First a quick note on our supply. Please take a moment to read How to Use eLiquid with Your Electronic Cigarette. Here you will find a load of information on how to reuse your cartridges and to use the eLiquid. We also noted on this post that we are in the process of switching our eLiquid to new bottles that are properly labeled AND have child proofed caps. Our eLiquid is also formulated and manufactured right here in the United States.

You will notice that we currently are short stocked on our eLiquids and offer only minimal flavors of the prefilled cartridges. We have decided that the prefilled cartridges, while convenient, do not offer a complete smoking experience. By the end of Wednesday this week, we are hopeful that our new shipment of eLiquids will be in and our Stash Tin Starter Kits will now come with 5 empty cartridges and on the side, you can add your choice of eLiquid in either Regular Tobacco or Menthol Tobacco, in nicotine strengths of High (24mg), Medium (18mg), Low (11mg), and Zero (0mg).

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Capitol Hill has been all the buzz lately over the electronic cigarette. As reported by Roll Call, Rep. Cliff Stearns (Fla) was seen smoking his electronic cigarette in the Rayburn House Office Building cafeteria, showing some others how his e-cig works.

Shortly thereafter, Senator Lautenberg (NJ), wrote a letter to the FDA encouraging them to take action and ban the electronic cigarette until further testing could be completed.

Following the letter, came another report by Jordy Yeager from www.thehill.com, announcing the letter from Senator Lautenberg wants to snuff out the electronic cigarette. Reps. Cliff Stearns (Fla.), Duncan Hunter (Calif.) and Collin Peterson (Minn.) were all noted in the article as being electronic cigarette users.

While Sen. Lautenberg calls for the FDA to remove electronic cigarettes from sale, Rep. Stearns was quoted by Yeager as stating “Before the FDA takes any immediate action, it should put forward scientific evidence that these products are harmful or unsafe… These e-cigarettes are smokeless and do not produce carcinogens. The nicotine in e-cigarettes is controlled in a capsule that can help in smoking cessation by allowing the user to reduce gradually the nicotine level, hopefully to zero.”

Sen. Lautenberg has championed many a successful quit smoking campaigns, most notably the removal of cigarette smoking on airplanes. He is an advocate for a healthier America and has done many a great things, but unfortunately, it appears that he has been misguided, by the misconceptions that are being pumped out on news broadcasts like the CBS Morning Show.

In Sen. Lautenberg’s press release and letter on his government website, he notes that marketers of the electronic cigarette are selling these as “quit smoking devices” and a “healthier smoking alternative”. While this may be true for some electronic cigarette suppliers, it is not true for all of us.

He has also noted in his letter to the FDA that the FDA have marked the electronic cigarette as a “drug device combination”. However, the FDA has not stated this. This misinformation is coming from a form letter that is given to electronic cigarette importers who are importing their products as “lung apparatus” or “quit smoking devices”. The FDA has clear jurisdiction on these products and we feel thankful that the FDA is in fact doing their job and stopping products from entering the country that are marked as “quit smoking devices” and as medical devices. The electronic cigarette that we sell is neither. It is a personal vaporizer that allows you an alternative to smoking tobacco. Plain and simple.

Sen. Lautenberg also notes the World Health Organization’s statement on the electronic cigarette from September 19, 2008. But he left out a very important part of the statement. What was said by Dr Ala Alwan, Assistant Director-General of WHO’s Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health Cluster was “The electronic cigarette is not a proven nicotine replacement therapy. WHO has no scientific evidence to confirm the product’s safety and efficacy. Its marketers should immediately remove from their web sites and other informational materials any suggestion that WHO considers it to be a safe and effective smoking cessation aid.”

As far as INSTEAD, and many other suppliers are concerned, this is absolutely true. There is no evidence that the electronic cigarette does aid in the cessation of smoking and those who are selling the electronic cigarette under the guise that they are, should fall into the regulations of the FDA. Those of us who do not make those claims are not promising you a healthier life, just a “cleaner” way to smoke. And “cleaner” is not a health claim. There are no ashtrays, lighters, cigarette butts, or second hand smoke.

So, Capitol Hill has most definitely heard of the electronic cigarette and if you are a happy and satisfied e-smoker, here is your call to action. Contact your representatives. Tell them how the ecig has changed your smoking habits and let them know your experience. Show them how positive the electronic cigarette is for you and that banning them until all the tests are in (which could take a minimum of 24 months and a maximum of 10 years) well, it would send the smokers at INSTEAD back to tobacco for sure. We are smokers! We want to smoke!

Remember that well articulated and passionate, yet kind words, are what your elected representatives will read. You have an entire blog dating back two years with tons of information and links to pull for your comments. Let Capitol Hill know what you think!

Here are some further links to help you on your way:

Determining your Congressional elected officials.

The electronic cigarette petition.

Digg the Petition so more esmokers on Digg can find it!

And please remember, that while Sen. Lautenberg appears to be on the “other” side, he wants to do the right thing. We all just need to help him see that tobacco harm reduction IS the right thing and that we are willing to help him gather the proper information.

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