Email to the FDA on E-Smoking

Comment:  My name is Tim Fuller and I am commenting on Electronic Cigarettes and the Public Health; Second Public Workshop; Docket No. FDA-2014-N-1936-0003.

I smoked approximately a pack and a half of full flavor Marlboro cigarettes per day beginning in my early twenties and continuing until the age of 56. I gave up cigarettes for e-smoking about the middle of November, 2014, shortly before my 57th birthday and no longer purchase or consume combustible tobacco products. Like I suspect many do, I first switched to a ‘cigalike’ product, and after testing several of the popular e-cigarette substitutes (Vuse, Mystic, Fin, Bu). I settled on the Blu brand, partly for the convenience of the portable charging case but mostly for availability of their flavored e-juices. I found the tobacco flavored e-juices unappealing and would likely have returned to cigarette smoking had I not found the option of the flavored varieties offered by Blu.

Shortly thereafter (weeks) I discovered the existence of superior vaping products being offered by several other manufacturers which offered longer battery life (Ego, eLeaf et.al.) In addition to the convenience of longer battery life and adjustable power output, I found a vast assortment of different atomizers to choose from which offered a much improved vaping experience. These allowed the option of purchasing and refilling from a multitude of flavored e-juice products at customized nicotine levels. I purchased several atomizer tanks and several flavors of mid-strength (12-18mg) e-juices, finding the ability to easily switch out tanks/flavors beneficial in my conversion from tobacco. An added benefit often overlooked is the huge savings in cost over that of consuming tobacco, not an insignificant issue for someone on an extremely limited income as I currently find myself in.

I cannot speak to the issue of whether or not these devices are ‘safe’ but in relation to the ingestion of what are known to be hundreds of proven hydrocarbon carcinogens it seems a no-brainer that there must be at least a decent level of harm reduction involved in my decision to abandon nicotine delivery via burning tobacco. I had previously tried to quit smoking via gums and patches with no success. I do not know if I will break my nicotine habit thru vaping but given the ability to wean down the nicotine levels in my e-juices it seems a more likely route and in the meantime I am sure I am abating a great deal of additional health risks.

E-juice Safety and flavored options.

I am not in support of any regulations on restricting flavors of e-juices. Of course I do support limiting e-emoking devices and e-juice access by minors as is currently the case with other nicotine delivery products such as chewing tobacco, cigars and cigarettes. I have yet to see any confirmed deaths of children accidentally ingesting e-juice but barely a day goes by that entire families are lost to the vagaries of smoking related fires. This should be weighed heavily in terms of ‘consumer safety’ when considering the perceived dangers of e-juices and e-smoking. I have not noticed any adverse reactions to the use of any of my e-cigarette devices.

Vaping device safety.

I now vape on higher output highly regulated devices but at much reduced nicotine levels, well under six percent nicotine levels. I vape when I feel like vaping but certainly not in as consistent a fashion as I used to when consuming cigarettes. I do not have access to the statistics on vape device safety but prefer to use a regulated device in order to minimize the risk of overheated lithium batteries, short circuited atomizer coils, etc. If there is any segment of the e-smoking market which may need oversight I imagine it would be in the area of DEVICE safety. I do not have any firsthand horror stories to share in regard to this, but I can easily visualize situations where unlocked or non-locking unregulated mechanical ‘mods’ could be potential trouble sources.

My experience with the commercial cigalike makers leads me to believe that many of them are so poorly designed as to lead one directly back to smoking. I do not know if this is a feature or a bug from their point of view but I do not trust the established cigarette producers given their track record of consumer deception. I would not wish to see the market for vapes or e-juices restricted in terms of availability or innovation. I see many articles in the press which are obviously ginning up fear, uncertainty and doubt over e-smoking and it’s patently obvious that many of these stories are being planted by deep pocketed tobacco corporations concerned with nothing more than protecting their market share and profits.

Please don’t allow yourselves to be unduly influenced by those in the industry who have proven themselves to be totally disreputable in the past. Thank you for taking the time to collect and analyze public opinion on this issue.

Tim Fuller
thetimtimes@gmail.com
Member of Casaa.org

Enjoy.

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Pig Parts Makes Woman Porkable

A woman whose vagina was too tight got it fixed with the help of some pig intestines and a tiny chain link fence.  Details.

Shadow Doxxing

Doxxing

General Observations

There’s an internet phenomena that is becoming increasingly prevalent these days and it’s a practice known as Doxxing.  The range of issues and the fervency of the participants in the many internecine battles between competing ideologies and interests is the driving force behind this rapidly rising trend..  The practice of Doxxing commenters in heavily contested issues has become the new ‘thing’, and is often invoked as an attempt to silence any participant to a discussion who is seen as potentially troublesome to deal with.

Illusions of Anonymity

I’m not a particularly big fan of anonymity on the web in general, since it only gives the anonymous poster the ILLUSION of anonymity while simultaneously bolstering their own foolish (and often illegal) tactics. In the case of anonymous trolls making slanderous remarks or threats, there is no level of imaginary hell too low, nor any level of Doxxing too high for my tastes.

I heartily support the exposure at all these types of gutless miscreants.

Continue reading

Kit That Can’t Be Killed

Digicam Accumulation

From the old to the new. Canon S110, Samsung D53, Olympus FE-230, Nikon Coolpix S3000, Apple iTouch, Apple iPhone4S, Sony DSC-QX10. Photo taken with Apple iPad mini.

I’ve been sorting through my vast collection of old personal electronic devices  Over the decades I have accumulated a fairly fat pile of abandoned equipment.  Some of it is still functional, though obsolete, because the function of the device has, more or less, been absorbed by the the smartphone universe (what hasn’t?).  I will be focusing this blog entry on the oldest working camera tech that I purchased to support my blogging addiction over the last fifteen or twenty years, my first ‘real’ digital camera, my beloved Canon S110 Digital ELF.

Digital Camera Tech – The Early Years

Sony Floppy Disc .3 MP Digicam

For the record, the first mass marketed consumer digital cameras of the 90’s were large and heavy (The Sony model shown above weighed 1.2 pounds), used floppy discs as storage and sported optical sensors as small as one third of a megapixel (.3 MP) though in fairness, did contain honest 10x optical zoom.  The cost?  Suggested retail was right at $800 and that was a bit out of my purchasing ‘sweet zone’.

The first digital camera I could afford to buy was a .8 megapixel no-name cheapie with all the light sensitivity of a blind man, no zoom, no flash and no LED viewfinder! It had a very limited and fixed internal memory with no slot for a memory card (wasn’t invented yet!).  It was something less than a hundred bucks in it’s day and was passed down to my kids when I finally jumped into my first honest-to-goodness “high quality” digital camera.  I might have gotten all of a half dozen decent pictures out it in the entire time I owned it, such were the vagaries involved in getting all the conditions just right to tickle the fickle optics in that cheap POS.  I hope it has found the way to the dump heap by now.

Canon Digital Elf S110
Canon S110 Glamour Shot

A hero enters my blogging arena.

It was right at the start of the new century, in 2001, when I managed to cough up the funds to buy a Canon Digital ELF S110.  I purchased the display model because at the time, the only retail store I could find that had one, only had the display model left in stock.  I paid $350 for it after getting a $50 markdown for buying the display unit.  I normally refrain from purchasing display electronics, specially things as fiddly and motorized as this camera, but it came with all the accessories and a full warranty, so I went ahead and make the purchase.  This 2.1megapixel model was state of the art back in its day.  It is the oldest camera I still own, and outside the bangs and bruises, and despite having lost the flash card door cover (as well as the lens cover that is suppose to protect the lens when in the off position, this camera still manages to provide images almost as good as when I first bought it.  Here is the camera and some sample pics I took recently to test it.  The only thing I have replaced on this camera is the original battery.  Note that the S110, unlike any digicam I have seen since then, still has a true optical viewfinder to supplement the very tiny led display on the backside of the camera.  The camera came with an 8 meg flash memory card that was sufficient to hold about seven full quality images (1200 x 1600).

Sony DSC QX10 – First Month Review

Romantic Sunset in Holland

Good day to all my friends and frenemies alike!  I’m taking a minute here to update the situation in regard to my feelings on the most expensive bit of electronics I’ve added to my collection in the last sixty days.  It was just under a month ago that I finally got my Sony DSC-QX10 for “Christmas” and I now have a fair amount of use under my belt since my earlier initial review here.  I’m happy to say that my initial positive impressions have held out over the longer haul, but that said, there are a couple quirky things I would like to point out regarding ownership of this excellent bit of cutting edge camera technology.

Minor Perturbations

Since my earlier review, I have had time to play with the movie functionality of the lens a little bit more.  I mounted it to the top of my moped helmet as a kind of poor man’s GoPro yesterday in hopes of documenting my first moped ride of the new year. My past moped videos have been taken with my iPhone, and lacked both a proper mount or any video stabilization.  I could hardly contain my excitement at the prospect of testing this new Sony cam movie setting if for no other reason that the added video stabilization feature!!  Upon arrival at my first destination, Aldi’s, I found the Sony PlayMemories app had gone haywire somewhere along the route of my initial filming of the trip to Aldi’s.  I was forced to physically shut off the Sony lens power to make sure I had ended the video.  The red recording light on the Sony was ON at the time of my forced shutdown.  I encountered a similar problem later in my travails as I attempted to document the ride from our horse stable to another local grocery store near my house.

Expounding upon the Issue

Rube Goldberg would be proud

I found I had a real problem when I got home and tried to import the video files off the microSD card.  Videos do not stream back to the iPhone via the ad hoc wifi connection like photos can be made to do, nor can they be offloaded via USB cable from the camera itself.  You must use a card reader to transfer captured video off the QX10 to move it to another device.  I found both my memory card readers unable to make heads or tails (or even recognize that the memory card was inserted) when trying to import them into iPhoto on my Mac Mini using the full size SD card adapter that came with my micro SD card.

Ridiculously Small IMHO

This tiny memory card is absolutely necessary for the Sony Cam to record video and is not included with the purchase of the Sony camera (Shame on you Sony!!).  By using the full size SD card adapter that came with the 16G micro SD card, I have been able to transfer files, both video and stills, with no issues in the past month.  I figured I had buggered the micro SD card somehow when the PlayMemories app went haywire on the moped ride video.

The Solution

Apple SD Card Reader for iDevices

I had to make a choice on whether to buy and test a new micro sd card for twenty euro or spend twenty nine euro and get the “SD card reader to lightning connector” accessory for my iPad Mini.  It is something I was planning on adding to my blogging bugout bag anyway, so I figured I might as well go ahead an make the investment and see what happened when I placed that ‘buggered” micro sd card into the full size adapter and plugged it into my iPad.  Bottom line.  It worked flawlessly, and I was able to import and clear the card through the iPhoto interface on my iPad.  Look forward to an upcoming moped ride video coming to my social stream any time now!

Here’s a sampling of the photos I’ve taken with the QX10.  These are downsized a bit for my website.  Most, if not all of them are available in full size on my Flickr account, the link to which is accessible (as are all my social media links) on the SOCIAL tab on this website.

Enjoy.