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California’s United Vapers Video Rocks

California-based United Vapers is producing Vape Life, a series of videos on the vaping phenomenon, under the imprimatur Vape Life Community Movement. Episode 1 is now available on YouTube, on the UV Facebook page, and through InstaGram.

 

The episode begins with a series of testimonials from LA area vape shop owners, consultants, activists, and ordinary vapers, captured at vape meets (which UV hosts around the LA region), congressional hearings, or vape shop settings. The interviewees typically tell how long they smoked, how they discovered vaping, and maybe a few tidbits from a dramatic turnaround.

 

UV co-founder Chris Bautista is one of them, as is Pam Cube of EliqCubes, a 20-year smoker who has now converted her whole family to vaping. The religious term is apt. Renan Vasquez, Jr., of Vape Radio, says “It's like a living testimony .”

 

Sales consultant Paulo Chiudian also tried to get his parents off smokes to vapes, but to his dismay, they're sticking to smoking except for an occasional draw on the vaporizers he gave them – when his dad's out of cigs, for instance. “They see it as, like, a younger crowd thing,” he muses. That's an important point. Vaping as a community movement is definitely “like, a younger crowd thing” in the US, and nowhere is that more true than in the LA area.

 

The driving force behind the series, and behind United Vapers itself, is Joey Mariano, who co-founded UV with his pal Chris Bautista. The organization has galvanized an already thriving vapers' community into a true community movement.

 

After an overview of the LA vape scene, the episode turns to the science behind vaping and its impact for smoking cessation and harm reduction. The scientists quoted, public health professor Michael Siegel and behavioral neuroscientist Peter Killeen, for instance, make the point that e-cigs often succeed where pharmaceuticals fail because of behavioral stimuli that gum and patches can't match.

 

Siegel notes, for instance that if you separate nicotine from the behavioral stimuli by offering sham cigarettes in contrast with pure nicotine, the sham cigs do a better job of helping smokers quit.

 

Killeen also notes that chemicals are added to tobacco cigarettes, engineering them to be more addictive. The addition of ammonia, for instance, called “impact boosting” by the industry, speeds up the delivery of nicotine to the blood stream, exacerbating the addictive effect of nicotine. Greg Conley is quoted to the effect that tobacco cigarettes also contain an anti-depressant.

 

With the deck stacked chemically in favor of tobacco smokes, of course electronic cigarettes are slower getting into the blood stream, notes ECF's Oliver Kershaw. Therefore they are less addictive, which is a good thing, while still maintaining a good record for smoking reduction or cessation. A fortunate balance between the pleasures of smoking with the benefits of cessation. 

 

This video series is likely to draw the vaping community even closer together into a healthy social and political movement.

 

Vapers will be watching for the second episode, on the topic of innovation.

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