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?
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:[stextbox id=”info”]
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.
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.
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”.)
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.
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.
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.[stextbox id=”info”]
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).
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.
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.
More to follow…