Debating the safety and effectiveness of electronic cigarettes is not a debate confined just to the UK. In the USA, the number of cities banning the use of e cigarettes, also known as vaping, in public places, such as bars, nightclubs and restaurants, and therefore treating them similarly to traditional cigarettes, is growing. Boston, Chicago and New York are among them, and Los Angeles is destined to join the list soon the LA City Council has already voted to ban them, so passing the measure into law is just a matter of process.
In the UK, the stance on use in public places is still very much subjective. Pub chains Wetherspoons and the Slug & Lettuce have banned the use of them insider their establishments McDonald s too. Some train operators, including First Capital Connect, have imposed a complete ban on passengers using the devices.
In February, however, Boots announced their stores would be stocking e cigarettes, making the brand, Puritane, available online as well as giving the product a presence in the high street. Under 18s are banned from buying electronic cigarettes though and the UK government has also made it illegal for adults to buy traditional cigarettes for anyone under 18.
Depending on who you talk or listen to, e cigarettes either offer the best hope yet of significantly reducing harmful smoking, or are a new way for tobacco companies to regain some control in the falling tobacco market. Though whether it actually matters if consumers are spending their money on a less harmful product instead, is another argument.
Critics also raise the concern that e cigarettes can serve as a gateway for young adults and teens to experience a form of smoking before graduating to the real thing. The counter to that, surely, is that if habits are hardened in those early and impressionable years, the user may never be tempted to try old style cigarettes.
Welsh e cigarette ban all you need to know about ‘vaping’
02 Apr 2014
Wales could ban e cigarettes
02 Apr 2014
Why it would be crazy to ban e cigarettes
27 Jan 2014
EU seeks ‘a ban on all currently available electronic cigarettes’
28 Nov 2013
In brief, e cigarettes consist of a battery, a cartridge filled with nicotine, a solution of propylene glycol or glycerine mixed with water, and an atomiser to turn the solution into a vapour. When the user inhales, the solution is vaporised hence the term vaping and a nicotine hit to the lungs is delivered without tar and toxins. And this, insist e cigarette users and supporters, is what makes the crucial difference and distinction between those and traditional cigarettes.
Author Matt Ridley, who appeared on News Night, is a well known supporter of electronic cigarettes, having spoken about the subject in the House of Lords and written extensively on the subject. Ridley likens e cigs to a product widely popular in Sweden. Snus, which is put under the top lip, provides the nicotine but not the tar. Sweden has the fewest smokers per head of population of all EU countries lung cancer mortality in Swedish males over the age of 35 is less than half the British rate. “If snus can halve smoking and lung cancer deaths, imagine what electronic cigarettes could do,” Ridley wrote. “These are objects that mimic the actions of smoking but are maybe 1,000 times safer.”
Speaking on Tonight, Professor Robert West from Cancer Research UK, suggested that e cigarettes could potentially save millions of lives a year. Glenn Thomas, of the World Health Organisation, insisted that more research is required to establish what, if any, impact on health e cigarettes has.
A poll conducted after an ITV debate in January illustrated a public divided on the question of whether e cigarettes set a bad example, showing people imitating smoking even in smoke free areas, there was an even split of 42 per cent each. Asked whether it was socially acceptable to regularly use an e cigarette in public, 48 pre cent agreed it was 33 per cent did not and 19 per cent were unsure. However, 45 per cent disagreed that e cigarettes should be allowed in public, indoor places.
The benefits of electronic cigarettes may evoke debate, but the popularity of such devices cannot be disputed. The rise of the e cigarette has been verging on the meteoric in 2013, sales rose 340 per cent year on year, beating nicotine patches, lozenges and gum for the first time. While e cigarettes are not necessarily pitched as aids to help smokers quit traditional tobacco, it s clear they are being used as an alternative sales totalled f193 million last year (up from f44 million in 2012). In comparison, collective sales of patches, lozenges and gum were f131 million, an increase of just 1.7 per cent.
In France, a country almost synonymous with the image of traditional cigarette smokers, e cigarettes are hugely popular. A survey carried out by Ipsos in December 2013 revealed one in five French people that is around 10 million had tried an e cigarette. At the same time, sales of traditional cigarettes dropped by just over 7 per cent in France.
There are estimated to be around 1.3 million e cigarette users in the UK, and as the popularity of the devices grow, that figure is only going to increase. There is an extensive range of brands and styles, ranging from models which look very alike to real cigarettes in appearance, to those that resemble pens. Disposable, rechargeable and personal vaporizer versions are all readily available, as are e juices to flavour the vapour. Conventional menthol flavours sit alongside apple, pineapple, kiwi and even bubblegum for the more adventurous e pioneer, sold by websites including
Celebrity endorsement from rapper Snoop Dogg (now known as Snoop Lion), who has designed a vaporiser pen with a roadmap of Long Beach printed on it, and Leonardo DiCaprio have helped to cement the device’s status as a viable smoking alternative, rather than an awkward stopgap to quitting. A variety of novelty versions in the guise of lightsabres and Nintendo NES controllers, seem to promote them as a form of fashionable, ironic accessory.
Should the Welsh government succeed in banning e cigarettes from public places, those forced to go outside may well go back to smoking the real deal. It’s difficult to see how an enforced ban may affect the e cig industry, but it’s unlikely to go up in a puff of smoke any time soon.
Cigarettes russes cookies
Last week, guys, last week… Wait, no. We cannot start a week as dreary as this one already looks from my Monday perch (this view, plus ten thousand loose toys and dark gray rain outside) with a complaint, it would not be good. But I have to tell you where I was most of last week because it’s so traumatizing, I cannot keep it on the inside any longer I was touring kindergartens. Like, school, big old public schools with lots of kids. School for five year old giants. School that my “baby” will require next fall. It was terrifying. It was all consuming. I tried to swim off my anxiety in the middle of each day, only to return home to find that the sun had basically set at 2 30 p.m. rending that whole cooking and natural light photography thing I love so much impossible. It was not my favorite week.
Today’s cookie is from the Seriously, I Did Not Know You Could Make These at Home files. There I was, aimlessly clicking about the internet a few weeks ago when I stumbled on a video of Sara Moulton making a cookie I’ve thus far only seen in tins sold as piroulines but is actually called anything from French Cigares to Cigarettes Russes like it was no big deal at all (it’s kind of her specialty, after all) and I had to try it too. It turns out, it really isn’t a big deal. The batter is incredibly simple some egg whites, some sugar, flour, salt and melted butter, a one bowl affair and you spread it into thin puddles where it bakes quickly into a bronzed edge soft cookie that you roll around a pencil or chopstick or crayon (not recommended, by the way) while it is hot, where it quickly sets as a tube shaped crisp, buttery wafer. The ends are dipped into melted chocolate and while your mileage may vary, I think this is an excellent an opportunity to use the oldest sprinkles known to man.
The resulting cookies are the prettiest little things, delicious, light and crisp too. They keep well, pack nicely in tins and sound totally un PC. If there’s a better reason to make a cookie, well, I don’t believe you.
More Cookies There are over 85 cookie recipes in the archives. My favorite holiday ish ones, as in, get these away from me or I’ll eat them all, are Austrian Raspberry Shortbread, Crescent Jam and Cheese Cookies, Grasshopper Brownies, Seven Layer Cookies, Tiny Pecan Sandies, Nutmeg Maple Butter Cookies and Peanut Butter Cookies. For a cookie ideal for gingerbread men, “ninja” bread men or gingerbread tenements houses, try these Spicy Gingerbread Cookies. All The Smitten Kitchen Cookies
Signed Smitten Kitchen Cookbooks I have an ongoing arrangement with the wonderful independent bookstore in Soho, McNally Jackson, in which copies of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook can be ordered with custom inscriptions i.e. not just the usual signature but anything you’d like, be it Merry Christmas! or Congratulations on your engagement! (Now bake me some cookies.) or No matter what anyone else tells you, you’re my favorite reader. No seriously. It’s you. all of which have happened because you guys really are that funny and awesome. This year, we have a hard deadline for Christmas shipping (i.e. you’d pay standard and not rushed shipping and the book will reach you by Christmas) of this Saturday, December 14th. Thank you! Order Custom Inscribed Smitten Kitchen Cookbooks from McNally Jackson
One year ago Cashew Butter Balls
Two years ago Nutmeg Maple Butter Cookies
Three years ago Roasted Chestnut Cookies
Four years ago Creamed Spinach, Gingerbread Apple Upside Down Cake, Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake, Balsamic Braised Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
Five years ago Cottage Cheese Pancakes
Six years ago Black Bean Pumpkin Soup
Seven years ago Chocolate Stout Cake
Cigarettes Russes Cookies (Piroulines)
Cookie batter adapted from Gourmet, March 2002
The best things about these cookies is how simple the batter is to make, how quickly they bake, how delicious they taste and how pretty they look. The peskiest thing about these cookies is that if you have a short attention span (ahem), you may tire of spreading those batter blobs into thin circles and rolling them individually around pencils or chopsticks. Nevertheless, these cookies are perfect light, crisp, and pretty it’s worth it, so worth it.
Yield 2 to 3 dozen cookies
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup (90 grams) confectioners sugar
1/2 cup (65 grams) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons or 75 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon table salt
Seeds from a 2 inch segment of vanilla bean, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
4 ounces (115 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Sprinkles or other decorations (optional)
Heat oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Grab a bunch of pencils or chopsticks.
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients with a whisk. Working in small batches to begin (I’d just make 2 on the first tray, so you can get the hang of it add more to ensuing batches as you do), drop 1 level teaspoon of batter for each cookie at least 3 inches apart on your prepared sheet. Using a small offset spatula or spoon, spread each into a thin 3 inch/7.5 cm circle (circles don’t need to be perfect, nobody will care).
Bake cookie sheets, one at a time, until edges are golden, about 6 to 8 minutes, but you should closely watch your first batch in case your oven bakes things more quickly and adjust the baking time for remaining batches if necessary. Slide a small offset spatula under the first cookie and quickly roll the loosened cookie around a pencil, chopstick or other thin rod into a tight cylinder. Transfer cookie wrapped pencil to cooling rack. Repeat with remaining cookies and additional pencils. If they start cracking at the edges or become too brittle because they’ve cooled too much (this will probably happen after every two to three cookies), return the cookie sheet to the oven for 20 to 30 seconds to soften them again. Do this as many times as needed. Cookies can be slid off their pencils almost immediately, but it’s even easier if you give them a full minute or more to cool. Leave cookies to fully cool on rack repeat process with remaining batter.
Melt chocolate in a small saucepan or microwave until half melted. Stir until remaining chunks melt. When cookies are cool, working with 1 cookie at a time, dip 1/4 inch of tip of one or both ends into melted chocolate, letting excess drip off, then rolling them in sprinkles (if desired) and place on a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet. Let stand at room temperature until chocolate sets.
Do ahead Cookies can be made 2 days ahead and kept in an airtight container. They will keep even longer in the freezer with layers of waxed paper between them.
- You can flavor the cookies in many ways. Here, I use some vanilla bean (highly recommended, totally delicious), but you could also use 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or another spice (or mix of wintry spices), you could replace a tablespoon or two of flour with cocoa powder for a chocola
ty effect, you could use a pinch of espresso powder for a coffee flavor, citrus zest, etc. Have fun with it.
- A small offset spatula is your friend in basically all baking endeavors, in my humble opinion, but especially here as you’ll want something thin to easily slide between the paper thin cookie and baking sheet, as well as to spread the batter thinly once it’s spooned on the baking sheet. Bake a lot? Buy two.
- If you’re the sort that really wants perfect circles for all of your cookies, you can trace 3 inch circles in permanent market on a piece of parchment paper. Flip it over and bake cookies on the reverse side the outline should show through.
- If you have a Silpat or two, use them instead of parchment paper. I found that my parchment paper sheets over time became crinkly from the dampness of the batter. It’s not a big deal, but it doesn’t leave the cookies as smooth. (I promise, however, nobody will care.)
- I was definitely a beginner when making these, so was nervous to overbake them, but you can definitely get a touch more color on yours than I did on mine.
- I mention this in the recipe, but do not fret about the cookies firming up the second they leave the oven. Every recipe I’ve read tells you to hurry, this part is so stressful this is not stressful. Put the cookie tray back in the oven for 20 seconds any time the cookie becomes too firm to roll without the edges cracking. It will not overbake the cookie, just soften it again. You can do this multiple times with each tray, as many as needed.
- Finally, the more pencils or chopsticks you have around the faster this will go as while you can remove the cookies almost instantly after they’re rolled (they set quickly), it’s even easier to slide them off if you can let each rest on the rod until it’s fully cool, one minute. To do this, you’ll want more than one.
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