Friday, June 21, 2024

E-cigarette market is like a super large decentralization experiment and vapers are like mice


Now the e-cigarette market is like a super large decentralization experiment. Every legal or illegal manufacturer can produce electronic cigarette device freely like a small workshop, and customize the formula of e-liquid at will. Smokers, like mice, are tested chemically, sometimes for unexplained explosive ignition.

When Luo Yonghao left the Smartisan(Chinese name:Hammer) mobile phone and started his e-cigarette business, he once again announced that he would redefine an industry:

“Let the electronic cigarette industry usher in the real industrial design, farewell to the era of rural style.”

Some microblog netizens don’t know what to do. They ask a meaningful question: what about the Thin Red Line Version?

Before Luo Yonghao founded the e-cigarette brand, it was widely known on the Internet that the name of the new product was vvild or the Thin Red Line”. Finally, he chose vvild, and the Thin Red Line was finally used as the design of its high-end e-cigarette products.,

The name comes from Luo Yonghao’s favorite World War II movie the Thin Red Line. He thinks the thin red line design is stylish while in low profile, but the more fundamental reason is the Crimean war behind the “thin red line”.

“This war is not a war of aggression, it is a war of defense, and it has withstood the charge of a large enemy,” Luo said.

It’s like his ideal Smartisan(Hammer) cell phone.

Luo Yonghao and e-cigarette will end in a face losing
Luo Yonghao and e-cigarette will end in face losing (I came here not for a win)

In 1854, the Crimean War in the European continent entered its second year. The British French allied forces and Turkey formed an alliance to fight against the Russian invasion.

On October 25, the British and the Turkish army were surrounded by Russians in a valley. When the Russian cavalry forced in, the Turks fled and only the British remained.

There was no way to retreat. British commander Colin Campbell ordered the 93rd regiment to form a column, win or stand dead.

In the end, the British soldiers in red uniforms fought the Russian cavalry’s charge with volleys and mutilated bodies.

William Russell, a reporter from the Times who reported on the scene at that time, described that there was only a “thin red line” between the Russian cavalry and the British base.

Unfortunately, the “thin red line” of Smartisan(Hammer) mobile phone was broken. Luo Yonghao surrendered and reused the iPhone.

Now, the electronic cigarette that he once again hopes for comes to the “thin red line” moment of win or die.

On October 4, Mr. Luo said he had returned the iPhone.
On October 4, Mr. Luo said he had returned the iPhone.

Overall regulation

The dark moment of electronic cigarette

On June 26 this year, Shenzhen passed the latest revised regulations on tobacco control, and electronic cigarettes were officially included in the “blacklist”.

On October 14, Shenzhen issued the first electronic cigarette ticket in China, and a smoker was fined 50 yuan. This money is not much for people who smoke e-cigarettes of course, but for e-cigarette enterprises, comprehensive regulation has taken the first step.

Before that, San Francisco City of the United States passed the ban on electronic cigarettes, prohibiting the production and sale of electronic cigarettes “not approved by the FDA” in the whole city. At present, there is no electronic cigarette product approved by the FDA.

In other words, electronic cigarettes have been banned in San Francisco. The first to be affected is Juul, the San Francisco based e-cigarette giant, which produces e-cigarettes with a market share of more than 80% in the United States.

In addition to San Francisco, California, Montana recently issued a 120 day emergency ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, which began on October 22. Massachusetts simply banned all e-cigarettes.

At the federal level, the Trump administration is also considering banning all flavored e-cigarettes.

Trump administration

The dark hour of the electronic cigarette industry has come so fast.

Just over a year ago, many countries in Europe and the United States took a promising attitude towards e-cigarettes. From the official to the private, there are many people who think that e-cigarettes can help to quit smoking. The science and Technology Committee of the British House of Commons even issued a report endorsing e-cigarettes.

But in recent months, the problems caused by e-cigarettes have reached the point that we have to pay attention to.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on October 17 that as of October 15, 1479 cases of acute lung injury related to aerosolized electronic cigarettes had occurred in the United States, resulting in at least 33 deaths in 22 states, of which the youngest was only 17 years old.

The teenagers who have avoided the paper cigarettes still haven't been able to avoid the temptation of electronic cigarettes.
The teenagers who have avoided the paper cigarettes still haven’t been able to avoid the temptation of electronic cigarettes.

The first death occurred in Illinois, the largest state in the United States.

A local 18-year-old student, Adam hergenreder, recently sued Juul for smoking electronic cigarettes two years ago and was recently diagnosed with irreversible acute lung injury.

The doctor told him that his lungs are the same as those of the 70 year old. He can’t run like his peers any more. Even climbing the stairs is hard.

At present, no similar cases have been reported in China. The popularity of e-cigarettes in China is still at a relatively low level, and there are not many young people smoking e-cigarettes on the streets.

However, China is the world’s largest e-cigarette production base, with exports accounting for 90% of the world’s total production.

With the export to domestic sales and the rise of domestic emerging brands, more and more Chinese consumers will try e-cigarettes, and the situation in the United States may also appear in China.

What’s worse, we still haven’t figured out how electronic cigarettes hurt the body.

Arsenic, mustard gas, herbicide:

Is electronic cigarette toxic or not?

Luo Yonghao did not deny that e-cigarettes can also be harmful to health, he said on Weibo:

“Electronic cigarette is an alternative harm reduction product, containing nicotine, which can replace traditional tobacco and eliminate most of the harm of traditional tobacco, but can not be used to quit smoking addiction (refers to the addiction caused by nicotine).”

So, can e-cigarettes play an “alternative harm reduction role”? As we all know, the harmful substances of traditional cigarettes are mainly nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide. What about electronic cigarettes?

In May 2016, the BBC launched a documentary film, “e-cigarettes: miracle or threat?” 》(e-cigarettes: miracle or menace?).

The film crew went to a cigarette company, and the director of R & D department showed them an experimental result: the harm of electronic cigarettes is far less than that of traditional cigarettes.

The BBC Documentary shows that the toxic substance of e-cigarettes is far lower than that of cigarettes.
The BBC Documentary shows that the toxic substance of e-cigarettes is far lower than that of cigarettes.

The results may be true, but don’t forget that interested cigarette companies have the ability to control the experiment in many ways.

What’s more, in 2016, more than three years later, the number of e-cigarettes products and the scale of users have increased exponentially.

According to a paper in the British Medical Journal’s tobacco control magazine, there are more than 7700 flavors of seasoned e-cigarettes, 242 new flavors are added every month – this is the statistics of 2014.

What are 7700 concepts? The dictionary of traditional Chinese medicine (the Second Edition) (2006) is the most complete list of traditional Chinese medicine in China. The number of drugs collected is only 6008.

Because there are so many electronic cigarette products, many patients have smoked several brands of electronic cigarette at the same time, it is difficult to confirm which one or several compounds caused acute lung injury.

On October 4, according to the investigation report released by the CDC, US researchers surveyed 86 patients with lung injury in Illinois and Wisconsin, which was extremely complicated:

The 86 people used 234 kinds of electronic cigarette devices before they fell ill, and they came from 87 different brands.

Among them, users of nicotine e-cigarettes have smoked 1 to 4 brands; users of cannabis e-cigarettes have smoked 1 to 7 brands. At the same time, there are mamnu people who smoke two kinds of electronic cigarettes.

Even if we know which brand they smoke, it is still not enough. In addition to various flavors such as tobacco, herbs and fruits, there may also be a variety of toxic heavy metals in electronic cigarette.

Because when the electronic cigarette through the metal coil heating e-liquid, some metal components will leak into the vapor.

The composition of  vapor in electronic cigarette is very complex. /World Health Organization
The composition of vapor in electronic cigarette is very complex. /World Health Organization

According to a report released by Johns Hopkins University on February 21, 2018, scientists at Johns Hopkins University detected 15 kinds of heavy metals, including lead, chromium, nickel, manganese, iron, aluminum, copper, tin, zinc, etc., from the vapor of 56 users’ electronic cigarette products.

Leaving dose to talk about toxicity is playing rogue, how much of these heavy metals?

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University have warned that the levels of chromium, lead, nickel and manganese are all close to or above the safe level. In addition, 10 samples detected high levels of arsenic, the main component of arsenic.

In an interview with reporters, Melodi Pirzada, director of paediatric pulmonary Department of winslop hospital, New York University, also pointed out that the reason why e-cigarettes cause acute lung injury and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may be that the vapor contains acrolein, which is commonly used in herbicides.

If the electronic cigarette vapor contains these toxic substances, it is not surprising why the lungs of the electronic cigarrete smokers will be seriously damaged.

Many people know the disadvantages of e-cigarettes, but they still keep vaping
Many people know the disadvantages of e-cigarettes, but they still keep vaping

Compared with traditional paper cigarettes, electronic cigarettes work by inhaling nicotine, cannabis or heavy metals more efficiently into the lungs of many people.

The Mayo Clinic in the United States organized a team to take biopsies of lung tissue from 17 patients, and found that their lung injury was consistent with chemical burns, which looked like the lungs of the victims of chemical plant leakage accidents.

Brandon T. Larsen, a surgical pathologist involved in the study, said the damage looked like the lungs of people who had been exposed to mustard gas in World War II.

Of course, this is an extreme case. Most of the e-cigarettes now look safe just like smoking cigarettes.

The problem is that people have been smoking e-cigarettes for less than 20 years. It’s only these years that they have really become popular. Many problems may not have been exposed.

Between the pleasant huff and puff, countless hidden dangers are invading the body of smokers
Between the pleasant huff and puff, countless hidden dangers are invading the body of smokers

Electronic cigarettes help to quit smoking?

I’m afraid the opposite is true

Since its birth, the e-cigarette industry has been promoting a function: e-cigarettes can help you quit smoking, even if you can’t quit, you can also quit paper cigarettes.

A popular science article forwarded by Luo Yonghao introduces the documentary of CBC, which contains many examples of quitting cigarettes by e-cigarettes, including a boss of an e-cigarette store.

This experience is very similar to the story of the inventor of electronic cigarette. Few people know that electronic cigarettes look like foreign products, but they were invented by Han Li, a Chinese.

According to public reports, the “father of e-cigarettes” began to develop e-cigarettes as early as 2002, and registered a patent the following year.

Han Li told VICE that his original goal of designing e-cigarettes was to quit smoking. But e-cigarettes were so successful that he soon turned from a pharmacist to an e-cigarette merchant, who had to smoke a variety of e-cigarettes to experience products.

At the same time, Han Li did not give up traditional cigarettes completely.

He thinks that’s what he has to do now: “sometimes when I find a new cigarette product, a new taste or a new blend, I buy a package and smoke a few cigarettes, so I don’t lose my sensitivity to its taste.”

For ordinary people, if they don’t have this kind of work demand and promote e-cigarettes, can they reduce the overall smoking rate?

At the beginning of the emergence of electronic cigarettes, many people have such expectations. Unfortunately, this vision has never been realized and has had the opposite effect.

Teenagers are more likely to try traditional cigarettes after using electronic cigarettes. /NIDA
Teenagers are more likely to try traditional cigarettes after using electronic cigarettes. /NIDA

In February 2016, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) survey showed that:

After teenagers smoked electronic cigarettes, 30.7% of them would start smoking combustible tobacco products within 6 months, including common filter cigarettes, cigars and hookahs. Without the induction of e-cigarettes, the figure was only 8.1%.

In just two years, the popularity of e-cigarettes has destroyed the previous achievements in tobacco control. How fast the rate of e-cigarettes among teenagers has risen, and how fast their smoking rate has risen.

Teenagers are more likely to try traditional cigarettes after using electronic cigarettes. /NIDA
From top to bottom: any tobacco product (high school), electronic cigarette product (high school), any tobacco product (junior high school), electronic cigarette product (junior high school)

The taste of everything and all kinds of strange things is the main inducement for teenagers to enter the pit.

Nowadays, we seldom see the advertisement of traditional cigarettes on TV, media and street. However, the advertisement of packaging electronic cigarettes into a healthy, fresh, elegant and delicious way of life is everywhere.

Take Luo Yonghao’s e-cigarettes as an example. When his official microblog publicizes a fruit flavored e-cigarettes, it is playing the food and emotion cards:

“Melon’s refreshing performance is incisively and vividly”, “long-term vaping choice”, “just like melon ice cream when I was a child”…

Search for e-cigarettes on the domestic e-commerce platform, and every one of them is eager to use the most beautiful words to publicize. All the copywriters in the cosmetics industry, science and technology evaluation, and lifestyle fields have come out:

“Have energy! Every puff makes the throat full of vitality “,” new atomization technology, delicate taste, surging vapor “,” enjoy your time without disturbing your intimate company “…

The third vape International Trade Fair was held in New York. In the eyes of many young people, smoking electronic cigarettes has become a part of the trend culture
The third vape International Trade Fair was held in New York. In the eyes of many young people, smoking electronic cigarettes has become a part of the trend culture

There are many ethical issues involved in the promotion of nicotine products.

In the United States, the house of Representatives recently held a hearing on e-cigarettes, and Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of public health, testified in the court:

High tech e-cigarettes are “wiping out the incredible progress of the past decade”, and selling products to young people through flavors such as strawberry, watermelon, mango and blueberry e-juice.”

How successful is this propaganda? According to a number of surveys, more than 60% of teenagers do not know that the electronic cigarette products they smoke contain nicotine.

Battery explosion, industry chaos, electronic cigarette is time to be regulated

In addition to such and such “Mana damage”, electronic cigarette may also cause instant physical damage to humans.

As an electronic product using lithium battery, mobile phone, battery car and new energy vehicle will have spontaneous combustion and self explosion, and e-cigarrete can not avoide this problem.

According to local media reports: in 2016, a man in California smoked e-cigarettes on a bus, just put them into his trouser pocket, and the e-cigarettes exploded; another employee in a tobacco and alcohol store, the e-cigarettes in his trouser pocket suddenly burst into flames, and the lights were everywhere.

physical damage

Burning the thigh is not a big deal. Last March, Austin Adams, a 17-year-old middle school student in Utah, bought an electronic cigarette product in order to get rid of traditional cigarettes. When he smoked, the electronic cigarette exploded, several teeth were blown off, and the jaw bone was partially broken and smashed.

Surgeons say they’ve never seen an e-cigarette explosion like this before, and some of the gum tissue has been completely destroyed.

Austin Adams
Austin Adams

On January 29, William Brown, a 24-year-old from Texas, died in an e-cigarette explosion.

The cause of death report said that when he used the electronic cigarette in the car, the battery exploded, and the metal fragment hit his neck artery, even embedded in his skull. Two days after he was sent to hospital, he died of cerebral infarction and hernia.

In Florida last May, a 38 year old man, D’Elia, was found dead in his bedroom. An autopsy reported that debris had broken through his skull and brain after the explosion of the electronic cigarette.

These cases are very similar: fragments hit the neck or head. When the electronic cigarette device explodes, it does have this power.

In July 2017, the U.S. Fire Department said in a special report on the explosion of electronic cigarettes that due to the shape and structural characteristics of electronic cigarettes, when the battery explodes, it will become like a bullet or small rocket.

Vape pen

It’s the electronic cigarette device with worrying quality. According to D’Elia’s autopsy report, the e-cigarettes he used were sold through illegal channels.

At present, in the e-cigarette market, which has a very low threshold, the electronic cigarette device not produced according to the standard can be said to be all over the street.

According to the Economic Observer recently, an e-cigarette boss in Huaqiangbei, Shenzhen, told reporters:

“Now launch a new e-cigarette brand, the minimum investment is less than 90000 yuan, and the product can be made in 10 days.”

“You don’t have to worry about anything from e-liquid and device, design to packaging. As long as you register a brand and we spray it on you, you can sell it.”

It’s not hard to set up a factory to make electronic cigarettes. According to practitioners and Economic Observer:

“Just need a factory building, brush a little floor paint, buy two production lines, ask some workers to assemble, no detection link, let alone the production standard, tens of thousands of yuan can open a factory, buy some raw materials back to assemble it up, you can find customers to sell directly.”

There are also some electronic cigarettes designed in special shapes, such as hand grenades
There are also some electronic cigarettes designed in special shapes, such as hand grenades

No wonder some people describe the e-cigarette market as a super large decentralization experiment.

Every legal or illegal manufacturer can be like a small workshop, producing electronic cigarette device freely, customizing electronic cigarette e-liquid formula at will, and smokers are subject to chemical tests like mice, sometimes unknown explosive ignition tests.

It’s OK. Maybe it’s not enough. Maybe it’s too lucky. Someone has lived to be 80 or 90 years old smoking.

But in a pile of electronic cigarettes, whose quality is hard to guarantee and chemical composition is not clear, it’s just a kind of ignorance and courage to smoke like smoking a blind box.

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