Search This Blog

The Ecig Flavourium Logo

The Ecig Flavourium Logo
Ecig Flavourium Website

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Good Moms Don’t Smoke!: Confessions of a ‘Bad Mom’

By Guest Blogger Aimee Whitefoot


Everyone knows that good moms don’t smoke, only the bad moms do! With growing number of smokers switching to e-cigarette use (vaping) in Canada, what how does the public perceive Moms who vape?

The overgeneralized perception that “good moms don’t smoke” is reflective of the patriarchal, judgmental, fast-paced, capitalistic, social media-oriented culture that characterizes mainstream North American society today.

The hardest part about being a mother in today’s world is the constant self-doubt mothers experience as they do their best to negotiate the labyrinth of challenges that comes with raising children. While we all know objectively that “there is no one right way to raise a child,” we so often feel like we’re getting it all wrong.

From the moment we bring a baby into the world – literally, the moment – we feel insecure about using pain medications during labour and so often feel like failures if our labours require medical intervention. Shortly after, we have to figure out how to feed these tiny humans, and if breastfeeding doesn’t go perfectly or doesn’t work at all for whatever reason, again we feel like total failures. When our babies don’t have the top of the line (read: EXPENSIVE) all terrain stroller, convertible crib or car seat, we feel like we are doing our children a disservice. When our toddlers freak out in public because they wanted McNuggets, not a hamburger, or because they don’t want to leave the indoor playland after 3 hours, and it’s already well past naptime, we are embarrassed by their behavior and feel the burning stares of onlookers (real or imaginary) judging our (lack of) parenting skills. When our school-aged children use curse words, we quickly collect the offending child and retreat for fear of anyone finding out that our kids swear. When our tweens and teens spend the entire weekend online playing video games, we are always cautious not to let anyone know that we allowed so much screen time.

As mothers, it feels like our every action is under critical surveillance, and failure to comply with the overzealous mainstream images of perfect moms who are always well groomed and well dressed, have successful careers, marriages, and children, leaves most of us feeling pretty lousy at least some of the time.

In truth, mothers are just ordinary people. Some of us are young, some of us are old. Some of us work, some of us stay at home. Some of us are married, some of us are single. Some of us enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage to relax and unwind, and some of us even smoke!
The image of the smoking mother is one of the most poignant images of society’s preconceived notions of what a “bad mother” looks like. Everyone knows, good moms don’t smoke!

“Doesn’t she know how damaging second-hand smoke is for her children?”
“Doesn’t she care about her health?”
“Doesn’t she know who terrible of an example she is setting for her children?”
These statements are the kinds of things commonly uttered by judging onlookers when a mother is caught smoking.

I know because I am one of these “bad moms.” I was a smoker. I always tried to hide my smoking from anyone who might pass judgment. None of my kids’ school friends knew I smoked, and nor did their parents. But it got harder and harder to keep my dirty secret the older my children got, and finally I got sick of it and decided I was going to quit smoking once and for all (I had tried many times previously – I successfully quit during my pregnancies, but it never lasted).

A little over two years ago, I was finally able to successfully quit smoking through the use of an electronic cigarette – though vaping. My mother in law introduced me to vaping (she learned about it as an effective way to quit smoking through her hairstylist), and when I saw how easily she traded in her tobacco cigarettes for an e-cigarette, I knew I had to give it a try. After a few stumbles, I had made the transition and was finally smoke-free. Hooray! I could finally shed some of my “bad mom” shackles … or could I?

Turns out that the public has been vastly misinformed about the health risks associated with e-cigarette use, and I continue to receive judgmental glances from onlookers when I vape in public in the presence of my children. Even friends – who smoke – have been appalled at my vaping, and doubt my explanations that vaping is 97% healthier than smoking.
For me, as a reformed smoker and vaping mother, I have always kept my vaping discreet when in public with my children. I never consciously planned to be a “closet vaper” – although I was intentionally a closet smoker – it just sort of happened that way. I think the shame of being a smoking mother has conditioned me to keep it to myself. I don’t want to be labeled a “bad mom, ” and currently, e-cigarettes are still relatively new and misunderstood by the general public, so my status as a vaping mom is uncertain.

I am hopeful that as vaping goes through regulations at the federal level in Canada, that Canadian legislators follow the example set in the U.K. and vaping is embraced as a useful hard reduction tool that is vastly safer than smoking so that the public stigma that goes along with vaping begins to fade.

We are always looking for guest bloggers. If you have a story you would like us to share, please contact us at mariap@theecigflavourium.com
As always, happy vaping! 

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

A Vapers Story

Every person that started vaping and quit smoking, has a story to tell.
Today we came across this from the heart testimonial that was share on social media! We were able to track down the writer and appreciative that Shannon from Nova Scotia, gave us permission to share it on our blog.  We think Shannon voice is a voice shared by many of us!









An urgent plea to all of you who hold the fate of my health in your hands,
I am a 43 year old mother, a personal support worker...and, a *former* pack-per-day cigarette smoker.
I had been smoking since the age of 15.
Over three years ago, I was a wheezing mess.
I was terribly ashamed of my habit, and would hide outside and puff.
I'd have to chew gum and change my top before giving my son a hug, or serving my clients.
My kids were (understandably) VERY concerned about my health, as, they are old enough to know the damage smoking does to the human body.
We *all* knew the truth: chances are, at the rate I was going, I would probably not have lived to see my future grandchildren grow, as, my children would (probably) have ended up losing their mum prematurely, due to a smoking related disease or condition.
Sadly, EVEN my love for my family was not enough for me to break my addiction.
- I could NOT quit.
Each night, after brushing the FOUL smokiness out of my oral cavity and scrubbing the cigarette odour off my hands, I'd lie down beside my (non smoking) partner and feel shame.
Breaking the silence, with that "wind in the willows" sound coming from my lungs, I was reminded, nightly, of the damage cigarettes were doing to my health.
My immune system was terribly weak, and when I caught a cold, the cough would last weeks after I'd recovered from the bug itself.
My lung capacity was terrible. I would get winded very easily.
I wanted to quit, but had tried EVERYTHING on the market, to no avail.
In October, 2013, I discovered THE ONLY smoking cessation product that ever worked for me.
"ECigarettes"
On the 26th of October, 2013, I had my last cigarette, and, embarked on a new chapter of my life.
Since that day, a cigarette has not touched my lips.
I now use a vaporizer, and have lowered the nicotine level of my ejuice to 3 (-not to say that the nicotine is *the killer* in traditional "smokes").
Interesting things began to happen mere months after I quit smoking:
since I began vaping, I can go more than six months without a chest infection/head cold (-in the past, prior to quitting I had been very susceptible to colds, and would catch them almost monthly).
I had never attributed my weakened system to smoking, but to what else could I attribute my restored health? *Nothing else* in my lifestyle had changed. Also, since quitting,
that -previously ever-present- wheeze,
is GONE.
Today, I have better energy, and my lung capacity has improved significantly.
I'm not coughing up grey-brown mucous.
I can hit the "high notes" again, when I sing along to music.
I can safely vape indoors, without fear (-no more disappearing to chain-smoke outside while on the phone/ with my coffee for hours in the warm months...no more bundling up like a dumb-dumb and suffering the bone chilling temperatures just to feed my addiction).
I never have to worry about exposing my family to thousands of toxic chemicals or the harmful products of combustion when they come outside on the deck to hang out with me.
I am shocked and bewildered to hear of the proposed changes (regulatory restrictions) being tossed about by our government, with regard to vaping.
I am a "researcher", by nature and follow all news and discoveries relating to vaping.
This is what I know:
1. The government of the U.K., after (rigorous enough) testing, has determined that Vaping should be considered a much healthier alternative to smoking...to the degree that it is RECOMMENDED and PROMOTED by physicians, and, in some cases, is a practice ALLOWED on HOSPITAL PROPERTY
2. It is over 90% safer than smoking
3. In many cases, the toxins in vapour are equally as harmful as random indoor air samples taken office buildings and rooms in residential dwellings
4. Vaping has helped tens of thousands of Canadians successfully quit smoking and improve our health--like nothing before
Knowing this, I am EXTREMELY CONFUSED by the apparent cluelessness of our government.
At first, I thought, "they must not understand the benefits of vaping".
-after all, there is a lot of *mis*information on the subject; anti-vaping propaganda floating around...
But REALLY, people.
It has been a few years now, and more research has been done.
If the UK government has embraced vaping, why is your (collective) head still in the sand?
I am so frightened by the bizarre legislation on the horizon, it makes me question the TRUE motivation of the Canadian government.
Why on earth would our government want to discourage something that is, LITERALLY,
SAVING LIVES?
The ONLY answer to that is nothing short of chilling.
I surmise that it must come down to money.
After all, the government makes a killing (-pun intended) from the taxes it receives on the sale of cancer sticks.
In light of this hateful and dangerous (YES, DANGEROUS) decision to DISCOURAGE what is a LIFESAVING smoking cessation option, I no longer trust my government.
If selection, quality, and availability of supplies are limited, and, access to vape products is difficult;
if the flavours that help keep us away from smoking are eliminated,
if PROMOTION of these products is prohibited,
PEOPLE WILL DIE.
We will die an ugly death.
I URGE you to consider the implications of these new regulations/laws, and consider the message you are sending Canadians:
You would prefer to have us become ill and die, rather than take a financial hit.
The government is profiting from keeping us sick, and this is horrifying and, is, quite frankly, unacceptable.
My future (the future of my loved ones, and, the future of countless Canadians) hangs in the balance, here.
If I am wrong about the motives of the Canadian government, and, if misinformation and ignorance is actually to blame,
if there is doubt or confusion on your part, I beg you:
PLEASE take it upon yourselves to research the benefits associated with quitting smoking, in favour of vaping.
To the government, I say: If need be, tweak the regulations in less damaging ways to allay your fears (-about kids picking up the habit, etc).
There are other regulatory measures that can be taken to address the issues that concern you.
This hard-line approach is EXTREME and unnecessary.
What you are proposing will turn the industry on its ear, and we, the people, will suffer.
The statistics are there. The information is there. Real science supports vaping as a healthier alternative.
The Canadian government ought to be going out of its way to ENCOURAGE vaping.-certainly not making it more difficult to access.
---and banning the sharing of information?
Muzzling people within our communities, so they are no longer allowed to counsel people re: the benefits of quitting smoking via vaping?
In what country am I living?
I feel as though I am living in the Twilight Zone.
I implore you, reconsider this STRANGE direction you're taking.
My job is very stressful and intense, and I could not survive with my sanity intact if I did not have the option to vape.
I am an ADDICT.
My fear is that I will fall back into old habits.
My hands shake as I type these words,
as I think of my children without me.
My loved ones have been so supportive of my method of quitting. So relieved. -and to think that, with one swipe of the pen, all my progress could backslide, is absolutely devastating.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Open Letter to the Hounourable Jane Cordy




The Canadian Government is going after vaping with Bill S5! We have been down this road before, and we will continue to fight to ensure that Vaping is regulated fairly and not into prohibition.
Over the next few weeks, we will be posting open letters to all the politicians that we have reached out, in hopes that our words, opinions and stand on matters get heard.

If you want to do something, as a consumer, an amazing consumer focused advocay group has been started, The Official Vapour Advocates of Canada.  Also the group has created this incredible and growing data base full of information to help you if you would like to get involved.

Here is our first letter to Senator The Honourable Jane Cordy in regards to what she said during the March 1st 2017 debate on the bill.
Links:
Debate Transcript
Jane Cordy Bio




Dear Honourable Jane Cordy,

My name is Maria Papaioannoy-Duic; I am a Canadian citizen, former smoker, current vaper and a small business owner of vape shops in our beautiful country. Your debate on Bill S5 disheartened me. I decided that before I jump to conclusions about the “intent” your words had, I should ask a few follow-up questions. I hope you do not mind.

1. In debate you stated:

"Because of parallels of the tobacco industry and the emerging vaping industry, I believe it is appropriate to regulate vaping products under the Tobacco Act”


I was wondering, what are those parallels? I know that you mentioned that you were still learning about the industry, is it fair for me to assume you haven’t dug deep to find similarities with NRT products from the Pharmaceutical industry and perhaps even the food industry. I think someone with your background in Education would find the utmost importance in researching both arguments when developing a thesis for debate and be meticulous in keeping an open mind in allowing for research to present opposition to your initial argument.  I hope for the sake for the 30 thousand plus smokers that die each year in Canada; you do continue your research with an open mind and heart.

2. You also mentioned:

"As scientists and experts study the issue and as the science catches up with the industry, I am cautiously optimistic that vaping will be proven to be less harmful than smoking, but at this time, it is dangerous to assume that vaping possesses no health risk at all.” 

You were on the committee that wrote Out of the Shadows at Last which stated:

 "Harm reduction is intended to reduce the health and social impact of alcohol and drug use without asking that users abstain. Abstinence may be a long-term objective, but the short-term goal is to promote safe use”.


Has something changed with your viewpoints when it comes to addiction since the publication of this document? I can assure you that the beliefs surrounding harm reduction made by our constitution have not.

 3. Furthermore you shared

"According to Health Canada, in 2015, studies indicate that 26 per cent of Canadian youth aged 15 to 19 reported having tried an e-cigarette."


I would like some clarification on that statistic. Trying something once in a 30 day period does not constitute long-term use. What statics are you pulling your research from, that gives you the confidence to conclude that those one-time uses transform to current e-cig users? I have been searching and can’t seem to find it. I only found the Canadian funded study, from the University of Victoria. However I believe that many people sent you a copy, so I won’t add that to my email today.

4. Intent…. I don’t even know where to begin. After listening, and reading your debate remarks, I have realized, that I have to date spent more time properly researching you, then you researching vaping. Ask any eLiquid manufacturer and or shop owner, what their intent is, and they will tell you, to help smokers stop smoking, FULL STOP.  The liberties you took in drawing unfair parallels to an industry built by hard working Canadians to the multi-billion dollar giants of tobacco is insulting. I would highly encourage you to add additional Google searches to your research protocol on this subject; those would include "how vaping changed my life” and "how Vaping saved my life.”

I understand that you are human and that you can only see what you choose to open your eyes to. I can say that it is unfair that you have opted to brand me and the majority of vaping industry business with a paint brush that is tarnished by a few bad apples. That would be equal to me thinking that all Senators are part of The Canadian Senate expenses scandal.  I am wise not to; I would expect the same from you.

I look forward to continuing to follow your position on this debate and will believe that you are in the early stages of your research, and your background in Education will only implore you to investigate further, particularly as it can save not one, but countless lives in our country!

 And some people believe being a Senator in Canada is easy! I don't think so! Thank you for taking the time to read my opinion, as stated above, I look forward to hearing and reading further debate on Bill S5 in the Senate!


Thank you,
Maria Papaioannoy-Duic,
Co-Owner, The Ecig Flavourium

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

This past weekend the sun was shining, and the temperatures were soaring, and we at The Ecig Flavourium held our grand reopening of the Beaches locations!

So many Canadian eLiquid manufactures came out to the event and had the
The creators of Twelve Monkeys, MEO, 416Vapes,  Great Canadian Fog, Kloud Panda, Moshi and Let’s Get Tropical all took time out of their family day weekend to meet their amazing customers!

Check out the video below created by Michael Kelly and perfectly captures the fun that we had!

As always, thank you for trusting us, to help you to continue to live a smoke-free life!

Dave, Maria & The Ecig Flavourium Team



Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Ecig Flavourium | New *Beaches* Location

We are finally done with the building of our new shop in the Beaches! We love this new location, first, its GROUND LEVEL and right on Queen Street in the heart of the beaches in Toronto!

One of our team members, Michael, created this really cool video that shows the new shop. If you are in the Toronto area on Saturday, February 18th, stop by the new shop as we have a big celebration happening, with many of your favourite eLiquid manufacturers attending and lots of giveaways!

If you are interested in attending, check out our FACEBOOK EVENT


Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Switching To Vaping - Do’s And Don’ts

First off, congratulations for deciding to switch to vaping!  But before you dive in, here is our handy list of do’s & don’ts, to set yourself up for success, and avoid common pitfalls.

Do: Find A Reputable Vape Shop
A reputable vape shop specializes in vaping and usually carries only vaping devices, eLiquid, and vaping accessories. As much as we love convenience stores for their convenience, it’s not the best place to start your vaping journey if you want to succeed. A good shop will have a wide variety of products and cater to all levels of vaping from beginner to hobbyist, and a reputable shop will take the time to discuss your needs, answer any questions you may have, and ensure that you are knowledgeable and comfortable with your new electronic cigarette. Your success is their success so a good shop will only recommend products suited to your needs. As well, you can feel good about supporting a local small business that is passionate about helping people switch to vaping!

Do: Sample eLiquid Flavours
We like when people come into sample eLiquid flavours, not only because we like to ensure our customers are satisfied, but also people are often surprised by flavour profiles they might have not otherwise considered. It is especially true with vaping that you won’t know what you like until you try it. Sample many different brands and flavours, keep an open mind and be confident about your choices before you spend your money.

Do: Ask Questions
It is important to honestly examine your smoking addiction, and use eLiquid with an appropriate nicotine level to suit your needs. Ask questions about what nicotine strength would work best with your device, and suit your needs. Make sure you understand how to operate your particular device. Most vape shops have comfy chairs and a lounge area set up; you can take your purchase home, or you can unbox and assemble your device right in the shop, with knowledgeable and experienced professionals close by to offer tips and assistance.

Do: Research
You are here, so you’ve already got a jump on things, but you can go further. Devices, eLiquids, even accessories will usually have a wealth of unbiased reviews and helpful information, all just a google search away. As well if you’re planning to visit a vape shop, narrowing down to one or two devices you are interested in, or a few particular features you’d like your device to have, will give you a good place to start when you arrive at the shop.

Do: Connect With The Vaping Community
The vaping community is a group of people with one core commonality; we were all newbies once. Getting linked to the community online via social media is a great way to network with other vapers, ask questions, and find the most trusted reviews, tutorials, and vape shops.

Do: Get Rid Of Your Analog Cigarettes
Alright, don’t panic. If you can’t bring yourself to part with them right away, then just toss them in the freezer and forget about them. You’ll find them fossilized in the freezer frost a year from now. Trust me on this.

Do: Take Good Care Of Your Vapourizer
A pack of cigarettes gets used and tossed, but a vapourizer is an investment. Protect your investment by keeping it clean and in good working condition.

Do: Get Backups
Once you’re confident about vaping and you’ve found a device that suits you, it’s wise to invest in a backup device. Keep a spare battery/tank setup or, when you upgrade, keep your old unit as a backup. Set yourself up to succeed, and you will.

Don’t: Overdo It
It may be tempting to go for maximum strength eLiquid when you’re first starting out, to make sure it’s strong enough to work. Don’t do this. E-Liquid can be strong, and if the nicotine level is too high, it will be difficult to vape. We believe that it's easier to vape a lower nicotine strength than a higher one.

Don’t: Dual Use
Some people are so astonished by how easy it is to switch to vaping. After the first pull from their vape, they have said goodbye to smoking forever! For others, it may not be such a quick transition.  Either way, it’s worth at least trying to quit smoking completely when you switch to vaping. Let your body go through the adjustment without dragging it out by continuing to smoke. Let your body clean out all the gunk and chemicals from decades of smoking and allow yourself time to get accustomed to receiving nicotine via this new method. Enjoy your sense of taste and smell. You should start to notice them in about 24 to 48 hours.

Don’t: Get Discouraged
Most people find it easy to switch to vaping, but some don’t. Maintaining a vapourizer is an adjustment from buying smokes all the time, as well it may take your body some time to adjust to the switch physically. It shouldn’t feel like a huge struggle, though. If you’re having difficulty, check to see if there are any changes you can make to give yourself an easier time. You may need to try a different setting on your device, or a different strength of eLiquid, or it may be time to clean your device and change your atomizer head. Issues are most likely to occur at the onset before you’ve got a handle on things. Commit to giving this a fair shot and don’t let a rough beginning keep you from having a happy ending.


Do: Enjoy Your Vaping Experience, And Your New Lease On Life!