The Truth About Vaping

I hate smoking.

I hate vaping less as the second hand smoke is not nearly so bad.

And vaping legal product is much safer for the user than cigarettes. (The U.S. deaths appear to be mostly due to illegal product.)

More than 40 million people around the world now vape, up from just 7 million less than a decade ago. In the U.S., roughly 1 in 5 high-school kids vape. …

It wasn’t long before a vaping champion was crowned: Juul Labs, founded in 2015 and headquartered in San Francisco.

… By 2017, Juul was the U.S. leader in market share, selling one of every three e-cigarettes. …

Why did Juul become so much more popular than its rivals? Michael Siegel has one answer.

Juul has a very different nicotine formulation that makes it much more addictive. …

… the U.K. has regulated these products. And most importantly, there is a limit on the amount of nicotine that’s allowable. You can only have up to 20 milligrams per milliliter of nicotine …. In the U.S., there’s no limit at all.

So Juul comes along, they put 54 milligrams per milliliter in their product …

It’s 17 milligrams in the U.K.

Read more …

The Truth About the Vaping Crisis

The bigger problem in the USA is NOT the deaths, but rather the high percentage of youth who are not smokers taking up vaping. In 2019 it’s still considered cool.

why I can’t live in Europe

This is a repost from 2009. Having travelled Europe extensively in 2018 and 2019, my opinion is unchanged. 

Too much second hand smoke, too few toilets. 

I should live in Europe.

The trains are fantastic. There are dedicated bike trails everywhere. It’s easy to live without a car.

But I can’t live in Europe. 

  • It’s OLD
  • It’s EXPENSIVE
  • Banker’s Hours
  • People aren’t friendly
  • Smokers

=== It’s OLD

No need to visit the potentially gorgeous Sagrada Família in Barcelona. There are no plans to remove the scaffolding until at least 2026.

308565295_452c4ee086_b

I’m not sure how they ever made postcards of the great monuments of Europe. Photoshop?

Most are under construction. Constantly.

=== It’s EXPENSIVE

broke-guyA sample of prices from December 2007:

Gallon of unleaded gas: $8.08
Gallon of bio diesel: $6.06
Wireless Internet: $6 for 30 minutes, $32 for 24 hours
Vienna public transport, 24-hours: $8.40
Berlin public transport, 24-hours: $8.97
Seat reservation, Brussels-Frankfurt train: $4.41
Overnight parking, Hotel Helvetia, Lindau, Germany: $14.40
Leopold Museum, Vienna: $10.30

see more

I recently heard that a basic hotel room in urban Finland costs US$400 / night.

There are very few pressures to bring prices down in Western and Northern European countries. You need a HUGE salary to afford to live there.

=== Banker’s Hours

Recall when the only reason we hated bankers was that they worked only 10:15AM-11:45AM. And 2:15AM- 3:45PM ??

Most businesses in Southern Europe still close in the middle of the day. Many are required to close by government legislation.

Shop keeps sometimes seem disappointed if you find their store open.

sorry-we-are-open

I’m surpised any commerce happens at all.

The tradition of siesta may have worked well in the small village decades past (when wives were stay at home chattel) but it’s bloody inconvenient in 2009. Especially for a tourist.

In the Dolomites of Northern Italy they have incredibly helpful tourist information kiosks. But they close from Noon Saturday until Monday morning. … The majority of tourists arrive by train from big cities further south, about Noon on Saturday.

In Andorra la Vella, the only city in the country of Andorra, none of the internet cafes were open on a Saturday morning. Not even 24 Hour Internet. (I did them the service of removing their “OPEN” sign. But my Swiss Army knife did not have the power tools required to remove the 24 Hour Internet sign.)

=== People aren’t friendly

Picture an arrogant, rude European.

disdainful

That’s my preconception.

But when I finally found, in the summer of 2009, an arrogant French bus driver, I couldn’t stop laughing.

As he chastised me, the ignorant, smelly American tourist, I couldn’t help chuckling at his stereotype manner and accent. He seemed to me a Hollywood comic actor spoofing the role with a phoney accent.

Ever since I saw the wonderful 1967 Sidney Portier film, To Sir, with Love, I’ve had another bias … A disgust with the British class system.

Even today I picture a subculture of profane skin head soccer louts. And uncouth, unwed teen mothers. Spending their meager dole at the pub rather than at the dentist.

I did see them in Scottish pubs. But sucking fags outside the door of the pub. Smoking in restaurants and bars was banned in the United Kingdom July 2007. Thank God.

Infants and children are allowed in pubs, however. Drunks care for them while Mom and/or Dad step out for another smoke.

… To be fair, I was very surprised how friendly the Scots were to me, another dumb tourist. Far more friendly than any of the other 5 Western European countries I visited.

=== Smokers

The single biggest reason I could not live in Europe.

They are shameless. Unrepentant. Totally oblivious to others.

The phrase “second hand smoke” has never yet been translated into Italian.

They smoke indoors and out. I could not enter any cafe or restaurant. In fact, a guy lit up in the airport restaurant in Bilbao, Spain. There were no signs saying he couldn’t.

Worst of all, it was clear to me that smoking is still cool, in Europe.

smoker-cafe

I can’t live in Europe.

It’s uncivilized.

too much SMOKING in Europe

One thing North America has done right is to reduce smoking.

I hate visiting Europe for this one reason.

Eduard Benko. Romania, 2009

According to the World Health Organization, 21.9 percent of Americans smoked tobacco in 2018. In comparison, the average smoking rate for Europe was 28.7 percent.

When you look at the approximate number of cigarettes smoked per person per year, the picture is even more striking. Out of the 20 countries that smoke the most cigarettes, 15 of them are entirely or partially in Europe. The United States is 68th on the list. …

From U.S. surgeon general warnings to campaigns by groups like the American Cancer Society, the messaging has been clear since the 1960s: smoking cigarettes is bad for you. And it’s worked. About 96 percent of Americans believe smoking cigarettes is at least somewhat harmful to your health. …

Why Do So Many People Smoke Cigarettes In Europe?

Obviously the EU has to educate, educate, educate … and legislate.

Here’s my nearest grocery store in Stuttgart. Nothing but nicotine products while waiting in line to check out.

homeless downtown Montreal

I spent a few weeks this year near the Berri-UQAM Metro station on Rue Sainte-Catherine, heart of downtown Montreal. There are a LOT of homeless people. It reminds me of a major American city in that way.

One survey (Douglas Mental Health University / 800+ volunteers) counted 3,016 homeless in the city. 10% aboriginal. 10% immigrants. Veterans 6%.

Other guesstimates have been 10 times as high.

I was there during warmer months. During winter these folks need to find someplace heated.

A harsh and boring life, seems to me. They all seem to have cigarettes. Somehow.

IMG_0114

Not sure what can be done to reduce the numbers. A guaranteed minimum income experiment — or new kinds of free housing — could be tried.

 

 

in North America the poor & less educated smoke

There’s hope for the world.

The national smoking rate (USA) has fallen to historic lows, with just 15 percent of adults still smoking. …

America’s new tobacco crisis: The rich stopped smoking, the poor didn’t

Smokers are mostly embarrassed that they can’t quit in North America.

Not so in Europe. There the cool kids still smoke. Proud of it.

Why can’t Europeans quit smoking?

I don’t get it.

Europe so smoking

Romanians ask me — as a tourist — how I like Romania.

Too much smoking, is my reply.

Eduard Benko. Romania, 2009

Romania did not ban smoking in bars, cafes and restaurants until 2016. A backwards nation.

In fact, here are a few nations with even higher rates of smoking: Montenegro, Belarus, Macedonia, Slovenia, Belgium, Luxembourg.

Europeans are the world’s biggest smokers and drinkers. I couldn’t live in Europe. Aside from second hand smoke, many addicts give me the impression that their main reason to live is to get to the next cigarette. In about 4 minutes. 😦

Africans smoke the least, overall, by the way. It’s a pleasure to travel there.