Electronic Cigarettes:

I recently picked up a copy of the Fort Lee Traveller (Vol. 70 # 46 dated November 18, 2010) – a newspaper for soldiers transiting through or based at Fort Lee, Virginia near Petersburg. Page 12 included an article by Jean Davis R.N under the heading Kenner’s Corner titled; Are Electronic Cigarettes Safe, Effective? It wasn’t a surprise to read the points made; namely;
Their safety and effectiveness is not proven.
The FDA has concerns and is classifiying them as a drug delivery device requiring regulation.
E-cigarettes contain carcinogens and diethylene glycol.
They are not an effective cessation device.
They are not endorsed by DoD, the Department of Veterans Affairs or the US Public Health Service.

All of the above is accurate and correct. Nevertheless you may like to know that;

Although not proven to be safer, because the research has not been done, it is likely that they are considerably less harmful than cigarettes. Why; because e-cigarettes don’t burn tobacco which is the major cause of most harmful constituents in tobacco. Finding some carcinogens is also not a surprise, look hard enough and you’ll find them almost anywhere. The real point is what was the dosage and how does it compare to cigarettes? It is likely to be substantially less than cigarettes a point not generally shared with the public. Why not? Because rather than migrate to something less harmful (like e-cigarettes) most public health community advisors would prefer you to quit. Period.

If you really want to quit, not just say you do – you can do it; but most smokers don’t choose to quit because they really don’t want to quit. That’s leaves them in a pickle as the public health community advises no good alternatives; but there are…
Almost any non-combustible tobacco product is less harmful than cigarettes. This includes products like snus, moist snuff and other oral tobacco products.
E-cigarettes are a non-combustible product. They don’t burn tobacco as a result they are likely to be considerably less harmful than cigarettes (albeit unproven.) They can be bought with a variety of nicotine levels and even without nicotine or tobacco!
They provde a similar sensory reward to smoking a real cigarette – there is almost no tar, only a smoke vapor and little or no sidstream smoke – to annoy / pollute your colleagues.

So why the fuss?
Big-Pharma is conerned. E-cigarettes have the potential to take market-share of their lucrative NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) market. This is highly profitable and generally does little to help smokers quit so you keep buying these relatively costly products for quite a while. Some members of FDA’s scientific advisory committe (TPSAC) are accused of favoring Big-Pharma as some of its most anti-tobacco panel members are, or have been, Big-Pharma paid consultants. More on this at another time….

As usual comments welcome…………..

7 comments ↓

#1 Jeff M. on 11.27.10 at 9:03 PM

A few corrections… diethylene glycol was found in 1 pre-filled cartridge. They tested 18, and found trace amts in 1(One). After researching, I’m fairly certain the reading came from user error, namely melting the cartridge itself. And yeah, plastic contains diethylene glycol.

This diethylene glycol/”anti-freeze” scare can be directly linked to the FDA’s press release. Reading their own study wouldn’t lead you to say “e-cigs contain diethylene glycol”, because it just isn’t true.

Also, if you read the FDA’s actual report, as opposed to their press release, you can see where they were compared to NRTs. The carcinogens were lower than or equal to NRTs that are currently approved; and WAY lower than conventional cigs.

There is no tar, & there is no side-stream smoke at all, mostly because there is NO SMOKE! Can’t have side-stream smoke without the smoke part. E-cigs produce vapor; or steam. There is zero combustion with e-cigs, therefore there is no smoke.

Your last paragraph touches on a very real truth. It’s no conspiracy theory; the facts are readily available for those that care to do some research. I know of no other product/service/medication that not only has an abysmal 5-10% success rate, but also has the full backing of the US government! I look forward to your “More on this at another time…. “.

And none of this addresses a very simple fact… there is a difference between “smoking cessation” & “nicotine cessation”. I have no desire to quit nicotine… I like it. Much like I enjoy coffee. But smoking was killing me. It’s the act of combustion that creates the 4000+chemicals with conventional cigs.

In order to understand the difference between the 2, a major paradigm shift is needed. Just because it looks like smoke, doesn’t mean it is.

Please remember folks… It’s not smoke, it’s vapor.

***Disclaimer – I am an e-cig user. I switched almost a year ago from 2.5-3pks of cigs a day. I receive no compensation of any kind from any e-cig company or affiliate. This has all been my personal opinion.

#2 Jeff M. on 11.27.10 at 9:05 PM

I meant to add… thank you for writing this article. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts on the subject.

#3 Bill Godshall on 11.30.10 at 8:08 PM

E-cigarettes are far less hazardous than cigarettes because they emit no smoke. After being on the international market for six years and the US market for four years, there have been no reported health problems due to e-cigarette usage.

E-cigarettes also appear to significantly more effective for smoking cessation than NRT products, but nobody has yet conducted an expensive clinical trial on them (which is the only evidence that FDA’s drug office considers valid).

But since the vast majority of e-cigarette companies are not marketing them as smoking cessation products (but rather as cigarette substitutes), the FDA has exceeded its legal authority to classify e-cigarettes as drug devices.

Federal Judge Richard Leon agrees, and the DC Court of Appeals is likely to agree as well.

#4 OTP Kid on 12.07.10 at 5:27 AM

Bill

Are you prepared to state for the record that you have no finaincial, business, equity stake, either for yourself or via a family member, in any e-cigarette product?

This board has a right to know and you will not be deemed a credible source on this subject until you state your status for the record.

#5 OTP Kid on 12.21.10 at 2:10 PM

By DAVID KESMODEL
The Food and Drug Administration, dealt a blow this month in its effort to regulate electronic cigarettes as drug devices, isn’t walking away from the fight.

The agency on Monday filed a petition to ask the entire U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to hold a new hearing and review the FDA’s appeal, which was rejected Dec. 7 by a three-judge panel.

At issue is how the FDA should regulate a nascent industry whose products have caught on with thousands of smokers who are seeking an alternative to their daily habit. E-cigarettes are battery-powered tubes that turn nicotine-filled liquid into a vapor mist.

The appellate panel ruled that e-cigarettes should be regulated as tobacco products by the FDA, unless marketers make specific claims that the devices help smokers quit or provide other remedies.

The agency contends that e-cigarettes are drug or medical devices that require preapproval from the FDA, much like nicotine gums, patches or sprays. The agency began intercepting shipments of e-cigarettes from China two years ago, which triggered a lawsuit by the fledgling industry.

Sottera Inc., an Arizona e-cigarette distributor that joined the lawsuit as a plaintiff and some of its rivals say their products are merely recreational alternatives to cigarettes and that they haven’t marketed them as tools to wean people off nicotine. The industry’s annual sales are estimated at more than $100 million.

The appeals panel upheld a January ruling by a district judge, who granted a preliminary injunction to the e-cigarette distributors who sued the FDA.

On Monday, the agency asked the full appellate court to reinstate a stay of the preliminary injunction, pending its request for a rehearing of the case.

In its court papers, the FDA argues that the three-judge panel’s decision “rests on a clear error of law and will undermine” objectives that were laid out by Congress when it passed legislation in 2009 that empowered the FDA to regulate tobacco products for the first time.

The filing makes no mention of the fact that Bill Godshall will not deny his involvement with any Ecig product, company, or entity affiliated.

#6 texas tommy on 12.22.10 at 8:52 PM

Never happen

#7 Mike Bluestone on 05.31.11 at 1:26 PM

Safety was a concern for me as well when I first purchased an e cigarette. But given they have less than 20 ingredients in comparison to the 4000 chemicals in cigarettes i think they are the better alternative. I have a great video on my site made by an anti tobacconist and former US congressmen http://www.nicomate.com/articles/electronic-cigarettes-safe

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