run a promotion e.g. a big discount on your products when certain EFVI milestones are hit
  • Develop a special app for signature collection (at time of press Android app is now launched)
  • Develop an EFVI branded e-liquid
  • Get some major celebrities to get behind the EFVI campaign

We will look into each of these idea and consider how Liberty Flights can help towards making them happen.

Vape Race Update

Apart from the amazing progress of the UK to overtake Denmark (in % terms) and also Germany (in total no of signatures), the big news in the Euro Vape Race is the recent success story of Spain, who have raced up the charts from 7th place at the beginning of March to 4th place today, gaining over 8,000 signatures in that time. We don’t know HOW they have done it but BIEN HECHO España!!

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Special EFVI Discount Code

As a ‘thank you’ to our customers for the great efforts made in supporting the EFVI so far, we have set up a special 20% off discount code. Just enter “EFVI20%” at the checkout to redeem this offer. There is a limited number of uses so head over to our shop quickly if you want to take advantage.

Finally, if you haven’t done so already, see if you can get your close friends and family to sign up to the EFVI too. Even if they don’t vape themselves, it is such an important health issue that ultimately affects them too (the negative health effects of smoking tobacco has already affected the lives of millions of families across Europe), so get them all on board!

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