Electronic Cigarette News

Why Does The FDA Hate Us? (ecig users, vapers)

This is a hard article to write. I didn’t want to speak for everyone that I’ve met that quit smoking by using ecigs. An article with multiple opinions and views is a good one in my opinion , but I’m not a reporter. I’ve embraced this smoking alternative because of how I felt when I woke up not smoking 2 packs the day before. I’ve embraced “vaping” after trying almost every available method of smoking cessation. In a perfect world, we’d just stop smoking when we wanted to and that would be it. The reality is that smoking is one of the hardest habits to give up for many. The numbers of deaths and illnesses from smoking is disheartening. So is the feeling of being trapped by a habit of smoking for 20 or 40+ years and feeling helplessly addicted -and hopeless to ever stop. So why is the FDA spending millions to fight electronic cigarettes? (2)

Most vapers feel that ecigs are a much safer alternative to cigarettes. If you were to go down a list of FDA approved chemicals that are allowed in cigarettes and compare with the few ingredients in an ecig- you’d have to be almost bat-shit crazy to think that a burning cigarette is the better option to get your nicotine fix. Yet as I write this, the FDA is holding back shipments of ecigs and ecig related products from going through- despite a judges ruling that the FDA does not have this authority (1). Furthermore, the FDA is still working hard to make sure that this safer alternative is not available. How much is this costing? Why?

As someone who has tried the whole range of smoking cessation products (pills, patches, lozenges, gum, hypnotism) and failed -I find the FDA’s obstruction of ecigs offensive. I attribute the end of my1.5-2 pack/day, 20+ year cigarette habit to ecigs. I know I’m not alone either. There is a whole community of “vapers” that will attest. Of course we gather, and discuss. The most recent gathering sold out multiple hotels in Richmond, VA and topped out at over 600 vapers- and that was the third large event of this kind -this year.

Despite the ruling, the FDA continues to overstep its boundries, as ecig shops throughout the states are still finding their stock being held at customs. Jason Cornfeld from ElectronicStix.com states “I have had 4 shipments seized this year, first was liquid that they held for 4 months before letting it go, then they held passthroughs of all things. Then 9000 Cartos (were held) stating they thought they had liquid in them -and now more usb parts and atomizers (contains no nicotine). They had the cartos for over a month and it took a lot of phone calls and finally getting someone out at the FDA directly on the phone and explaining there is no (nicotine) liquid and to go reinspect them.” Jason states that “What I thought was strange is they aren’t even supposed to be stopping liquid (containing nicotine) either.”

Isn’t that what the ruling was?

Unlikely Opponents

We can certainly understand why big tobacco doesn’t like our choice. Give a smoker an Ego PV and a good bottle of ejuice- and they have a high chance of never buying a pack of cigarettes again. That’s a pretty big claim- yet we see it happening day after day. So why is this “miracle” not being praised by The American Cancer Society, or The American Heart Association? That’s a great question that deserves a proper response. Here is my question to you opponents…. WHY? Being against something that could help your loved ones become smoke-free kind of seems UN-American to me. ..but touche. Tradition is hard to break. Here’s the challenge- pick the WORST option:

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1.
Over 4000 chemical compounds are created by burning a cigarette – 69 of those chemicals are known to cause cancer. Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen cyanides and ammonia are all present in cigarette smoke.
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Or-

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2.
ecig/PV of choice and DIY eliquid. (JD’s recipe is a typical example of ingredients found in popular eliquids/ejuice)

Very simple recipe for peach lemonade ejuice:

Recipe for 30 ml.

20 ml. of PG/VG/Nic liquid base (your choice)

5 ml. Perfumer’s Apprentice Lemon (water soluble)
4 ml. Flavourart White Peach
1 ml. LoRann’s Tart & Sour
1/16th tsp. ethyl maltol

*non-combustible/no smoke. May or may not be made to contain nicotine.

[/stextbox] [stextbox id=”info”]
3.
Gas station, pre-filled, off branded ecigs. *non-combustible/no smoke.
[/stextbox]

Remember- there are no wrong answers- only uninformed answers. Only one answer is clearly worse than the others. Electronic cigarettes are not burning, do not emit smoke, and do not bring with it the list of carcinogens that a cigarette does. Which option would you think as the worst?

(SPOILER- Recipe #2 contains ingredients that you use in baking. Option #3 may let you down, but it’s not the “killer”.)

The Facts

We don’t know the long term effects of ecigs. -But we do know the long term effects of smoking a traditional cigarette- right? The list of ingredients in a typical intermediate to advanced device (personal vaporizer) is:

PG, and/or VG (propylene glycol, a common delivery base for medicines
Food grade flavoring.

(Nicotine is optional. You can choose.)

Aside from the fact that nicotine can come from tomatoes, or potatoes – scientific data shows that there is an effective harm reduction from the absence of combustion and tar formation (smoking). Vaping and ecigs are the absence of combustion and tar that smoking is. Nicotine is readily available over the counter in patches, gum and other delivery devices. So far, the statistics are showing that ecigs have a higher success rate than the patches, pills and gum solutions that a lot of us have tried and been disappointed with.

Ecigs are unregulated per se. If you purchase a pre-filled stick battery model that are more commonly seen (ranging from $14-$150+), you may find the experience lacking. The poor flavor and lack of battery life usually either turn a user off, or they do more research and find a better solution. While the “traditional” ecig was a great concept- many adaptors of the ecig have moved on to better tasting, better performing and more affordable devices and “ejuices”. There is a better way, and a solution for each type of smoker to become a non-smoker without hassle in most cases. Statistics are showing that the proper ecig/pv has more successful rate of keeping a smoker tobacco and cigarette free.

The Community

We’re adults. We’ve made a decision to become informed on what we think of as a superb smoking alternative- and we don’t welcome political feuds, flawed, un-scientific studies or conjecture. We understand that nicotine is addictive. We’ve discovered a safer way to get our nicotine. We’ve made the informed decision to accept the seemingly obvious lower and unknown risks of “vaping” instead of the known and definite risks of traditional cigarette smoking. We’re weary from trying all of the pharmaceutical products with low success rates to quit smoking. We’ve swallowed the FDA approved pills that give you nightmares and criminal thoughts. We’ve failed times over on the patch and the gum. We’ve seen first hand how electronic cigarettes can make smoking cessation a reality, and any critic better come informed if you want any credibility. A lot of us have tackled the smoking addiction, and the thought of FDA, big tobacco and pharma $$ coming in to “save us” doesn’t make sense. While we can agree that some regulations are just and needed, we can all agree that we don’t want to see the choice, quality and selection interfered with. We don’t expect that the FDA will “side” with us, but we also don’t expect the administration to cave to big tobacco and pharmaceutical either. We don’t expect flawed studies to be repeated to propagate lies, but understand why they would if said administration is looking out for other interests. Spending millions(2) to fight something that has a huge potential to help society (read, humans- not the money-pot) is unjust.

As of now, we can buy some really great products brought about from innovation and necessity. Flavoring companies realize the industry and have stepped up their commitment. While some say “ban ecigs because they look like a cigarette”, we – the actual users of these devices can only ask that you vote to not kill us. We’re just trying to kick the habit- and winning. We regulate and inform from within and hope that voters, our co-workers, friends and family can have the option that we had if need be.

The Question(s)?

1. Why are ecigs being attacked so heavily by the FDA? *This question cannot be answered by a canned response based on flawed studies that are the only source of information. This goes for doctors, politicians and anyone in the position to vote responsibly. This involves peoples lives, and what we know to be a better alternative to smoking. Where do you draw the line between a steaming pot of soup and vapor? This is where it gets tricky. Ecigs LOOK like cigarettes- BUT are not combustible, and do not contain the same ingredients as a cigarette. Ecigs do NOT produce smoke. In other words, it looks like a duck, but doesn’t quack like a duck. Confusing- but not really.

2. ecigs may or may not contain nicotine. How would a device that does NOT contain nicotine be classified as a tobacco product? Careful about that pot of soup if it’s steaming vapor! (not delivering a drug OR tobacco in this case)

3. Why the fight?

The children? As any kid knows, cigarettes are readily available if you want them- just find a smoker or a store, or wait until ma/pa leaves the room and grab a couple. Kids will be kids- but the thing we have going for us is that kids don’t think vaping is cool like cigarettes. The people that think vaping and ecigs are cool are the ones that have tried every other method available to quit smoking and failed. Most vapers I’ve met have been 30+ years of age- some a lot more “experienced” with failing at the quit smoking game. While playing the “what about the children” card gets attention, I refute the claim that ecigs are going to get our kids. In fact, most every place I’ve ordered from requires a credit card- which most kids don’t have. Parenting, common sense -to sum this one up. As with tobacco, alcohol, drain cleaners, guns and any “adult” items, it is up to us adults to think and use common sense as a parent.

The Dangers of ecigs? Do we really have to go down this path after you’ve read this far? We don’t know the exact dangers of using Propylene Glycol (PG) as a base, but it has been studied as early as the 40’s as having antibacterial qualities, and is used as a delivery device for common medicines used in nebulizers. PG is used in food- most of us use if every day. Nicotine is Nicotine- and people use and “control” it every day, there isn’t much of a discussion here.

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Propylene glycol (PG), is a colorless, odorless chemical that is used as a food additive, in cosmetics and in pharmaceuticals as an inert solvent or carrier. Its industrial applications include antifreezes, hydraulic fluids, deicing liquids and coolants. PG is recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
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Yes- it is used in antifreeze and deicing liquids. That doesn’t mean it IS antifreeze. The FDA includes Propylene glycol on its list of substances Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS), and it meets the requirements of acceptable compounds within Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Considering PG has been widely used for many years without serious side effects, the substance can reasonably said to be of negligible concern.

Should we even consider banner ecigs in public and even apartments and hotels because there is confusion and misunderstanding about something that looks like a cigarette- but isn’t? -Something that IS NOT a burning cigarette with thousand of chemicals? Please do your homework before you vote to ban a life saving device and ask WHY!

More to discuss?

Of course there is more to discuss. We welcome it here. Post in the comments or submit an article. If you are a vaper/ecig user- we especially welcome your input. If you have insight, we like that too.

Need to quit smoking?

There are a ton of resources available here at GuideToVaping. Visit some of the vape forums and programs listed here if you have more questions. Better yet, pick up an Ego PV and just give it a try for a week and make your own decision.

If you want to know about smoking alternatives and you want to try something other than an ecig, Casaa.org is a non-profit organization dedicated to smoking alternatives that can help with your smoking addicition and alternatives.


(1) Dec. 7, 2010 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration lacks the authority to regulate electronic cigarettes as drugs or devices, an appeals court ruled, upholding a lower-court decision.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington said today the FDA can only regulate e-cigarettes as a tobacco product. The ruling means the government can oversee the marketing of the products, not restrict their sale.

(2) Accusation. Statement. Known fact. Do your own research and come back with something to discuss if you find otherwise.

————

1/14/2010

Judge Orders F.D.A. to Stop Blocking Imports of E-Cigarettes From China –NYTimes

————

Comparison of Carcinogen Levels Shows that Electronic Cigarettes are Much Safer Than Conventional Ones.

————-

Read more: Danger of Inhaling Propylene Glycol | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5499611_danger-inhaling-propylene-glycol.html#ixzz1eQMpXlfT

More to follow…

About the author

Troop

23 Comments

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  • Outstanding article Troop! You’ve pretty much covered it from all points and I’m just waiting for others to get wind of this article as I’m sure it’ll turn the heads of many. One thing I think the FDA should really look at is your multiple choice question.

  • Great article Troop! You did a great job of researching before posting a bunch of BS and non-stop hatred toward the FDA. You have so many valid points in this article, please keep up the quality work here!

  • I don’t normally like to just post “good job” comments, but seriously, good job Troop! I read this a couple days ago when it came out, but I didn’t have the good sense to comment. You did a great job researching this piece, kudos!

  • […] the complete article here. This entry was posted in Editorial and tagged FDA, Tobacco Harm Reduction. Bookmark the […]

  • Excellent article, Troop. Thank you. I plan to print this out and give copies to family members who still don’t understand about how ecigs have helped me, and how important it is to ecig users that the FDA quit overstepping their authority.

  • In a July 22 news release, the FDA cited the detectable presence of carcinogens and “toxic chemicals” in a “small sample” of electronic cigarette cartridges as reason for alarm, singling out nitrosamines as particularly toxic. What the FDA fails to inform the public is that detectable amounts of carcinogens are also present in nicotine replacement products such as NicoDerm CQ and Nicorette gum, both approved by the FDA, and nitrosamines that can be also found in food items such bacon and beer. This double standard and alarmist attitude has had the significant and unfortunate effect of inducing hysteria among the public, discouraging tobacco smokers from using a product which is thought to be a significantly safer alternative to traditional tobacco.

    Regrettably, the FDA has used biased reporting of this small and inconclusive study, the complete results of which have not been made public, to secure the vocal support of groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics Tobacco Consortium, the Institute for Global Health, and the American Lung Association in their attack on electronic cigarettes. These researchers argue that it is absurd to consider taking electronic cigarettes off the market when it is the conventional ones which have been shown to be killing people. Further, the electronic cigarette community calls for accurate and fair reporting relative to the findings and statements of prominent medical professionals in favor of this new and important technology and challenges the media to tell the other side of the story.

    “The FDA’s laboratory findings actually indicate that electronic cigarettes are much, much safer than conventional cigarettes,” says Dr. Michael Siegel. “The traces of carcinogens present are also present in nicotine replacement products. The FDA and the anti-smoking groups have fallen into a huge analytical trap as they have failed to ask the appropriate question. The question they are asking is: ‘Are electronic cigarettes safe?’ That is not the right question. The right question is: ‘Are electronic cigarettes much safer than traditional ones?'”

    Dr. Rodu states, “The FDA tested e-cigarettes for TSNAs using a questionable sampling regimen, and the methods that were so sensitive that the results may have no possible significance to users. The agency failed to report specific levels of these contaminants, and it has failed to conduct similar testing of nicotine medicines that have been sold in the U.S. for over 20 years. These are not the actions of an agency that is science-based and consumer-focused. These pseudo-scientific actions are clearly intended to form the justification for banning a category of products that are probably 99.9% safer than cigarettes.”

  • This is an excellent article, all the way down to every comment. My suspicions are that perhaps the FDA is back-door funded by tobacco agencies. The electronic cigarette could potentially affect the FDA in a financially-negative way. This is just my hunch. I have no studies to reference. There is absolutely no logical or reasonable reason that the FDA would attempt to road block this product. I am absolutely amazed at the technology and I am 100% in belief that the e-cig holds many benefits over tobacco cigarettes. I have never trusted the government to “protect me from myself” and this is one example why. We need to think for ourselves and websites like this provide us with the data we need to reach our own reasonable conclusion about a product. It seems logical to think that if a product, such as an e-cig, carries the potential to cure some of the worlds illness/sickness/needs to be on medication, pharmaceuticals can lose BIG bucks…..think about the reasons why the FDA would be against a product like this. Keep up the good work you all!

    • And I have to add that I am not a smoker. My husband is. For 43 years….I listen to him hack and watch him sweat when his heart races at night. He just got his first batch of e-cigs. I tried one. They are amazing. No, I’m not going to start vaping, but he is and I hope it leads to a long healthier life for him. I’ll be voting for e-cigs whenever I get the chance.

      • I very much agree Tiffany, which is the same scenario with many things in this world. It’s all about money and if that person isn’t getting theirs, it’ll be a problem. Props to you and your husband for giving e-cigarettes a try and not judging it so quickly like many others do. I think electronic cigarettes are amazing and I can tell you, once he’s on the path of vaping, it can only get better. Encourage him and let him know that anytime he needs to talk, advice or has questions, we’re here.

  • From cancure.org, an old- but relevant article….
    FDA advisers tied to industry

    An article by Dennis Cauchon, the USA TODAY Newspaper

    Sept. 25, 2000

    According to a USA Today study, more than half of the experts hired to advise the government on the safety and effectiveness of medicine have financial relationships with the pharmaceutical companies that will be helped or hurt by their decisions. These experts are hired to advise the Food and Drug Administration on which medicines should be approved for sale, what the warning labels should say and how studies of drugs should be designed. The experts are supposed to be independent, but USA TODAY found that 54% of the time, they have a direct financial interest in the drug or topic they are asked to evaluate. These conflicts include helping a pharmaceutical company develop a medicine, then serving on an FDA advisory committee that judges the drug.

    The conflicts typically include stock ownership, consulting fees or research grants.

    Federal law generally prohibits the FDA from using experts with financial conflicts of interest, but according to the article, the FDA has waived the restriction more than 800 times since 1998.

    These pharmaceutical experts, about 300 on 18 advisory committees, make decisions that affect the health of millions of Americans and billions of dollars in drugs sales. With few exceptions, the FDA follows the committees’ advice.

    The FDA reveals when financial conflicts exist, but it has kept details secret since 1992, so it is not possible to determine the amount of money or the drug company involved.

    A USA Today analysis of financial conflicts at 159 FDA advisory committee meetings from Jan. 1, 1998, through last June 30 found:

    At 92% of the meetings, at least one member had a financial conflict of interest.

    At 55% of meetings, half or more of the FDA advisers had conflicts of interest.

    Conflicts were most frequent at the 57 meetings when broader issues were discussed: 92% of members had conflicts.

    At the 102 meetings dealing with the fate of a specific drug, 33% of the experts had a financial conflict.

  • I think this article deserves pretty much the same comment I have left on another post. There are companies out there who can sell porn to my children over the internet but they want to ban e-cigs? Does this make sense to ANYONE?

  • I just left FDA and spent my final year or so working with the rather interesting group that regulates tobacco products. While the center is entirely funded by the tobacco industry, most of the key leaders spent decades working for cessation based agencies–not regulatory. (Just google their bios.) So, my personal impression is that most seem to be convinced that nicotine in any form should be banned. (One of the “scientists” is actually afraid to touch products containing nicotine…I kid you not.) My personal opinion is that many are clueless regarding E-Cigs (or any manufactured product)–you just have to read the test method that FDA conducted (http://www.fda.gov/newsevents/publichealthfocus/ucm172906.htm) to realize the level of ignorance. (Internal questions regarding products were laughable–I was embarassed to hear some of them.) So, in my humble opinion as a now private citizen, you are not hated: You are simply witnessing and being victimized by bad decisions made by politically motivated zealots.

    So happy to be free–and that I don’t have an NDA!

    • btw: I purchased and tried several products while researching ECigs. Although I don’t smoke, I love vaping! Very cool devices! (And, I somehow am not addicted and have not started smoking…Guess that confounds fda.)

      • Hello lmb, I’m glad someone like you with your former position and all could give us your take on things. As I’ve said many times, I only wished the FDA would sit back, read this post and really understand just how many people electronic cigarettes have helped. I’m for one so passionate about them because it’s only changed my life for the better. I no longer have any worries of my kids receiving second hand smoke, I no longer have to worry about the 4,000 other chemicals that are in an analog cigarette. I don’t encourage anyone that wasn’t a smoker to start vaping, but there really isn’t anything wrong with it. You can vape and not use nicotine. Matter of fact, with many vendors… they have an option to purchase your e-liquid with 0 nicotine. Thanks for taking the time to respond lmb.

  • Just this month I’ve heard of a few vendors getting nicotine, 4k bottles of juice and even hardware containing no nicotine stopped at customs and even sent back. I know of at least 1 vendor that does have the tobacco license- but it still happens everyday. I guess the FDA is above our judicial system when they get to proceed while ignoring this ruling. Am I missing something?

    RE: The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington said today the FDA can only regulate e-cigarettes as a tobacco product. The ruling means the government can oversee the marketing of the products, not restrict their sale.

  • I’ve been a smoker for over 40 yrs and I try vape and I’ve been Vaping for three weeks now. I do not smoke cigarettes no more..I don’t even crave for them any more.So why is the FDA trying to stop it I have no Idea. This saved my life really because I try before. I stop smoking for six months before cold turkey but I started again so .I’m all for vaping and it saves me money…So I say let the vaping begin…I’m all for it..

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