Nicotine Replacement Showdown! Velvet Cloud VG E-liquids vs Big Pharma Chantix and NRTs

September 01, 2018

woman vaping outside

Senator "Big Dick" Durbin Throws Down the Gauntlet and We Accept!

Anti-vape crusader Senator "Big Dick" Durbin is on the warpath again. Big Tobacco's favorite incumbent pawn (whether the senator is aware of it or not) is now demanding that the vaping industry "prove" that e-cigs are an effective quit-smoking tool. Despite our distaste for such un-American "Guilty until proven innocent" demands coming from a United States senator who should know better, we'll be happy to oblige.

Thank you, Senator Durbin, for throwing down the gauntlet and giving the artisans at Velvet Cloud this unique opportunity to demonstrate just why our high VG e-liquid blends are the healthiest and most effective quit-smoking tool in the 21st Century. In this informative Velvet Cloud post, we'll compare vaping (the world's best option for making combustible tobacco smoking a thing of the past) with other popular, if not quite successful, (let's face it they are actually pretty abysmal) nicotine replacement "therapies" or NRTs as they are commonly known.

We've also got some great news for our Mt. Shasta Frost lovers about the latest discoveries of the health benefits of peppermint vaping. And as always, we'll wrap up with a few laughs as we debunk the latest anti-vaping hysteria making the rounds in the crazy arena of the free-for-all internet.

But first things first. Grab a bottle of your favorite Velvet Cloud high VG e-liquid, fill up your tank, and put up your feet for a serene, worry-free vaping session while we explain how vaping in general, and Velvet Cloud high VG e-juices in particular, are the most effective quit-smoking tools of all the various methods available in the nicotine replacement market today.

And as for you, Senator "Big Dick" Durbin: Remember Senator, you asked for it!

Velvet Cloud vs Chantix (Varenicline)

We have to admit that we couldn't wait to challenge Big Pharma giant Pfizer's Chantix. The Why Quit Now website sounded the Chantix alarm as far back as 2011 with their article titled "Is a 14% Chantix success rate worth risking death?". The deplorable 14% statistic is derived from the number of users who still aren't smoking after 6 months, once the effects of Chantix have worn off completely.

The concept behind Chantix is that it works by blocking nicotine receptors in the brain. The problem is that those vital receptors just happen to be in the regions of the brain regulating sleep, pleasure, and mood among other important mental processes. For some users, Chantix is a dangerous mental monkey wrench tossed into some pretty important works. More on that in a moment.

Pfizer's inflated success rate claims of 44% (claiming success if a user isn't smoking after just 12 weeks), combined with the tidal wave of 35,000 reports to the FDA in 2011 alone on the debilitating side effects experienced by Chantix users, doesn't leave us with much of a contender in the nicotine replacement arena. It's equivalent to a boxing mismatch between Peewee Herman and Mike Tyson, but considering the troubling Chantix statistics, we feel it's our responsibility to consumers to deliver the old one-two. That is Chantix's abysmal success rate combined with intolerable risk.

At Velvet Cloud, it has always been our policy that "nothing weird" finds its way into our vegan-friendly e-liquids. Unlike many e-juice producers, we don't even use PG, propylene glycol in our high vegetable glycerin formulas. PG carries a risk of allergic reactions in 1 out of 10 users. That's too weird for us, so PG is out. The same goes for gluten, artificial colors, sugar, diacetyl, artificial sweeteners, GMO additives, and preservatives. You won't find any of that weirdness in our naturally sweet vegetable glycerin vaping liquids and our artisans use organic ingredients whenever possible. 

Pfizer's synthetically concocted varenicline compound is as weird as it gets. Yes, we believe that it's critically important to provide healthy options to help smokers quit a habit which is the most preventable cause of early death in the world. No, we don't believe a smoker should be used as a lab rat by the mad scientists of Big Pharma pushing what they hope will become the next "blockbuster" drug.  

As time goes by the numbers for Chantix only get worse. So what exactly makes Chantix the least desirable, least effective, and most dangerous option for smokers trying to quit? Check out this list of known side effects and troubling statistics. It's quite a voluminous list so we've arranged it in descending order of serious risk:

  • Suicide- According to a report from Medical Daily, by 2016 the FDA had received reports implicating Chantix in 544 suicides and 1,869 attempted suicides. The Institute of Safe Medical Practices had already ranked Chantix first in reported deaths by 2011, more than twice as many associated with any other monitored drugs. 
  • Seizures
  • Blackouts
  • Temporary blindness
  • Blurred vision
  • Inexplicable and unprovoked violent outbursts including homicidal tendencies
  • Depression
  • Swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue, and throat
  • Sleep disruption (insomnia or vivid weird dreams)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Respiratory distress
  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas and indigestion
  • Dry mouth
  • Rash
  • Economic sticker shock- A 30-day supply of Chantix (0.5 mg tablets) costs a whopping $287. 

According to this 2016 article at XTalks, by 2016 a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that Chantix was statistically no more effective as a quit-smoking aid than less expensive nicotine delivery options such as gum, patches, and lozenges. As we'll see, the success rates for those Nicotine Replacement Therapies, or NRTs as they are known, aren't all that impressive either. 

Vaping vs NRTs- Nicotine Patches, Lozenges, and Gum

woman placing nicotine patch on arm

It's not easy getting reliable success rate statistics for NRTs, chiefly because most of the publicized clinical trials are conducted by the Big Pharma manufacturers themselves. That's not exactly what we would call an impartial study. We did, however, find some statistics from which we consider a more reliable source.

Sadly the numbers for NRT success aren't very inspirational for smokers ready to quit either, and the study conducted also included the Big Pharm concoction Zyban, an anti-depressant which was used in combination with nicotine patches and lozenges. If we get into the list of side effects from Zyban alone, we'll be here all day, so we'll focus for now on the less than inspiring success rate of NRTs when used without Zyban. 

The success rate achieved in the 900 patient study at for over-the-counter nicotine patches and gum was an abysmal 23% initially, with that number dropping to only 15% after one year. This means that 85% of the 900, or 765 patients risked or endured the following side effects and achieved zero tangible results when it came to smoking cessation including these debilitating symptoms according to WebMD:

Nicotine Patch- Irritation or redness on your skin, dizziness, headache, nausea, racing heartbeat, muscle pain or stiffness, and problems sleeping.

Nicotine Gum- Damage to dental work, nausea, jaw pain, mouth irritation, throat irritation, nasty aftertaste, and racing heartbeat.

Nicotine Lozenges- Coughing, heartburn, gas, sleep disruption, nausea, hiccups, and racing heartbeat.

Of course, most of these NRTs come with the advice to use them in conjunction with counseling. By taking time out of your busy schedule to sit in a room full of anonymous, sleep-deprived, cranky, gassy, nauseated fellow NRT sufferers with toothaches, you can boost your chances of success up to about 30%. 

At Velvet Cloud, we have a better way and it's equally effective in groups or peaceful solitude.

Beneficial Effects of Velvet Cloud High VG E-liquid Vaping

  • Full mouth flavor sensation providing unsurpassed oral satisfaction.
  • Respiratory relief from eliminating COPD symptoms caused by combustible tobacco smoke.
  • Lingering natural VG sweetness on the tip of the tongue.
  • Balmy soothing throat hits. Vegetable glycerin, VG, is a known humectant. (moisturizer)
  • Aromatic vapor clouds pleasing to vapers and harmless to bystanders.
  • Affordable variety of vegan-friendly flavors that's easy on the wallet.
  • Gluten-free, sugar-free, GMO-free, diacetyl-free and worry-free.
  • Just the right adjustable amount of nicotine for each user (12 mg, 6mg, 0mg) for a step-down approach and anxiety-reducing gradual withdrawal.
  • Smiles may break out unexpectedly with worry-free Velvet Cloud vaping. 
  • Peace of mind which comes from leaving the tar and 699-1000 chemical additives found in tobacco cigarettes behind.

bottles of vape juice with white background

Vaping Satisfies and Fills the Psychological Voids of the Smoking Habit 

What all of the other nicotine replacement options above lack is the comforting familiarity which long-time smokers have become accustomed to. Vapers can still reach for vape pens, e-cigs,  or handy box mods. How many of us have found ourselves reaching for the missing cigarette pack in shirt pockets or purses out of sheer habit? This can enhance the sense of deprivation and increase stress for the new ex-smoker.

E-cigs and vaping techniques are so similar to traditional smoking that the switch to vaping doesn't seem much like quitting at all. Reaching for the vape pen instead of the cancer stick is more like a reassuring shift, a simple healthy replacement rather than a willpower-testing deprivation. These subtle similarities can be the difference between success and failure for the new ex-smoker.

Too frequently, nicotine gum users find themselves chewing gobs of the stuff as they try to address the void left by the ingrained hand-to-mouth smoking habit. Wearing the patch provides a slow stream of nicotine but when a craving occurs anyway there is nothing orally satisfying to reach for.

Too many NRT patients end up using combinations of products, such as chewing nicotine gum to supplement the patch they're already wearing, or worse they revert to tobacco smoking again. As the article "Quit Smoking for Good — A Quit Smoking Guide" at points out:

"E-cigarettes help aid the oral fixation most smokers struggle with after quitting, and they make the transition to becoming a non-smoker less stressful."

As for Senator Durbin and his "guilty until proven innocent" method of anti-vape crusading, we proudly present:

E-Cig Recommendations and Findings by the Royal College of Physicians

  • Promote e-cigarettes widely as a substitute for tobacco smoking.
  • E-cigs are substantially less harmful than traditional smoking.
  • E-cigs are a gateway AWAY from combustible smoking.
  • E-cigs lead to sincere attempts by smokers to quit and many succeed.
  • There is no evidence that e-cigarettes lead either adults or young non-smokers into smoking. 

And just one more meaningful statement from, the conclusion after two studies by the   National Youth Tobacco Survey, published in June of 2017, and the University of Michigan Monitoring the Future survey.

"Vaping in the United States should be seen as a public health success in driving out smoking and a clear case of the 'harm reduction' approach working for public health."

We, the artisans of Velvet Cloud, rest our case. And Senator Durbin, sir? You may want to sell your Pfizer stock. Now let's move on to...

Good News For Velvet Cloud Mt. Shasta Frost Vapers!

Peppermint, the key ingredient in our popular Mt. Shasta Frost VG e-liquid, is literally one of the coolest natural gifts from the universe. Peppermint oil extracted naturally from the plant's leaves is one of the oldest known natural medicines in the world with beneficial healing characteristics including:

  • antimicrobial
  • antioxidant
  • antispasmodic
  • anti-tumor
  • anti-asthmatic
  • expectorant action (breaking up congestion)
  • natural antihistamine

Now the latest research is confirming the wisdom of the ages about peppermint's many medicinal benefits. Dr. Edward Group's article at Global Healing Center, "Lung Cleansing With Peppermint Oil" explains the important role that peppermint can play in a respiratory health regimen. Peppermint oil's expectorant action is especially effective for clearing upper respiratory congestion caused by allergies, asthma, cold, flu, and bronchitis. 

Mt. Shasta Frost provides all the natural antihistamine benefits of natural peppermint oils in a pure VG e-liquid, as an alternative to medications and OTC antihistamine therapies and their accompanying side effects such as drowsiness,  restlessness, confusion, and difficulty with urinating.

The menthol in peppermint oil also provides temporary pain relief from toothaches and is more effective than chlorhexidine, the chemical commonly found in mouthwash, for inhibiting the biofilm which can result in tooth decay. The list of 26 proven benefits of peppermint oil is quite extensive when used both as an inhalant or topically, ranging from relief of menstrual cramps, herpes, and hiccups, all while boosting energy levels and relieving stress. Peppermint oil as a part of your healthy vaping regimen is only a click away with Velvet Cloud's Mt. Shasta Frost.

Vapegoating Websites and Anti-Vape Robots Attack FDA!

No, we're not kidding! The world of anti-vaping, or "vapegoating" if you'll pardon us for coining a new but very accurate term, just gets weirder and weirder. First, our beneficial but very young industry, in our attempts to make tobacco smoking an obsolete anachronism of the past and save 40 million smokers from a premature death, faced an unexpected barrage of anti-vape hysteria from a mainstream media which seems to have lost its mind.

Psuedo-news websites such as the "Independent" have us wondering just how "independent" they are with a biased homepage where negative anti-vaping clickbait headlines outnumber any positive articles about vaping by a ratio of 6:1. Hot topic headlines there link vaping to everything from DNA mutations to distracted pregnant drivers. (We'd provide a link, but Velvet Cloud is in the business of reducing stress not increasing it and more clicks just encourage the vapegoating scoundrels).

Our favorite hot-button article comes from the Guardian, about the crazy research conducted by Professor Moon-shong Tang of NY University, who bombarded mice with intense barrages of e-liquid "smoke" and compared the results with mice who had been breathing filtered air for the same amount of time. 

To be fair, the article does go on to debunk itself with experts who state the obvious irrelevance for human beings who vape, but that didn't stop the Guardian from running the story under the panicky headline, " Vaping may raise cancer and heart disease risk, study suggests". Classic vapegoating!

Send in the Spambots!

Now, as if the scaremongering headlines, frequently backed by "as yet unpublished studies" commissioned and funded by who knows, carried out by dubiously compensated "researchers" weren't enough, the anti-vape crusaders have enlisted automated spamming bots in their efforts to influence the FDA. 

Vaping360 reported on August 24th about 525,000 comments which were uploaded to the FDA docket concerning flavored e-liquids. It turns out that coordinated bots spent a weekend in June uploading the first 225,00 negative or duplicate comments to FDA servers. That was enough to jam FDA servers and slow down the process for legitimate responders, but it was only the beginning of the attack.

Templates for the negative spambot comments were derived from literature from the known anti-vaping group the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other groups. 4 templates were the fodder for obviously fake and unsigned negative comments combining for an eventual 95% of all comments collected.

The remaining genuine comments number just 22,000 which the FDA will accept and analyze for use in designing new rules about flavors for vaping liquids. As Vaping360 writer Jim MacDonald points out, 22,000 is just a fraction of the 3-4 million vapers in the US. Let's hope those 22,000 had something positive to say about e-cig use and the e-liquid flavors adult vapers love since, despite the discovered sabotage, the response period for the survey is now closed. Well isn't that convenient for the anti-vape crusaders? 

If you missed your chance to speak up to the FDA about the health benefits of vaping you can add your story here at the CASAA, Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association. 

Velvet Cloud Now Serving High VG E-liquids For Worry-free Vaping

While the FDA might be struggling with clogged servers and spambots, the servers at Velvet Cloud are humming along just fine. When you're ready for the natural vegan-friendly artisanally blended e-liquids that will keep you coming back for more our lineup of signature blends are just a click away, and we'll even provide free fast shipping from our Texas and NY locations for orders over $35.00.  

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