• September 20, 2014
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Queens Chronicle

How dangerous are e-cigarettes, if at all?

Welcome to the discussion.

3 comments:

  • Dbl_Gee posted at 6:57 pm on Sat, Aug 17, 2013.

    Dbl_Gee Posts: 1

    "The study cited other evidence that e-cigarettes are not harmful, but did say that exposure to two chemicals used in them, propylene glycol and glycerin, warrants further study because “the magnitude of the exposure is novel.”

    Both of these chemicals are common everyday Food Additives. Both are approved by the FDA. How does this constitute "“the magnitude of the exposure" as "novel" ?

     
  • Peter Fournier posted at 5:06 pm on Thu, Aug 15, 2013.

    Peter Fournier Posts: 1

    “There is no scientific evidence that e-cigarettes are a safe substitute for traditional cigarettes or an effective smoking cessation tool,”

    Russ Scandria does indeed need to keep up before making scary pronouncements.

    I would also be interested in Russ Scandria's opinions about the following three points, but first the background (references available on request).

    Background: The medical literature estimates that every cigarette smoked reduces the smokers life expectancy by 11 minutes. That's 70 days per year. Given that the Cancer Society is scaring people into not using e-cigarettes, actually Personal Vaping Devices, I would like to know the following:

    Points
    1) Has the American Cancer Society commissioned a medical ethics assessment on causing a known harm (11 minutes per cigarette, 70 days per year of smoking) by delaying the adoption of e-cigarettes by current smokers with their scary pronouncements? If so, what was the result? Are these scary statements ethical? The problem is that the Cancer Society and others demand scientific proof of effectiveness while remaining blind to the know, scientifically provable result of their own statements. They make statements about a POSSIBLE harm and delay people from adopting a technology that reduces a KNOWN harm. As far as I know there is no scientific evidence that would justify encouraging the maintenance of a KNOWN harmful behaviour (smoking) when weighed against a POSSIBLE harm (no evidence so far) from e-cigarettes. The ethics of these "health" groups is in serious doubt as far as I can see.

    2) Pressure from "health" groups such as the American Cancer Society to "regulate" e-cigarettes, either through various legislation or by classifying them as medical devices will obviously make it very very expensive indeed for any company to a) remain in the business of selling e-cigarettes and associated products or (b) to enter into the market. This will have the effect of handing the e-cigarette market over to Big Tobacco and or drug companies, the only ones with pockets deep enough to survive the legislation. So the question is "When did the American Cancer Society change it's policy and decide to support Big Tobacco?"

    3) I believe that e-cigarettes have the potential of competing so successfully against tobacco cigarettes that they can over a decade or two completely destroy to tobacco market. BUT, to do that the e-cigarettes have to be much cheaper than tobacco cigarettes. Has the American Cancer Society estimated what the price points are that would allow e-cigarettes to supplant tobacco cigarettes? If not, why not? I thought the American Cancer Society was all about ending the use of tobacco cigarettes. Does this organization plan to lobby for cheap alternatives to smoked tobacco? If not, why not? Smoked tobacco is the villain here.

    Finally, the canard about "effective smoking cessation tool" ... If someone switches from tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarettes (AKA personal vaping devices) they have quit smoking entirely. If they use e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes, they have reduced their smoking at the very least. I say this for the very obvious reason that you cannot "smoke" an e-cigarette -- there is no smoke involved in using e-cigarettes. So, "smoking cessation" is a red herring. The Cancer Society likely thinks it makes sense because they confuse "smoking" and "nicotine ingestion" and they would like to create the same confusion in the public. This tactic is, as far as I can see, simply dishonest.

    A better discussion would be "Is using nicotine regularly any better or worse than using caffeine or any of the anti-depressants currently being flogged to the American public?"

    "Health" groups are trying to use "science" to resist and regulate e-cigarettes. They risk discrediting themselves, and in the process, discrediting science.

     
  • Elaine_Keller posted at 9:05 am on Thu, Aug 15, 2013.

    Elaine_Keller Posts: 1

    Russ Sciandra needs to keep up with published research. Dr. Riccardo Polosa has successfully used e-cigarettes as a substitute for smoking with several groups of subjects. Some were followed for as long as 24 months, and experienced no major side effects. So it is incorrect to say that there is no scientific evidence to show that they are a safe substitute. When used with a group of 300 smokers who did not want to quit, "smoking reduction was documented in 22.3% and 10.3% at week-12 and week-52 respectively. Complete abstinence from tobacco smoking was documented in 10.7% and 8.7% at week-12 and week-52 respectively. " That's a phenomenal result for a group that had no intention of quitting.

    On the other hand, Sciandra claims, "they may entice young people into trying traditional cigarettes." I have seen no reports in the scientific literature that support this theory. Surveys have reported that youth who already smoke are the ones trying e-cigarettes--perhaps in an effort to switch to something less harmful. It would be a shame if the ACS encouraged these youngsters to stick with traditional cigarettes by convincing them that e-cigarettes are just as hazardous as inhaling smoke.