About Ashutosh Jha

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hesa-canada-e-cigarette

Standing Committee on Health (HESA) report on Vaping and e-cigarettes

The Standing Committee on Health released its report today. The report is entitled Vaping: Towards a regulatory framework for e-cigarettes. The report is available at

English Reporte-cigarette Regulation report French Reporte-cigarette Regulation report

The Committee has requested that the Government table a comprehensive response to the report. Continue reading

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Statement from specialists in nicotine science and public health policy

This is copy of the letter sent by several renowned researchers and public health experts to WHO chief, Margaret Chan, ahead of the WHO summit in October that may decide fate of e-cigarettes. These researchers make complete sense and we are completely in sync with their statement, and given we deal with hundreds of customers every day, for who they speak.

Continue reading

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ornamental tobacco plant cancer naD1 molecule

A defence molecule occurring in the flower of tobacco plant has key to fighting cancerA defence molecule occurring in the flower of tobacco plant has key to fighting cancer

A team of scientists at Melbourne (Australia) based La Trobe University have just completed a research that shows that tobacco plant’s natural defense mechanisms could be harnessed to kill cancer cells in the human body. The team lead by Dr Mark Hulett identified that the NaD1 molecule occurring in the flower of the plant that fights off fungi and bacteria also has the ability to identify and destroy cancer.

Dr Mark Hulett and Dr Marc Kvansakul LaTrobe University

Dr Mark Hulett and Dr Marc Kvansakul LaTrobe University. @Herald Sun.

It is important to note that this specific molecule is primarily found in species of ornamental tobacco plant. An ornamental tobacco plant, scientifically called nicotiana, bears long trumpet shaped flowers attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. Some varieties have a sweet, strong scent that fills the night air.

The team will now undertake pre-clinical studies to determine what role NaD1 might be able to play in treating cancer. This discovery may solve a major problem cancer researchers have been facing with current cancer therapies. Current therapies attack both the cancer cells and the healthy cells, which poses major problems in advancing cancer therapies. In contrast, the NaD1 can target cancerous cells specifically and has little or no effect on those that are healthy. If clinical trials prove effective and everything goes well, a new cancer treatment could be available on shelves in 10 years. While thats a long time, its a much welcome addition.

ornamental tobacco plant cancer naD1 molecule

Ornamental tobacco plant

The team discovered the workings of NaD1 molecules that form the first line of defence process used against microbial invasion in the ornamental tobacco plants. This defense mechanism could also potentially be harnessed for the development of cancer treatments and other therapeutic applications, including antibiotic treatment for microbial infections.

Tobacco was certainly not meant to be burned and smoked. Any plant matter should not be burned and inhaled. Its just ridiculous and so very harmful. Tobacco plant should only be used for its medicinal value for fighting cancer! Its most well known for its infamous and taboo Nicotine extract, which has many medicinal usage, but is said to be addictive.

The La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science (LIMS) is an international research leader in the fields of molecular science and biotechnology. The discovery is the result of a multidisciplinary collaboration between scientists from Dr Hulett’s laboratory in cancer biology and Dr Marc Kvansakul’s laboratory in structural biology at La Trobe University. The research utilised equipment at the Melbourne-based Australian Synchrotron and was supported by Hexima Ltd, Balmoral Pty Ltd and the Australian Research Council.

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Canadian Heart Surgeon vs Fear Mongering Respirologist – CTV National news

Dr. Gopal Bhatnagar’s argument is very logical, and I completely support his stance. That’s why we are in this business. Dr. Matthew Stanbrook’s arguments lack logic, and sounds like the fear mongering we hear from many educated people who spreading mis-information based on bias, and not reason. Most “experts” don’t even understand difference between smoke and nicotine themselves. The value proposition from e-cigarette and its family, such as e-cigars and e-hookah, cannot be ignored, however like Dr. Gopal, I agree a constructive framework is required that ensures safety and quality standards by all manufacturers and brands. There are dozens of items in a common household that can also poison kids. Why are they still allowed in households?? Safety of children and all e-cigarette customers always comes first. I will sit down with anyone who is willing to have a constructive discussion and present logical arguments and work towards solutions, but I do not support fear mongering being spread by misinformed people like Dr. Matthew Stanbrook.

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house-of-cards-e-cigs-cigarette

Electronic Cigarette in “House of Cards” Season-2 Netflix

It was great to see Claire Underwood remove Francis‘ cigarettes in Season-2 of Netflix’s popular House of Cards show. Francis (“Frank”) is using the e-cigarettes in one scene as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes. I applaud Netflix, and the writers of House of Cards for showing this on big TV to the masses. I realize, that it is not an endorsement in anyway or form, but I applaud them because they are showcasing whats out there, and that they are worth a serious consideration. They cannot be ignored as many regulatory bodies have done, suggesting waiting for definitive proof is far more important than reducing harm for the masses right away. Continue reading

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180 Smoke – 2013 Year in Review

Update: We have removed all stats from our surveys with clients on what impact we have made, including how many cigarettes we may have helped clients not smoke, and how many trees we have helped save, etc, in light of letter from Health Canada and to avoid making any claims. If youa re interested in these statistics, please reach out to me.

I want to start by thanking the 1,263 people who helped us through summer-fall of 2012 in selecting the flavors, product lines, product features, our name, and our logo. It is not too often that this many people come together to help develop a brand bottom up. After putting together our core team in early 2012, we developed the first round of our brand, product lines and flavors, and then went to the 1,263 respondents through social media, friends, in-person 1-on-1 meetings, and targeted ads to get their input on very specific questions. We used techniques like A/B testing to get us the best possible data without overwhelming those surveyed with the information or products we provided.  The process was successful, and 180 Smoke was born in fall of 2012, through a 3-phase iterative development process with 100s of people participating in each phase.

While executing our plan of action through end of 2012, and all of 2013, we felt a huge responsibility, and of course also very motivated, that we had such a wealth of valuable and focused information right from our potential customers. I wanted to update you on our progress, and measure them against our key goals. We at 180 Smoke are very proud of what we have achieved through 2013, and we have so many people to thank for this. We are very grateful for having an amazing customer base, who have referred thousands of their families and friends to us.  Moreover, we call many of our customers now team members, spread across Canada, United States, The Netherlands, India and Pakistan. I also want to thank Canada Post, MasterCard, Visa, TD Bank, Square Register, Shop.ca, TeamBuy, DealFind, Shopify, Volusion and Opencart for their services that have enabled us to serve our customers.

We stay true to our core principle to only promote e-cigarettes as an alternative to current adult smokers. As former smokers and practicing surgeons, we would never hope for anyone to start smoking or start with nicotine addiction. We got into this business for personal reasons and though 2013, we never promoted our products to youth or to non smokers. Our marketing team has strict guidelines to only purchase ads from companies that allow us to target smokers. We will continue to do so for all years to come.

Our manufacturing plants follow and develop domain specific GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) for device and e juice manufacturing. While there is a lot more improvement to be made in this area, given its a relatively new industry, we believe that we are leading the pack by working with each manufacturer to make improvements via our iterative improvement process. We collect structured data from our customers about their product experience, and diagnose all faulty products to provide constructive improvements  to suppliers.

Through 2013, we continuously involved customers and non-customers in improving our products, flavors and customer service processes. We continued building a very multi-disciplinary and solution-oriented team who are doers and experts in their fields. They share our passion, and work countless number of hours. 180 Smoke saw expansion to The Netherlands, India and Pakistan through q3-q4 of 2013, and more concrete results will come of this through 2014.

We continue to offer product lines to provide alternatives for cigarette, cigar, hookah smokers. Tell Us Your Story Skip to the stats# I want to start by thanking the 1,263 people who helped us through summer-fall of 2012 in selecting the flavors, product lines, product features, our name, and our logo. It is not too often that this many people come together to help develop a brand bottom up. After putting together our core team in early 2012, we developed the first round of our brand, product lines and flavors, and then went to the 1,263 respondents through social media, friends, in-person 1-on-1 meetings, and targeted ads to get their input on very specific questions. We used techniques like A/B testing to get us the best possible data without overwhelming those surveyed with the information or products we provided.  The process was successful, and 180 Smoke was born in fall of 2012, through a 3-phase iterative development process with 100s of people participating in each phase before our launch in winter of 2012. While executing our plan of action through end of 2012, and all of 2013, we felt a huge responsibility, and of course also very motivated, that we had such a wealth of valuable and focused information right from our potential customers. I wanted to update you on our progress, and measure them against our key goals. We at 180 Smoke are very proud of what we have achieved through 2013, and we have so many people to thank for this. We are very grateful for having an amazing customer base, who have referred thousands of their families and friends to us.  Moreover, we call many of our customers now team members, spread across Canada, United States, The Netherlands, India and Pakistan. I also want to thank Canada Post, MasterCard, Visa, TD Bank, Square Register, Shop.ca, TeamBuy, DealFind, Shopify, Volusion and Opencart for their services that have enabled us to serve our customers.

Harm Reduction for individuals, and the masses*

  • Through 2013, we helped our customers not smoke at least 9.3 MILLION+ cigarettes. These number do not include our store sales. For example, Toronto store additionally helped Torontonians NOT SMOKE an additional 2.5 Million cigarettes.  We have not crunched numbers from our e-cigar and e-hookah smokers but I would think numbers would be staggering as well. We are targeting 100 million cigarettes not smoked world-wide from our efforts through 2014.
  • Our customers used to smoke an average 15.8 cigarettes per day (average across the customers surveyed only). At the time of survey, our customers average cigarette consumption was 4.9 cigarettes per day. Thats a 70% decrease! Nothing can be more encouraging for us than this stat.
  • 39% of customers surveyed had smoked less than 5 cigarettes since starting use of 180 Smoke products, with an average 5.2 months of abstinence from tobacco; 41% of these already had, or were planning to discontinue use of e-cigarettes within 30 days of response.
  • 23.2% of users were using e-cigarettes part time, typically avoiding them at work or near kids, but still smoking often.
  • 9.5% quit tobacco or cigarettes all together via other means, and many of them used our e-cigarettes for occasional cravings or simply to know that they had an option if they wanted to. The primary methods reported were cold turkey with mentions of Allen Carr’s Easy way to Stop Smoking, or support from a friend or family member.
  • Rest of the 28.3% users had not continued with e-cigarettes suggesting following common reasons. We paid special attention to responses from these clients, and have an extensive list of improvements we plan to implement through 2014 to increase our success rate.
    • “I am not ready” (in ~75% of cases they got it as a gift)
    • “I ran out of refills”
    • “I don’t want to use e-cigarettes” (in 90% cases they got it as a gift)
    • “It broke” or “I am not sure how to use it properly” or “they are too much work”
    • “I did not like the taste”
    • “I don’t know”
* The stats above are from a sample of customers we surveyed through October and November 2013. Stats are based on sales data, validated against a sample survey of 500 random customers who purchased e-cigarette products. 171 customers completed 100% of the survey, and 132 customers completed at least all required questions but not the optional ones. While the data and formulas were peer reviewed, the data collection itself was not standardized, controlled or re-validated. Error margins may be > 10%. The numbers however make way for a proper clinical trial or study administered by independent researchers and supported by Health Canada and or the FDA. We believe such a study is much required so policy makers can get independent validation that these tools actually work better than any other tool we have tried in past decades for Tobacco or Smoking Harm Reduction! We already knew this, now our customers confirmed it, and its definitely time the regulatory bodies got their act together rather than waiting any longer!

Trees saved by our customers – At least 31,000 trees

For every 300 cigarettes, 1 tree is usually consumed. This means, our customers saved roughly 31,000 trees from being consumed just in 2013 alone. Each year, nearly 600 million trees are destroyed to provide fuel to dry tobacco. Additionally, further deforestation is caused by the paper use associated with wrapping, packaging, and advertising cigarettes. A modern cigarette manufacturing machine will use more than six kilometres of paper per hour. (source: http://www.leavethepackbehind.org/tob_environment.php)

Money saved by our customers – $4,600,000 – $11,000,000+ Saved in Direct Expenses

Assuming our customers used to pay $10 / pack, we have helped our customers save at least $ 4.6 Million in direct expenses. Not to mention several million dollars saved in gums, dry cleaning, lighters and dental work.

Litter avoided – 3,000,000 Cigarette Butts Not Littered +

Through 2013, our customers have together avoided about 9.3 million cigarette butts, and certainly not littered about 3 million cigarette butts in Canada alone. An estimated 4.5 trillion (non-biodegradable) butts are discarded into the environment worldwide each year. It has been suggested that cigarette butts represent the biggest litter problem facing the world today given that 1 in 3 cigarettes end up as litter. Cigarette butts are not biodegradable and can take up to 12 years to break down. This is because the filter is composed of cellulose acetate which is a form of plastic and as most of us know, plastic does not decompose very easily and many forms of plastic can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. (source: http://www.leavethepackbehind.org/tob_environment.php)

Ethically Invested, Socially Conscious, Quality Oriented

We stay true to our core principle to only promote e-cigarettes as a tobacco harm reduction to current adult smokers. As former smokers and practicing surgeons, we would never hope for anyone to start smoking or start with nicotine addiction. We got into this business for personal reasons and though 2013, we never promoted our products to youth or to non smokers. Our marketing team has strict guidelines to only purchase ads from companies that allow us to target smokers. We will continue to do so for all years to come. We work with our manufacturing plants to follow and develop domain specific GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) that must take into consideration both best practices for device manufacturing and for e-liquid manufacturing. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring our manufacturing partners are buying the best quality products, such as a Grade-A lithium ion cells, and each part is being assembled in facilities that have certification such as, CE, FCC and RoHS. We require randomized double testing of our batches (before packaging and after packaging) and proper documentation for each batch. Our e liquid bottle labels already adhere to Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations, as a recreational product. While there is a lot more improvement to be made in this area, given its a relatively new industry, we believe that we are leading the pack by working with each manufacturer to make improvements via our iterative improvement process. We collect structured data from our customers about their product experience, and diagnose all faulty products to provide constructive improvements  to suppliers.

A customer driven, iterative and incremental development process managed by experts

Through 2013, we continuously involved customers and non-customers in improving our products, flavors and customer service processes. We continued building a very multi-disciplinary and solution-oriented team who are doers and experts in their fields. They share our passion to facilitate a healthier lifestyle for smokers, and work countless number of hours. 180 Smoke saw expansion to The Netherlands, India and Pakistan through q3-q4 of 2013, and more concrete results will come of this through 2014.

Help every type of smoker

We continue to offer product lines to provide alternatives for cigarette, cigar, hookah smokers. We also offer various levels within these lines to assist smokers of all types — Social Smoker, Casual Smoker or a Chain Smoker. Through 2014, we will develop new flavours to help new type of smokers, such as pipe smokers. Tell Us Your Story

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