Friday, 31 January 2014

Yeah, yeah keep throwing irrelevant numbers at us... where are the vapers that converted to smoking?

After watching the FBI show I wrote about yesterday on NRK (Norwegian government-owned radio and television public broadcasting company) web-tv I read the article mentioned at the end of the show here: (Sorry about all the Norwegian articles guys, hope the google translation is not too bad).

Again I'm baffled by the fact that the Cancer Society seems to be so opposed to e-cigarettes. I really struggle to see why. And to add to that, they keep throwing irrelevant numbers at us. Again it's this new american study that they claim supports the theory that vaping is a gateway to smoking. Well allow me to explain once again why these numbers are at best irrelevant. This is what the "Facts"-box on the side says (I've changed the order here to make things a bit clearer):
  • 1379 Americans, average age of 24, smokers, non-smokers and former smokers were followed for a year.
  • 7.4% of the ones that hadn't already tried e-cigarettes tried them this year. - What does this really mean? Well, it says nothing about if these were former smokers, smokers or non-smokers. It is hence completely irrelevant and does not support the conclusion at all.
  • 21% of the smokers, 11.9% of former smokers and 2.9% of the non-smokers had tried e-cigarettes during that year. - For the smokers this is great, they are trying to quit, for the former smokers it probably prevented a relapse to smoking and for the non-smokers... well it only says they tried it, not that they kept on doing it. I myself have a lot of friends, non-smokers, that have tried my e-cigarettes once or twice. Actually most of my non-smoking friends have, so they would have had to answer yes on this as well. To be honest I'm surprised the number is that low. But as you can see, it gives us no indication on vaping being a gateway to smoking. It's completely irrelevant.
  • According to the scientists that did the study, there are indications that the belief that e-cigarettes are less harmful than normal cigarettes can get more young adults to try them. - I actually got to agree with this, but this has nothing to do with the numbers they present. And most of these are probably smokers, former smokers or people who would be tempted to try real cigarettes. This is just common sense. If you believe there is a less harmful alternative to cigarettes you would be pretty stupid not to try it wouldn't you? And IF some of these actually are people who wouldn't have taken up regular smoking, but take up e-cigarettes anyway, WHY on earth would they switch to smoking afterwards. There are certainly NO numbers here supporting that. 
So, why do some people use these numbers as proof that vaping is a gateway to smoking? Wouldn't it be better to refer to a study of vapers who have never smoked for a year and count how many of those that take up smoking? Well, of course this study doesn't exist... you'd have a hard enough time finding enough never-smoking vapers. If you did however I think counting to 0 should be pretty easy. Actually, if someone comes up with ONE vaper who has never smoked a cigarette before starting to vape, and then becomes a regular smoker, I'll eat all my hats, smoke my socks and put a pink background on this blog for a month.

Then there is this other sidebar with a list of potentially carcinogenic substances found in e-cigarettes. The source of this information is given to be the french consumer magazine "60 millions de consommateurs". Well, this so called scientific research has been ripped apart by Dr Farsalinos so I'm just going to give you the a couple of links so you can see for yourself. His analysis of the original article here:, and another answer after they tried to "clarify" what they really ment: I don't really think I need to comment on that further.

Now I do understand why big tobacco and big pharma would try to spread fear and loathing in this matter, and I do have a sneaking suspicion where funding for some of this "research" can be traced back to. But what I don't understand is why the Cancer Society does it. Why do they keep on ignoring the fact that there IS a lot of science that shows e-cigarettes could dramatically reduce the number of new cancer patients? They keep on saying that this research just doesn't exist. But apparently they do search for studies on e-cigarettes, as they seem to find the reports that conclude e-cigarettes are some kind of new devilry that we need to stop before it's to late. Don't they have the same version of Google that I have?

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Some comments on last night e-cig coverage on FBI (Norwegian consumer/science TV show)

Coffee-caramel dripping... mmm
Last night FBI, a Norwegian consumer/science TV show, was all about e-cigarettes. Norwegian readers can see the show here: (might work in Sweden and Denmark as well). There were interviews with members of Norsk Dampselskap, a government official, a representative from the Norwegian Cancer society, a chemistry professor and Karl Erik Lund from SIRUS. I think the guys from Norsk Dampselskap (Are Sakarias Grønsund, Ramzy Zaher and Fredrick Skauge) did a fantastic job presenting the e-cigarettes, explaining what it is and telling the viewers about their own experience with them. They even managed to give the interviewer a proper cough attack with a dripper and some coffee-caramel-liquid. Good job :)

The government official and the representative from the Cancer society were sceptical and presented the gateway argument (as usual). They keep referring to some reports from the USA that shows an increasing number of teens experimenting with e-cigarettes. It seems like a lot of sceptics and anti-e-cig-people have picked up this report and keep on referring to it. I assume this is the report in question: Well, while I do believe the data collected in this study is probably real, the conclusion that e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking is pulled out of thin air. There is nothing in this data that would indicate that. It reports how many have tried e-cigarettes, how many are using them on a regular basis, and how many of these that also smokes traditional cigarettes, but there is no evidence that someone has actually moved from e-cigarettes to normal cigarettes. Actually the fact that only 7.2% of the high school students have experimented (tried at least once) with e-cigarettes, means that 92.8% of these are already smokers, probably looking for a way to quit. Among high school student e-cig users 80.5% are also smoking, which means, even if we assume ALL the 7.2% that had experimented (and never smoked cigarettes) are also current users (the study doesn't say anything about this), there is 12.3% of the smokers that has managed to quit smoking by using e-cigarettes. As current e-cigarette users is 2.8% and current "double users" are 2.2% that means only 0.6% are pure e-cig-users, which is not very high given that 10% have tried them. And finally these 0.6% might even be smokers that has made the switch, the study says nothing about this either. So if you really look into what this data means I'd say they give NO evidence of e-cigarettes being a gateway to smoking, but rather that non-smokers have very little interest in e-cigarettes. The way these data is presented I think is just horrible, it's presented as a bunch of numbers in a quite confusing manner and then only the data that supports whatever they WANT to find is pointed out to support their case. This study shows that more teens are experimenting with e-cigarettes... period. Not really breaking news for a new product like that currently is on the edge of the law. In fact, try legalizing it, I bet you my kidney this number will drop. Guess this is what "scientists" do when they start to suspect they might have been wrong all the time, they have to save their own ass right? I mean, you got to ask yourself, as Karl Erik Lund does as well, WHY would someone choose a product that kills half of it's users when they are already using a product with the same function that has not been the cause of a single death?

The next part of the show was with the chemistry professor, Einar Uggerud. He kind of confirmed that nicotine and the PG was pretty harmless. The same thing with all the other ingredients he read from an e-liquid bottle. BUT, he also says we really don't know what substances are created when we vaporize these ingredients, and that they might cause cancer. So ... kind of mixed feelings about what he says. We do have a lot of science around what's actually in the vapor as well, for instance dr. Farsalinos work (, so mr. Uggerud might be a bit uninformed here. But, I agree there might be some less serious manufacturers as well, so we should get some more control in this area.

Finally, Karl Erik Lund made some really good points at the end of the show worth mentioning. First of all, and this is a good one, he says it's a paradox that it is legal here in Norway to sell e-liquid without nicotine. It's proven that the nicotine is not the dangerous substance in these liquids, but it's in the flavouring some of the potentially dangerous substances might be. So Lund believes we should regulate the e-liquids in the same way that the Norwegian Food Safety Authority regulates for example cosmetics. They look at whats in it, gets rid of the junk and leaves us with safe and good products on the market. When asked about if the e-cigarette can help people stop smoking he confirms that science supports this, but also makes a point that the really big gain here is that future generations can choose a less dangerous product than the conventional cigarettes, that will give them the same stimuli and the same symbolic effect. He says that the government's wish for a smoke free society, in his opinion, is pure utopia.

In conclusion I think this show will tempt a lot of the smokers who watched to try e-cigarettes. There is no doubt some misinformation from the interviewed sceptics that might scare some, but all in all I think Lund and the members of the Norsk Dampselskap did a great job and sounded much more serious and not driven by fear like the others. Good job guys.

Ramzy Zaher, Fredrick Skauge and Are Sakarias Grønsund explaining how it all works.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Juice review: Steam Sauce - Airship by ePipeMods

I love the Pipe Sauce range from ePipeMods, especially the Long Bottom Leaf. It has been a favourite and a juice I've always come back to since I first tried it late 2012. Now I was going to order some more LBL and I saw that ePipemods has introduced a new range of non-tobacco juices, the Steam Sauce range, with cool sounding names like Airship, Chrononaut and Clockwerk. So I decided to try out one of these and why not just start at the top of the list with Airship? I didn't see why not so I ordered some, and yesterday it arrived together with my LBL.

I had high expectations for this juice as the Pipe Sauces are totally my cup of tea, so I was really looking forward to trying out their take on non-tobacco juices as well. I really like the design of the labelling, and it comes in a glass bottle with a pipette, which gives you a feeling this is quality. So today I recoiled my Hellfire Dripper (4 wraps of .25, 3mm silica wick, pretty hot setup, not really sure about the ohms) and filled my U-can.

First of all, when you open the bottle, the smell of this juice is lovely. I think ePipeMods is spot on in their own description: A delightful Strawberry-Kiwi mix with just a hint of menthol. Well, for the smell not that much menthol, but when you vape it it is exactly what they say it is. Reminds me of a Snapple Strawberry Kiwi drink that's really good. It's sweet but not too sweet and the menthol gives it a nice cooling touch. It's not much menthol, just a hint to give it that cooling sensation. All in all a well balanced, fresh and very natural juice. I can easily recommend this and I look forward to trying out some of the other juices in the range. The Transdimensional looks tempting: The Marty McFly of eliquids; a grape so intense, it exists in multiple dimensions.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The Norwegian Minister of Health and Care Services says he will consider repealing the ban on e-cigarettes

Bent Høie, Minister of Health and Care Services
The new, well kind of new, Norwegian Government seems to have an agenda of removing old, meaningless laws since they took over charge in October 2013. Here in Norway we have a tradition of banning whatever someone thing might be kind of dangerous for some people. I mean ... did you know skateboarding was illegal in Norway from 1978 to 1989? That's pretty much my whole childhood. Since the new government took over there has been debates on revoking the bans on professional boxing, gambling and Segway(!). So, I thought it was worth checking out if they had any plans on removing the e-cig ban.

In an article in Aftenposten ( on the 1st of December, the Minister of Health and Care Services, Bent Høie, says he is open to consider the repealing the ban. He was asked by a member of the opposition, Snorre Valen, about this during a parliamentary question hour and his answer was that (of course) we still don't know the long term effects of vaping, but he also says that the Health and Social committee believes the e-cigarette will save more lives than it takes. Another member of Høie's party (Høyre) says he wants to repeal the ban and that it is completely illogical that normal cigarettes are legal and e-cigarettes is not. He calls for regulation to ensure safety but do not know how this should be done yet. He also speaks about Big Pharma and Big Tobacco trying to stop their new competitor with all kinds of means so he obviously has been following the development in the EU and the debate, and is able to see what is happening and who is behind what to some extent. I think this looks kind of promising. For once I actually agree with Høie and his party. And that doesn't happen very often. His views on the abortion debate that is kind of loud here in Norway at the moment is a large step back in my opinion.

Snorre Valen, the politician that asked Høie about this in the first place has been pictured vaping in the media and is advocating for e-cigs at least a couple of times lately. Lets hope he keeps up the good work. He also plays in a couple of cool bands by the way. Go Snorre!

Monday, 27 January 2014

The Norwegian Heart and Lung Patient Organization (LHL) wants to ban smoking

 According to an article on ( ), one of Norway's largest newspapers, LHL - The Norwegian Heart and Lung Patient Organization wants to ban the import and sales of smoking tobacco and cigarettes. "Smoking kills, now we have to face the consequences" says Frode Jahren, General Secretary of LHL. He calls for tougher and more effective measures in the fight against smoking. He asks the current government to come up with a policy on this, saying that they do not have that right now. In that I kind of agree, I don't think the government really has a clear policy on how to handle the smoking problem, and they are kind of vague when it comes to e-cigarettes. This is not that strange at the moment to be honest... they have different organizations funded by the government saying totally different things, even talking each other down. On one side have SIRUS, that I've written a lot about earlier, that urges a repeal of the ban, and on the other side you have The Cancer registry of Norway, also government funded (but also has some fishy ties to Big Pharma in my opinion) that are sceptical. They wants to get rid of nicotine all together and urges people to look into who's funding the research done on the matter, and listen to the medical, chemical and biological expertise rather than the behavioural scientists at SIRUS. To me that sounds a bit like grabbing a shotgun and shoot one-self in both legs, when it comes from an organization that has been under the loop for corruption some years ago when making a huge deal with Pharma giant Merck for the cervical cancer vaccine (that in it self is debated). Well, I do hope the politicians look into where the information comes from when they finally decide. But anyway... back to LHL :)

In December last year, one of the more active members (good work Thomas) of Norsk Dampselskap (the Norwegian union of vapers) presented one of Karl Erik Lunds article to LHL on Facebook, urging them to recommend e-cigarettes. This was their answer: "As of now it is not legal to import new tobacco- and nicotine-products. Because it's uncertain to what degree e-cigarettes causes intake of other toxins, we will not recommend the use at the present time". However, they say they will do a thorough evaluation of this some time after Christmas. I've written an email asking what their position on the matter is now. I don't expect them to have come to a conclusion yet, but I hope that if more people ask about this they might come up with something soon.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Dripping on the go

Today, I wanted to present one of my favourite setups at the moment: My dripper-to-go setup. Lately I've fallen in love with this setup for several reasons.
  • Flavour and vapour production is fantastic.
  • Setup is done in 3 minutes, so it's perfect for vaping steeps and other juices that tend to kill your coil in no time. (I use a loop of 3mm silica and 3/4 wraps of .25 kanthal)
  • It super-compact and easy to bring along.
  • Don't need to worry about leaking.
  • Looks cool
So, what's in this little dripper-to-go kit of mine then. Well, the pouch is a mini-pouch from 3B. I've put my Hellfire Dripper on the Nemesis Vapepit edition and used a RSM pyrex driptip on top. The one I've got has a brass base so it matches the Nemesis nicely, as you can see. In the other pocket I have an Innokin U-Can which is perfect for dripping in my opinion. 2 short pushes of the button gives a perfect amount of liquid for this setup. In the opposite pocket I've got some pre-cut 3mm silica wicks, some .25 kanthal, a couple of 18350s and a mini screwdriver. So dripping on the go works like a dream :)

Friday, 24 January 2014

Cry, laugh, shiver and smile :) (Weekend activity recommendation)

I said I was going to post some bits and pieces of my life on this blog, and there was at least one person (actually I think that might have been me) voting for more music stuff on the poll I had going :) So since it's Friday (an excuse I find usable in almost all situations), why don't I write a recommendation for one of my favourite artists? Yeah... why not?

I first heard of Beth Hart back in December 2010 when she played a concert in Trondheim, Norway. I met a friend of mine in a bar right next door to where the concert was, and he was on his way to this concert. I'd never heard of her before and I was pretty comfy where I was with some other friends so I didn't go. My friend came back after the concert and told us all it was friggin awesome. I didn't really think much about it back then, but I noted the name behind my ear and thought I'd check out her music later. And when I did I found out what a complete idiot I had been. I've never regretted missing a concert more in my life.

I remember the first song I ever heard was her cover of Led Zeppelins Whole lotta love on the Live in Paradiso DVD. I was at a friends house and he had borrowed the DVD and wanted to show me this awesome thing he said. So we sat down, guitar started playing and I'm thinking, oh cool... Zeppelin cover. And then she starts singing... It's not that often you get that feeling of every tiny hair both on your head and elsewhere on your body standing straight out, but that time, and every time I hear that song, this happens. I think that was the moment I realized what a huge mistake I had done not going to that concert. We started the DVD over and watched it twice with none of us saying a word. Since then I've been a huge fan of her fantastic blues, rock and ballad mix, with dead honest lyrics, much about her pretty rough life, that at times can make a grown man cry. Actually I gotta admit I had to leave my desk on the verge of crying at work today when I sat down to write this post during lunch. I tried to find that Whole lotta love cover on YouTube but I found this version of Leave the light on instead:

So, if you want a fantastic music experience this weekend that could make you cry, laugh, shiver and smile here is what you should do: Get hold of the Live in Paradiso DVD (shouldn't be that hard to get), turn off the lights, crank up the volume and enjoy. And when you're done with that, I don't think I'll need to tell you to go check out the rest of her stuff. And don't be afraid to leave a comment here with what you think.

And Beth... please come back to Trondheim some time soon :)

Upcoming report on e-cigarettes and user culture by SIRUS

As Karl Erik Lund mentioned in the interview I published earlier this week, SIRUS is soon to launch a new study on e-cigarettes. This project is lead by researcher Rikke Tokle and she introduced the case in the Norsk Dampselskap (the Norwegian union of vapers) facebook group earlier this week. I sent Rikke an email offering to be a participant in the study and asked her a little about what it was all about.

This is what she says about the project:
The project is still in the start-up phase, which means the research questions to be investigated is still relatively open. I operate with a preliminary working title which is "E-cigarettes and user culture", but this will probably be changed as the research questions will be changed or added when the data collection starts. The background for SIRUS to start this project is the desire for more knowledge and focus on the users and their experience with using e-cigarettes. It is also interesting to catch up on new words and expressions that occur around "new" phenomenons - for example "vaping" (editor: "damping" in Norwegian). There is a lot of good information to be gathered from Dampselskapets (editor: the Norwegian union of vapers) web-pages and blogs like yours (editor: Thank you). This information will be supplemented by individual interviews with users of e-cigarettes in and outside the forum.

I think this looks very interesting and I'm looking forward to following the study as it progresses. Any Norwegian readers who wants to participate in the study can contact Rikke Tokle at rt(at) Let's give her a proper kick-start on the project. I'll keep you guys updated :)

Thursday, 23 January 2014

What are we fighting for?

Not my mum FYI. Check out this article as well

I tend to get a pretty eager in e-cig related discussions at work, with friends (or foes) mentioning all kinds of science proving that e-cigs are harmless, that harm-reduction is a good thing, I tell people how my own health has improved drastically and so on. And some times people say that I'm just fighting so I don't have to quit vaping. Well am I? Actually I'm not. I'm one of the lucky ones that have already made the switch, and there is basically nothing anyone can do to stop me is it? Can they stop the lathe-magicians from turning some battery tubes, tips and atties and sell them to me? Nope. Can they stop the mixers from selling flavoured PG or VG based liquids with no nicotine? Nope. Can they regulate the sales of mesh, silica or resistance wire? Don't think so. Can they regulate the sale of liquid nicotine? Well, they probably can, but there will always be ways for me to get it. I mean I can even go buy cigarettes and extract it myself right? So I'm definitely not fighting for my ability to continue vaping. I'll be able to vape for the rest of my life no matter what regulations or laws that are put into effect. So what can they stop? Well they can stop people from making the switch by making it more difficult get hold of starter kits that make the switch easier. They can let the tobacco industry able to milk the last money out of the sceptical smokers who are, lets face it mum, a bit afraid of the internet and view generally everything you can't buy in a shop here in Norway as evil and dangerous. But can they stop it, or can they just postpone the inevitable? I read this article today on Why E-cigarettes Cannot be stopped (it's good, go read it), and I think the author is right. The revolution can be slowed down but cannot be stopped. So what am I, or we, fighting for then? In my opinion we're fighting for all the smokers who still haven't made the switch. We're fighting to speed the revolution up instead of being slowed down, so these guys can get the same chance as we have to make the switch ... before they die from smoking.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Interview with Karl Erik Lund, Research Director for the SIRUS tobacco unit, Part 2

I hope you all found yesterdays reading interesting. It was at least an all time high pageview count on the blog. I for one am waiting eagerly to see the results of the upcoming study of the culture of vaping that Karl Erik talks about. Here is part 2 of the interview. 

Vaping Giraffe: Let's think of a scenario where all smokers switch to e-cigarettes. This would of course lead to a massive change in public health and economy. One would think a lot of money could be saved since treatment of smoking related diseases would be massively reduced. On the other hand it might lead to people living longer (which would be a cost) and reduced tax income from cigarettes. Do you know of any calculations done on such or similar scenarios?

Karl Erik Lund:
I do not approve of such an approach. In the Check Republic, spokesmen for the tobacco industry stated that tobacco gained the economy because smokers tend to die before they became a burden on the social security budgets. This is absurd! Any such calculation that somehow makes an early death profitable for the state economy has an unethical sentiment.  The ultimate goal for a reasonable health policy should be to help people live healthier and longer lives, unaffected of any economic cost-benefit analysis. In Norway where the tobacco-specific tax are very high, smokers probably ‘pay their way’. They have higher sickness rates and charge the public health system more heavily, but the accumulated amount already paid to the state through taxation will probably cover for this. In other economies where tobacco taxation is low and health care costs is covered by the individual and not the public, the situation might not be the same. Non-smokers tend utilize the health care system somewhat less, but live longer and receive pensions for a longer time. Again, I think such kind of calculation is a ‘red herring’, and that promoters of e-cigarettes should abstain from this approach.            

Vaping Giraffe: What do you think is the health authorities main reason for keeping the ban on e-cigarettes with nicotine?

Karl Erik Lund:
Spokesmen for the Directorate of Health have repeatedly used the precautionary principle to justify the ban on e-cigarettes. Some also fear that e-cigarettes will renormalize smoking, and other keep using the gateway-argument – even though there is no empirical evidence for either. The precautionary principle opens up for a really interesting discussion. The human costs of a continued ban are very high, smokers are buying lousy and potential risky e-cigarettes over the internet and the ban is an obstacle for smokers to move down the risk continuum of nicotine products. You have to weight these costs against the gains from a precautionary principle. Applying a rational decision model approach, one will find limited support for the precautionary principle.    

Vaping Giraffe: I've read that around 70% of the worlds tobacco consumption is done in developing countries. Still I can find very little about e-cigarettes in these countries on the web. What is your thoughts on that? Are you familiar with any projects in developing countries?

Karl Erik Lund:
Even if e-cigarettes have originated from China and much of the production takes place in China, the popularity of e-cigarettes have occurred  in typical developed nations. Following a diffusion-of-innovation model, e-cigarettes will eventually become popular in developing countries as well. Most tobacco-related deaths take place in countries like China, India and Indonesia, which means that e-cigarettes potentially can have an enormous impact on public health. I am not familiar with any projects going on in that part of the world at the moment.  

Vaping Giraffe: The tobacco industry and the pharmaceutical industry are two of the largest industries in the world, both now looking at a new competitor that will take a lot of customers from them. What do you think their strategy for keeping the customers are?

Karl Erik Lund: Until now, the pharma industry has been somewhat hesitant to enter into the e-cig business. Their strategy has been to fight the e-cig diffusion through political lobbying. The tobacco industry, however, has been more ambivalent towards e-cigarettes. Right now Big Tobacco are test-marketing their own products, so they have every intention to enter into the e-cig business. For the consumers, this is probably a good thing because they can afford to invest a lot of money which eventually will result in better products on the market. At the same time, Big Tobaccos engagement is bad news for the e-cig proponents advocating for market access. Politicians and policy makers connote bad representations to all products from Big Tobacco.     

Vaping Giraffe: The EU is from what I understand in the finishing stages of a new tobacco directive. Does Norway have to follow this directive, or can we choose not to?

Karl Erik Lund:
There is a formal choice, but every practice indicates that Norway will follow the EU-regulations. However, as the tobacco-product-directive looks right now, before the final negotiations between the Parliament, the Commission and the Council, the member states can decide by themselves whether e-cigarettes should be regulated as a medical device or a consumer product. 

Vaping Giraffe: Have you heared of "Norsk Dampselskap" (the Norwegian Union of vapers) and if so what do you think of their work?

Karl Erik Lund: Yea, I take great pleasure in reading posts on their wall. Many competent people acting as counsellors and giving great advices to novices in vaporing. I am really touched by all the personal histories from smokers who have replaced tobacco by e-cigarettes.  

Vaping Giraffe: Do you have any recommendations for vapers that want to fight for their case? How could ordinary people get engaged?

Karl Erik Lund:
Consumers groups are very powerful and have great impact on politicians and policy makers. We must not underestimate their potential influence. I was lucky enough to participate in a meeting with members of the European Parliament in October last year along with Clive Bates, Gerry Stimpson, Jaque LeHouzac and Konstantinos Farsalinos – all world-leading specialists on e-cigarettes. We were amazed how the politicians appeared to be attentive and responsive towards consumer groups. Letters to politicians is still a powerful channel of influence.  

I'd like to send a big thanks to Karl Erik Lund for taking the time to answer this. I'm really looking forward to following the research done by him and SIRUS. I did also notice that one of his colleagues posted on the "Norsk Dampselskap" Facebook group asking for participants for the upcoming study mentioned in part 1. I'm in!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Interview with Karl Erik Lund, Research Director for the SIRUS tobacco unit, Part 1

I've mentioned Karl Erik Lund, Ph.d. and Research Director at SIRUS, several times already on my blog. He has been in the media quite a lot lately, speaking about his research on e-cigarettes, and commented on the politics that has evolved around them. Should they be banned, regulated as medicines, regulated as a tobacco product, can they save lives etc. I had some questions I wanted to ask him... so I sent him an email and asked if I could do an interview, which he happily (I hope) agreed to. This is the first part of this interview. Hope you guys find it as interesting as I do, and stay tuned for the second part tomorrow.

Vaping Giraffe: Could you first tell us, in short, what is SIRUS and what is your role/position there?

Karl Erik Lund: The Norwegian Institute for Alcohol & Drug Research is an independent research institution but at the same time an administrative government body under the Ministry of Health and Care Services. SIRUS conducts social scientific research, compiles documentation and provides information on substance use and abuse. Work is divided into three areas, each catered for by a dedicated research team: alcohol research; drugs research; and tobacco research. I have been the Research Director for the tobacco unit since 2006.

Vaping Giraffe: When did you first hear of the e-cigarette, and when did you decide to do research on them?

Karl Erik Lund:
As an assistant editor in a scientific journal – Nicotine & Tobacco Research – I handled perhaps the first of several subsequent papers on e-cigs submitted from Dr Polosa and his pioneering research team in Italy, and this must have been about three years ago. Since then, I have followed the very heterogeneous research on e-cigarettes very closely. In October 2013 I published a comprehensive review (70 pages) of the international research on e-cigarettes concerning use, motives for use, results from animal studies, analysis of chemical substances, acute physiological consequences, effects in smoking reduction and cessation etc.
Vaping Giraffe: Could you tell us a little about your findings? How dangerous is the e-cigarette (with nicotine) compared to a normal cigarette?

Karl Erik Lund: Even if we do not have exact knowledge of any long-term health consequence that might occur, there is scientific consensus that e-cigarettes are far less risky than conventional cigarettes. We are not saying that vaporing is totally risk-free, but the magnitude of risk between inhaling tobacco from a cigarette that burns and clean nicotine thorough mist is probably huge.  

Vaping Giraffe: Are you familiar with other researchers in other countries that have come to other conclusions than your own? If so, do you think these are unbiased?

Karl Erik Lund: My impression is that most – if not all - researchers do recognize the large different risk potential between the two products, but some researchers tend to emphasize that some e-cigarettes still contain toxic substances more than they want to focus on the risk-reduction aspects. For researchers that aim for a totally nicotine-free society, a transition from tobacco to e-cigarettes have no value. It really depends on the perspective of the researcher – you are either in favour of a harm reduction approach in tobacco control or you are not.    

Vaping Giraffe: Do you, or SIRUS have any on-going studies concerting e-cigarettes you can tell us about right now?
Karl Erik Lund:
Yes, we are about to launch a project in which we aim to study the culture of vaporing. What characterize the users, what are their motives, what impact has the ban on e-cigarettes on the in-group mentality and the way they communicate about e-cigs. Do e-cigarettes recruit youngsters who otherwise wouldn’t have started to smoke cigarettes? We will also monitor the use of e-cigarettes in population-based surveys over the next years. In addition, we will study changes in the nicotine market. What will happen on this market if the authorities decide to let e-cigarettes compete with tobacco cigarettes, snus and pharmaceutical nicotine? 

Vaping Giraffe: A lot of pro-e-cigarette people shake their heads when the authorities claim there is to little research done on the health effects of e-cigarettes to allow them. They say the research is done and available on the internet, most of it concluding that e-cigarettes are close to harmless both to the user and the surroundings. Can you comment on this?

Karl Erik Lund: I am really impressed by the level of knowledge of some members in the user organizations. They seem to be very on top of new research, and I learn quite a lot thorough reading posts on Facebook and other websites that organize vapers. I do understand their frustration when health authorities repeatedly claim that the scientific base still is too weak to lift the e-cig ban. On the other side, we have to understand how the health authorities work. In order to act, they want knowledge established thorough systematic reviews, long time observations and randomized controlled trials. The burden of proof has been put on the producers that do not have the skills or the resources to conduct such advanced research. The authorities have used – or some would say misused – the precautionary principle in order to keep a clearly risk-reducing and perhaps life-saving alternative out of reach for smokers. The costs of the precautionary principle are very high, and based on what we already know many feel it is enough for the authorities to act.      

Vaping Giraffe: What is SIRUS relation to the department of health and have the health authorities asked SIRUS to do any research on e-cigarettes?

Karl Erik Lund: The Ministry of Health and Care Services do support our research and our updates on e-cigarettes. We are instructed by the Ministry to initiate debates on harm-reduction alternatives, even if the anti-tobacco community might find this provocative. There is a lot of understanding for a tobacco harm reduction approach among politicians, policy makers and particularly among researchers. The tobacco control movement seem to be more hesitant and some are even very hostile.

Vaping Giraffe: Do you think e-cigarettes could solve the "tobacco problem"? And do you think the health authorities here in Norway will repeal the ban in time?

Karl Erik Lund:
I am quite certain that e-cigarettes will make their way to the marked. The remaining question is what kind of regulation that will replace the ban. There are toxicants in e-cigarettes that do not have to be there, so we need regulation standards in order to improve product safety. The new government seems to be willing to assess the appropriateness of the ban, and the new Tobacco-Product-Directive in EU will also put a pressure on Norwegians policy on e-cigarettes. I do not think availability to e-cigarettes will solve the tobacco problem entirely, but I am quite certain that it might help. We have approximately 1 million smokers and 200 000 of those do not manage or do not want to quit using nicotine. Now, we are forcing this crowd to use the most dangerous device for nicotine uptake, even if we know that a very harm-reducing product exists. We also know that 10-15% of teenagers in future generations will start to use tobacco. It is not so much the efficacy of e-cigarettes as temporary aids to cessation, but their potential as long-term alternatives to tobacco that makes the virtual elimination of tobacco a realistic future target.     

Monday, 20 January 2014

Swedish Pirate Party fights back

A few days ago I wrote about the Swedish customs stopping e-liquid at the border, and I felt a bit sorry for the Swedes having no-one to fight their case. Turns out I was wrong. Swedens Pirate Party EU MP Christian Engström is fighting back and has written a good article on SVT Debatt (in Swedish):

He says the Swedish customs seizure of e-liquid is a violation of the EU's laws for the internal market, laws that say products that are not regulated in any way, like the e-cigarette, should flow freely on the internal market. He also argues that the authorities efforts to prevent smokers from switching to far less harmful e-cigarettes is immoral. This is a product that can save lots of lives, and he points out the fact that thanks to the Swedish "snus" (smokeless tobacco) Sweden already has only half as many smokers as the rest of Europe. The e-cigarette would give even more smokers an alternative and help them quit. 

I'm happy to see that Swedish vapers also have someone with authority speaking their case. I think it would be a good idea if these people unite and fight together in this case. 

Thanks again to Grizewald for sending me this article. If anyone has some news about the situation in Denmark, Finland or Iceland, please feel free to give me a tip.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Finally some fellow vapers

I was in Oslo at this kick-off event at work yesterday, and finally I actually met some fellow vapers. You see with the exception of one of my colleagues at the office that is kind of a semi-vaper, and my wife, I almost never see other people vaping here. But at this event there was a couple of others as well, guess I'm not all alone anyway. I know there are other vapers in this town as well, wonder where you're all hiding?

Friday, 17 January 2014

E-liquid with soul

Today I'm out traveling to Oslo. Usually I bring just my spheroid and sturm-mod when I travel cause it's totally care free, not having to worry about leaking and putting it in little plastic bags in security and all that. The guy watching the hand luggage scanner today looked pretty suspicious, but he let it pass eventually, maybe concluded that it kind of looked like a mini-dildo and he would be better of if he stopped fiddling with it.

Anyway, today I filled it with Scopes blueberry, and it hit me that I could probably tell that this was a juice mixed by scope even if I didn't already know. It doesn't taste the same as the apple or the raspberry, but there is something there, faint in the background that links these together. Same goes for Andy's juices that I reviewed one of yesterday, the e-pipemods range that I love and all the other juices I've tasted from the vapepit-mixers. Some juices are just juices and may taste good but I think for it to taste great it needs to separate itself from all the rest, and have some personal touch. It needs to have some soul.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Juice review: Atty Lube "Cupped" by Andy Thatcher (and Sic)

Got a large sample of this Atty Lube variant from Sic and Andy a while ago, and I finally got the time to re-coil my Hellfire Mega and fill her up yesterday. As mentioned before, these Atty Lube juices are pretty thick stuff. This is not the juice you'd want to use for stealth vaping as it'll produce a pretty big cloud of vapor. I don't really know but I'm guessing it's mostly VG.

I am having a hard time deciding what this juice tastes like, and it keeps changing a bit on me as well. At first, in a cold atty I get some sweet floral notes. As the atty and juice warms up a bit the floral notes become more subtle and the sweetness becomes stronger. I'm thinking cream (maybe Créme Brûlée-ish as well), white Toblerone and honey... the sweet flowery kind of honey. (Beware, I might suck at recognizing and describing flavours). It also feels familiar in another way, I can't really put my finger on it, but I like it, and it leaves a nice sweet taste in your mouth after exhaling.

When I first got the sample, Sic told me it's an acquired taste that goes well with coffee in the morning. And I couldn't really agree more. At first I was a bit sceptical tasting the floral notes as this is really not my favourite tastes, but I did what he said and tried it with my morning coffee, and he's right. They go REALLY well together. Just black coffee, nothing fancy. It gives an extra dimension to the whole experience as the coffee mixes in with the other flavours. Right now I'm vaping it at work, with a cup of black coffee and it keeps growing on me.

So, in conclusion, this is a great juice that really comes to life when paired with a cup of good black coffee (the coffee at work isn't really that good so looking forward to getting home to some freshly ground coffee). Maybe not so much an all day juice, as it's a bit too sweet in my opinion.

And last but not least, to Andy and Sic: Thanks for the generous samples you guys sent me.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Look who's vaping

Came across an article this morning in the Daily Mail. Pretty good article as well, discussing why the petty bureaucrats are trying to ban e-cigarettes from the public spaces when doctors are saying they do help you quit and can save millions of lives. I recommend reading it.

But, being a Top Gear fan, what really caught my eye was this picture of Richard Hammond's vapeface. I just became an even bigger Top Gear fan. I think it's fantastic that more and more celebrities make the switch as well... vaping might just become 2014's trendiest thing to do.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

New years resolution update: Better feet today :)

Quick update on the new years resolution for those interested. Another 10K run this morning. Got a slight cold so decided to go for slightly less elevation on the treadmill. Time was then of course slightly better and my duck-feet felt a bit better afterwards. I guess it's all a matter of making the feet understand who's the boss and just buck up.

Swedish customs stops import of e-liquid

This morning my friend Grizewald made me aware of this article in Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet: (in Swedish)
This is bad news for Swedish vapers. It seems like Swedish authorities are determined to go to war against e-cigarettes and vaping. For the second time since October Swedish customs has stopped the import of e-liquid (the article confuses the terms a bit using e-cigarettes some places, but I assume this is about shipments containing e-liquid with nicotine). In October they stopped it saying this is a pharmaceutical product that requires a permit. The importer, a Malmö-based company called Trade Team, complained and through a court decision they got the seizure repealed.

"It seems that the Swedes are raising the stakes in their war on e-cigs. Quite a few vendors have started selling juice with nicotine after a court decision in October stopped the medicines regulator from confiscating a shipment of juice. The original court decision did not take a position either for or against the regulator, it merely put their decision on hold.", sais Grizewald (who lives in Stockholm, Sweden by the way).

This time they are stopping the shipment claiming they don't know what the e-liquid contains. They say they are administratively placing it into care... whatever that means? Their lawyer, Anna Björklund, say they expect an appeal from the growing industry. The decision is made pending a decision from a court in Uppsala, whether the e-liquid should be classified as medicinal product like nicotine gum and patches which requires a permit to sell. She says that until this is decided in court they will act with whatever means available to protect the public health.

"Somehow, I can't imagine the Customs service acting purely on their own initiative in this, so it would appear that the politicians have told them to take the gloves off when it comes to this fight.", Griz comments.

So it seems like the situation in Sweden is worse than here in Norway. What worries me the most is that they claim to do this in the interest of public health. I mean, if that was their real intention, with reference to my post yesterday, they should do the complete opposite, and encourage the use of e-cigarettes. So one has got to ask again: What is their real motivation for this? And who is the motivator(s)?

One last quote from Grizewald, which I couldn't agree more with:

Monday, 13 January 2014

E-cigarettes: A consumer controlled revolution?

The media coverage of e-cigarettes and vaping continues to be good here in Norway. Again, our friend Karl Erik Lund is in the spotlight, but an ethics professor also makes some good points. This article was in, one of the largest newspapers in Norway, on January the 5th:

The ban on e-cigs is unethical
The arguments on both sides are still the same, The Directorate of Health clings to their precautionary principles, while scientists rooting for the e-cigarette claims this gives hope that we can get rid of smoking once and for all. Bjørn Hofmann, professor of medical ethics from the University of Oslo says that science actually gives none of the sides support, as there is no empiric evidence on whether the e-cigarette will reduce or increase the damage. Well, I'm not agreeing with that, I feel there is a lot of research proving it will be reduced, as does Karl Erik Lund. But even if the evidence was not there, Hofman says that you always need to make trade-offs in health politics and the way I read it he's arguing our case and that the e-cigarette ban should be removed. When the swine flu epidemic was at it's worst the health department had to make the call on whether to use a vaccine that we really didn't know all the side-effects from. The main argument used was that the benefit of using the vaccine was bigger than the risk. He says that the fact that the e-cigarette COULD be harmful shouldn't really matter that much, as there is a lot of medical products with known and unknown side-effects on the market. So in other words, the ban on e-cigarettes is, by this logic, unethical!

Proof that parachutes work?
The professor says you need to consider how much empiric evidence you need to take measures in a case. He refers to an article published in the British Medical Journal from 2003, where the authors point out that there is no controlled, randomized study of whether you should use a parachute when you jump out of a plane. So how can we then be sure that using a parachute is the right thing to do. The point is, if you're too concerned with empiric evidence you'll end up jumping out of that plane without a parachute, or keep smoking cigarettes instead. And we can all agree that both will end in tragedy right?

A consumer controlled revolution?
Karl Erik Lund calls the e-cigarette a consumer controlled revolution. The pharmaceutical industry has long tried to steal the tobacco industry customers with nicotine chewing gum, inhalers and patches, but the consumers doesn't seem to want them. The e-cigarette on the other hand, has a much better chance to be a real competitor because the consumers want them, says Lund.

Well that of course applies only if they are not banned of course. And is Lund a bit naive here? I mean... a couple of questions pops up in my head at least: Isn't the market for nicotine chewing gum, inhalers and patches created by the tobacco industry? If these products actually worked, wouldn't that be bad for the pharmaceutical industry from an economical point of view? They would destroy their own market right? So are these two giants really competing... or cooperating?

(Comments are welcome :))

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Work, work, work

This weekend has been hell at work. I work at an ISP and this weekend I had a core internet switch dying on me, meaning I had to drive to a remote location, 3 hours drive, to replace it. And of course the configuration on the new one wasn't the way it's supposed to be so I had to spend 2 hours in a freezing cold tech-room out there to figure out what was wrong. And today it's been all kinds of crap as well, power outages and shit causing all kinds of strange errors. Grr...

Friday, 10 January 2014

Back on Scope's raspberry

Been saving some of Scopes Raspberry juice for a while now, just to make it through the post Xmas blues as a fellow pit-member called it. But today I caved in, filled the last of it in a 15ml needle-tip bottle and re-coiled the mega, and my god this juice is good. Getting back to an old favorite juice after a period of testing different stuff is one of the best things of vaping. Scope, you're a genius, now I'm looking forward to the day one of my atties are free for a run of blueberry again :)

(Scope I hope you don't mind me stealing your avatar as an illustration photo for this post... it's so cute.)

Former health care worker in court: "Never seen a bigger arsehole"

We finally got some snow here in Trondheim, so I'm in a good mood today.
Got some news from Norwegian newspaper, Østlandet blad, on this fabulous Friday morning. As this is from a Norwegian newspaper I thought I'd give you an overview of what happened here:

A woman driving to the beach got herself a proper surprise when she observed 2 men having sex right there by the road. She calls the police, cause... well it could just as well have been children passing by the men and that wouldn't be any good. So, the police goes to the place and finds one of the men (a 46 year old guy from Gudbrandsdalen), that admitted he MIGHT have been one of the men having sex right before the police came. He later denied this in court saying they only kissed. When they found the other guy, he apparently explained in detail how they had done it in more than one way, but couldn't really understand how anyone could have seen them :)

The woman who reported the incident witnessed in court, and explained she remembers the episode very clearly and it was a very unpleasant experience. She had clearly seen both penises and fingers in action in different body orifices. She then explains that being a former health care worker she has seen a lot of arseholes, but never seen a bigger arsehole than this naked man had.

The 46 year old was sentenced to pay a fine of 4000NOK for "sexually offensive or obscene behaviour in a public place".

Norwegian article found here:

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Toilet air freshener more dangerous than cigarettes?

Today I vaped some GUV at work and one of my colleagues asked me if I had been vaping in the mens room... he thought he recognized the smell in there. Turns out... it still smells like GUV in there. Someone suggested it might be better to install a toilet air freshener thingy in there instead of vaping to get rid of the poop smell, but then I came across this:
Turns out doing that would actually take me not only one but two steps back, as it seems it would be less dangerous to start smoking again. Who would have thought that?

Album recommendation: Lightning Bolt by Pearl Jam

The vaping giraffe is a music addict as well. So today I'm taking a break from being frustrated with government officials that keeps on repeating what I find go be an incredibly bad line of arguments, and just give you an album recommendation instead.

Pearl Jam has always been one of my favourite bands, introduced to me back in '93 when VS was released. I instantly fell in love with their music ran of and bought TEN as soon as I had saved up enough money. I was 15 back then so I my income was limited. I remember using my birthday money buying a bootleg called The 5 musketeers, containing a studio recording of one of my live favourites Yellow Ledbetter. Found an ad on teletext (anyone remember that), had to call a guy in Stavanger, and he sent me a list of all the Pearl Jam bootlegs he could get me in the post, and I remember the feeling when I called him and placed the order. Aaahh... it was slow and checking the empty mailbox every day was a pain, but the feeling when it finally got there and I played the CD for the first time... magic. I mean I'm all for spotify and online music and having access to everything everywhere, but I kind of miss the feeling of putting a new CD in the player that I had been waiting a long time for and worked hard to be able to buy. So... I'm still go out and buy CD's from time to time :)

Anyway, this was supposed to be an album recommendation right? Well, one of my favourite 2013 albums has got to be Lightning Bolt by Pearl Jam. Pearl Jam has changed quite a lot over the years and their sound still keeps evolving, but one of the things I think they do best in the class is keeping a good mix of totally different songs in their albums but still making you feel they belong in the same album. I loved the 2009 album Backspacer, with loads of contrasts, with up tempo songs like The Fixer and the incredibly beautiful melancholy in Just Breathe, creating the contrasts in the album that for me makes Pearl Jam one of my absolute favourites. So, I had high hopes for the Lightning Bolt album that was released in October 2013, and I was not disappointed. In many ways I think that Lightning Bolt and Backspacer are two of the closest Pearl Jam albums when it comes to style. Lightning Bolt has many of the same contrast with uptempo rock and roll tracks like Mind your manners, the semi-acoustic Eddie Vedderism in Sleeping By Myself, that reminds me of Vedders solo soundtrack album Into the wild, and the melodic vocals in Sirens. Also gotta love the way Pearl Jam picks up traces from old albums, Mind your matters could easily also fit in on the Vitalogy album.

So, I can safely put the "Recommended by Vaping Giraffe"-stamp on Lightning Bolt. Now get your spotify up and give it a listen. And if you want to dig into Pearl Jam some more, check out their website which is pretty good as well.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Head of Directorate of Health interviewed on "Good morning Norway" (TV)

While I was running this morning on the treadmill I watched the Good morning Norway show on TV. They got these fancy new treadmills with TV's integrated... fucking awesome. They had invited the head of the directorate of health, Bjørn Guldvog, to talk about how to keep your new years resolution and stop smoking. He presented their new campaign, a fantastic new method for throwing away the fags, no less than a revolution: They have created a... wait for it... FACEBOOK PAGE! I'm surprised no one though of that before now...

The interviewer asks him about e-cigarettes and why this is still banned, and of course the answer is the usual  missing documentation and precautionary principles. But, he then even goes as far as saying that IF this documentation they are waiting for shows positive results, they will of course facilitate use of e-cigarettes ... in a reasonable way. Sound good huh? Well... we all know what their "reasonable way" is right... so I'm not convinced. And then he finishes by saying that they basically think there is a lot of negative consequences of releasing e-cigarettes with nicotine to the public and then this: "In the USA, for example, in some states where this is legal, we see that this has doubled the number of teens smoking". WTF? Where the hell does he get this information? I did some google-searches and found this:
Well... I don't know what to say really. First of all it says that teen SMOKING rates haven't budged (but nothing about doubled), and it says teen VAPING rates has doubled, from 1.5% to 2.8%. And then it claims e-cigarettes are like the "wild, wild west", no one knowing whats in them. Ehm... the point is that we know EXACTLY what is in them, as opposed to normal cigarettes. I give up... what a load of bullshit.

I wrote an email to the Directorate of Health and asked for documentation for Guldvog's claims. Did some google searches and looks to me that smoking rates amongst teenagers in the USA is reported to be lower than ever. I'll let you all know when I get an answer.

New years resolution update: I got fucked up feet

Got up early this morning and went to the gym, ready to start working on my running skills. Well, that's not exactly true... the reason I got those new Nike free-run shoes for Christmas was that I've already been doing some running for a while, and my brother in law had noticed my 15 year old shoes :)

Anyway, I'm happy with a 10K run in around 53-54 minutes before breakfast, and feel I'm pretty much on track for keeping my resolution. Only have to figure out how to keep this pace for another 11K now :) And not even the new magical shoes could fix my fucked up feet, I'm flat-footed as a duck. A 10K run I can handle just fine, but I can already feel what's going to happen after 5 more... I'm going to have blisters the size of Chuck Norris' balls, so I need to figure out some way of dealing with that as well.

Note to self: Eat just a bit of breakfast before you go running in the morning or you'll end up face down on the treadmill one day.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Norwegian Directorate of Health statement on e-cigarettes

After my post yesterday I got some feedback from Griz (uncle Mike) and an update on the situation in Sweden, and he linked me an article ( in a Swedish newspaper written by some official. It's basically full of bullshit about the made up health risks of nicotine containing e-liquid. The headline says a lot, translates to something like "E-cigarettes, a hidden hazard". I mean they got everything from the potentially deadly effects of PG vapor to babies dying from nic poisoning because they drink from all the colorful bottles, the whole nine yards.

I guess the situation is pretty much the same as here in Norway, but we're lucky we have someone with a bit of authority speaking our case here, there is apparently no Swedish version of Karl Erik Lund. Anyway, inspired by this I started looking a bit more into what the Norwegian Directorate of Health writes on (the public health portal in Norway) about the ban on e-cigarettes. The information is found here, in Norwegian (again, google translate will give you a slightly confusing version). Again, the same ridiculous hazards are mentioned, pretty much the same as in the Swedish article: dangerous PG, metals(!) and nicotine in the air (which would be dangerous to bystanders) and dead children. I mean, how long can they keep using this dead children argument? There are loads of substances you can buy at a normal supermarket that will kill a kid if they eat or drink it.

Furthermore they argue that there are lots of other great products you already can buy in the pharmacy that will help you stop smoking, and there is even a magic phone number you can call to get help. Fantastic isn't it?

However, the Directorate of Health does not deny that electronic cigarettes could be a helpful aid to stop smoking. They say that e-cigarettes containing nicotine (and e-liquid) was banned for precautionary reasons, and that more documentation was needed, and is still needed before they can recommend using them. They claim to be following the rapid development of new products and research done in the area. This is a bit hard to believe though, as they finish the paragraph by saying they are happy that fewer people is smoking to day than a few years ago and they don't want the use of e-cigarettes to turn this trend around. Well ... that is going to have to be the lamest statement as of now right? Following the development my arse... are they waiting for someone to write it their penis and fuck it into their heads?

Anyway, after reading all the way to the last paragraph I have a feeling that they are not all negative. I feel they write a lot of stuff cause they have to, since the law is still there, and they are waiting for the outcome in the EU, so they don't deny directly that these e-cigarettes might be a good thing. However, reading the last paragraph I don't really know what to think. In short: 
* "In our neighbor countries Sweden and Denmark, and a lot of other countries, e-cigarettes are regulated as medicine, but they know of no products that has been approved as this."  Is this correct, anyone?
* "In Norway it would take years to get a product approved"...Ok
* "If you want to use them you can import them from other countries for personal use"... so you want us to just keep on doing that then?

In conclusion... the Norwegian Directorate of Health is following the development in e-cigarettes closely and haven't changed their opinion in 6 months. Good work :)

Monday, 6 January 2014

Good news for Norwegian vapers?

Vaping and e-cigs are getting more and more media coverage here in Norway. Today there was an article in the web-edition of the local newspaper here in Trondheim: (it's in Norwegian, don't know if google translate will be good).

Karl Erik Lund, the head of research in SIRIUS, which is the Norwegian institute for drug and alcohol abuse (, presents some really interesting data:
* 28% of Norwegian smokers wants to try vaping
* NO non-smokers wants to try it
* 30% of the smokers wants to repeal the Norwegian ban on e-liquid containing nicotine (it's legal to import for personal use but not selling here), only 15% wants to keep it. (The rest is undecided).
The data was collected by asking 666 (!) grown ups just before Christmas.

The Norwegian ministry of health still waits for reports on side effects (guess they'll have to wait a while), and the Norwegian Cancer Society argues that a lot of users will not quit smoking completely but keep on smoking while using the e-cigs, thus only postponing the day they quit completely. Lund argues that keeping the ban is like locking the door to the fire-escape cause the stairs are slippery, which I think is a pretty good argument :) He continues to argue heavily that it should be in the interest of both the ministry of health and the cancer society to reduce the risk of cancer and other smoking related diseases and although he doesn't say it I'm pretty sure he feels there is some strong forces lobbying like hell to keep the ban and keep e-cigs out of the market: Big pharma and Big tobacco.

However, it sadly doesn't look like the ministry of health will abandon madness for reason yet. The keep on clinging to their stupid we-don't-know-enough-yet argument and now it's apparently not good to reduce risk, they want everyone to just stop smoking right now. I got news for you... that's not going to happen! As usual I feel the need to punch someone in the face when I read this shit they come up with, but still, this increasing media coverage gives me hope. I know there's some people in the Norwegian vaping community working the media hard, and I think this is they way to get rid of the ignorance and open peoples eyes. Keep up the good work, looks like it's starting to pay off.

So is this good or bad news for the Norwegian vapers? Yes and no. Yes because media seems to increase coverage and hopefully this might force the ministry of health to repeal the ban, since it will become apparent that there is no valid arguments to keep it. And no because said ministry still clings to their precautionary principles which shows they are more corrupt ... ehm ... stupid ... I mean stubborn than we hoped.

GUV toilet Airfreshener

The GUV sample I got from Sic is pretty thick stuff and I had to squeeze pretty hard to fill a smaller needle tip bottle. You see the sample I got was pretty generous, thanks a bunch Sic. Anyway, I was doing this in the men's room at work of all places, must have been on Thursday or Friday, and I thought that... "hummm... hope the filler cap of the sample bottle doesn't come of ... that would create a real mess. Wonder if it can handle a bit more squeezing. FECK! OH NOES!" And of course the cap came of and half the sample squirted out. Turns out I was right... it created a proper mess :D Pretty smelly stuff this ... now 4-5 days later I was in the same men's room and it still smells GUV. But then again, if I hadn't had that little accident it would smell like shit in there now, so it wasn't all a waste :)

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Breaking news: Vapepit founders Sun and Maz retiring

Just saw the news published on vapepit, and I am now looking forward to calling them mum and dad without the risk of getting my nick changed to something nasty. The job they have done creating and managing the pit has been just awesome. I imagine it's been a bit like managing a kindergarten mixed with a zoo and a mental institution ... and no fences, so I understand the need to step back and just enjoy the show now. Good luck to the new admins, Chasey and griz, you'll need it :) And thanks to Sun and Maz for the great forum they created.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Kicks like a mule and bites like a crocodile

Some attys are just special, almost magical. Like my Hellfire mega special for instance. This angry bastard makes hissing sounds, crackles, pops and slaps me in the face every morning, just to wake me up... and I love it. What makes this atty so damn good? I don't really know to be honest. Magic probably.

Friday, 3 January 2014

New years resolution

2 years ago I was, well to be perfectly honest I was a fat bastard with fucked up lungs. Walking up the stairs a couple of floors had me breathing like I had just finished a marathon, and catching a cold made me sound like I was going to cough up my fucked up lungs for at least 3 weeks. So... something had to be done or I'd be done. I switched to vaping and noticed the coughing and breathing getting better really soon, and now 2 years later my lungs are working pretty good actually. Being used to 3 weeks of pain when I caught a cold (and that happened pretty often) I still get the "oh not this shit again"-feeling when I feel a slight tingle in the throat... but now I'm happily surprised that it's over in a couple of days. Lungs fixed :)

So... with new lungs I figured I could get on with fixing the fat bastard part so I started running. In the beginning I'm sure some ppl found it strange that I looked like I was trying to run but was still traveling at walking speed. But it got better and I'm proud to say that I've lost around 20 kilos during the last year. Still got some kilos to go, and my brother in law bought me some friggin awesome nike freerun shoes for Christmas, so I'll keep on running. After watching "Run fatboy run" a week or so ago I felt especially inspired and might have said that I'd make it my new years resolution to run a marathon, but then I moderated myself a bit and said a half marathon :P But now I feel that was kind of weak, so I think my final new years resolution will be to run a half marathon in less than 2 hours. Wish me luck :)

Oh... and I think I might have thrown in some dancing lessons with my wife for good measure that night as well. You see I can't dance, but I think I can after some beers n' booze.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Welcome to the vaping giraffe

Well I finally got married to the kindest, most amazing girl I've ever met. Check... :) Moving on to the next step on the list: Create a blog. I'm probably a gazillion years late with this but better late than early, as they say.

Why "The Vaping Giraffe"? Well as you've probably guessed already I'm a vaper, cut the cigarettes around 2 years ago, thanks to my wife watching Tom Cruise vape in a movie trailer back then (never saw the movie though), and encouraged me to get rid of the horrible cough I constantly had. That should explain the "Vaping" part. The giraffe part comes from my extreme animal impersonation skills, and having perfected the art of imitating a giraffe despite the fact I have no neck to speak of. I'm a regular at, and you'll probably find me in the Hellfire Discussion Thread in there if you're a member, which you should be.

So ... will this blog be about vaping only then? Nah... probably not. To be honest I have no idea what this will be about yet... I guess I'll just start out and see what will happen. There will be a fair bit of vaping related content, and I guess vapers will relate more to my blog, but I hope it might inspire smokers to make the switch as well. But there will probably be other stuff here as well, stuff I like, stuff I do and stuff I wish I'd done :) I might even give you updates on my new years resolutions.

Welcome to the vaping giraffe, hope you all enjoy it, and if you don't you're free to click away and go watch your nasty porn or whatever.