Dec 30, 2013

Resolved to Quit Smoking? Consider E-Cigarettes.

E-cigarettes help people quit smoking.

There. I've said it.

In fact, millions of people have quit smoking or switched to e-cigarettes. And yet statements such as this can get me into trouble because the FDA* regulates e-cigarettes as tobacco products. E-cigarette retailers such as Vaping Vamps can't publicly claim that e-cigarettes can be used a method to quit smoking.

And yet my own daughter quit smoking after using the e-cigarette for about a month. So am I supposed to not disclose that, too?

My daughter Emma quit smoking after using the e-cigarette for about a month.
Many people use the e-cigarette as a transition to a life without smoking or nicotine all together. Others simply switch over to e-cigarettes, which delivers nicotine without all the harmful chemicals contained in traditional cigarettes.

Gateway to Smoking?

Anyone who claims that the e-cigarette can be a gateway to smoking traditional cigarettes is sounding a false alarm akin to "the sky is falling!"

Once you invest in e-cigarettes (the most expensive part is the battery), why would you switch to something you know is harmful and that's going to cost you more money? It just doesn't stand up to reason. Vaping is not only smarter than smoking; it's also cheaper.

In fact, research reported in JAMA shows that e-cigarettes are helping people reduce their cigarette use or quit altogether.

Conducted by researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, the study randomized 657 smokers into three groups: one group was given a 13-week supply of e-cigarettes with 16-mg nicotine, one group was given e-cigarettes with no nicotine, and one group received 21 mg nicotine patches.

After six months, 7.3% in the e-cigarette group had quit smoking, compared with 5.8% with nicotine patches and 4.1% of those using e-cigarettes with no nicotine.

While these numbers may not knock your socks off, the study also found that the e-cigarette users either reduced or quit using cigarettes in large numbers and were less prone to resume smoking for at least six months.

The reason why e-cigarettes can be effective tools to help people quit smoking or reduce their cigarette consumption is because they deliver nicotine (which, while addictive, is not a carcinogen) while mimicking the sensation of smoking.

Smoke from tobacco cigarettes has proven to be the main causes of cancer. The beauty of e-cigarettes is there's no smoke, no ash, no harmful chemicals. The main ingredient, propylene glycol, is the same stuff that's in asthma inhalers, nebulizers and fog machines and it's even found in foods such as sodas, salad dressings, and cake mixes.

How They Work

Electronic cigarettes heat up a liquid-nicotine solution, which turns into a vapor that the user inhales. The e-cigarette delivers a measurable and predictable amount of nicotine. Vaping Vamps sells e-cigarettes with four levels of nicotine: no nicotine, low (6 mg), medium (12 mg) and high (18 mg), or about the same that's in a traditional cigarette.

People who switch over to e-cigarettes tell us they're coughing less, breathing easier and can taste food again. They enjoy the fact they don't stink like smoke -- no more stale breath and smoky smelling hair and clothing. And they're no longer exposing their loved ones to harmful secondhand smoke.

The main part of an e-cigarette is a battery. There are lots of different styles of batteries, but we found that many women like the lighter weight, "pen-style" 510 battery. However, heavier smokers may eventually want to move to a larger battery which is heavier to hold but that produces more vapor.

Are E-Cigarettes Safe?

We keep hearing from opponents who say that not enough research has been done on e-cigarettes. They'll even tell you to wait and see if e-cigarettes are safe in the long run.

Really? They would advise you to keep smoking and wait? Wait for what? Many people have tried to quit using different methods but have been unsuccessful. We think they're doing you a huge disservice by telling you to wait.

E-cigarettes have been around since 2007. About 3.5 million people have used them. A major study conducted by Drexel University examined the vapor and liquid of more than 9,000 e-cigarettes and found no significant levels of contaminants or anything that would pose any health risk. The study affirmed that e-cigarettes posed no health risk to users or bystanders.

In other words, e-cigarettes are “magnitudes” safer than tobacco cigarettes, according to doctors and researchers who have thoroughly studied the devices.

All you have to do is compare e-cigarettes to the alternative. No one has died from using an e-cigarette. And for many people, the choice is just that: between traditional cigarettes, which kill about 450,000 people every year -- or e-cigarettes, which are 99 percent safer than regular cigarettes.

Obviously, quitting cold turkey is probably the best way to quit smoking. But most people need a little help.

So if you've tried quitting and nothing has worked, try an e-cigarette -- the smarter, safer alternative.

And since I'm a vaping vamp, I hasten to add that it's also much sexier than smoking!

*Fortunately, the FDA lost the battle to regulate e-cigarettes as drug delivery devices, which would have kept them off the shelves for years. E-cigarettes are not currently in the category of smoking cessation products called NRT or nicotine replacement therapy. The raging debate before the FDA is the proposal that they create a new category of products called THR or tobacco harm reduction for e-cigarettes.

Dec 10, 2013

Women and Smoking: Bad for Moms, Worse for Babies

Women Will Switch for the Health of their Unborn Child

If her own health isn’t enough reason to give up smoking, the health of her unborn child is often the impetus for some women to quit or switch to e-cigarettes, the healthier alternative.

New research on the dangers of smoking to young women and their unborn babies can send chills down any woman’s spine. We now have several more compelling reasons to help women realize how important it is to quit smoking or switch to e-cigarettes – ideally e-cigarettes with no nicotine.

Quitting smoking at any point during pregnancy reduces the
chance of complications. Of course, the sooner, the better!

Smoking While on the Pill 

We’ve known for a while that smoking can be dangerous for young women who are taking oral contraceptives. Women who smoke while on the pill can potentially develop deadly blood clots and even can suffer a stroke or heart disease.

Just this month, a 23-year-old Israeli woman collapsed and died; doctors believe it was because she was smoking while on the pill. There were no warning signs and she had no preexisting conditions that could have explained or contributed to her sudden death.

Minnesota’s own Mayo Clinic warns: “Smoking cigarettes during the use of oral contraceptives has been found to greatly increase the chances of these serious side effects,” namely blot clots, stroke and serious cardiovascular side effects. They strongly advise young women to not smoke while on the pill. 

Smoking During Pregnancy

Smoking during pregnancy increases the baby’s heart rate, reduces her oxygen and can have drastic effect on the baby’s lungs and birth weight. Smoking increases the chance of a miscarriage, premature delivery, stillbirth and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

There’s ample evidence that smoking during pregnancy can result in life-long complications such as asthma, ear infections and even ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD affects one in 20 children worldwide and the learning and social problems that stem from the neurodevelopment disorder can last a lifetime.

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics tracked 13,000 children with ADHD and found their mothers were more likely to be younger, had smoked during their pregnancies and had complications in pregnancy and birth. Other maternal factors played a role, but the one factor that consistently came up as a significant risk was smoking during pregnancy.

Smoking during pregnancy can also cause severe DNA damage to the placenta according to a new study conducted by Otago University in New Zealand. This study looked at 236 placenta samples donated by women after birth, including 150 from non-smokers and the remainder from women who smoked at some point or throughout her pregnancy.

DNA damage was greatly increased in smokers' placental cells, and the more cigarettes a woman smoked, the greater the DNA damage. Dr. Tania Slatter, who authored the study, says there’s a clear link between higher rates of double-strand DNA breaks and lower birth weights and earlier deliveries. The study also found the smokers' placentas had compromised DNA repair mechanisms and reduced expression of at least three proteins that are key to fetal nourishment and growth.

However, the study also found that the level of DNA damage in the placentas of the women who quit while pregnant was similar to that of non-smokers. That’s clearly good news for pregnant smokers, because they still have a chance to reduce complications and improve the chances of a healthy outcome for her child.

And that’s what any mother would want.

Sep 24, 2013

Sex, not Spec's, Sells

Sleek & Sexy E-Cigs Appeal to Women More Than Their Stat's & Spec's

The cover of the inaugural issue of VAPE News Magazine caught my eye more than anything else at Vapefest, the vaping convention held in Las Vegas last weekend (Sept. 20-21, 2013).

The image of this beautiful, confident woman draws me in.
Forget the e-cig spec's. Show me more women who vape.
A gorgeous woman with long dark hair and a knowing smile holding a personal vaporizer (PV) stared back at me. 

She was proud, confident, beautiful, sexy. She epitomized what I think is so cool about vaping: it’s appealing to young women, many of whom are social smokers who are trading traditional cigarettes for the hipper, healthier (and cheaper) alternative.

Now I’m a woman (and yes, I’m heterosexual) and yet this image really appealed to me. And I’m pretty sure that it doesn’t just appeal to other women, but to men, too.

Yet at Vapefest, what I mostly saw were lots and lots of gizmo’s – gizmo’s with spec’s. I glazed over and tuned out. Now I’m not stupid, but as a woman, what appealed to me the most were the pretty colors. And the beautiful women there who were catching onto vaping.

What’s also fascinating about Vapefest was that it was largely male-dominated. I felt like I fit in here about as well as I did the last time I was in Las Vegas for the community banking convention. NOT well.

This is more typical of what I saw at Vapefest. Gadget-overload!
Both conventions attracted mostly men, but the Vapefest participants were largely young, brawny, tattooed and pierced, with huge PV’s the size of bongs hanging from lanyards around their necks. 

My boyfriend had nothing to be worried about. 

As a casual vaper whose mission is to reach young women who are social smoking and offer them the best e-cigarette starter kits for casual smokers, I was a bit of an anomaly at Vapefest. 

So is the Vaping Vamps product: an elegant black e-cigarette you can hold between your index and middle fingers, just like the cigarettes we’re trying to rid the world of. I didn’t see any of the smaller, lighter 510 e-cigarette batteries for sale here.

And these guys were speaking a whole other language. 

Plumes of vapor were everywhere, but it smelled
sweet and dissipated immediately into the air.
We could’ve been at an engineering or an electronics convention. These vapor-spewing gear-heads loved to boast about how many PV’s they had, and would gladly regale you with the specifications of the latest and greatest PV’s they were buying: eGo-C Twist 1000 mAh, etc. 

Problem was: I wasn’t listening. 

A young, slender vaping beauty had just walked by. 

Sep 6, 2013

E-Cigs and Kids

E-Cigarettes and Kids Do NOT Belong in the Same Sentence.

Most of us in the e-cigarette industry are not only not marketing to kids; we also put warning notices on our sites and request a birthdate verification before selling e-cigarettes.

But kids are resourceful; if they want alcohol, cigarettes, and now e-cigarettes, they will find a way to obtain them. They’re also curious: most kids will try something at least once.

Kids will experiment. But experimenting with cigarettes or e-cigs doesn't mean they're regular users.
In fact, there are far more barriers to trying e-cigarettes than traditional cigarettes. 
Experimentation sometimes leads to chronic use, but often it doesn’t. Just because you try something once doesn’t mean it will lead to life-long use. I tried a cigarette when I was about 15. I hated it and never became a smoker. I once tried a cigar at a wedding reception. I had the worst headache the next day and that was the last cigar I ever smoked.

However, it’s clear that we much reach kids as early as possible with a message about the dangers of smoking, because about 90 percent of all smokers begin smoking as teenagers.

E-Cigarette Trial Use Way Up; But How Many Are Really Using Them? 

A new study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that there has been a big increase between 2011 and 2012 in the numbers of middle and high school students who have used e-cigarettes.

First of all, we’re talking about pretty low percentages: 2.8 percent of high school students reported using e-cigarettes within the past 30 days, compared to 1.5 percent last year; 10 percent reported ever using an e-cigarette, up from 4.7 percent in 2011. Altogether, more than 1.78 million middle and high school students nationwide had tried e-cigarettes in 2012.

But before we push the panic button, let’s dig a little deeper into these statistics. I think what’s most interesting here is what’s missing from this study.

The CDC neglected to ask some key questions that would get to the heart of the issue of whether minors are really buying and using e-cigarettes on a regular basis. Just because they may have "tried" them doesn't mean they actually bought them and are using them regularly. They should have asked:

• Did you purchase an e-cigarette? If so, where? How much did you spend on it?

• Were you carded (did you have to show evidence of your age)?

• How often are you using an e-cigarette?

• Have you purchased refills (a.k.a. cartomizers) for it? If so, how many cartomizers you go through in a typical week?

My guess is that the numbers of kids who are actually buying and using e-cigarettes on a regular basis would be negligible.

Too Many Barriers to Regular E-Cigarette Use

That’s because there are several barriers for them to be regular e-cigarette users. To purchase the basic Vaping Vamps E-Cigarette Starter Kit (the “Try Me” Kit), they would need to have to:

1. Give a fake birthdate
2. Purchase using a credit card. Most kids I know don’t have one.
3. Spend $29.95 (on the “Try Me” e-cigarette starter kit, less a $5 off e-cigarette coupon). That’s a chunk out of their allowance!
4. Give a shipping address (usually home) and take the risk their parents don’t get the mail first.

I know LOTS of people have tried my e-cigarette because they were curious, so they would’ve had to answer Yes to the question of whether or not they had tried it. Many of them (none are kids, of course) are smokers who are considering making the switch. But most of the people who have tried my e-cigarette are not regular users, nor have they ever purchased one.

E-Cigarettes Deliver a Known Level of Nicotine

We’re all in agreement that smoking is bad for you, and that we do not want our kids to start smoking and struggle with an addiction that’s the leading cause of premature death in the U.S.

But the beauty of the e-cigarette is that it provides an alternative for the 20 percent of Americans who remain addicted to nicotine. It delivers nicotine in a form that eschews the 4,000 chemicals and 57 known carcinogens in cigarettes.

It’s a welcome alternative, considering the fact that every year, only about 7 percent of smokers successfully quit smoking long-term, despite the many, many people who try and the multitude of ways that have been available to them (nicotine patches, gums, hypnosis). The vast majority end up quitting cold turkey.

About 20 percent of Vaping Vamps customers are buying e-cigarettes with no nicotine.
That's because they're addicted to the habit, not to the nicotine.
A surprising fact is that many smokers – particularly young people who are not frequent smokers – are not addicted to nicotine. According to the National Survey on Drug Use, of the 40 million adults who smoke, about 40 percent of them are not physically addicted to nicotine; they’re simply hooked on the habit of smoking.

That's what makes the e-cigarette such a great tool. The beauty of e-cigarettes is that you can determine which level of nicotine – anywhere from zero to the same level as a regular cigarette – you want. In fact, I sell a lot of e-cigarettes with no nicotine to women who are social vaping – who just want the sensation of vaping without any nicotine. At Vaping Vamps, about 20 percent of our sales are of e-cigarettes with no nicotine. Our best seller is the Deluxe E-Cigarette Starter Kit.

Meanwhile, traditional cigarettes are now delivering higher and higher levels of nicotine (increasing by 1.6% every year) and they now exceed occupational exposure limits.

Published scientific studies by the Action on Smoking and Health show that for the majority (60 percent), using an electronic cigarette reduces the desire to smoke and 55 percent say it helps them cut down on cigarettes.

And a recent study conducted in part by a Mayo Clinic research found that of 28 adult smokers—none of whom were interested in quitting—25 of them (about 90 percent), reduced their use of traditional cigarettes when they smoked e-cigarettes.

There will always be detractors to the e-cigarette. The landscape is just too political.

But creating scares that kids are using e-cigarettes simply clouds the many, many benefits they hold for the vast majority of people who use them.

Aug 22, 2013

There IS a Cure for That

There IS a Cure for Smoking. It's Called Vaping.

I absolutely loathe the song “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse.

The fact is that if the fabulously talented singer had actually gone to rehab, she might still be alive.

Instead, Amy died at age 27 of alcohol poisoning with a blood alcohol level of .416 – five times the legal driving limit.

It's too late for Amy. It's so sad, because
there IS a cure for her disease.
The song remains a tragic reminder that the singer should have done exactly what she refused to do: “They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said 'No, no, no.'”

There was a cure for her tragic and premature death. It was called rehab.

There are lots of scary diseases out there that can take us well before our time, and even in our prime.

But unlike some forms of cancer and horrendous diseases like leukemia where the diagnosis is an early death sentence, there IS a cure for diseases like alcoholism.

It requires the alcoholic to acknowledge that she is powerless over alcohol, change her thinking and her habits and stop drinking. Completely.

The Cure for Smoking’s Ills 

Everyone knows that smoking cigarettes causes early death from lung and oral cancers, heart diseases, strokes, and a host of other issues. Women who smoke during or after pregnancy also put their fetus and infant at risk of premature birth and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Smoking during pregnancy can have disastrous consequences,
including still birth, miscarriage, and premature birth.
All told, cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke cause more than 440,000 deaths each year in the U.S., making it the leading cause of premature, preventable death in this country.

There IS a cure for this as well, and it’s called quitting. But a recent Gallup poll has found that the vast majority (85 percent) of smokers have tried to quit at least once, and many of them (45 percent) have tried to quit at least three times.

Most Americans who successfully quit smoking quit "cold turkey." To a much lesser degree, they named willpower, support from family and friends, the nicotine patch, not being around people who smoke, and chewing gum or eating candy.

In this latest poll, the use of an electronic cigarette also made the list.
What strategies or methods of quitting were the most effective for you?
Source: Gallup Poll 
Reformed smokers cited their health, including pregnancy, bronchitis and cancer, as the leading reason for quitting. Fewer former smokers say they quit because of the expense, but they the fact is that smoking has become a lot more expensive with recent increases in cigarette taxes.

Are You Really “Addicted?”

One interesting finding in the survey is the fact that the number of smokers who think they are really “addicted” to cigarettes has gone up in the last 22 years – from 61 percent to 72 percent. Yet studies have found that the earlier figure is more accurate: only about 60 percent of smokers are truly addicted to nicotine, according to the National Survey on Drug Use.

That’s good news for women who are simply social smokers – who like to smoke when drinking, or who smoke occasionally as a guilty pleasure or for nicotine’s feel-good effects. It means you may not be addicted to nicotine, but simply to the habit of smoking.

Regardless of how much you smoke – one cigarette a day or one pack a day on average – or if you’re actually addicted to nicotine, smoking puts you at risk of horrible but avoidable diseases and premature death.

Most women who are social smokers are NOT physically addicted to nicotine.
They're addicted to the habit and nicotine's feel-good effects.
So instead of digging in your heels like Amy and saying, “I don’t want to go to rehab,” or “I don’t want to give up cigarettes,” get into a whole new mindset.

Tell yourself that you can quit. And if you don’t want to quit cold turkey, try switching to an e-cigarette with no nicotine, or one with a low level of nicotine if you think you may need the nicotine.

Pretty soon, you’ll be singing a wholly different tune.

Aug 16, 2013

Socializing WITHOUT Smoking

How to Drink and Be Social Without Smoking. . . Switch to Vaping

Women are social critters.

I know I am. I absolutely love getting together with my friends – the more, the merrier.

When we get together, we’d often have a couple more drinks than usual. Some friends would want to have a smoky treat. We’d laugh louder. The more we drank and smoked, the more fun we had – or so we thought.

The problem is that excessive drinking – and any amount of smoking – isn’t good for us. It is NOT a recipe for having fun, and it can even be a prescription for disaster – we all know the risks of driving after too many drinks.

The problem with “social smoking” is that it’s still smoking. Your mind may be telling you that you’re not really a smoker, but your body is definitely feeling the effects. Just one cigarette increases the stiffness in the arteries.

Social smoking is still smoking
If you’re on birth control pills and smoke, you increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and peripheral vascular disease by a LOT. And the effects are cumulative. The rate of damage will be slower if you rarely smoke, but it all adds up.

Overall, statistics show that even just occasional smokers – women who don't smoke daily or even weekly – live up to six years less on average than non-smokers.

Is smoking worth cutting your life short by six or more years? No way!!

What about Hookahs? 

Hookahs are another popular social activity; hookah bars are popping up all over. Statistics I read say about half of all college women had sucked on a hookah pipe by the end of their freshman year.

During a typical 45-minute hookah session, you're smoking the equivalent of 56 cigarettes and are taking in a higher concentration of tobacco's toxins. 
Problem is, hookahs aren’t any safer than smoking regular cigarettes – in fact, they may even pose more dangers, because you actually inhale more tobacco smoke than cigarette smokers do.

One 45-minute hookah session is about the same as smoking 56 cigarettes or almost three packs!* Hookah smokers run the exact same risks as those who smoke regular cigarettes, and we all know what those are: lung and oral cancers, heart disease, and other serious diseases.

Contrary to what you may think, the water doesn’t filter out the toxic ingredients in the tobacco smoke – in fact, hookah smokers may take in a higher concentration of the toxins due to the fact the they are puffing more often, inhaling deeper and puffing for longer.

And the more social we are, the worse it is for us to be hookah smoking. Because hookahs are a social activity, you add one more layer onto your risks. Hookah pipes may not always be cleaned properly, so there is also the risk of contracting an infectious disease such as herpes, hepatitis, and even tuberculosis.

Socializing without Smoking

The first step is to realize that you CAN have fun with your friends without having to smoke cigarettes or hookahs. I would guess than some of your friends have been trying to get you to quit smoking for a while.

If you know that some of your friends will want to get you to join them in social smoking, I'd advise telling them that you’re trying to break the habit. If they’re really your friend, they will support you, because they know you’re trying to take care of your health.

You might be surprised to learn that as a social smoker, you may not actually be hooked on nicotine. Of the 40 million adults who smoke, only about 60 percent are actually addicted to nicotine, according to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use.

You can have good, clean fun with your friends vaping an e-cigarette with no nicotine!
All other smokers are smoking just for nicotine’s feel-good effects, not to stave off withdrawal. That’s why the e-cigarette with no nicotine or with low nicotine may be a great alternative for you – you get to have a guilt-free smoky treat while being social with your friends.

And your non-smoking friends will thank you for not exposing them to deadly secondhand smoke!

*According to a study in the Journal of Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

Jul 18, 2013

Styles Change. I'll Never Wear a 1920’s Bathing Suit!

Smoking is Outdated; Vaping's In Vogue. What Fashion Statement Are You Making? 

I love many of the fashions from the 1920’s flapper period, with one major exception: their bathing suits.

Bathing suits from the 1920’s now look incredibly outdated, overly modest and downright uncomfortable to me. During these dog days of July, I’m thankful for the bathing suits we have now, and that I don’t have to don the beribboned bloomers from back then.

This looks more like a dress than a bathing suit to me. 
However, these bathing suits were a tremendous improvement from the late 1800’s Victorian bathing costumes.

Those things were made of heavy flannel or wool, with three-quarter length trousers and tops looking like overcoats. Then, you put all that on over your black stockings, lace-up slippers, and finally pull on your bathing cap. Ugh. No thanks!

When women finally got the right to vote (Aug. 18, 1920), a lot changed for them. Dress hemlines were raised to mid-knee, and their swimsuits also shrunk: necklines were lowered and armholes began to get bigger. Bathing caps topped off the look, protecting the bob haircuts that were all the rage.

Women's bathing suits from 1920's. Not exactly flattering. 
When women finally gained the right to vote, it increased her sense of entitlement, freedom and independence.

Naturally, tobacco companies took full advantage, and began marketing cigarettes such as Lucky Strikes (Virginia Slims wasn’t introduced until the 1960’s) directly to women, featuring heroines such as Amelia Earhart.

These ads were smart, hitting women in their weak spot, appealing not just to their newfound sense of identity, but to their body image and vanity. They showed beautiful, slim, carefree and confident women, and made exaggerated claims about how Lucky Strikes could improve your life and help them slim down. In a particularly aggressive campaign, they even urged women to “reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet.”

We've come a long way, baby.
And we're not just talking about bathing suits.
Since then, to borrow one of Big Tobacco's famous tag lines, we’ve come a long way, baby.

And that doesn’t just apply to bathing suits; it also applies to cigarettes (now e-cigarette starter kits), cigarette cases (now e-cigarette cases), and much, much more.

We now know with complete and utter certainty how bad smoking is for you. We don't need to dwell on that. But some women still like the sensation and the habit of smoking.

And thankfully, we now have a whole new alternative to smoking called vaping. It's here to stay, because it offers a great new way to enjoy the sensation of smoking without the huge health risks.

I also strongly believe that it should eventually replace traditional cigarettes, much like today's bathing suits, now made of spandex and Lycra, have replaced the silk and wool bloomers of yesteryear.

We even have lots of choices in the styles, sizes and colors of e-cigarettes we can buy – heavy smokers might prefer the larger, EGO-style battery, while social smokers tend to prefer the slimmer, 510 battery that's lightweight and more closely resembles a traditional cigarette.

We have tons of choices in e-cig flavors – something that cigarettes can’t begin to rival.

And we have a product that in the long run is much, much cheaper than buying real cigarettes, especially now that taxes on them are going way, way up.

I’m heading out to the beach this weekend, and while I may not be wearing a string bikini, I promise you I won’t be wearing silk bloomers or carrying a parasol.

Next time you head out for a night on the town, think carefully about which fashion statement you’ll be making. Will it be outmoded cigarettes or the hip and healthier alternative?

Jun 26, 2013

Buzzkill: Women Who Drink and Smoke Run Higher Risks

Smoking and Drinking: Women Run Higher Risks

A new study has found that women who smoke and drink heavily are at a higher risk of early death than their male counterparts.

It’s the latest study* of many that has found that us women take even greater chances with our health than men when it comes to smoking. One of the biggest studies with over a million women found that women who smoked a pack a day reduced their life expectancy 11 years on average.  

No fair: Women who drink and smoke run even greater risks than men do. 
Now a new European study found that women take a disproportionate risk from the effects of heavy alcohol and tobacco use.

The study followed a group of 380,000 people over age 40 for around 12 years; during that period, 26,411 people died.

The study confirmed that the mortality rates for smokers is anywhere from 1.5 to three times higher than for people who never smoked.

The risk naturally went up depending on how much the person drank and smoked: if the death risk was a “1” for people who never smoked, this risk rose to 1.38 for men who smoked one to 15 cigarettes a day, 1.86 for those who smoked 16 to 26 cigarettes, and 2.44 for men who smoked more than 26 cigarettes a day.

For women, the study found the equivalent risks were similar: 1.32, 2.04 and 2.44 respectively.

But the risks changed dramatically when alcohol was thrown into the mix.

The study found that the death risk rose to a massive 3.88 among women who smoked more than 26 cigarettes and drank more than 30 grams of alcohol a day.

In other words, women run nearly four times the risk of early death when they drink and smoke heavily.

“Women who consume excessive amounts of alcohol have a significantly higher risk from tobacco use than those who consume little or no alcohol," the authors concluded.

What’s Worse? Smoking or Drinking?

So if you had to choose between smoking or drinking, which one should you choose? Which one is worse?

smoking and drinking: women run greater risksThere’s absolutely no doubt about it. Smoking carries a much higher risk of lung cancer (30 times that of a non-smoker), breast cancer (up to 60 percent higher risk) and early death.

Keep in mind that drinking can increase the urge to smoke (some call it "social smoking"), and vice-versa: smoking can make you want to drink more.

Taken together, these two addictions work hand-in-hand, causing women to smoke and drink more than they should.

It’s double-trouble. And it adds up to more than double the risk of a not-so-happy ending.

If that isn’t a buzzkill, I don’t know what is.

*This study was published in May in the journal Bulletin epidemiologique hebdomadaire (BEH)