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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

A Vapers Story

Every person that started vaping and quit smoking, has a story to tell.
Today we came across this from the heart testimonial that was share on social media! We were able to track down the writer and appreciative that Shannon from Nova Scotia, gave us permission to share it on our blog.  We think Shannon voice is a voice shared by many of us!

An urgent plea to all of you who hold the fate of my health in your hands,
I am a 43 year old mother, a personal support worker...and, a *former* pack-per-day cigarette smoker.
I had been smoking since the age of 15.
Over three years ago, I was a wheezing mess.
I was terribly ashamed of my habit, and would hide outside and puff.
I'd have to chew gum and change my top before giving my son a hug, or serving my clients.
My kids were (understandably) VERY concerned about my health, as, they are old enough to know the damage smoking does to the human body.
We *all* knew the truth: chances are, at the rate I was going, I would probably not have lived to see my future grandchildren grow, as, my children would (probably) have ended up losing their mum prematurely, due to a smoking related disease or condition.
Sadly, EVEN my love for my family was not enough for me to break my addiction.
- I could NOT quit.
Each night, after brushing the FOUL smokiness out of my oral cavity and scrubbing the cigarette odour off my hands, I'd lie down beside my (non smoking) partner and feel shame.
Breaking the silence, with that "wind in the willows" sound coming from my lungs, I was reminded, nightly, of the damage cigarettes were doing to my health.
My immune system was terribly weak, and when I caught a cold, the cough would last weeks after I'd recovered from the bug itself.
My lung capacity was terrible. I would get winded very easily.
I wanted to quit, but had tried EVERYTHING on the market, to no avail.
In October, 2013, I discovered THE ONLY smoking cessation product that ever worked for me.
On the 26th of October, 2013, I had my last cigarette, and, embarked on a new chapter of my life.
Since that day, a cigarette has not touched my lips.
I now use a vaporizer, and have lowered the nicotine level of my ejuice to 3 (-not to say that the nicotine is *the killer* in traditional "smokes").
Interesting things began to happen mere months after I quit smoking:
since I began vaping, I can go more than six months without a chest infection/head cold (-in the past, prior to quitting I had been very susceptible to colds, and would catch them almost monthly).
I had never attributed my weakened system to smoking, but to what else could I attribute my restored health? *Nothing else* in my lifestyle had changed. Also, since quitting,
that -previously ever-present- wheeze,
is GONE.
Today, I have better energy, and my lung capacity has improved significantly.
I'm not coughing up grey-brown mucous.
I can hit the "high notes" again, when I sing along to music.
I can safely vape indoors, without fear (-no more disappearing to chain-smoke outside while on the phone/ with my coffee for hours in the warm more bundling up like a dumb-dumb and suffering the bone chilling temperatures just to feed my addiction).
I never have to worry about exposing my family to thousands of toxic chemicals or the harmful products of combustion when they come outside on the deck to hang out with me.
I am shocked and bewildered to hear of the proposed changes (regulatory restrictions) being tossed about by our government, with regard to vaping.
I am a "researcher", by nature and follow all news and discoveries relating to vaping.
This is what I know:
1. The government of the U.K., after (rigorous enough) testing, has determined that Vaping should be considered a much healthier alternative to the degree that it is RECOMMENDED and PROMOTED by physicians, and, in some cases, is a practice ALLOWED on HOSPITAL PROPERTY
2. It is over 90% safer than smoking
3. In many cases, the toxins in vapour are equally as harmful as random indoor air samples taken office buildings and rooms in residential dwellings
4. Vaping has helped tens of thousands of Canadians successfully quit smoking and improve our health--like nothing before
Knowing this, I am EXTREMELY CONFUSED by the apparent cluelessness of our government.
At first, I thought, "they must not understand the benefits of vaping".
-after all, there is a lot of *mis*information on the subject; anti-vaping propaganda floating around...
But REALLY, people.
It has been a few years now, and more research has been done.
If the UK government has embraced vaping, why is your (collective) head still in the sand?
I am so frightened by the bizarre legislation on the horizon, it makes me question the TRUE motivation of the Canadian government.
Why on earth would our government want to discourage something that is, LITERALLY,
The ONLY answer to that is nothing short of chilling.
I surmise that it must come down to money.
After all, the government makes a killing (-pun intended) from the taxes it receives on the sale of cancer sticks.
In light of this hateful and dangerous (YES, DANGEROUS) decision to DISCOURAGE what is a LIFESAVING smoking cessation option, I no longer trust my government.
If selection, quality, and availability of supplies are limited, and, access to vape products is difficult;
if the flavours that help keep us away from smoking are eliminated,
if PROMOTION of these products is prohibited,
We will die an ugly death.
I URGE you to consider the implications of these new regulations/laws, and consider the message you are sending Canadians:
You would prefer to have us become ill and die, rather than take a financial hit.
The government is profiting from keeping us sick, and this is horrifying and, is, quite frankly, unacceptable.
My future (the future of my loved ones, and, the future of countless Canadians) hangs in the balance, here.
If I am wrong about the motives of the Canadian government, and, if misinformation and ignorance is actually to blame,
if there is doubt or confusion on your part, I beg you:
PLEASE take it upon yourselves to research the benefits associated with quitting smoking, in favour of vaping.
To the government, I say: If need be, tweak the regulations in less damaging ways to allay your fears (-about kids picking up the habit, etc).
There are other regulatory measures that can be taken to address the issues that concern you.
This hard-line approach is EXTREME and unnecessary.
What you are proposing will turn the industry on its ear, and we, the people, will suffer.
The statistics are there. The information is there. Real science supports vaping as a healthier alternative.
The Canadian government ought to be going out of its way to ENCOURAGE vaping.-certainly not making it more difficult to access.
---and banning the sharing of information?
Muzzling people within our communities, so they are no longer allowed to counsel people re: the benefits of quitting smoking via vaping?
In what country am I living?
I feel as though I am living in the Twilight Zone.
I implore you, reconsider this STRANGE direction you're taking.
My job is very stressful and intense, and I could not survive with my sanity intact if I did not have the option to vape.
I am an ADDICT.
My fear is that I will fall back into old habits.
My hands shake as I type these words,
as I think of my children without me.
My loved ones have been so supportive of my method of quitting. So relieved. -and to think that, with one swipe of the pen, all my progress could backslide, is absolutely devastating.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Open Letter to the Hounourable Jane Cordy

The Canadian Government is going after vaping with Bill S5! We have been down this road before, and we will continue to fight to ensure that Vaping is regulated fairly and not into prohibition.
Over the next few weeks, we will be posting open letters to all the politicians that we have reached out, in hopes that our words, opinions and stand on matters get heard.

If you want to do something, as a consumer, an amazing consumer focused advocay group has been started, The Official Vapour Advocates of Canada.  Also the group has created this incredible and growing data base full of information to help you if you would like to get involved.

Here is our first letter to Senator The Honourable Jane Cordy in regards to what she said during the March 1st 2017 debate on the bill.
Debate Transcript
Jane Cordy Bio

Dear Honourable Jane Cordy,

My name is Maria Papaioannoy-Duic; I am a Canadian citizen, former smoker, current vaper and a small business owner of vape shops in our beautiful country. Your debate on Bill S5 disheartened me. I decided that before I jump to conclusions about the “intent” your words had, I should ask a few follow-up questions. I hope you do not mind.

1. In debate you stated:

"Because of parallels of the tobacco industry and the emerging vaping industry, I believe it is appropriate to regulate vaping products under the Tobacco Act”

I was wondering, what are those parallels? I know that you mentioned that you were still learning about the industry, is it fair for me to assume you haven’t dug deep to find similarities with NRT products from the Pharmaceutical industry and perhaps even the food industry. I think someone with your background in Education would find the utmost importance in researching both arguments when developing a thesis for debate and be meticulous in keeping an open mind in allowing for research to present opposition to your initial argument.  I hope for the sake for the 30 thousand plus smokers that die each year in Canada; you do continue your research with an open mind and heart.

2. You also mentioned:

"As scientists and experts study the issue and as the science catches up with the industry, I am cautiously optimistic that vaping will be proven to be less harmful than smoking, but at this time, it is dangerous to assume that vaping possesses no health risk at all.” 

You were on the committee that wrote Out of the Shadows at Last which stated:

 "Harm reduction is intended to reduce the health and social impact of alcohol and drug use without asking that users abstain. Abstinence may be a long-term objective, but the short-term goal is to promote safe use”.

Has something changed with your viewpoints when it comes to addiction since the publication of this document? I can assure you that the beliefs surrounding harm reduction made by our constitution have not.

 3. Furthermore you shared

"According to Health Canada, in 2015, studies indicate that 26 per cent of Canadian youth aged 15 to 19 reported having tried an e-cigarette."

I would like some clarification on that statistic. Trying something once in a 30 day period does not constitute long-term use. What statics are you pulling your research from, that gives you the confidence to conclude that those one-time uses transform to current e-cig users? I have been searching and can’t seem to find it. I only found the Canadian funded study, from the University of Victoria. However I believe that many people sent you a copy, so I won’t add that to my email today.

4. Intent…. I don’t even know where to begin. After listening, and reading your debate remarks, I have realized, that I have to date spent more time properly researching you, then you researching vaping. Ask any eLiquid manufacturer and or shop owner, what their intent is, and they will tell you, to help smokers stop smoking, FULL STOP.  The liberties you took in drawing unfair parallels to an industry built by hard working Canadians to the multi-billion dollar giants of tobacco is insulting. I would highly encourage you to add additional Google searches to your research protocol on this subject; those would include "how vaping changed my life” and "how Vaping saved my life.”

I understand that you are human and that you can only see what you choose to open your eyes to. I can say that it is unfair that you have opted to brand me and the majority of vaping industry business with a paint brush that is tarnished by a few bad apples. That would be equal to me thinking that all Senators are part of The Canadian Senate expenses scandal.  I am wise not to; I would expect the same from you.

I look forward to continuing to follow your position on this debate and will believe that you are in the early stages of your research, and your background in Education will only implore you to investigate further, particularly as it can save not one, but countless lives in our country!

 And some people believe being a Senator in Canada is easy! I don't think so! Thank you for taking the time to read my opinion, as stated above, I look forward to hearing and reading further debate on Bill S5 in the Senate!

Thank you,
Maria Papaioannoy-Duic,
Co-Owner, The Ecig Flavourium