It’s getting nigh on Holiday Season and how better to celebrate the old Yule log than with a nice herbal vaporizer. The Firefly 2 is a very clever and very well-built convection vape that creates a smooth, flavorful draw and can extract the maximum in herbal pleasure out of a little bit of material.
Like Pax the Firefly 2 is foremost about function. The system heats herbs to 400 degrees Fahrenheit inside a small chamber that is visible through a window on the top panel. The whole thing is four inches long and about an inch thick and the glass top panel sticks to the body with magnets. To activate the vape you simple hold your fingers over two little pads on either side of the Firefly. Finer control is achieve via the app that connects seamlessly to the Firefly and allows you to set the temperature and manage the activation method.
Users of older vapes definitely won’t miss the arcane button press combinations and timing requirements of earlier systems. The Firefly activates and begins heating when you touch the side buttons and is ready when the light turns green. Once green you simply inhale for 10 seconds. I estimate you can get about 15-20 hits off of one charge and you can swap out batteries as needed. You can also add concentrates after sticking in a little aluminum disk into the heating chamber.
The thing you’ll notice is that the Firefly 2 does not get hot – it’s nicely insulated and the glass top remains cool to the touch – and it’s very well built. My only concern would be that the magnetic top could slide off in transit but even energetic pushing couldn’t dislodge it so, while care is must be taken, it should survive a ride in a back pocket.
The vapor is cool and flavorful and very effective. I’m not a regular smoker by any stretch but I had no trouble inhaling and enjoying the experience. The smell is also reduced with the Firefly 2 as the material is carefully and fully heated.
It’s interesting to note that the Firefly is so cool because its creators, Sasha Robinson and Mark Williams, came from Flip, the once ascendant camcorder company, and Apple. This dream team of product design and software creation led to what can only be described as a perfect storm for heshers.
Now for the potentially bad news. The Firefly 2 costs $329 but includes an extra battery, USB charger, and a cleaning kit. You also get three concentrate discs in the package. Still, a little over $300 is a small price to pay for what amounts to one of the most perfect vaping machines. It’s compact, easy to use, and simple – just the treat for folks who want a puff or two now and again without the fuss of rolling papers or pipes. I, for one, welcome our streamlined convection vaping overlords.
Pax today is announcing a new app for its cannabis vaporizers. The service offers access to device controls, cannabis strain information and safety features. The company previously launched an Android and iPhone app with similar features, but Apple later removed the version on the App Store, stripping iPhone users of features and information.
Pax is not coy about the motivations behind this desktop app. “Built in response to Apple’s removal of vaporization-related apps from the App Store,” the press release reads. This desktop app has been in the works for some time. Apple removed vaping apps in late 2019, and Pax representatives told me in January 2020 they had been working toward a new solution.
“We’re thrilled to be able to restore functionality to Apple users,” said Jesse Silver, SVP of Product at PAX Labs. “While we build our devices to work beautifully even without the app, the magic truly happens when you have precision control over things like temperature and dose, not to mention the confidence that comes with this level of information and transparency around what’s in the pod. Because so many of our features are developed through the lens of delivering a predictable, high-quality experience, it was really important to us that all of our customers could access them—regardless of whether they use iPhones or Androids.”
This web app features the same functionality of the smartphone app, but it’s unfortunately tied to a desktop computer. The web app does not work on smartphones. Because of this, some of the magic is lost as users are still unable to fine-tune control of the vapes while away from their desks.
Other companies have made similar moves, most notably, Canopy Growth Corp.’s Storz & Bickel. In March 2020, the vaping device maker launched its web app to bypass Apple’s ban. In its solution, users have to use a specific mobile browser due to Bluetooth. If willing to jump through a few hoops, the web app restores features of Storz & Bickel’s vaporizers for Apple users.
I use the company’s Android app with a Pax Era Pro and enjoy the wealth of information available through the portal. Not sure what’s in a Pax pod? Snap it into the Era Pro to see where the strain was developed and cultivated, as well as the results from testing reports. But as an iPhone user, it would be great to have this information on my primary device.
Pax’s new desktop app requires Chrome for macOS users. For those on Windows, functionality is only available with the Pax Era Pro. After several setup steps, the desktop web app works as advertised and features a slick interface and rich functionality.
Under the surface of a gargantuan $3.5 trillion spending plan, House Democrats have proposed a tax hike on tobacco and nicotine products to fund this insanely large appropriation proposal.
WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats have proposed a tax hike on tobacco and nicotine products to help fund President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion federal spending package. This measure may increase current federal levies on cigarettes, cigars, roll-your-own products, and electronic cigarettes, and known vaping products.
“But ultimately it would fall heavily on tobacco consumers—many of the group that earns less than $400,000 that President Biden pledged would not see a tax increase,” writes Ulrik Boesen, a senior policy analyst on excise taxes at the Tax Foundation, in a blog post published to their website on September 13, 2021.
“If the administration considers a tobacco tax hike a tax on consumers as it did for a gas tax hike, the proposal may be short-lived,” Boesen said. “Doubling the cigarette tax rate yields a high rate, but tax parity across all products results in increases on other tobacco products that are significantly higher.”
CNBC.com online reports that companies usually pass the increased costs of so-called excise taxes to their customers, meaning higher prices for the actual goods at the point of sale.
This means that the increase in tobacco and nicotine products, including vapes, will see an exorbitant increase at a sale point.
“The level ([the] dollar amount) of the excise tax should reflect the harm of nicotine products relative to traditional tobacco products,” Boesen added. “The Royal College of Physicians released a report recommending a tax of 5 percent relative to the tax on combustible tobacco. To illustrate how that would work in the context of this proposal: if a pack of cigarettes is taxed at $2.00, the vapor products tax should be $0.10 per pod for closed systems, since a pod is a substitute for one pack of cigarettes.”
In the US, the health benefits of the ban would be felt mostly among black communities, because the percentage of African American smokers who smoke menthols is 2.8 times higher than among white smokers, at 85%.
The study suggests that a similar ban in the United States would have even greater benefits, as menthol cigarettes are even more popular across the States. “From our findings, we estimate that banning menthol cigarettes in the U.S. would lead an additional 923,000 smokers to quit, including 230,000 African American smokers,” said lead study author Geoffrey Fong, from the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project.
Canada was one of the first countries to implement a ban on menthol cigarettes, and the first country where a menthol ban has been evaluated. To examine the menthol ban impact, Fong and his colleagues surveyed nearly 1,100 non-menthol and 138 menthol smokers in 2016 (before the ban), and after the ban in 2018, across seven Canadian provinces, covering 83% of the Canadian population.
The researchers found that menthol smokers were much more likely to attempt quitting smoking than non-menthol smokers following the ban, at 59% versus 49%. They also found that menthols’ daily smokers were nearly two times more likely than non-menthols’ daily smokers to quit after the ban, at 21% versus over 11%.
Menthols’ ex-smokers were more likely to relapse prior to ban
Published in Tobacco Control, the study had also indicated that menthol smokers who quit smoking before the menthol ban, were also significantly less likely than non-menthol smokers who had quit, to start smoking again.
Moreover, the ban did not seem to lead to an increase in illicit trade. “…did not lead to a high level of illicit menthol cigarette purchasing, which has been a concern by regulators considering a menthol ban,” said Fong, who added that “fewer than 10% of menthol smokers reported still smoking a menthol brand after the ban.”
WHO: banning menthols would have significant public health benefits
Scientific reviews conducted by U.S. health experts and the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that banning menthol cigarettes would have significant public health benefits. In the United States, those benefits might be greatest among black Americans because the percentage of black smokers who smoke menthols is 2.8 times higher than among white smokers, at 85%. “Our study demonstrates the substantial benefits of banning menthol cigarettes,” said Fong in a university press release.
“The enormous success of the Canadian menthol ban makes it even clearer now that the U.S. should finally ban menthol, which the tobacco industry has used for decades to attract new smokers and to keep many of them as customers, especially among the African American community,” he added.
E-cigarettes have been linked to eating disorders in college students, reports the findings of a newly published study.
TORONTO — Researchers recently published their findings suggesting a link connected to electronic cigarette use and the increased risk for an eating disorder diagnosis among US college students. Such a study provides dubious conclusions related to the harms of electronic cigarettes on young adults who vape.
“The higher prevalence of vaping among those with eating disorder symptoms is concerning given that the co-occurrence of these behaviors can exacerbate physical health complications such as cardiovascular, pulmonary, and neurological problems,” said Kyle T. Ganson, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, in a statement.
Ganson is the lead author of the study, co-authored by researcher Jason M. Nagata of the University of California, San Francisco Department of Pediatrics in the United States.
“Nicotine vaping may be used by individuals to support eating disorder behaviors and goals, such as suppressing appetite and catalyzing weight loss,” said Ganson. “Nicotine vaping can lead to dependence and future polysubstance use.”
“The study’s findings are especially relevant as we have seen a surge in referrals for eating disorders and substance use disorders during the pandemic,” he said. “Young people who are struggling with their eating or substance use should seek help from a health professional. Clinicians should screen young people for disordered eating and substance use, especially during the pandemic.”
The findings of the study were published in the academic journal Eating Behaviors.
“Vaping or e-cigarette use was associated with higher odds of all eating disorder measures, including the self-reported lifetime eating disorder diagnosis items (any diagnosis, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder) and elevated eating disorder risk, while adjusting for demographic and confounding variables,” notes an abstract for the study published online.
The World Health Organization has upped the anti on a UK vape ban threat and advocates say vapers MUST act now and fight back.
A quick look at the very latest report from the WHO shows they are targeting ALL open systems – flavours – heat not burn devices – SNUS and even want to ban vapour…yes really!
The New Nicotine Alliance says it needs UK vapers in their droves to write to their MPs to stop the WHO from forcing countries to implement a global ban on open vape systems – in other words, any tank, dripper or pod kit that can be refilled.
I’ll add a link to suggestions on what vapers need to write in a moment, but first, what exactly are the unelected mandarins at the WHO calling for now?
All rather dramatic and of course it totally ignores the multitude of scientific peer reviewed studies that show vaping is considerably safer than smoking and should be used as harm reduction tool.
In fact, this new WHO report completely ignores the recent Cochrane Library study that categorically shows vaping is the very best and safest way for smokers to quit the deadly habit.
It shows just how blinkered the WHO is when it comes to e-cigarettes, given Cochrane, is one of the most globally respected expert groups when it comes to tobacco harm reduction.
UK Vape Ban Threat – What Does the WHO Want?
The latest WHO recommendations are:
to apply the most restrictive tobacco control regulations to HTPs (including the devices), as appropriate under national laws, taking into account a high level of protection for human health;
to prohibit all manufacturers and associated groups from making claims about reduced harm of HTPs, as compared to other products;
to ensure that the public is well informed about the risks associated with using HTPs, including the risks of dual use with conventional cigarettes and other smoked tobacco products;
to rely on and support independent data and research on the health impact of using heated tobacco products;
to require tobacco manufacturers to disclose all product information;
to ban all commercial marketing of e-cigarettes and HTPs, including in social media and through organizations funded by and associated with the tobacco industry;
to prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes in which the user can control device features and liquid ingredients; and
to prohibit the addition of pharmacologically active substances such as cannabis and tetrahydrocannabinol (in jurisdictions where they are legal) to e-cigarettes.
Crazy doesn’t begin to cover it…if any of those recommendations are met by a Government, vaping and other safer ways to enjoy nicotine as we know it would be obliterated.
As for the WHO demanding a ban on vapour…yup they really do want that…
The NNA says:
TobReg advocates for flavour bans as mentioned, but also a ban on open tank systems.
It recommends that heated tobacco should not be classed as a reduced risk product so should be treated as smoking, while also claiming that switching to vaping is not smoking cessation.
It does this by completely dismissing Cochrane evidence reviews – renowned as the highest standard for health research – which state that e-cigarettes work better than nicotine replacement therapy for smokers looking to quit.
‘Nicotine Flux’ WTF Is That!?!
TobReg also recommends that vaping should be regulated based on “nicotine flux” – their back-up plan if they don’t get away with banning open systems.
This involves removing any possibility of customisability so that all products will basically end up being the same, because in order to control flux, you would essentially have to put limits on everything!
And, most recently, there has been a proposal to redefine smoke as anything heated which “emits aerosols visible to the naked eye” for e-cigarettes to be classed as tobacco products and therefore be regulated, taxed, and banned the same in every respect.
Basically, denying the entire concept of harm reduction.
Like I said…crazy doesn’t even begin to cover this latest set of proposals.
UK Vape Ban Threat – Vapers Urged To Contact MPs
The WHO had scrapped plans to discuss all this at the next Conference of the Parties – COP9 meeting in November.
Rather than a full discussion they had decided to note the proposed stance on reduced risk products such as e-cigarettes with a view to a more detailed look at COP10 in 2 years time.
COP meetings are held behind closed doors and decisions are made by the so called ‘Parties’ with the UK being the largest funder.
The worry is, it only takes one of the ‘Parties’ to demand a discussion and it could happen…
The “Parties” in question are government signatories to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which is a legal treaty ratified by over 180 countries.
Each of those countries – including the UK which is no longer represented at the meetings by the EU and free to speak for itself – sends a delegation to the COP to decide the future of global policy towards tobacco products, but also recently e-cigarettes and other reduced risk alternatives.
The NNA says the UK delegation to COP9 should join forces with other countries that has embraced safer nicotine products adding:
The materials being provided to the Parties for consideration at COP9 by the Bureau are absurd, consisting of cherry-picked research to demonise reduced risk products while completely dismissing any potential benefits of harm reduction.
They seek nothing less than railroading parties into treating every alternative nicotine product the same as smoking.
Bans And/Or Severe Restrictions On Vaping
This includes bans on public use, restrictions on packaging, flavour bans, taxation the same as cigarettes and worse (which we shall come to).
The WHO and the FCTC Secretariat are seeking to influence government delegations to take decisions in the absence of any other strong government direction – the UK should take that role together with other strong harm reduction countries.
In order for the UK delegates to have a strong voice at COP9 the NNA says pressure must be put on all UK MPs to support the stance on safer nicotine products.
It has a list of suggestions on what to add to the letter or email and they include:
Vaping and use of other reduced risk products should not be treated the same as smoking.
The WHO is extremely hostile to vaping and other reduced risk products, the UK has a sensible approach to vaping and is a prominent funder of the FCTC. Our delegation should stand up for what works.
The UK should strongly resist proposals to ban open vape systems and regulate vaping products so that they are all the same.
Vaping helped me and it could help many other smokers to switch in the future. The UK should not let the WHO jeopardise that.
The threat to UK vaping as we know it is a very clear and present danger.
Despite the UK being the beacon of light for reduced risk products such as e-cigarettes, should the government get sucked in to the WHO’s hysteria, vaping as we know it might never be the same again on these shores.
Let’s face it, Boris isn’t exactly a PM with much of backbone and does tend to go back on his promises regularly…COVID passports *coughs*.
So please DO contact your MPs and push the message that vaping is a much safer alternative and the WHO’s proposals are simply outdated, ignorant, extremely unscientific and above all, threaten the lives of billions.
If we don’t all make a stand NOW we could see vaping as we know it gone from these shores.