With an uncertain deluge of E-cigarette restrictions on the horizon, coupled with the rise in popularity and profitability of the E-cig industry in general, there are more than a few E-cigarette manufacturers and companies who are attempting to conform to not-yet-codified standards. At first glance, this might seem like a good idea, but it carries with it the same dangers most of us are trying to get away from. ISO 9001 (International Organization for Standardization… I know. It’s dyslexic. Probably a subsidiary of DNA, or the National Dyslexics Association) and the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) standards are two seemingly innocent certifications that one might be comforted to know hangs on the wall of their nicotine provider’s President’s office… but in reality they are nothing short of a horrifying manipulation used by larger tobacco-based corporations to keep their customers hooked on their products.
Essentially, these so-called “standards” center around the concept of consistency in production. That word consistency sounds good on paper, doesn’t it? But think about it for a moment… how hard could it be to ensure consistency in stuffing rolls of paper full of dead, shredded leaves? And if those leaves come from different farms, why not celebrate the differences in flavor (like they do with wine in Napa Valley) rather than attempt to force all of the distinctiveness in flavor out of the product entirely? Let’s take this a step further and ponder how hard it could be to ensure consistency in E-juice, where all ingredients (vegetable glycerine, propylene glycol, nicotine, and flavorings) are generally all ordered from exactly the same supplier CONSISTENTLY? These, of course, are rhetorical questions mainly because the answers are self-evident. When the ISO and GMP standards utilize the word “consistency” they are actually talking about the inclusion of foreign chemicals in order to create new, man-made ingredients such as the “reconstituted” tobacco found in the vast majority of the analog cigarette packs found in your local tobacco shop, convenience store, and/or gas station (etc.).
What’s scary about this, for those of us who’ve successfully escaped the hardcore addiction to chemicals like formaldehyde, arsenic, etc. found in the cancer sticks we used to suck down into our lungs on an hourly basis, is that there are a few E-cigarette/E-liquid manufacturers out there who have already assumed that these standards will be required of the E-cigarette industry in exactly the same way that they are required of the analog cigarette industry. In response to this assumption, these companies have begun to produce their products with reconstituted nicotine (read: nicotine with dangerous and extremely addictive chemical additives) in order to “ensure consistency.”
The following is not a comprehensive list of E-cigarette companies who’ve potentially “switched to the Dark Side.” Also, I’d like to stress that these are “potentially” compromised companies. Many of them do not publish the steps they’ve taken to achieve “consistency,” although the ISO 9001 and cGMP standards strongly suggest the inclusion of reconstituted elements. So, without further adieu, here is the list:
- American E-liquid Store (AmericaneLiquidStore)- on their website under the header of “certifications” this company announces that they are certified under both ISO 9001:2008 and cGMP standards.
- Nu Mark’s MarkTen E-Cigarettes (Altria Group, Inc)- This is Philip Morris’ foray into the E-cigarette market, so it makes sense that they would utilize the same underhanded methods to keep users addicted to their products that they use in their analog tobacco offerings.
- CN Creative- (Vype, Intellicig, ECOPure E-Liquid, Actistix)- This company was recently acquired by British American Tobacco, and all of their E-cigarette products (Vype, Intellicig, and Actistix) use their ECOPure E-juice, which reports cGMP compliance on their website.
- SafeWay E-Cig- (E-Drop Source)- On their website, SafeWay E-Cigs announces that they are an “industry-leader” in cGMP compliance. WHen they elaborate on it, they mention normal, good laboratory practices… not reconstituted ingredients. This doesn’t mean that they use, or don’t use those ingredients. It is, however, cause for further investigation and caution when considering using their products.
- Vuse Digital Vapor Cigarette- (R.J. Reynolds contribution to the E-cigarette market)- Given the history of Big Tobacco’s unabashed use of reconstituted tobacco in their products, it’s a fair bet that Vuse E-cigs will also utilize the same technology.
- Blu E-Cigs- Now owned by Lorrilard (Newport Cigarettes), Blu is another sure bet to use reconstituted tobacco/nicotine in the manufacturing of their E-liquid.
As stated above, this is not a complete list, and I invite anyone else to add to the list in the comment section if you find any other companies that are suspect in this manner. Also, let me reiterate: Just because these companies admit to being cGMP/ISO 9001:2008 compliant, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are adding dangerous chemicals to their E-liquid… it simply suggests that they may be doing this, just as the Big Tobacco corporations used GMP and ISO standards as a veil for their adding of dangerous chemicals to their analog tobacco cigarettes. More research needs to be done, which I plan to continue doing myself, but it’s important that we all be armed with as much information as possible going into the upcoming FDA E-cigarette regulations.