Viewpoint: Leave Junior Alone About His E-Cigs

Reports of kids taking to e-cigarettes are exaggerated. But would it be so terrible if they did?

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Oli Scarff / Getty Images

Suffer the little children: When they’re not busy organizing rainbow parties, butt-chugging beer, home-brewing jenkem (look it up, preferably on an empty stomach), or dropping LSD and staring into the sun until they go blind, they are devising far-more pedestrian ways to freak out their parents.

The latest social panic related to the kids these days involves them – wait for it – experimenting with a safer alternative to smoking tobacco. What kind of monsters are we raising, exactly?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that over the past couple of years the percentage of middle- and high-school students who have ever tried electronic cigarettes has doubled. That ostensibly shocking finding has led to a rush of frenzied stories breathlessly detailing how “teens could be on the way to a life-long addiction.”

But before you drop your martini glass and start rifling through your kids’ dresser drawers looking for their stash, take a deep, calming breath. Maybe hit the yoga studio. Go to your happy place. As with most worrying trends related to kids, there’s much less here to worry about than it might seem at first blush.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered contraptions that heat and vaporize a hit of nicotine that is inhaled by the “vaper.” They are tobacco-less, and it’s the tobacco smoke that contains carcinogens. They’ve been around for about a decade and so far the science on the matter finds that they present no serious health risks to primary users or to bystanders. Boston University’s Michael Siegel stresses that e-cigarettes are an incredibly useful tool for reducing or stopping tobacco smoking altogether. “Literally hundreds of thousands of U.S. smokers have successfully quit or cut down substantially on the amount they smoke thanks to electronic cigarettes,” he writes in The New York Times. “They are helping to reduce disease among smokers and nonsmokers alike.”

During 2011-2012, reports CDC, the percentage of students in grades 6 through 12 who have tried an e-cigarette at least once bumped up from 3.3 percent to 6.8 percent. For middle schoolers, the percentage exploded all the way from 1.4 percent to 2.7 percent, while among high schoolers the numbers jumped from 4.7 percent to 10 percent.

Those numbers are for lifetime use. The percentages for “current use,” which indicates having puffed on an e-cigarette at least once in the past 30 days, are tinier still. (And not to be confused with “daily” use, which the CDC doesn’t count but must be even closer to zero.) For all students, current use grew from 1.1 percent to 2.1 percent, for middle-schoolers from 0.6 percent to 1.1 percent, and for high schoolers from 1.5 percent to 2.8 percent.

How do those fractions compare to actual use of real, carcinogenic cigarettes? Extremely favorably. According the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, by the time kids are 20 years old, about 60 percent have tried a tobacco product at least once and 35 percent report being current users (see table 2.5b).

E-cigarette use – a better term is experimentation – among kids is on the rise because the devices are growing in popularity among the legal adult population. Parents are right to pay attention to what sorts of shenanigans their children are getting up to, but there’s simply no reason to sound the alarm over kids’ growing familiarity with a safer alternative to cigarettes. As the CDC itself reports, the trend lines on smoking among all age groups remain on the downward slope.  Only the jumpiest of parents will agree with the agency’s director, Tom Frieden, who calls the rise “deeply troubling.”

Indeed, the only troubling sign surrounding e-cigarettes is not that they are gaining in popularity, but the insane – and scientifically unsound – push to ban or tightly regulate their use. As Boston University’s Seigel notes, many anti-smoking activists “oppose these products because they are blinded by ideology: they find it difficult, if not impossible, to endorse a behavior that looks like smoking, even though it is literally saving people’s lives.” That sort of blinkered attitude among prohibitionists – not Junior’s curiosity about vaping – is what’s worthy of concern.

113 comments
MickWright
MickWright

Interesting to note that of the children in the study the vast majority were in fact smokers. So if we were to draw any conclusions from this its that of children in the study that smoked very few kept using the electronic cigarette... thats worrying.

I'd also like to openly state that I am the owner of an <a href="http://stopsmoke.ie/ecig-shop/stopsmoke-e-liquid.html"> e-liquid </a>manufacturing outfit based in Ireland, not the USA. But that should not detract from the points I'm making because all of them are absolutely factual.

Moreover why on earth were children that did not smoke discounted from the study if its going to be used to extrapolate an incidence of e-cig use. Surely a representative sample is required...not weeding out all the non smokers who make up the vast majority of the population.

Lastly the whole thing is silly since the reason we don't like kids smoking is because its bad for their health and will kill them in the long run.... there is no such concern with e-cigarettes so I totally fail to see the point in pointing out the usage as if it were a public health issue.  There's no public health issue at all... just a repeated attempt to try tie electronic cigarette usage to the dangers of smoking tobacco...and that's nonsense.

Now if there is another reason why children that already smoke should not use an electronic cigarette then fair enough...anyone got such an objection?

I agree the anti-smoking lobby have seriously got an enemy here... the enemy being a device that is reducing smoking and doing it at an astounding rate. If this trend continues for just a few more years then pretty soon there will be no anti smoking lobby because there will be no smoking to lobby against.

MarkV71
MarkV71

These #'s may show an increase of under age students trying e-cigarettes, but it also shows these #'s are far fewer then those in the past trying traditional cigarettes. What does that tell us although e-cigarettes are accessible to minors there high Prices to get started make traditional cigarettes much more accessible to someone with only a $10 allowance for income.

I've personally been using e-cigs for over 3 years now and was once a 2 pack a day smoking. I have saved $1000's in the last 3 years.  I spend about $20 a week at Vapor Gurus and I used to spend over $75 a week, and I can say with out a shadow of a doubt I Feel Better. Now I'm not a doctor but I know my body. I know at 42 years old I can run around with ease and keep up with my 3 yr old and 12 yr old. I know I've been sick 2 times recovering in less then 5 days in those 3 years, and when smoking traditional cigarettes I would sick at least twice a year and recovery time would last weeks.

I always find these semi-scare tactic articles amusing. Let me throw a few things are there to bend our way of thinking a little. First off we know there is Zero Second hand smoke from e-cigarettes. This to me should right off the bat stop a lot of the debate about e-cigarettes. For years this country was very tolerant about smoking cigarette until proof of the damage second hand smoke could and does cause. Second Zero hard evidence has been found to show e-cigarettes will have long term effects. But it looks like smoking is not an excuse to bash all the positive effects e-cigarette are having on longer term smokers like myself.  E-cig are not intended to quit smoking, but a cheaper and possibly saver alternative to smoking cigarettes.

Yes e-cigs and e-cig starter kits do contain nicotine in most cases, but correct me if I'm wrong isn't nicotine about as dangerous as caffeine??  I believe every state should have age restrictions like tobacco and alcohol to help prevent distribution to minors, but I see absolutely no proof of why it should go any further then age restrictions. Unless of course if we are going to make caffeine age restricted or take beer and wine out of every gas station cooler that is located right next to the soda eye level to any 2 year old.

Thank you 

Mark

sachas886
sachas886

Just for the record, I am in no way promoting nicotine consumption to juveniles, or anyone else for that matter. I am only attempting to alleviate the social stigma that nicotine in and of itself is so dangerous and evil.

Here are some links for anybody who wishes to read some unbiased facts on nicotine:

http://www.tobaccoharmreduction.org/faq/nicotine.htm

http://examine.com/supplements/Nicotine/

http://www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/is-nicotine-really-any-different-than-caffeine-20130620

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2012/01January/Pages/nicotine-replacement-patches-for-dementia-alzheimers.aspx

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/drugs-alcohol/nicotine-health-benefits.htm

http://www.livestrong.com/article/426413-caffeine-nicotine-addiction/

*You may need to copy & paste, as my PC has been malfunctioning* 

fauxsapient
fauxsapient

Wow, way to compare a very prevelant substance addiction to a few urban myths with maybe between 0-5 actual documented cases!  Kind of like saying 'Stop Worrying About ADHD, A Toddler Once Shot Another Toddler!".  Nothing more transparent than some stock holding 'opinion' writer pushing their product.  Nice try, I'm sure some of these dopers are fooled.  Hell, why not push them into candy ampetimines for their attention problems, then some nice oxy chasers to keep their nerves calm!?  You can always buy some stock in Adderall and Oxycodone!

Seriously? Jenkem?  You clearly have NO IDEA what you're talking about here, opinion totally moot.  Like listening to ol' Randy Hearst talk about how you'll murder your family with an axe if you try that evil marijuana smoke.  Unbelievable shock and awe BS to push a very real, very addictive substance on kids, deplorable.  Hope you're getting those big dividends!!

As for anyone who buys this drivel, Jenkem basically amounts to a joke in drug culture.  It is not prevelant.  There may have been a couple kids who stared into the sun on acid, but let's face it folks, if LSD was that ridiculous the entire baby boomer generation would be brain dead, blind or worse.  Butt chugging, wow, maybe on Jacka55 the Movie, maybe in some frat house for the pledges, but again, these are about the most ridiculous  cited examples for how teens are acting stupid I can think of.

It would've been a little more credible if you started talking about getting herpes and hepatitis playing beer pong, or railing their Adderall prescriptions like poor man's cocaine, but the minute you mention jenkem and butt chugging you sound like a total tool.  What a joke.

Don't smoke kids.  Definitely don't smoke some technological BS that no one has even vetted the safety of yet.  Remember it took 30+ years of science for anyone to 'report' that 'nicotine is addicitve'.  50+ to tell us that asbestos is really a death sentence, and also pushing the trans fats in margarine for how many decades before realizing that the substitute is worse than butter! The FDA also used heroin to treat morphine addiction, believe it, but don't believe anything about some new fangled crap out there.  Patches, gum, e-cigs, it's all a hugely profitable money making industry.  I smoked for 17 years, tried all the BS nicotine replacement therapies you can imagine, and guess what?! The only thing that worked was COLD #@(&$ING TURKEY!

As for these commentators, don't be naive.  Tobacco isn't an addictive drug, it's a plant, the nicotine contained within is the drug, and nicotine is the most addictive substance known to human kind.

MichaelDavidSlowik
MichaelDavidSlowik

E Cigs contain Poly Glycol look that up on Google and you will never smoke another Ecig again

SachaSinger
SachaSinger

Scientific publications have revealed that nicotine, although mildly addictive, is actually beneficial for warding off, or improving symptoms of diseases and disorders such as Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and ADHD/ADD. In fact, caffeine has been found to be just as dangerous/addictive as nicotine is.

Both are stimulants that have the potential to increase blood pressure and restrict blood flow to the heart, and both are considered to be addictive drugs, yet I don’t see anyone protesting Starbucks, Monster/energy drinks, tea, or chocolate. In regards to vaping versus traditional cigarettes; it is not the just nicotine that the smoker is addicted to- if that were the case nicotine patches and gum would have a much higher success rate. Big Tobacco puts 4,000+ other chemicals in their products, and that my friends is what the user becomes addicted to. Big Tobacco is here to stay, and I find it to be extremely ignorant to begrudge a person for wanting to partake in a safer alternative to smoking. Furthermore, recent SCIENTIFIC studies conducted on the effects of e-cigarettes have neglected to find a legitimate harm to its users or bystanders.

 On another note, electric cigarettes aren't being marketed towards kids/teens, I don’t understand the logic behind these statements. Does the public really think that adults don’t enjoy chocolate, watermelon and raspberry flavors? I agree that teens should not use nicotine, they shouldn't ingest caffeine either since it’s just as harmful and addictive, but I dare you to demand that they give up soda and chocolate for a week and see how well that works for you. The truth is they’re probably going to try a lot of things that you don’t tolerate, because that’s what growing up is all about-experimenting. If I were to catch one of my kids with an e-cigarette, I wouldn't be thrilled but I can honestly say that I’d be relieved that it wasn’t a cancer stick. 

LisaBelle
LisaBelle

@Scott_Wilson after you read this:http://cagecanada.blogspot.ca/2010/12/beliefs-manipulation-and-lies-in.htmlhttp://cagecanada.blogspot.ca/2010/12/beliefs-manipulation-and-lies-in.html  Could you honestly tell me why it's okay to OVER TAX ONE GROUP MORE THAN ANY OTHER, For almost a century, one group of people for their choice to use nicotine!  Now being used In doses so low and delivery methods so safe as compared to smoking.  First understand that one group of people have paid for yours and my children's public educations SMOKERS have paid with their wallets and their lives, todays educators, tell our children from Kindergarten forward that SMOKING KILLS! It worked for my two Sons, both grew up with both parents smoking.  They don't smoke!  They had middle school and high school friends that did, but they don't?  Where are those statistics on teens that don't smoke even when their parents do!! Applauds to the martyred lives of 100's or millionw or people who have died from inhaling CARCINOGENIC TOBACCO SMOKE  IS STILL LEGAL and by ANY means teenagers will smoke if they choose to!


Our money taxed  a huge % out of our pay checks, $6.00 on a pack of cigarettes, that's deep pockets,  these dollars are spent dollars for the education our children, and these kids KNOW SMOKE KILLS by the time their in 1st Grade! 

Robert Molimard

When contaminated by pesticides such as Gaucho ® or Regent ®, a bee becomes disoriented and can no longer find its hive or its wild flowers of choice. We cannot solve a problem if the messages are muddled. Undeniably, disturbing one’s sense of orientation and muddling communication hinders rational thought and behavior. Lies and manipulations are the weapons of choice for political and economic gains without regard for the well-being of people or the survival of the planet.

Tobacco manufacturers and merchants, the state, self-righteous non-profit organizations, the pharmaceutical industry - all powerful entities involved in tobacco issues - are ready to do anything to promote their own agendas. In a curious collusion, they all seem to be quite content with a general state of public confusion in which scientific truth has no place, and where the smoker, convinced of his own guilt, has become the apathetic victim. 


MikeW
MikeW

Next the'll make flavored coffee and get kids hooked on caffeine, oh, wait. ;-)

LisaBelle
LisaBelle

What is deeply troubling are his deep pockets!

RodgerAMeyer
RodgerAMeyer

Truth, thanks for stating what should be obvious.

asti
asti

Thank you for this wonderful article, it's factual, enlightened and included some humor along the way!  E-cigs are a much safer alternative and really will Not lead to upgrading to traditional tobacco - not one single case has been documented in 10 years.

jzmcgriggs
jzmcgriggs

I assure you a coke is much worse for your body than an e cig.   Vaping should be promoted and cigarettes should be banned.

DoctorShredd
DoctorShredd

Wow. This guy doesn't get it. Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known. By letting kids get hooked they will likely try cigarettes or just continue with the e-cigs. In either case, money wasted and actual health problems are the concern. Nicotine is not benign. Yes, tar is what hurts the lungs but nicotine contributes to heart disease and atherosclerosis. The study he quoted is misrepresented it looks at 'contaminants' in smoke vs smokeless cigs and ignores nicotone. Does the astronomical rate of vascular and heart disease in smokers vome from smoke? No the lung filters it out. Its the nicotine, silly. Just cuz it's smokeless doesn't make it safe, doofus. And we're catering to an industry that wants us hooked do we keep buying their products. Jeez. Is this author on the Phillip Morris payroll or what? Talk about crap journalism. And finally, I don't care if a person wants to smoke themselves into their grave. It's their business. But I do care that my tax dollars pay for their ill health caused by this stuff through Medicare and Medicaid. If you smoke you should sign a waiver that other taxpayers shouldn't foot the bill for your stupid habit.

fauxsapient
fauxsapient

I'd also like to state that, since I've been there, it seems rather apparent to me that a lot of the defense against nicotine itself in these comments amounts to little more than 'Junkie Thinking', basically (in this case) trying so hard to justify the positive benefits of its use that you become riddled with confirmation bias, and will treat anything that espouses your viewpoint as canon, without vetting it for journalistic (or scientific) integrity.

Finally, there is one very obvious and documented risk of 'vaping' regardless of nicotine content: increased susceptibility to pneumonia (you're inhaling water vapor, it only follows).  That's just the obvious one.  Give it 30 years, took more than that for the Big Tobacco companies to finally admit they spent 40+years and billions of dollars covering up or undermining any study that even said nicotine was addictive, let alone harmful.

fauxsapient
fauxsapient

@sachasinger1986Right, CLEARLY unbiased: "Nicotine may carry some health benefits with it, but the problem has been 'the delivery system,' says Don deBethizy. DeBethizy is the CEO of Targacept, a biotech company spun off from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company."  

No conflicts of interest there, huh.

The wikipedia page for Nicotine is pretty straightforward, and heavily sourced.  It basically finds most positive benefits inconclusive (i.e. is it the nicotine or the dopamine release when getting your 'fix', etc) and finds many negative and positive correlations between very similar illnesses, so again, inconclusive.  There 'may be' some benefits in certain areas of the brain, etc, et al, but again, inconclusive.  Just because someone is 'doing a study' doesn't mean that there is anything of use to find.  Yes, not burning the plant matter does reduce the carginogens involved, but there is very little to no hard data (rather, again very inconclusive) as to the harmful long term effects of the 'vaping' chemicals.  Nor would eliminating the plant smoke do much of anything to prevent the constriction of blood vessals, the heart disease risk or risk of stroke, etc.

As a former smoker of nearly 20 years, and a user of all mess of these replacement therapies, I am telling you they are dangerous.  Risk of overdose, risk of incredible drug dependance, risk of heart attack, stroke, etc.  Caffeine isn't a saint, that's for sure, but coffee happens to be chalk full of antioxidants and is a calorie/sugar free drink (in its basic state).  Not to mention it doesn't need to be run through some kind of 'vaping element' atomizer or turned into some disgusting chemical stew first either, so comparing the two is apples to oranges.  It also may be addictive (coffee), but the withdrawal is basically nil and the 'dosing' is far less frequent by orders of magnitude in terms of time from last use to withdrawal symptoms setting in.  I have one cup of coffee a day.  I smoked 30+ cigarettes a day and guess what, one is too many and 1,000 is never enough.  It's night and day really, so much so that comparing the two smacks of bias and hidden agenda, frankly.

MickWright
MickWright

@MichaelDavidSlowik


Or alternatively you might do the same since its propylene glycol not 'poly glycol'... because being the smart arse you are, you know that typing 'poly glycol' into Google will result in returns for polyethylene glycol which is absolutely toxic and not Propylene Glycol the ingredient that makes vapour in electronic cigarettes. 

Seriously trying to get vapers to look up the wrong ingredient .. is that the level of dirty tricks engaged in now... go for it... because all you are doing is tightening the Chinese finger puzzle pal!

Nice try ... no cigar!

... and you use propylene glycol yourself... you'll find it in your kitchen on the back of about 20% of the products you have in bottles.

PG is classified as perfectly safe and has been for a very long time... long before it was used in e-cigarettes....

...and even so e-liquid can also use just Glycerine...

If it were dangerous than I'm sure at least one of the 100 million users might be feeling a little ill right now... since that hasn't happened... then your statement is to be honest pointless.

Here's wikis listing for propylene glycol... the references at the bottom will add to your knowledge... no dangers... perfectly safe...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propylene_glycol

SachaSinger
SachaSinger

@MichaelDavidSlowikActually, e-cigs or rather the nicotine based liquid (e-juice) used for e-cigs is composed of VG and/or PG. PG is short for Propylene glycol which is an organic compound that’s found in many foods such as flavored coffee, cakes/frosting, ice cream, salad dressing, etc. Studies have shown that the known long term/short term risks of PG is very low (unless someone is allergic to it of course) what’s more, it’s approved by the FDA.  Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is not an ingredient used in e-juice. Google it :)

DoctorShredd
DoctorShredd

Mildly addictive? It is the most addictive legal substance around. The point here is that if you want to take nicotine for your own libertarian personal pleasure, be my guest. But allowing misinformation to promote nicotine addiction among children who then are addicted for life is evil. To say there are no ill effects is complete insanity. Heart disease, atherosclerosis, birth defects and breast cancer have direct connections with nicotine use. If you want to blast your body with stuff, go ahead but if my tax dollars pay for your stupid addiction and the effects that manifest in your 60's when you are on Medicare, your libertarian ideas become hypocritical drivel.

Yoshi
Yoshi

@SachaSingerInteresting that you mention Alzheimers. A 2009 study indicates that Nicotine removes the ability of estrogen to protect the brain's memory formation and retention areas.

 I'd be interested to see these studies. Have you any links?


AlanSelk
AlanSelk

@DoctorShredd Essentially everything you said about nicotine is a lie. Decades of studies on swedish snus have shown no connection between nicotine and heart disease. Also no connection to cancer or any of the other diseases associated with smoking. What the science tells us is that it is the smoke that kills, not tobacco or nicotine. The studies are quite clear in showing that low TSNA smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes are about 99% less harmful then inhaling smoke. 

You need to take a serious unbiased look at the studies instead of pushing a prohibitionist stance based on ideology. 

RodgerAMeyer
RodgerAMeyer

@DoctorShredd New Flash, kids are already trying cigarettes. I'd rather they try a product that is available without nicotine and the other too many to list issues of cigarettes than actual cigarettes. I haven't even seen a tobacco cigarette available without nicotine.

Scott_Wilson
Scott_Wilson

@DoctorShredd There is more nicotine in tomatoes than there is in an e-cig. Should we ban tomatoes? Where do you get your misinformation?

MickWright
MickWright

@fauxsapient Fine ... maybe you should tell that to the 30% of vapers who use zero or close to zero levels of nicotine in their device... Because they are lining up to defend their use of vaporisers too... and they seem to state exactly the same defence mounted by those using the standard 12 or 18 mg strength...

Are they 'Junkies' too?

The positive benefits of vaping for me...is I like the taste of the juice, I enjoy it, I know its doing nobody any harm not even me... and I absolutely abhor others who in their mind equate vaping with cigarettes and then insist the same rules for smoking should apply to me. No they bloody well should not! Even things that stop smoking you have a problem with because you haven't got the guts to admit what they are doing despite it 'looking like' smoking is not smoking... thats not their problem though is it? If you have a problem with this activity you need to look a little closer to home.

In my case the 'Junkie Thinking' in this case is 'Stop telling me what I can, and cannot do... I decide that... not you'. If I want to vape 100mg a day of nicotine that's my  business... not yours... essentially there's no public health risk, no risk to me...I'm spending my money not yours and even if there was a risk to me its still none of your business But there's certainly no risk to you...

The only risk a vaper poses to you is that they no longer contribute about $600 a year extra in taxes... but I doubt that's a good reason to insist they should  go back to cigarettes...which after vaping they would find less enjoyable anyway. 

But you are free to go off and demonstrate a risk to you if you like and use that.... 

Moreover why not spend some time popping down to a rock climbing club or parachute club and telling the folks there how dangerous it is and that you think there should be regulation that bans it ...because of the health risks... we know parachutists and rock climbers die all the time... one of them might fall on a child!

Anyway do that and see what the reaction is... if they defend their activity clearly they are 'adrenaline and dopamine junkies' and their defense is just 'Junkie Thinking'... obviously free from the dangers of rock climbing and its addictive nature you know best....

evader1982
evader1982

@fauxsapient  

Well lets start off by stating like you so gloriously did, I have also "been there" as a smoker but e-cigs are different. How about you have an open mind and show me some hard evidence to support your claims, it seems like everyone is willing to dog something especially if they have not tried it like im sure your aware. You sucked on the end of that butt for how long?  and then you sit there in your chair and condemn someone else for being a " junkie" how are you any better?!! and it is much healthier than the 4000+ chemicals and 62 known carcinogens that you put in your body for how long?  so Mr. self righteous how healthy are you? I vape by choice cause I like the flavor of my e-juice and the lowered risk of health problems. That's right I said "lowered risk of health problems" cause what is really healthy nowadays? your cup of coffee has more caffeine in milligrams than my entire bottle of e-juice, so put that in your pipe and smoke it buddy!! And you show me one case of pneumonia from vaping and i will show you a lie. Its one thing to quote fact and its another thing to make sh*t up, man get real! Have a open mind for a change in your life. You also waited and smoked that whole time folks were saying that cigarettes were bad for you,  you are a total hypocrite and uneducated in your assumptions of e-cigs and nicotine. Go read a readers digests some more or pick up the national enquirer for some more of your "facts" 

sachas886
sachas886

@fauxsapient 

In order for nicotine to be considered lethal, a person would have to ingest/inhale 100% pure nicotine which doesn’t exist via e-cigarettes. And yes nicotine CAN be harmful for certain people with a predisposition to a heart attack and/or stroke, but again, the amount of nicotine needed to cause a heart attack or other aliment is so immense that I find it to be highly unlikely for nicotine to be the sole cause. Moreover, your precious coffee can create the same hazards.

The very first electronic cigarette was patented in 1965, granted it didn’t commercialize but the technology was there. In addition, Big Tobacco wasn’t trying to hide the fact that nicotine is addictive; they were hiding the 4,000+ chemicals and 62 carcinogens that are known to cause cancer.

Defending caffeine in such a passionate mode suggests that you must be a coffee junkie, but unlike you, I don’t believe that I have the right to judge you for partaking in your choice of legal stimulant. However, I must point out that there have been many studies pertaining to the lethal effects that caffeine poses to its users. How many teens are addicted to energy drinks, how many lawsuits are contributed to deaths and health problems associated with 5 hour energy and other high dose caffeine products? Do some unbiased research on nicotine and caffeine, and I’m not referring to Wikipedia because that site isn’t a sustainable reference.I’m sure you will find, much like nicotine, caffeine has the potential to pose the same health hazards, yet coffee isn’t going anywhere and it shouldn’t be banned because Americans still have a little bit of freedom left to enjoy their pursuit of happiness.

It’s wonderful that you feel that you have the authority to speak for the world when you claim that nicotine is more addictive than caffeine, I admire your confidence. However, I personally know that withdrawing from daily caffeine intake is very real for many people, and guess what? The affects are similar if not identical to nicotine withdrawals’, and it makes sense since they both fit into the same drug category. Have a cup of coffee and relax, you can’t change/rule the world, and it’s okay. I will refrain from opposing your obliviousness in the future because I get the impression that you’re set in your ways and I’d hate to give you a heart attack.

AlanSelk
AlanSelk

@fauxsapient There are plenty of studies that show that long term use of nicotine (and for that matter tobacco) has minimal long term risk, if any. You do have to look to Sweden to find it as there are about 150 studies that show snus, a form of low TSNA smokeless tobacco, has risk so low that any harm essentially doesn't show up in large scale population studies. It certainly is a long way from junkie thinking. 

It was those studies that pointed out quite clearly that nicotine is not the problem and simply is not the cause of diseases we associate with smoking. Studies on US made smokeless tobacco are now showing similar results. The only rational conclusion that can be made is that it is the smoke that kills, not tobacco or nicotine. 

You appear to be trying to equate inhaling tars, and all the other bi-products of combustion with water vapor. The idea of is well out on a limb. I do hope you don't jump. 

MickWright
MickWright

@fauxsapient @sachas886 

Caffeine is turned into a disgusting stew with other chemicals... notably cream, sugar, water and several other additives. In fact the resulting stew is a mucky brown liquid...And worse than being inhaled its actually ingested....  If nicotine is considered dangerous at the levels absorbed by vapers then equally caffeine need to be regulated just the same.

The hard data regarding nicotine as a non carcinogen is ubiquitous. I'm not sure when the last poisoning was in the USA but you have to go back to 1971 in the UK! 

The other ingredients in e-liquid are equally tested and known to not be carcinogenic with the exception of several known flavourings and even they are less carcinogenic than a slice of toast!

If there was a risk of overdose with an e-cigarette then give n the 100 million or more vapers it should have occurred at least once by now after a decade and that has not happened. 

So I'm sure there is a risk of that... but its demonstrably less than 100 million to one per annum... there's a greater chance of the planet being hit by a killer asteroid which is one in 70 million per year and would doubtless kill a lot more!

Drug dependence is not a killer or a health issue.... not if the user wishes to be addicted to the drug and its doing them no harm... I draw your attention to your own defence of coffee. Plus if their addiction is doing you no harm too I see no reason why you need to be concerned at all. I'm not concerned about your abuse of caffeine using the delivery system of a cup and hot water with additives...why on earth you feel you can engage in that activity but that my activity of vaping is something you should have any input into astounds me to be honest.

You too are falling into the trap of comparing vaping to smoking. Its not smoking....the differences are so startling that the two cannot be considered other than as opposites in a comparison of health issues. Apples and Oranges as you pointed out!

You can tell every vaper in the world what they are doing is dangerous if you like but your authority on the matter is negligible since the science done on each element to date and the complex interations between those limited ingredients is both conclusive and the current consensus in the scientific world almost total... e-cigs are not dangerous. Every study... every study states they are not dangerous... I doubt there's a single product on the market other than e-cigs that has such a body of knowledge that attests to safety do well.

I'd actually welcome a study comparing e-cig vapour to the air you are breathing right now because my guess is the e-cig vapour will win in the field of 'safety'. We know that more folks dies from toxins in the air every year than die even from tobacco....

The heart and capillary restriction issue for example addressed by clinical trials... no dangers 

The carcinogenic issues addressed likewise ...no dangers

The cytotoxic effects on human cells ...again humans trials ... no health issues not toxic... 

Every single time there is 'its dangerous this way or that way' on later investigation in studies turned out to be utter rubbish. Moreover there are a huge bank of very large players in the pharmaceutical and tobacco industry that would just love to uncover a danger... If after 5 years worth of funding flung at the problem by them they cannot find a problem I pretty much think your authority on the matter is pointless.

In this case you are citing dangers that not unknowns...you are citing dangers known by study and experimentation, observation to not be dangers at all just worries that folks had that were later demonstrated to be unfounded!

You can't make e-cigs be dangerous...and you certainly can't overdose on e-cig vapour either... there is not a single case of that. If we were to use that argument automobiles should be banned since they absolutely DO kill folks every year.

MickWright
MickWright

@ZombieTech @MichaelDavidSlowik

The purpose is requesting folks search for POLY GLYCOL is because Google returns listings for polyethylene glycol  if you search for that... essentially he's trying to get folks to look up a dangerous toxin and confuse it with PG...

AllanGabston-Howell
AllanGabston-Howell

@DoctorShreddUnfortunately, statements like this are based upon evidence that is derived from the study of tobacco use, and the difficulty of setting-aside that particular habit.  These results have been erroneously attributed to nicotine alone, when it would have been more correct to discuss the combined effects of the host of other alkaloids derived from tobacco combustion, in conjunction with nicotine.

Please try to remember this before making statements, such as the above:  Whilst discussing the supposed addictive properties of nicotine, please focus only upon the evidence derived from studies of the ingestion of non-synthetic, nicotine isolate (CAS 54-11-5); which clearly demonstrate that nicotine, in and of itself, is no more addictive than caffeine.

You would also do well to reference the increasing body of evidence which set-forth the demonstrated benefits of nicotine ingestion; if not to disseminate to the public in discussions, such as these, then, at least, for your own edification.  Sadly, it is clear that you haven't even referenced the relevant Wikipedia article on the alkaloid; which is unforgivable, as a supposed medical professional, in that this would be a nearly effortless step on your part to educate yourself in preparation for a rational discussion of this topic.

AlanSelk
AlanSelk

@DoctorShredd You information on the dangers of nicotine is simply a lie. The only one that would stand the light of day is birth defects (actually a very slight decrease in birth weight) but even there the dangers of smoking on the fetus is a good deal greater then nicotine. 

Nicotine does not cause heart disease, atheroclerosis, or breast cancer. In fact what the studies show is that people who use low TSNA smokeless tobacco (and very likely electronic cigarettes though there are no long term studies as of yet because the product has not been around long enough) have essentially the same health outcomes as non-tobacco users. 

Yoshi
Yoshi

@AlanSelk @DoctorShredd Not to be "prohibitionist". Simply wondering why the habit should be encouraged, especially in children? Why become a contributor to the tobacco companies? What have they done for society at large beside "chain" people to their unnecessary and often deadly products? How many unnecessary bills for addiction does a person need? Nicotine is not good for anyone, nor is it needed in their systems. Doesn't matter how safely it's delivered. You want it? have it. I would rather you didn't make it look "cool" to children, though. A point of social etiquette, really.

Yoshi
Yoshi

@Scott_Wilson @DoctorShredd Rubbish. The trace amount of Nicotine in a tomato is negligible. It's not even listed in the published chemical composition or nutrition tables of tomatoes.

 Why encourage addiction of any sort?

fauxsapient
fauxsapient

@evader1982 @fauxsapient 

Getting a little butthurt, are we?  Of course there's less nicotine in your little toy than in my cup of coffee, dipsh#t.  FACT: it would take about 50-60mg of nicotine on the tongue to kill a 160lbs human, it would take well over 10,000mg of caffeine to do the same.

Frankly though, I'm embarrassed to have even replied to, you are the epitome of internet troll, nothing to add but insults and mudslinging psuedo-facts.  Happy trails 'Darth'.

fauxsapient
fauxsapient

@sachasinger1986 "FINAL NOTE" You can fool yourself all you want about your 'weaning yourself', but your defense of nicotine amounts to junkie thinking.  Furthermore, you can't consider yourself 'quitting' a drug, when all you're doing is replacing the delivery mechanism.  Nictotine is nicotine is nicotine.  That's like saying I 'weaned' myself off of coffee using vivarin and no-doze.  Dumb.  Try cold turkey next time, that's how you 'quit' doing a drug.

sachas886
sachas886

@fauxsapient  

Final note: Big Tobacco doesn't own the rights or patents to electric cigarettes. It's true that they own Blue cigarettes which are advertised on t.v. and in magazines, but the reality is that the main reason that e-cigarettes have created this much controversy is because Big Tobacco wants to own the legals rights to nicotine based liquid. If what I have been using to SUCCESSFULLY wean myself off of nicotine were, in fact, owned by Big Tobacco we wouldn't be having this discussion because the power of money would have bought off the FDA, and their would be no talk of regulation. 

fauxsapient
fauxsapient

@AlanSelk You're absolutely right that e-cigs have no long terms studies (nor any stringent oversight as to they're contents).  You must either be an expert chemist or a soothsayer, because you seem to also be able to see into the future, and know precisely what hundreds of unregulated corporations are putting into their little chemical sludges for people to puff on.

Nicotine is notoriously easy to overdose on.  Try sticking a box of Nicoderm patches on your body, Mr. Confident, then we'll see how quickly your mind changes.  Why do you think the Nicotrol inhalers are no longer on the market? Insanely high risk of overdose and/or poisoning (just pop off the plastic inhaler peice and chew/swallow the gauzy fume-producing bits).  Or maybe just go eat a box of the nicotine lozenges, or chew a few packs of Nicorette and swallow?  I'd love to see you come back here and try to type after a few bouts of this type of real-world research.

Don't be niave.  I suppose I could have been wrong about your 'snus' product, but here in the states it's relatively new to the market.  If you're talking about chewing tobacco as we know it here, than you're as dumb as you are long-winded, cause that crap is fiberglass laden mouth cancer in a tin.

Sounds to me like you've got a lot more bias towards selling this crap as safe than I do telling the public to be skeptical.  Not to mention the fact that no matter how you sit here and try to slice it, becoming addicted to nicotine is not a positive thing, by any stretch of the imagination.  Addition IN AND OF ITSELF carries with it incredible amounts of stigma, health and mental problems, lifestyle problems, MONEY problems, etc et al... it doesn't matter what drug we're talking about or how safe the delivery, and the fact remains that nicotine is still the most addictive substance known to man.


AlanSelk
AlanSelk

@fauxsapient @AlanSelk Snus has been on the market in Sweden for about 200 years, which is actually a good deal longer then cigarettes which only became popular after WW1. The studies date bake to the 1960s. What I was pointing out with the snus studies is that it is clear that nicotine has minimal risk. The science is quite clear on that. 

You stated that nicotine "still has an incredible risk of overdose, as well as dramatically increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke". That is simply a lie and there is no science to back that up. In fact the science points in an entirely different direction. The risk for overdose of nicotine is almost zero. If there was an incredible risk for overdose I would assume people would be dropping like flies, but that is not what is happening. It is essentially impossible for a tobacco/nicotine user to overdose. Nicotine is not at all like heroin or alcohol where the possibility of overdose if very real. Smoking may eventually kill a person, but never from an overdose. 

The increased risk from heart disease, while present, is very small. When it is stated that smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes are about 99% less harmful then smoking the 1% is the risk from heart disease. The numbers are very small for smokeless tobacco and far less then that of smoking. There is some good numbers in this that show the actual risk

http://www.aaphp.org/Resources/Documents/Dr%20Nitzkin%27s%20Lecture%20AAPHPSavingSmokers0608%20lecture.pdf

While electronic cigarettes have no long term studies (simply because they haven't been around long enough) there is simply nothing in them that could cause anything like the issues we have with inhaling smoke. The toxicity of vapor is hundreds of time less then smoke and the possibility of finding some boogie man down the road is about zero. 

fauxsapient
fauxsapient

@AlanSelk First of all, how can any 'long term study' exist for a product that has been on the shelves less than 10 years?  Secondly, I'm certainly not conflating the inhalation of combusted plant material with water vapor.

Sorry to say, but whatever the method, no one is ingesting pure nicotine.  The delivery system will always make a difference, whether it be through the skin (via patch, snus, gel, etc), or through the stomach, or the lungs.  There is always a delivery mechanism, and the newer the delivery system, the more immature the scientific data regarding that delivery.

Lastly, nicotine itself, in its purest, unadulterated form, is still the most addictive substance known to us, still has an incredible risk of overdose, as well as dramatically increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke (due entirely to the affect it has on the body, it's a drug!) through constriction of blood vessels and increased heart rate.  Sure, studies might show now that it 'may' aid in the regeneration of blood vessels in certain cases, but that doesn't mean the affect of the drug doesn't still constrict them and lead to higher risks of the aforementioned complications.

I'm not a doctor, but it seems pretty plain to me that there is still a major health risk here, the technology is in its infancy (literally), and the science just isn't there yet.  And if history teaches us anything, anything at all, it's that in these particular instances, the capitalist marketplace is exceedingly talented at keeping us all clamoring for more of their insanely addictive products while downplaying any existing/known/future risks of usage.  It's called the bottom line, and when you combine it with lack of time for unbiased study, it's a recipe for a number of horrors we've come to realize we were all fooled into believing in the 'safety' of.  Tobacco was one of those.   Feel free to trust them, and the studies they fund, I won't.  History teaches, learn from it.

SachaSinger
SachaSinger

@DoctorShreddNicotine is considered the most addictive drug, but that’s only because it’s classified under a tobacco cigarette. Don’t take my word for it, enlighten your narrow minded views and do some research. Tobacco is NOT present in e-cigs! And there is a much greater amount of nicotine in a single cigarette than there is in an e-cigarette. I suppose that you believe that people shouldn’t be able to quit cigarettes with gum and patches too-that kind of attitude sounds like the CEO for big tobacco, setting people up to failure “why exchange one nicotine addiction for another? Just keep puffing on that cigarette containing 4,000+ chemicals and carcinogens. It’s like lining up the cattle up for slaughter- governmental population control. E-cigarettes have been shown to be more successful in helping people quit traditional cigarettes, moreover, they are less dangerous that Chantix and the patch. I know this from research and personal experience. I was a teen smoker, a pack a day from age 13 until I finally quit at the age of 26.  I tried to quit cold turkey, patch, gum, and Wellbutrin, but nothing worked. For 13 years I was a slave to Big Tobacco (I still get the dumb Marlboro coupons in the mail) I have now quit for over a year and ½, it’s a major accomplishment for me, but it wasn’t easy. My doctor is thrilled that I was able to quit with electronic cigarettes, and my health is remarkably better than it was. When I was smoking analog cigarettes, I used to get sick 5 or more times a year with a sore throat or a respiratory illness, but since I’ve switched to e-cigs I haven’t even had a cold. *knock on wood* I used to have problems breathing whenever I ran or used the stairs (I was eventually prescribed an albuterol inhaler.)

 When I made the decision to quit tobacco, I started out smoking the GreenSmart living e-cig cartridges from my local 7 eleven, then I moved on to the ego batteries and e-juice. I began my nicotine level at the highest 2.4 mg and gradually weaned myself down to the lowest nicotine level at 0.6 mg. I have tried to get my friends and family to switch to water vapor, but truth is it’s not nearly as satisfying as a regular cigarette so unless the person seriously wants to quit, they won’t make the transition. Why won’t the nicotine alone help people switch to e-cigs? Because they’re addicted to more than just nicotine. That’s why a homeless man would rather buy a pack of cigarettes over a sandwich, and that’s why a person would rather get amputated than quit smoking. Nicotine isn’t the problem, do some research on the chemicals and carcinogens found in cigarettes- many of which are composed to trigger the pleasure receptors in the brain. I would expect a “surgeon” to know this information already.

Hypocrisy is alive and well, keep on drinking your lattes and feeling superior just because you don’t use nicotine. =)

DoctorShredd
DoctorShredd

Furthermore on the 'mildly addictive' note, as a surgeon I have had patients who would rather have feet or breasts amputated than quit smoking. That statement could only have been made by a tobacco industry stooge. And I forgot to mention the financial impact nicotine addiction has On people. Why is it a homeless person buys cigs before food when handed money?

AnnieGabston-Howell
AnnieGabston-Howell

@SachaSinger @Yoshi The link won't work if you simply click on it, but if you copy it and paste it into a browser address bar, it will take you to the correct page.

SachaSinger
SachaSinger

@Yoshi  On second thought, something must be wrong with my laptop cause that link doesn't work either. Search the net for the keywords science daily; nicotine Alzheimer's and it should pop up =)

cigarbabe2
cigarbabe2

@AlanSelk @Yoshi @DoctorShredd Kudos to you Alan for exposing the reasons why these "anti smoking extremist's" hate that vapers have found a singularly unique viable and pleasurable method for getting rid of their tobacco habits.

You can cry "what about the children" all you like but I've yet to see a single ad specifically directed towards children and not adults.If there really was an ad we'd have seen it by now. Stop all the lies and misinformation spewed by these anti smoking extremists and the organizations that fund them!

C.B.

AlanSelk
AlanSelk

@Yoshi @AlanSelk @DoctorShredd You are confusing the issues with a very irrational argument. What is really happening is people are finding out the truth that there are ways of using tobacco and nicotine that are vastly less harmful then inhaling smoke. What you appear to be arguing is that we not inform the public about products that can reduce their risk by about 99%. 

Dependency may (or may not) be a problem, but the harm caused by inhaling smoke is undeniable. Unless you are willing to ban all tobacco and nicotine, which is a guaranteed to be a disaster, the only ethical thing to do is tell the truth that low TSNA smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes are far less risky then smoking and encourage people unable or unwilling to quit to switch. That would indeed be a very good thing. 

Yoshi
Yoshi

@AlanSelk @Yoshi @DoctorShredd Part of what problem? You still haven't addressed the question of WHY addiction should be ENCOURAGED. In the "real world" nobody needs Nicotine in their body. I smoked, loved it, and defended smoking for over three decades. I was wrong and am paying the price, now. Addiction to any substance should not be encouraged, especially in children. Touting the safety of this new nicotine delivery system does not diminish the reality of addiction. Nicotine is a very large and lucrative "hook" that is very difficult (for most) to remove once "set". Please explain why this a good thing. That "people are getting something out of it" is not a rational argument. People get something out of killing others, too, should that be encouraged, as well?

AlanSelk
AlanSelk

@Yoshi @AlanSelk @DoctorShredd There are over one billion people worldwide that use some form of tobacco product. If people weren't getting something out of it we wouldn't have those numbers. You can close you eyes and play make-believe all you want that by some miracle everyone will stop using tobacco (including youth), but it really is nothing more than a utopian fantasy. 

In the meantime here in the real world people continue to die because of smoking. It is not tobacco or nicotine that is killing people, but the dirty method of delivery by inhaling smoke. If you have a problem with people using products that are about 99% less harmful then smoking have at it, but at this point you are part of the problem, and a long long way from offering any real solutions to the over one billion people on the planet besides preaching an abstinence only approach. 

Yoshi
Yoshi

@Scott_Wilson @Yoshi Take a breath, Scott.

 Having smoked a little over thirty years, I am actually qualified to comment here. While I have read many an anecdote on smokers quitting using e-cigs, I must offer that e-cigs simply transfer the nicotine addiction to another avenue. Those smokers haven't stopped their addiction. They can easily go back to tobacco should there be some difficulty with e-cigs (like their expense). My uncle has smoked over forty years and lately switched to e-cigs. He has no intention of quitting. He failed to quit many times.and finally gave up.  The addict quits when he's ready to quit and not until. I quit after deciding to quit, and used no pills or transfers (like e-cigs or gum or patches). Why encourage the habit at all? It's not good for us, and nobody NEEDS it. Why not encourage eating well, or, exercising? 

Scott_Wilson
Scott_Wilson

@Yoshi Why lie about how dangerous nicotine is? Do you want the thousands of people that have successfully quick smoking with e-cigs to die when they switch back to cigarettes? Have you ever had an addiction? Do you know what hell that is? You've got liars that make things up about nicotine when it's not as dangerous as a cup of coffee because they have mental problems. You've got e-cigs which aren't any more dangerous than the patch or inhalers already approved, and less dangerous than Chantrix which is FDA approved and has caused an increase in suicides. Is the goal to get people killed? Because that's that outcome of these childish wars on e-cigs.