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Madvapes Master Guide to Vaping

Battery Safety & Understanding Ohm’s Law -Part Eight

Master Guide to Vaping Part 8 – Ohm’s Law and Battery Safety

Battery safety and Ohm’s Law go hand-in-hand. You can’t learn one without the other, so this guide will require some rudimentary math skills. Overall, many of the concepts you’re about to learn are simple, and the safe practices are mostly common sense once you have a basic understanding. No doubt, you’ve heard of stories about batteries exploding. After reading this guide you’ll have a good idea as to how you can prevent personal injury, property damage, and possibly ending up on the news.
The majority of safety concerns pertain to removable batteries. Mods with internal batteries are inherently safer, despite their drawbacks. So the first thing we need to do is explore the batteries themselves.
The most common battery used in vaping is the 18650 battery. The number “18650” refers to its size; “18” denotes that it is 18mm in diameter, “65” means it has a height of 65mm, and the “0” simply means it’s round or cylindrical. So a 26650 battery is 26mm in diameter and 65mm tall, a 20500 battery is 20mm in diameter and 50mm tall, and so on and so forth.
18650 batteries use lithium ion chemistry, as do the majority of rechargeable batteries. Different batteries may use slightly different chemistries to increase capacity or current rating, but they all use some type of lithium ion. The most common used in vaping is the IMR battery, or LiMn. This stands for lithium manganese, but with vaping becoming more popular and devices becoming more demanding, many manufacturers have built upon IMR technology and created proprietary blends. However, the chemistry isn’t as important as the specifications, which we’ll address shortly. The only chemistry that should stand out is ICR, or LiCo which uses lithium cobalt. These are the original batteries used in flashlights when mods were first being made, and therefore found their way into early vaping devices. Back then, devices required less power and atomizers were built with higher resistances, so ICR technology was fine. Today, however, you want to avoid ICR batteries at all costs. They offer the highest battery capacity, but also produce the most violent reaction when they fail.

Most all lithium ion batteries are rated for 3.7V, but this is an average. Fully charged, they will output 4.2V, and below 3.2V they may become damaged and never work again. You may stumble upon 4.35V lithium ion batteries when shopping around, but these are not suited to vaping. The higher voltage will result in absolutely no advantage, and may even damage your device.
The next important number is the capacity, measured either in milliamp-hours (mAh) or watt-hours (wH). In vaping, mAh is the more common number to see, but it has no absolute value. This is to say, it’s impossible to gauge how long the battery will last with that information alone. In order to get a sense of how long any given battery will last, you would need to have used a battery previously, and also guesstimate based on your atomizer’s resistance and the voltage or wattage you’re using. A good rule of thumb is that for every 100mAh, you can expect 1 hour of constant use with a 2.4Ω coil at 3.7V. Constant use means simply using your device normally for an hour, not holding the fire button down for an hour. Of course, this also depends on the length of your draw and how often you take a drag, so you can already see how mAh requires some previous vaping experience in order for you to get an idea how long a particular battery will last for you.
Watt-hours are much more straightforward, but rarely used. 1 Wh means that a battery will last 1 hour when used at 1W, and that’s 1 total hour of power, not the above-mentioned “constant use.” By using an online calculator, you can convert mAh to Wh easily. As an example, a 3000mAh lithium ion battery equates to 11.1Wh. This means that you’ll get 1 hour of vape time at 11.1W. From there, you can estimate your battery life. Let’s say you vape at 30W. Since you’ll get 1 hour of vape time at 11.1W, and 30W is approximately three times that number, you can expect to get about 1/3 of an hour of vape time at 30W, which is about 20 minutes. If each drag you take is 5 seconds, that means for every minute of vape time you take 12 drags. 12 drags multiplied by 20 minutes means you can take 120 drags with a 3000mAh battery when the device is set to 30W and drags are 5 seconds long. As you can see, this is a much more precise way of gauging battery life. All you need to know is the mAh rating and voltage of your battery (or watt-hours, if that information is available), and what wattage you’ll be vaping at. But what about mods that use more than one battery?

First, it’s important to know the difference between batteries in series and batteries in parallel. Batteries in series are sometimes referred to as “stacked,” so imagine two batteries stacked on top of one another. In this configuration, the natural voltage of the total circuit is doubled if there are two batteries in the circuit. The mAh rating and maximum current remain the same. In parallel, multiple batteries are oriented with the same polarity. With two batteries, the mAh rating and maximum current are doubled, but the voltage remains the same as a single battery; in this case, 3.7V.
If you’re calculating watt-hours for a multi-battery mod where the batteries are in series, the mAh rating you’ll input into the calculator will be the mAh rating of a single battery, and the voltage will be 3.7V multiplied by the number of batteries. For example, if you’re using three 3000mAh batteries in series in a Reuleaux RX200, you would input 3000mAh and 11.1V into the calculator and let it convert that to watt-hours. Alternatively, if you’re using the same three batteries in parallel, you would input 9000mAh and 3.7V. Coincidentally, you will get 33.3Wh with both calculations. In a regulated mod, battery life is the same when using the same batteries regardless of whether they are in series or in parallel.
If that doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry. It doesn’t necessarily pertain to battery safety. However, if you’re interested in delving deeper into the world of batteries or want to more accurately predict battery life, it’s useful information.

The most important number when it comes to battery safety is the maximum discharge rate. This information is usually available right on the battery wrapper or from the store or website you bought the battery from. Batteries designed for vaping usually go out of their way to make this information as prominent as possible, and if you can’t find this information, play it safe and don’t use that battery for vaping. Current is the amount of electricity in a circuit, and drawing too much from a battery is dangerous. The battery is liable to heat up or even explode if its current rating is exceeded.
Modern mods generally will have some sort of documentation telling you what the current rating of your battery should be, so all you need to do is find a battery that meets or exceeds this number. However, the recommended current rating on a mod is generally based on the maximum wattage and minimum resistance that it can handle. The documentation might recommend 30A batteries, and the mod is capable of firing at 200W down to a resistance of 0.1Ω. If you plan on vaping at 50W with a 0.3Ω resistance, a 20A battery with a 3000mAh capacity will still be safe.
Knowing all that, we can now talk about Ohm’s Law. Ohm’s Law applies mostly to unregulated and mechanical mods. Because there is no board between the battery and the coil, there is nothing to protect you if you exceed the current rating. Ohm’s Law states that voltage is equivalent to the current multiplied by the resistance, or:

V=IR, where V=Voltage, I=Current, and R=Resistance

With some basic algebra, it also states:

I=V/R and
R=V/I

In most cases, you’ll be trying to find the safest resistance you can use based on what battery you have. V should always be 4.2V. Even though the battery is rated for 3.7V, it increased to 4.2V on a full charge. As for the current, I, that information should be known. If it’s not, again, find a new battery to use where you know the maximum continuous discharge rate. 20A is a common value, so let’s use that. Since we’re trying to find resistance, R, we’re going to use R=V/I. We know the voltage and current, so plug those numbers in:

R=4.2V/20A
R=0.21Ω

Easy! The minimum resistance you can safely use with a 20A battery in an unregulated mod is 0.21Ω. You can even avoid doing the math altogether by using an online calculator. Just plug in the numbers that are known, voltage and current rating, and it will calculate the minimum safe resistance for you.
You might be wondering where power, or wattage, comes in. To find wattage, you need to know the voltage and the resistance:

P=(V*V)/R

Again, plug in the numbers and get the result. Alternatively, use an online calculator.

P= (4.2V*4.2V)/0.21Ω
P=84W

Most any mod nowadays is adjusted in wattage, so you won’t really need to do this calculation since wattage will always be known. However, when it comes to figuring out how much current you’re pulling from your batteries in a regulated mod, the above formula becomes relevant.
In a regulated mod, the wattage is split between how many batteries there are. For example, if your mod is using two batteries and you’re vaping at 80W, each battery is carrying the strain of 40W. As a rule of thumb, a single battery works best at 50W or less. Higher than 50W isn’t necessarily dangerous, but battery life will be short, and performance will suffer, especially if you’re vaping sub-ohm. But how can we determine how much current is being pulled from each battery. More math!
To find the current, we need to know the resistance and the voltage. The resistance is easy to find. It will be printed on the coil you are using, or you can test a coil you’ve built yourself on an ohm meter. Voltage is a little tricky. Since we know P and R and are looking for V, we need to use algebra to make the P=(V*V)/R formula work for us:

P=(V*V)/R
P*R=V*V
√(P*R)=V

In English, you’re going to multiply the wattage by the resistance, then take the square root of that number. The result will be your voltage. Since we want to find the current of each of the two batteries, we’re going to use 40W, which is 80W split between the two batteries:

V=√(P*R)
V=√(40W*0.21Ω)
V=√8.4
V=2.9V

Even though each battery is not actually getting 2.9V in practice, we’re using this number to get the actual current value of each battery. Now that we have values for V and R, we can figure out I:

I=V/R
I=2.9V/0.21Ω
I=13.8A

There you have it! In a regulated mod set to 80W where a 0.21Ω atomizer is being used, you’re getting 13.8A, well below the 20A rating of your battery. And you thought middle school algebra was useless!
Rest assured, you won’t need to do any of this math on a regular basis. Once you find batteries and mods that you know are safe with a given resistance and how you like to vape, it will all become second nature. Additionally, many mods will simply tell you most of this information on the display, but if you’re planning on giving unregulated or mechanical mods a shot, knowing Ohm’s Law and how to determine if your setup is safe to vaping is absolutely necessary.
When finding a battery to use for vaping, you may also see a maximum pulse discharging rate. It’s highly recommended that you ignore this number. While the continuous rate will be safe when the device is activated for long periods, pulse rate is only safe when quick pulses are used. The problem is that there is no standard for how long these pulses are. Some of these pulse ratings may have been based on a pulse of less than one seconds, while others may have been based on five-second pulses. There’s really no way to know, and anything over the continuous rating will cause batteries to heat up which can lead to failure. The only question is how fast they will heat up.
Another number you may see is the C-rating. This number can be used to find the continuous discharge rate, but it isn’t in itself the actual discharge rate. First, you need to convert milliamp-hours (mAh) into amp-hours (Ah), which is really easy. Just move the decimal place to the left by three spaces. For that 3000mAh battery we were previously talking about: 3000mAh=3Ah. That’s it. Once you have that number, multiply it by the C-rating. So if a battery reads “7C” and “3000mAh,” you would convert 3000mAh to 3Ah and multiply it by 7 to get a result of 21A. That is your maximum continuous discharge rate.
When it comes to basic battery safety, you also want to make sure that the wrap on the battery is 100% intact, with no tears or rips. You probably already know that the top of the battery is the positive side, and the bottom is the negative side. What you may not know is that the entire area underneath the wrapper is also negative. If the wrapper is torn and the metal underneath touches something it’s not supposed to, you can end up with the device auto-firing, or the battery venting or hard-shorting. Venting occurs when the battery is punctured, either by something physical or by excessive heat. The gasses inside start to spew out and cause even more heat. Avoid this at all costs. A hard-short occurs when there is no resistance when a circuit is made between the positive and negative sides of a battery. To avoid this, NEVER carry loose batteries. Keys, coins, or other metal objects can shift in a pocket, purse, or backpack and actually create a circuit if they touch the battery in just the right way. When traveling with batteries, always make sure to keep them stored in a designated plastic or fabric battery case.
When a battery vents, ideally you need to let it run its course in an isolated, secure space while someone is prepared to put out a chemical fire with a specific type of extinguisher. Afterwards, the battery must be disposed of properly according to hazardous material standards. Realistically, very few people are prepared for this. The most pragmatic solution is not ideal, but in only requires a glass of tap water. If your battery starts to vent, you should remove the battery as quickly as possible. The longer you wait, the hotter it will get so make sure to not burn yourself and use gloves if you have to. Then, take the battery and submerge it in a glass of tap water or salt water. Make sure the glass is actual glass or ceramic; nothing plastic or paper. Once the battery is submerged, wait for the venting to run its course. The water is actually shorting out the battery by creating a circuit between the positive and negative poles. At the same time, the water is absorbing the heat and keeping the battery relatively safe.
After the battery is done venting, you’re going to have dirty water in a glass, and this is why this solution isn’t perfect. This dirty water is toxic to humans, animals, and the environment. Pouring it down the drain or flushing it down the toilet is damaging to animals and the environment, while keeping it around poses a risk to you and any other living thing in your home. You want to avoid coming into direct contact with the water, and if you’re trying to mitigate as much damage as possible, look to see if any facility exists near you that can properly dispose of the liquid. If you have children or pets, or if you’re simply not comfortable having it in your home, the best solution is to flush it or pour it down a drain. It’s unfortunate, but it will be up to you to weigh the risks of each solution and make an informed decision. The good news is that this whole situation is actually very rare, and there’s a good chance you won’t ever have to deal with it. However, you should know what to do if it does occur.
That should be a good introduction to Ohm’s Law and battery safety. If any of the above information is confusing, I encourage you to watch our video on the subject.

In summary, make sure to follow our guidelines:

Don’t let this information discourage you. Battery failures are very rare in vaping, and virtually non-existent when following safe practices. Plus, this information isn’t exclusive to vaping. The concepts and safety tips above apply to anything that uses lithium ion batteries, including mobile devices, tablets, laptops, etc. Remember, vaping is about reducing certain risks, not eliminating them completely. Nothing is 100% safe, but you can mitigate the maximum amount of risk by arming yourself with knowledge and being safe and smart when vaping.

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Madvapes Master Guide to Vaping

Vaping Culture & Etiquette -Part Nine

Master Guide to Vaping Part 9 – Vaping Culture and Etiquette

No matter how long you’ve been vaping for, there are certain unwritten rules that are generally followed. Many of these may seem to be common sense, but you may or may not be surprised how many people seem to ignore common courtesy. Along with vaping etiquette comes the vape culture. Every vaper is a piece of this culture, so even if you don’t participate in cloud competitions or attend conventions, that doesn’t mean you’re alienated from vape culture. On the contrary, it’s a testament as to how varied the culture really is. Before continuing, keep in mind that nothing you will read, particularly with regard to etiquette, will supercede the law or the rules set by private establishments.
Where is it okay to vape? According to science, anywhere! Reputable scientific studies have shown that vapor poses no risk to bystanders when compared to air. But that doesn’t mean ambient vapor isn’t annoying. It’s not harmful to smell bad cologne, stinky breath, or flatulence, but it’s common courtesy to spare your fellow human beings from being subjected to such things. The same goes for vaping. As pleasant as some vapor can smell, and regardless of any health effects or lack thereof, it’s simply not polite to vape near people who don’t appreciate it. There are arguments to be made about vaping in clubs or bars, but each situation requires your own judgment. A good rule of thumb: if you’re not sure it’s okay to vape where you are, you can either ask or simply go outside. Many vapers are opposed to going outside, but think of it this way: by going outside, you avoid the hassle of explaining yourself and possibly confrontation. Most people don’t vape to be trendy or to make a statement, and just want to go about their business. By avoiding a confrontational situation altogether, everyone gets to go about their business without too much hassle.
I like to use the movie theater example. Is it inherently wrong to vape in a movie theater? No. What if the theater is full? Well, in that case it’s probably a good idea to refrain from vaping. In addition to it being rude, it may get in the way of the projector and distract from the movie experience. What if the theater is empty? Since vaping would only affect you, it’s likely okay. However, if you’re asked to stop by staff, or if there are rules in place prohibiting vaping, then it’s not okay. This is why good judgment is important, and it can be difficult for some vapers to see the situation from another perspective. Would a vaper mind if someone is vaping near them? Most likely, no, they wouldn’t. However, a more accurate analogy would be, would a vaper be annoyed if someone sprayed perfume too close to their face? Probably, yes. It doesn’t matter how good the perfume smells, if the perfume has any health effects, or how interested the person spraying it is in perfume; it’s still inconsiderate. So before you vape in public, put yourself in other peoples’ shoes!
Another thing to consider is stealth vaping. By holding the vapor in your lungs for 5-10 seconds, there is little to no vapor on the exhale. Many times, this can be done anywhere without anyone noticing, but again, this may be breaking the laws or rules that are in effect in your location. Most of the time, you can stealth vape and nobody would even know that you’re doing it, but you run the risk of not doing it properly, which defeats the entire purpose. Also, residual heat from the coil can cause vapor to exit from your atomizer, which gives away what you’re doing too. Many people find stealth vaping a good alternative when trying to be courteous. It’s easier to stealth vape when MTL vaping, but it can be done with DL vaping as well. While there is no foolproof guide as to whether stealth vaping is a viable option, it is still important to use good judgment and to be aware if you’ll be breaking any rules.
Speaking of MTL and DL vaping, keep in mind that neither is exempt from common courtesy. If it’s not okay to blow huge DL clouds, it’s probably not okay to MTL either, unless stealth vaping potentially. There’s an ongoing debate in the vape community as to which vape style is “better.” On one hand, DL vapers have been known to sometimes view MTL vapers as inexperienced or unaware that DL vaping exists. On the other hand, there are MTL vapers who simply prefer it over DL vaping, and accuse DL vapers as obnoxious cloud-chasers who only vape to show off. In general, these people are the vocal minority. Either vaping style is fine if it’s better for you. Vapers have enough to worry about without fighting amongst ourselves. That being said, it’s no secret that the majority of vapers prefer DL vaping, which is why so many DL atomizers and high-wattage mods are being produced today. However, there is a wide middle ground where most vapers settle, and that is restricted lung hits. Atomizers designed for restricted lung hits don’t have ridiculous airflow and don’t necessarily produce competition-sized clouds, but they do produce more vapor and have more airflow than MTL vaping.
Keep in mind that different people need different experiences when vaping to get what they need. Some people prefer the hand-to-mouth action to replicate smoking as closely as possible, including how they inhale. Others prefer the actual vapor to be warmer and more voluminous in order to be satisfying. And yet other people prefer something in between. There’s no single correct way to vape, and it’s all about what you prefer. There are also people who stick to vaping mostly because of the community, or because they enjoy cloud competitions. It’s not that they’re “showing off,” it’s that the sense of competition and the hobbyist nature of vaping is the very thing that works for them. The point is, don’t write off fellow vapers just because they have a different preference. We’re all on the same side!
It can be frustrating when rules or laws seem unjust and based on incorrect information. Unfortunately, we are obligated to do so. In situations where there are no clear laws or rules, common sense and courtesy should be observed. Take note of who and what is in your general vicinity and consider what effect vaping will have. When in doubt, either find a new area to vape, stealth vape, or don’t vape at all. As much as we would like to, as vapers we can’t vape wherever we like. If we can’t collectively show that we can vape responsibly, then soon we may not be vaping at all.
On that note, be sure to check out the final chapter of this guide where we’ll be talking about vaping regulation and legislation.

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Madvapes Master Guide to Vaping

Regulation & Legislation

Master Guide to Vaping Part 10 – Regulation and Legislation

For as long as vaping has existed, it has been met with scrutiny and skepticism. While most people are capable of doing research, looking at the results of scientific studies, and making their own decisions, governing bodies have always sought to enact regulation or legislation for one reason or another. Sometimes it’s reasonable, but most of the time it is overreaching, bordering on prohibitionist. While the regulatory climate is currently at a fever pitch due the exponential growth in the popularity of e-cigarettes, advocates have been fighting for consumers’ rights to vape since at least 2009.
In early 2010, it was determined in court that e-cigarettes were not to be regulated as a drug. The FDA was intercepting e-cigarette shipments from China, claiming that they were intended to treat those with nicotine addiction. The court ended up siding with the vapor industry, saying that the FDA could no longer seize shipments, and could only exercise their authority in a similar way to tobacco products. This ruling is the main keystone of current regulation. While it didn’t declare that e-cigarettes were tobacco products in the legal sense, it meant that if vapor products were to be regulated, the FDA would need to do so differently than it does with drugs such as nicotine patches.
In the time between 2010 and May 2016, when the final deeming regulations were published, vaping advocates have been working on combating unfair local and state legislation (and supporting the sensible regulation, such as prohibiting sales to minors), correcting misinformation in the media and on social media, and keeping consumers informed. With little information about the deeming regulations in that 5-year span, there was also little to act on.
The same tired arguments could be heard time and time again, and when one was debunked, another would surface. You’ve likely heard many of these arguments against vapor products more than once:

• E-cigarettes contain toxic levels of formaldehyde.
• E-cigarettes cause cancer.
• E-cigarettes cause popcorn lung.
• E-cigarettes are creating a new generation of nicotine addicts.
• E-cigarettes cause pneumonia.
• E-cigarettes contain anti-freeze.
• E-cigarettes are harmful to bystanders and those exposed to ambient vapor.

Study after study have debunked these claims over the years, but they keep resurfacing. Let’s quickly tackle these point by point:

• E-cigarettes typically only produce harmful levels of formaldehyde when used at power levels so high that it would be rancid for anybody to vape it. It would be harsh and burnt, and anyone who has ever gotten a dry hit knows that not only is it undesirable, but virtually impossible to vape.
• Analog cigarettes cause cancer because of combustion. Organic matter is burned, which produces tar and other chemicals. It’s even been shown that spending too much time around campfires, candles, or incense increase the risk for cancer far more than e-cigarettes. Nicotine, while addictive, is not carcinogenic.
• Popcorn lung is a condition that affects the lungs. It was first discovered/contracted by popcorn factory workers, hence the name. It’s caused by the inhalation of diacetyl, a main component of butter flavoring. The same flavoring can be used in e-cigarettes. However, out of countless popcorn factory workers, only a handful have ever been diagnosed with popcorn lung. Additionally, they were exposed to diacetyl in other forms, not only vapor, and at much higher levels than an e-cigarette could ever produce. Nonetheless, e-liquid manufacturers have taken steps to either eliminate diacetyl from their e-liquids, or at least disclose whether or not certain flavors contain it so that consumers have more information when making their purchasing decisions. Studies done by Dr. Farsalinos have shown that diacetyl is an unnecessary added risk, which is why many e-liquid manufacturers have worked to eliminate it from their e-liquids.
• There is absolutely no evidence that vaping leads to smoking. While more teens than ever are vaping according to study done by the CDC, more adults are also vaping than ever before. Simultaneously, teen smoking is at an all-time low. In an ideal world, nobody would smoke or vape, but we don’t live in some sort of utopia. Given the choice between underage smoking and underage vaping, underage vaping is the lesser of 2 evils. While it certainly cannot be condoned, teen vaping also can never be completely eliminated, just as with underage drinking or smoking. It’s an unfortunate aspect that needs to be accepted given the overwhelming positive consequences of vaping in general.
• Pneumonia isn’t caused by inhaling vapor of any kind. If it were, everyone would have pneumonia since water vapor is in the air. Anyone who entered a sauna would get pneumonia. This is just a baseless attack on vaping with no basis in common sense, let alone science.
• E-cigarettes do not contain anti-freeze, but they do share an ingredient, which can sound bad out of context. Propylene glycol is a main ingredient in e-cigarettes and e-liquid flavorings. Given this information, one could make an analogous argument that food-grade flavoring contains anti-freeze, but that’s not the most egregious part of the argument. Propylene glycol in particular is used in anti-freeze precisely because it’s non-toxic. It mostly replaced ethylene glycol many years ago, which is toxic. In the case of an anti-freeze leak, propylene glycol poses far less risk to animals, pets, the environment, etc.
• A study conducted by Drexel University showed that ambient vapor posed no risk to bystanders. While it is viewed as inconsiderate to vape in close proximity to others, it’s not harmful. Ambient vapor is virtually indistinguishable from air.

Even with vapers and advocates trying to get correct information out there, misconceptions are still rampant. Believe it or not, public perception of vaping is important. Not only that, but legislation has been crafted based on misinformation or even simply doubt as to the safety of vaping.
In the vacuum left by the lack of federal regulation, local and state legislatures began enacting policies to restrict where people could vape, tax vape gear and e-liquid, and restrict sales to minors. The intensity of these laws varies across the country from reasonable, to ridiculous, to unconstitutional. Indiana in particular recently had a policy overturned that put the majority of e-liquid manufacturers out of business, although not before the damage was already done. Not only can unreasonable regulation affect public health, but also the economy by putting companies out of business and people out of work.
As of May 2016, the FDA deeming regulation has started to come into effect. The original document is 499 pages long, but the main points of it are clear. When attempting to comply with FDA regulations, there are 3 avenues that a tobacco product can take: substantial equivalence (SE), substantial equivalence exemption, and premarket tobacco application (PMTA). SE must prove that a new or modified tobacco product is basically the same (substantially equivalent) to a product that was available on the market before 2007. Substantial equivalence exemption still requires a product to be on the market before February 2007, but that product must have not been altered in any significant way. PMTA is the only path relevant to vaping, which is a new product, and legally a tobacco product as of May 10, 2016. Unfortunately, the PMTA process is prohibitively expensive and time-consuming, resulting in a de-facto ban on 99% of vapor products.
To put this in perspective, let’s say a company carries 300 unique products in terms of hardware. That includes batteries, mods, atomizers, tanks, kits, and even cotton and wire. These all are now considered tobacco products since they’re to be used in the context of vaping. In addition, said company also has 50 e-liquid flavors available in 3 bottle sizes, 5 nicotine strengths, and 3 PG/VG ratios. Each variation of e-liquid sold counts as a separate product, and requires a separate application. Between hardware and e-liquid, this company must submit 2550 applications. There may be ways to combine different bottle sizes or nicotine strengths into a single application, but it’s all very vague as to what companies will actually be allowed to do. For each e-liquid PMTA, extensive toxicology and population studies must be done, the latter of which could take years to gather acceptable data. Many vapor companies are relatively small, yet have the largest burden to bear when it comes to weathering the storm of regulation.
Consider a tobacco company that has recently started selling disposables. They offer 2 flavors and 2 nicotine strengths for a total of 4 products. Not only do they only need to submit 4 applications, but the e-cigarettes they manufacture are generally much more straightforward. Additionally, they have hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars to spend on these applications, more experience dealing with the government, and more manpower.
All this culminates in an obvious end result. If left unchecked, the FDA deeming regulations will put nearly every vape company out of business, remove nearly every quality product from the market, and leave only Big Tobacco and cigalikes standing. It will likely also create a black market. Chinese companies that manufacture vapor products will still have incentive to create new products to sell in other markets, which means they will eventually end up in the US somehow. The scarcity of vapor products and the increased prices will also likely cause vapers to turn, or return, to smoking.
This is why advocacy is so important. Anyone who vapes or cares about public health and the agencies in place that are supposed to safeguard it should take interest and take action. As it stands, the FDA expects the industry to adhere to standards far stricter than those imposed on tobacco cigarettes, and feels the responsibility of consumer choice is too much for the average person. The consequences of the current regulations seem to make no sense, and it’s up to each person to make it known, loud and clear, that there are concerns. Vaping has science on its side, and with a reasonable approach, an effective society and government should be able to come up with fair and sensible regulations for vaping.
The best thing for the average person to do is to follow CASAA and Not Blowing Smoke, two advocacy groups that consistently provide good information and ways to take action. While vendors like Madvapes are working to comply with regulation, advocacy groups and consumers are pursuing every avenue to try and get new legislation in place to mitigate the damage that the FDA deeming regulations will do. Madvapes is currently meeting with congressmen as well as the FDA in person in order to present our case for changing the current regulations, but the combined voice of consumers can be just as loud. Even though some companies have already fallen victim to the regulations (most notably the legendary Provape, makers of the ProVari), it’s not too late for everyone to do their parts and take action!
Currently, the most important thing is to contact your representatives and voice your support of HR 1136. With the current regulation, any “tobacco” product introduced to the market after February 2007 must have an application submitted through the previously mentioned PMTA process. HR 1136 aims to change this date, which would allow products currently on the market to stay on the market without needing PMTA approval. This isn’t a catch-all solution, but it’s an excellent start towards changing the FDA deeming regulations.
The more people that are active in advocacy, the more effective it is. I encourage you to keep up to date with the latest developments, follow CASAA and Not Blowing Smoke and respond to any and all of their Calls to Action, and voice your support of HR 1136. Vaping is likely to be around for a long time to come, but it’s up to each of us to determine whether it will be a dangerous, expensive, and illegal black market or an affordable, legitimate, and life-changing industry.