Vaping is Safer Than Smoking
I read an article this morning on the website of the Cyprus Mail. This news source is based in the U.K., and as such the vast majority of the stories are generated by what’s happening in the U.K. and Europe. But one story in particular that caught my attention was one that should concern us all;
“eCigs should not be used to help quit smoking” (Found here)
From the headline on down the article is complete rubbish. However, many people in and out of government won’t think its rubbish. Some will add this article to their arsenal to fight against eCigarettes. Although the article is rather short, it still manages to pack a punch. But a punch packed with statements that seem to come out of thin air.
The statements that caused me the most angst was the one where the FDA had analyzed eCigarette samples and those samples showed that the smoke (vapor) can contain various carcinogens, toxic substances, and other ingredients related to tobacco products that could harm the health of the users of eCigarettes.
Wow. Let that sink in a moment.
Now, let’s talk about that FDA report and the truth about eCigarettes.
This FDA report has been a real bugaboo for far too long. eCigarettes are harmful “because the FDA said so”? In no uncertain terms, that the FDA report is in fact, misleading. (So what’s new, right?)
What They Found And Didn’t Tell You
The FDA did in fact find tobacco related carcinogens at very low levels in a small sample of cartridges that were illegally seized from two brands of eCigarettes (Those two brands were NJOY and Smoking Everywhere.) What the FDA did not disclose is that the “FDA approved Nicotine Replacement Therapies” on the market today also contain these carcinogens. All nicotine extracted from tobacco will contain some trace elements of carcinogens, but at such low levels that it’s negligible, so negligible that it is deemed safe for human use.
For example, in the FDA report they found 8.183 ppm (parts per million) or 0.0008183% of carcinogens, but a real tobacco cigarette contain over 3000 ppm of these same carcinogens.
NJOY challenged the findings of the FDA and actually won the case. You can, and should, read the Court Filings from here: http://casaa.org/FDA_vs.html It’s an interesting read.
Why Vaping is Safer than Smoking – One Woman’s Opinion
Besides the above information that finds as fact that the vapor exhaled by eCig smokers is no more harmful than any other nicotine therapy, there are many lines of thought in Logic that if followed must lead you to the conclusion that any attempt to further ban the sale of or restrict the use of eCigarettes is based in politics, not truth. These days politics supersedes truth in nearly everything.
Let’s take a look at a couple of lines of thought that has satisfied my own skeptical thinking.
One Hundred Thirty Million Dollars
The first one comes from the most recent bit of news that occurred in May 2012. Lorillard Tobacco recently bought the entire Blu Cigs Company, “Lock, stock, and barrel”. Granted, it’s the most popular brand on the market, and one with extremely high quality cartomizers, so Lorillard chose well.
Lorillard is not the federal government, which could spend 100 times that amount on a whim, without any thought or reason. (and have) No, Lorillard is a corporation that is in business to make money for its stockholders. Purchasing a company without doing due diligence just isn’t possible in this economic climate. So we must agree that the company behind the purchase investigated not only Blu Cigs but also the entire eCigarette market, including all the available science and the judgments from many many people with real information. After all this, Lorillard closed the deal and walked away with the most popular eCig business to date, correct?
You can bet that before contracts were signed and money changed hands Lorillard ran tests on every single part of the hardware and every chemical going in and going out of the eCigarette made by Blu Cigs. Had they discovered anything, anything at all, that could later bite them on the ass, they would have killed the deal in heartbeat. We must assume they did not find anything wrong.
Lorillard knew what it was buying and was satisfied that after so many decades in the tobacco business they were not going to buy and distribute a product that could once again cause slow and agonizing death of its customers.
Next, let’s think about all the doctors in the local towns and cities that have no qualms about eCigarette smoking. Chances are, like me, your doctors have said nothing to indicate any inherent danger in the product. In fact, one of my own doctors told me that he had looked into eCigarettes as an investment and studied the science behind it, including the chemicals and all the rest and found the product to be harmless. Well, except for the Nicotine.
My doctor believes Nicotine is more potent than Caffeine, but poses no larger threat to your health than caffeine. “It’s addictive, but so is caffeine. If you can live with the fact that without a proper fix of nicotine you’re going to get anxious, cranky, and be more prone to headaches for a few days, then go for it. If you do decide to end your nicotine addiction just wean yourself off by lowering the nicotine levels in the eCigarette. If you want to continue smoking eCigarettes after that than simply go down to zero nicotine cartridges.”
Hi-profile doctors, the ones with TV shows, have come out with their belief that eCigarettes are basically harmless (again, except for the nicotine), and it’s a terrific way to get your nicotine fix as well as being able to continue the enjoyment of smoking. You can bet your bottom dollar that these TV personalities wouldn’t put their reputations on the line if they knew that eCigs were harmful. Nor would they make statements not backed up by research. After all, none of them are sponsored by an eCig company and this is not 1954. And imagine the ratings of these shows if it were known that they held back information.
Back To Government
I remember some years ago some idiot politician in Congress, when presented with completely false data, went to the floor of congress and demanded a full-scale investigation into the sitting president of the United States. When asked if there was any evidence for this investigation he replied that the investigation had to go forward because of the “seriousness of the charges”. Not that there was any evidence, there wasn’t, it was simply the seriousness of the charges. It is this type of thinking that is happening now with eCigarettes from some of the knee-jerk reactions of idiotic people overreacting to seeing someone inhale smoke-like vapor and exhale smoke-like vapor. It’s too close to the act of smoking (seriousness of the charge), so we must ban them immediately because it cannot be safe. (Overreaction, tending toward hysteria)
There is NO evidence that using eCigarettes are in any way harmful. In fact, there is evidence of positive changes of the tobacco smokers after just weeks and months since switching to eCigarettes. This evidence is overwhelming. Ex-Smokers are getting their sense of taste back, lung function improves, blood pressure lowers, and more when eCigarettes are substituted for tobacco cigarettes.
There are also positive effects of nicotine, including the evidence that allowing the elderly or otherwise afflicted Alzheimer patients to use eCigarettes or nicotine gum and patches who then show an improvement to cognition and memory when inhaling nicotine or absorbing nicotine through the skin with patches. This evidence, and others are not slowing down the anti-smoking crowd. And it IS the anti-smoking crowd that is making the most noise.
Ex-Smokers that become a part of the militant anti-smoking crowd are viciously angry over the eCigarette. Just seeing someone with an eCigarette is enough to make their own blood pressure skyrocket, as well as causing their logic and reason to fly out the window. Since they have nothing better to do, they make enough noise to their “representatives” that government harassment is inevitable. This is where politics dictate a false “truth”.
12 Years and Counting
The eCigarette came to the United States 2004 and in the past 8 years there has been no serious, science backed evidence of the dangers of smoking nicotine-infused water.
China is a Different Story
I admit to being somewhat paranoid of the terrible lack of standards of the Chinese workforce. I have no doubt that without employees from eCig companies watching the production of the product there would be many attempts at pushing up the profit margins by using inferior products in the smoke juice, and even the mesh-like material in the cartomizers. Thankfully, every company I know of that has their product made in China has teams of people looking over the shoulders of the people doing the actual manufacturing.
Watching the production line is a start, but it is not enough. I refuse to buy an eCigarette whose ingredients consist of Chinese perishable products (smoke juice). The smoke juice I use is American made, 100%, and when these juices are injected into the cartomizers there are American employees there making sure the juice isn’t altered to make more of it, or to accidentally/purposely poison eCig users.
If any person is poisoned by an eCigarette consisting of smoke juice made in China that company would go out of business faster than you say your own name. We know that, they know that, and they (the owners of the eCig company) are not about to risk losing their business by not watching the production of their product, especially a product ingested by the customer. Still, I prefer my smoke juice to be made in the US. And I hope that someday American made smoke juice and be injected into American made Cartomizers right here in the USA.
So, is Vaping Safer than Smoking?
In my opinion, yes. The science points to the harmlessness of inhaling and exhaling the smoke juice (if that smoke juice is what the company says it is and is not contaminated). In the 8 years of being sold in America not a single case of disease has ever been attributed to the eCigarette, and even that exploding eCigarette incident several months ago was the cause of the user making his own device, and making it badly.
All the reading I have done on nicotine and caffeine leaves me convinced of the parity of the two. While nicotine can be more addicting that caffeine, they share the same amount of concern. Some people cannot go a day without their coffee, and I’m sure that an eCig smoker would not enjoy a day with their nicotine fix. The benefits of both nicotine and caffeine outweigh the small risk and the non-lethal addiction. I imagine being addicted to gambling would be harder to shake than nicotine or caffeine. For me it’s a non-starter.
In the end, its up to all of us to make sure we hold the brands we use up to a standard of excellence that allows no room for error or sloppiness. You need to do a little research into the company you choose to use, no matter what the product is. For the eCigarette, I urge you to find a brand that makes its smoke juice in the United States under strict conditions to assure safety. Make sure the company you buy from is not handing over the responsibility for quality and safety to the Chinese. Not yet anyway.
Companies like Johnson Creek can be trusted to manufacture safe smoke juice. Blu Cigs can be trusted to ship their juice to China and have it safely injected into cartomizers. I am sure there are others. (Let me know and I’ll help promote them here)
The brand I have chosen to use is one that buys 100% of the smoke juice from US companies. They spend $50,000 a month in quality control to assure us that the product we are using is as safe as humanly possible. For the sake of fairness I won’t tell you what brand I use, but I urge you to seek out a similar company so that you too can rest easy about the safety of your eCig.
When the government does begin to interfere it doesn’t have to be a fight. It can be a welcome thing if their concern is the quality of the product, not the banning of the product. We can, and should, fight any regulation that would tax eCigarettes like cigarettes, but we shouldn’t fight them over making sure that when you place a 16mg nicotine cart on your battery that there is indeed 16mg in there, not 6 or 60, and that the battery puts out exactly what the company says it does, and that the battery you are using isn’t going to blow up in your face. And most importantly, if a company tells us that there are 4 ingredients in their smoke juice I wouldn’t mind having the government make sure that the claim is true. Other than that, they should leave us alone and let us enjoy the pleasure that comes from safe vaping.