It's the People Who Harmfully Attack E-Cigarettes Who Need to Quit

Mar 01 2016

It’s the People Who Harmfully Attack E-Cigarettes Who Need to Quit

An all-out war is raging against electronic cigarettes, the newest and most promising delivery device to help people stop smoking or to maintain nicotine dependence. Opponents of e-cigarettes (ECs) have created a hysteria that is eerily reminiscent of “reefer madness.” Pure nicotine, delivered via vaping, has taken the “demon drug” position formerly held by marijuana, among others—with all the scaremongering, misinformation, fear-based lies, and junk science that implies.

A public health official in California has deemed e-cigarettes “a community health threat.” Janie Heath, dean of the Kentucky College of Nursing, exclaimed, “Let’s be clear: There is nothing safe about e-cigarettes. They deliver nicotine, a highly addictive drug that carries many documented risks.” And an avalanche of methodologically flawed and widely publicized studies have asserted that e-cigarettes are full of cancer-causing chemicals, cause “popcorn lung,” don’t help smokers quit, and—wait for it!—can cause car crashes.

Public health organizations and federal drug agencies including the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) argue—despite no adequate evidence—that vaping is a “gateway” to tobacco for youth and that “e-cigarettes are no better than smoking regular cigarettes.” Numerous articles and well-respected, anti-smoking groups refer to e-cigarettes as “tobacco products,” which they clearly are not. The American Lung Association’s website contains a statement that declares: “Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are a popular new tobacco product that have still largely unknown public and individual health effects.” The word “scourge” is usually reserved for heroin panics, but it’s being used to describe electronic cigarettes. Michael Seilback, a vice president of the American Lung Association, said in a press release: “The scourge of e-cigarettes in New York has warranted action and Governor Cuomo’s proposal comprehensively tackles the proliferation of e-cigarettes in New York.”

But you know what the real scourge is?

The real scourge is that 480,000 people die in the United States from smoking-related illnesses every year. And electronic cigarettes—which are the best hope for hundreds of thousands of inveterate smokers to quit and stay alive, and which cause a tiny fraction of the harms of real cigarettes—are subject to a vicious and unrelenting campaign of lies and deception to convince smokers not to use them.

Are the enemies of vaping so implacably and irrationally opposed to it that they prefer smokers die rather than switch to e-cigarettes?

Common sense alone dictates that because e-cigarettes don’t contain tobacco, they are safer. It is the tar and at least 69 other chemicals in combusted tobacco that cause cancer—not nicotine. But there is plenty of scientific evidence to demonstrate that ECs are safer than cigarettes by orders of magnitude.

An expert, independent review conducted by Public Health England estimated that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than smoking. Professor Kevin Fenton, director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England said: “E-cigarettes are not completely risk-free but when compared to smoking, evidence shows they carry just a fraction of the harm.”

In an exhaustive review of the safety and risks of vaping, Riccardo Polosa and Konstantinos E. Farsalinos, two leading European tobacco harm reduction researchers, concluded: “…toxicological studies have shown significantly lower adverse effects of EC vapor compared with cigarette smoke.” And a Cochran review found there was no evidence that short-term use of e-cigarettes is associated with adverse health risks. Studies have found that the most common side effects of vaping are a dry cough and mouth and throat irritation, which usually resolve after a few weeks.

A growing number of e-cigarette batteries have exploded, mainly when charging. One teenager from Colorado suffered third-degree burns after an e-cigarette in his pocket exploded. This is an urgent reason to regulate the batteries in e-cigarettes, not to ban them.

Electronic cigarettes help smokers quit. That’s why millions of people are using them. The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) conducted a survey in 2015 of 19,823 its members; 87% reported they quit smoking entirely after starting to vape. In response to an article in Consumer Reports that rejected recommending the use of ECs, more than 1,300 readers responded saying that electronic cigarettes helped them kick the habit. And according to a new study published in the journal Addiction, using ECs led to an estimated 22,000 more people quitting tobacco every year. The researchers found: “E-cigarettes appear to be helping a significant number of smokers to stop who would not have done otherwise—not as many as some e-cigarette enthusiasts claim, but a substantial number nonetheless.”

E-cigarette haters reject the idea that vaping is harm reduction. This is one of the most dishonest ideas currently being debated (even in this political climate). Their hatred stems from a stubborn and irrational belief in abstinence-only paths, and that maintaining the use of  “addictive” substances is wrong and “enabling.” It’s similar to how methadone maintenance is often reviled, with methadone users viewed as “addicts” and pressured to taper off the medication quickly. (But daily caffeine users, not so much!)

In one recent article, “Is Vaping an Effective Form of Harm Reduction?”, Dr. Linda Richter answers with an unequivocal “no.” She states that vaping isn’t harm reduction because: “Research is finding that a significant proportion of electronic cigarette users are dual users, continuing to smoke cigarettes while using other nicotine products.”

But dual use is harm reduction! It means that you’re smoking tobacco less often than you were previously, which reduces your risks. A recent study found that among smokers with hypertension, there was a major reduction in blood pressure at the end of one year among those who switched to e-cigarettes completely, or who remained dual users but decreased their cigarette consumption by at least 50%.

The reality is that smokers who use other nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) like the patch, gum or the Nicotrol inhaler also often continue to smoke cigarettes. Many smokers cannot completely give up cigarettes on their first try with NRT and relapse is the norm. E-cigarettes offer nicotine replacement therapy in much the same way that the Nicotrol inhaler does. Pfizer, the manufacturer of Nicotrol, promotes the inhaler as: “Designed to wean your body off cigarettes, supply you with nicotine in controlled amounts, while sparing you from other chemicals found in tobacco products.” Ditto e-cigarettes.

And here is the other issue for the e-cigarette haters: inhalation. They don’t want drugs, or at least some drugs, to be inhaled. This is another knock-on effect of the War on Drugs: The ways drugs are delivered to the brain have become politicized and stigmatized. Smoking crack cocaine carries a heavier dose of stigma than snorting powder cocaine, for example. And in another display of idiocy in the vaping vs. smoking wars, New York state Governor Mario Cuomo insisted that patients enrolled in the medical marijuana program could not smoke the drug—only other forms of drug delivery are allowed including…vaping. The nicotine patch, nicotine gum and Chantix are “okay” because they don’t simulate smoking. Vaping clearly does, and there’s the rub.

But demonizing nicotine inhalation is nonsensical. It’s a fast, safe way to supply nicotine to the brain.

The war on vaping is also a war on nicotine, and by extension, a war on nicotine users. Because nicotine has been associated with the tobacco plant and nefarious “Big Tobacco” corporations and delivered by the toxic, combusted cigarette, it’s viewed as a dirty, unsafe drug. Nicotine is often compared to heroin in terms of addiction potential—a comparison designed to instill fear. The ramped-up attacks on nicotine and the insistence on total abstinence suspend empathy and compassion for smokers, promoting stigma and discrimination instead.

Public health campaigns to persuade smokers to quit use messages that shame, scare and insult smokers’ intelligence. See, Top Forty:  Scariest Anti-Smoking Commercials, for a heavy dose of humiliation. And in a series of graphic anti-smoking ads titled, “Tips From Former Smokers,” the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) essentially blames smokers for getting sick and for their own deaths.

The video of Terrie Hall—she was filmed by the CDC in the hospital two days before her death from a facially disfiguring, smoking-related cancer—is appalling reality TV and classic blame-the-victim.

But why would a person smoke two packs of cigarettes every single day for two decades, for example, despite the well-known risks, if they weren’t getting something helpful from every drag? Human beings simply don’t engage in daily, compulsive behaviors for years that don’t confer powerful rewards—and the reward from smoking is nicotine.

The drug has well-documented, beneficial effects on attention, concentration and mood. “In some ways I think of nicotine as the perfect psychotropic drug,” says Paul Newhouse, a scientist at Vanderbilt University. “The nicotinic receptors in the brain act as modulators rather than classic transmitters, scanning the system and stimulating what needs to be stimulated and relaxing what needs to be relaxed…That’s why you have a smoker who uses a cigarette to wake up and to go to sleep.”

And yet, in article after article on vaping, nicotine is deemed dangerous. Richter claims that e-cigarettes “are delivery devices for the highly addictive drug nicotine, use of which can result in serious health consequences including the disease of addiction.”

In fact, scientists and researchers have long understood that nicotine, disconnected from smoke inhalation, is relatively benign. In Nicotine Safety and Toxicity, an authoritative book published in 1998, the effects of nicotine on the brain and body were examined and the authors concluded that the drug has little if any negative impact on cardiovascular health and is not carcinogenic.

Nicotine is medicine. Research is being conducted with nicotine to treat memory impairment, attention deficit disorder, depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Nicotine is addictive—although it’s important to note that millions of smokers have gotten unaddicted.

But it’s not necessary to quit nicotine. It’s possible and even desirable for some people to use it as a maintenance medication, much like methadone. In particular, people with a serious mental illness—a population with exceptionally high rates of smoking—could benefit from nicotine maintenance via vaping. It’s a matter of life and death. Tobacco-related illnesses are the main reason why people with mental illnesses die an estimated 25 years sooner, on average, than those in the general population.

As with medical marijuana, the health benefits of nicotine can no longer be denied or dismissed. The war on nicotine cannot be won, and those who fight it should be ashamed. Nicotine is here to stay. And the invention of electronic cigarettes has revolutionized the field of tobacco harm reduction and saved lives.

Helen Redmond has written for Al JazeeraAlterNetHarpers and the Socialist Worker. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and adjunct faculty member at the Silver School of Social Work at New York University. She is a documentary filmmaker and is currently working on a documentary about methadone. She is also an organizer and speaker for the first harm reduction for tobacco conference to be held in the US, taking place in Brooklyn on Thursday, April 21 2016: You can register for the event on the conference website.

  • Thanks for calling out this dangerous campaign. NIDA is pumping out the demon drug propaganda. They recently published a completely misleading blog entry on ‘meth mouth’ that will only exacerbate the problem. (The problem with ‘meth mouth’ is that it starts with the back teeth, and therefore is hard to detect until it’s too late. Not obvious, as the article implies – giving young meth users a false sense of security.) Then they say, “Drugs can cause addiction which makes you commit crimes. Why take the chance?” They are horrible. Their propaganda will increase drug use and the associated harms. Do they even realize it? I don’t know but I plan to find out.

    And the state of CA has ads that say that candy flavored tobacco products are marketed to kids and “vaping causes lifelong addiction”. (Of course, the same is true for donuts, arguably even less healthy.) Paid for by taxes on cigarettes. It’s ridiculous.

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  • Anothereno

    Big Pharma is taking the biggest hit here and on a global scale, people usually associate their loss of money with less sales of NRT’s but the real threat is people getting healthier!

    How many drugs are prescribed because of smoking related diseases? How many of those drugs need regular maintenance? Although patches, gums and inhalers are used for nicotine maintenance and do sell quite a bit but what about blood pressure medication, cancer treatment medication, COPD/Asthma inhalers, Nebulizers and so much more we’re talking billions of dollars globally, people can die if they don’t take these drugs, while NRT are a choice they are not, of course big pharma is against vaping, of course big pharma is against people getting better if everyone got better they’d lose all their profit…

    Not only is big pharma losing money directly others that use money from big pharma are losing money, schools receive research grants/donations from them, of course they are paying for smear campaigns…

    Drives me nuts.

    • #vapingtruth Every single word you’ve said is the TRUTH! (now but really not off the subject) The same is true in nutrition sciences and metabolic health disorders such as….. thyroid(ism), obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, just turn on the TV and watch the mind dumbing and numbing evil array of Pharma mercials….. They want people $ick, but treatable I$ right!

  • jude

    Excellent article thank you.

  • Very clear and well explained article! Nicotine being addictive on its own (without tobacco) is my only question. I have a theory that nicotine has been the scapegoat for tobacco all these years. 🙂
    This article needs to go GLOBAL. Thank you for bringing this to the forefront responsibly, and thank you for mentioning Riccardo Polosa and Konstantinos E. Farsalinos, as they rarely get mentioned in any article.
    Thank you again.

  • Fergus Mason

    “This is an urgent reason to regulate the batteries in e-cigarettes”

    It’s not even that. They’re just standard batteries, and almost every time there’s a problem it’s because someone has done something stupid.

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  • Truly excellent article; I, and I’m sure others who’ve managed to quit decades-long cigarette addiction thanks to vaping, thank you wholeheartedly. It’s important to call out all those who are unabashedly LYING about vaping, for the cold-hearted, greedy, and unethical LIARS that they are.

    After 39 years of smoking and 4 failed quit attempts, I had completely given up on the idea that I could ever quit smoking; when I started vaping, I had zero thoughts of quitting smoking, I just wanted something I could use indoors on cold nights — and within 3 wks of starting to vape regularly, I had quit smoking completely. That is a miracle of the first order, and all those telling lies about vaping need to be PUNISHED severely for helping people stay addicted to something so dangerous.

    If more smokers knew the TRUTH about vaping, more of them could very easily quit — and that’s exactly what all those greedy unethical monsters are afraid of.

    • JonathanBagley

      My experience exactly. Only wanted to get around the smoking ban and ended up quitting smoking.

    • Same thing here, I had no intention of quitting smoking when I tried vaping. Within 2 weeks I stopped smoking completely and now just vape and have gone from 18% nicotine e juice down to 6% and about to switch to 3%.

  • Kikmi

    I’m interested to see the effects on second hand vape. Haven’t managed to pick up anything remarkably conclusive as of yet.

    • Lollylulubes

      New study proves there is no second-hand vaping. #ecigs aerosol contains less volatile compounds than normal exhaled breath

      Nicotine is antibacterial and so is propylene glycol. Nicotine is being looked at as a cure for TB and propylene glycol is used in hospital filtration systems to guard against infection and in asthma inhalers. I haven’t had a single cold since I started vaping over 3 years ago and I used to get 3 or 4 very nasty ones each year.

      All the guff about second-hand smoke from cigarettes is a lie, too. Nothing more than social engineering and fearmongering in order to get policies and laws.

      • Asylumsix

        Funny you say that about getting sick, I used to get the flu steadily twice a year like full blown man child sickness but haven’t in last year at all (403 days smoke free)..

        I figured it was probably due to just quitting smoking but now that I think about it I got sick twice a year as a child, once in early january and again in mid august like clockwork, I even buy cough drops and cough medicine in advance because I know it’s coming…

        I wonder if the vapor cleans the air somewhat, attaching itself to the airborne viruses and pulling them to the ground as it dissipates?

        • Lollylulubes

          I know they were studying PG as far back as the 1940s. When soldiers returned injured from the war, there was a great deal of infection on the hospital wards and when PG was introduced it cleared up. They had the same response in children’s wards. In studies, monkeys were subjected to two years of PG vapour with no ill effects.

          I’ve seen quite a few people on various forums saying they no longer get colds and infections since they started vaping. There have been many reports of vapers reducing and even stopping their asthma inhalers and COPD meds. The other day I read about a lady who got rid of her COPD by vaping Eucalyptus flavour exclusively. So vapour isn’t just cleaning the air, but helping clean our lungs, too. So more benefits to add to the list …. no wonder pharma and their ph poodles are so worried.

          • Cathy Ball

            You definitely cannot get rid of COPD by vaping, that is ridiculous. It is lifelong and incurable. I have been checked out for this on several occasions and told this my medical people, not a vaper, so who do you think I will believe? PG is not made to be inhaled, as in e-cigarettes. Asthma is also incurable, treatable not not curable. I have a close friend who is asthmatic, has been ill many times due to smoke and vapour, definitely not improved her asthma, just aggravated it.

          • Lollylulubes

            Respiratory harm reversal seen in asthmatic smokers on e-cigarettes
            “Key clinical point: Asthmatic smokers who adopted physician advice to switch to electronic cigarettes showed significant 1-year improvements in lung function, methacholine-provoked airway hyperresponsiveness, and asthma-related quality of life.”


            Instead of only thinking about yourself and your friend and the non-existant dangers that vaping poses to you, please give some thought to the 20+ millions of smokers, so far, who have finally found away out of smoking cigarettes by switching to vaping. Especially the ones who are ill and are finding vaping is beneficial to them. We share our stories with each other on vaping forums and social media and if someone says their health has benefited and plenty do, I believe them.

            Until vaping came along, all we had were 95% failure rate patches, gums and inhalers, Varenicline which has caused hundreds of suicides and tens of thousands of serious adverse events, including serious psychosis, with over 3000 lawsuits settled by Pfizer so far; hypnosis, acupuncture and books. Having tried everything, I finally quit smoking for good on the day I started vaping. If you’ve never been a smoker, you cannot know just how good that feels for some of us.

            Public Health failed us, so we came up with our own way out and in over 10 years on the market, no harms have become apparent and instead we are consistently seeing benefits. We have formed an enormous global support community, dedicated to helping smokers make the switch to vaping; a proven (worst case scenario) 95% safer than smoking and probably 99-100% safer. You may be interested to read a few quotes from ecig and nicotine experts to get a feel for how important vaping is to public health. It’s been described as a massive public health prize.

            There is an enormous amount of propaganda and junk science against vaping, but when you consider that the smoking economy worldwide is worth more than a $trillion dollars, you can understand why the many governments, Tobacco Control, organisations, health charities, universities and researchers, to name a few, that benefit from that money, would fight to hold on to it and keep people smoking, despite what they might say in public; not to mention the high performance tobacco shares many are heavily invested in. Yes there are a few ideologues with the outdated quit or die mentality, but the way forward to reduce smoking prevalence is with harm reduction i.e. vaping and smokeless tobacco.

            Then you have the pharmaceutical companies who fund these organisations with $millions. They are losing their smoking cessation sales and they will also lose smoking related diseases sales which are even bigger profit earners. We know they are also lobbying hard for such strict regulations on vaping, it will destroy the far superior and effective small independents market, which owns the lions share and hand the monopoly to the tobacco companies with their inferior cigalikes; removing the best competition to smoking they ever had. I never thought I’d see the day that public health and governments would side with the tobacco companies and drug companies over the health of millions of people; but that’s what’s happening.

            The vaping community has done more to reduce smoking prevalence in the last few years, at no cost to the taxpayer, than Tobacco Control has done in a decade, despite have troughed $billions of dollars. It would be good to have your support and for you to see vaping as the solution that’s helping smokers, instead of a problem conflated with smoking.

          • Cathy Ball

            “Instead of thinking about yourself ….”!! After suffering near fatal blood clots in both lungs AND suffering from second hand smoke and vapour affecting my ability to breathe on many occasions since, of course I am going to think of myself! Do you really think I would just say something like; “I have a serious lung condition and am suffering with your smoke/vapour, but as YOU SAY that it won’t harm me, then go ahead. By the way my Consultant said to avoid smoke/vapour but of course you know better”. Perhaps it is time for smokers/vapers to think about other people and not feel aggrieved if someone objects (on medical grounds). After all, only 20% of the population smoke, so why should 80% have to suffer? In some countries even less than 20% smoke, Australia, Canada. You may remember that years ago it was deemed safe to smoke, in fact encouraged! Now of course in 2016 not 2003 (as in one of your dubious quotes) it is accepted that smoking, second hand smoke and third hand smoke does exist.
            I am aware of nicotine in vegetables, actually I have a problem with them, fancy that!
            I cannot be bothered to reply further, I have a life to lead, obviously you don’t. I DO genuinely suffer with smoke/vape, as does my friend and other friends. Just accept that people DO suffer, even smokers and vapers as well as non smokers/vapers.

          • Kim D

            I know this old but im just reading and on the off chance youll read my reply i have to try and let you know that your remark ; *pg is not be inhaled ..” is not based in fact. PG is actually an ingredient in asthma Inhalers …

      • Kikmi

        This was super helpful, thank you very much!

      • Cathy Ball

        You are so in denial. There IS second hand vaping. Have encountered it many times, affects my breathing and lungs. Only yesterday smelt a very obnoxious smell, and two car widths away, a man was vaping, made me cough for quite a considerable time. SMELT it before I saw it. Also second hand smoke being a lie!! You obviously don’t know anyone who has suffered emphysema from second hand smoke have you? My MIL had that as her husband smoked and she ran a pub for many years. At the end she was really bad, is was awful to see and hear her suffer like that. Give it up then you will notice the stench!

        • Lollylulubes

          No, I’m not in denial at all … in fact I’m very well informed. As well as the study I cited above, this is from a report commissioned by Public Health England – An Evidence Update. It’s a PDF. Page 64 starts with Nicotine in ambient air, e-liquid and e-vapour. Then on Page 65: under Summary:
          “EC release negligible levels of nicotine into ambient air with no identified health risks to
          bystanders.” ….. and that’s into a room, not in the outside air as you were.

          A third study: Aerosol Concentration Variations In A Room During Use Of An E-Cigarette – with and without ventilation.


          “New research presented at an international conference in Barcelona shows, for the first time, that exhaled e-cigarette particles are liquid droplets that evaporate within seconds.”

          “Marc Michelsen, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Communications, added: “This initial data supports the conclusions of Public Health England, the Chartered Institute for Environmental Health, Cancer Research UK and others that vaping indoors is unlikely to pose an air quality issue to bystanders and non-vapers.”

          So scientists from all these organisations have found that there is no second hand vaping risk to bystanders and that exhaled vapour completely dissipates within a few seconds. So even though you may somehow have smelt it from two cars away, there is no way is could possibly have harmed you even if you had been in the next car.

          Did it occur to you that the fumes from cars, trucks, buses, trains and planes are billions of times more harmful than smoking and vaping could ever be and yet you apparently have no problem with this? Apparently, there is a much higher incidence of lung cancer and other illnesses from areas of high industrialised traffic. My condolences regarding your mother-in-law …. I can’t comment as I’m not a doctor; I just follow the science closely.

          Regarding giving it up, I have no intention of doing so. Vaping prevents me relapsing back to smoking, I’m not harming anyone, nicotine is very beneficial to health and outside of cigarette smoke, is not addictive. Everyone tests positive for it as it’s in the Solanaceae family of vegetables, including tomatoes and tea.

          Nicotine The Wonder Drug:

          Regarding second hand smoke …. there’s an excerpt below but please do read the rest of the article as it’s very informative.

          The Air According To Osha

          “The following excerpt and chart are directly taken from their report and their Washington testimony:


          “We have taken the substances for which measurements have actually been obtained–very few, of course, because it’s difficult to even find these chemicals in diffuse and diluted ETS. (Second hand smoke)

          “We posit a sealed, unventilated enclosure that is 20 feet square with a 9 foot ceiling clearance.

          “Taking the figures for ETS yields per cigarette directly from the EPA, we calculated the number of cigarettes that would be required to reach the lowest published “danger” threshold for each of these substances. The results are actually quite amusing. In fact, it is difficult to imagine a situation where these threshold limits could be realized.

          “Our chart (Table 1) illustrates each of these substances, but let me report some notable examples.

          “For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes would be required to reach the lowest published “danger” threshold.

          “For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes would be required.

          “Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

          “At the lower end of the scale– in the case of Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up simultaneously in our little room to reach the threshold at which they might begin to pose a danger.

          “For Hydroquinone, “only” 1250 cigarettes are required. Perhaps we could post a notice limiting this 20-foot square room to 300 rather tightly-packed people smoking no more than 62 packs per hour?

          “Of course the moment we introduce real world factors to the room — a door, an open window or two, or a healthy level of mechanical air exchange (remember, the room we’ve been talking about is sealed) achieving these levels becomes even more implausible.

          “It becomes increasingly clear to us that ETS is a political, rather than scientific, scapegoat.”

          • Cathy Ball

            Did you have the same view when you were smoking? As you “claim” smoking is harmless why did you stop smoking cigarettes? Do you use buses, cars, trains and planes?

          • Lollylulubes

            When I was smoking, I didn’t know that second hand smoke was a lie and social engineering – I only found out when I started vaping and read the science. I, too, fell for the propaganda. I have never claimed smoking is harmless – I said the harms were often exaggerated, but clearly some risks are real for SOME people. Yes I use buses, cars, etc., and I am well aware of the risks of their pollution and the fact that they cause lung cancer. In fact, much of what is put down to smoking related is more likely related to pollution from vehicles and industry. Smoking is probably mostly a scapegoat for industry.

      • Cathy Ball

        As for nicotine is being looked into as a cure for TB, then you clearly have a problem with reading also! Look up – new study shows smoking tobacco doubles the risk of recurrent tuberculosis. In fact search “Is Nicotine a cure for TB”. LOTS of studies (recent not just after the war) say anyone with TB should GIVE UP smoking.

        How can e-cig aerosol contain less volatile compounds than normal exhaled breath be true? If you exhaling nicotine with your e-cig, then it is obviously more toxic than someone exhaling a normal breath! More nonsense.

        Nothing more than being selfish and expecting people to pander to your addiction!

      • Cathy Ball

        Read>Tobacco_smoking. This will tell you all about smoking.

  • Thank you. 43 years of smoking and E-Cigarettes since 2009, no I didn’t quit immediately but I am completely smoke-free for almost 3 years. The technology then was new and undeveloped their were limited products available. Please don’t let the FDA destroy what has evolved into our vaping exodus from the slavery of endless negativity most harmful. What really will kill us older smokers is caused by these elitist, evil greedy liars! Smoking itself has it’s victims, but even that is overly portrayed, and anyone who dies of anything if they ever smoke even for a year, can be used in (cess)pools of data for the profiteering benefits of these critics. Smokers are robbed, shamed, blamed and taxed to death, we quit smoking by using a 99% less harmful vaping, and now we are doubly wronged.

    • Cathy Ball

      Not 99% less harmful at all, get your facts right before you start bleating about being robbed, shamed etc.

  • Patrick

    These things are great for former smokers, people trying to quit after a lifetime of trying. But what I’ve encountered is very young people who never smoked cigarettes are using e-cigarettes. Several of our friends teenage and young adult kids are using them and have never smoked cigarettes. Another generation of hopeless addicts. It’s not a good thing.

    • “young people are using them”… truth is they are only experimenting, there are by the lowest numbers ever, thanks to vaping, a few young people who already smoke the most available deadly products, burning tobacco leaf. They should be allowed to use them stop smoking. In our adult vaping community worldwide 99% of the users are on the path of quitting years of damaging smoking. #IMPROOF #vapingsaveslives #NOMORECASUALTIES #notblowingsmoke #casaa #tagsup #efvi_uk #vaporisNOTsmoke

    • Lollylulubes

      Are you sure they’ve never smoked? Teens are very good at hiding it – I was 18 and had smoked for 3 years before my parents found out, because I told them. I grew up in the 1960s/70s when smoking was everywhere (including my dad) and I had no thought of smoking. It was peer pressure (from my best friend) that started it and that’s probably true for most smokers. However, vaping is at worst 95% safer than smoking and probably more like 99%+ safer. I can almost guarantee that if a teen experimented first with a vapouriser and if they then tried a cigarette, in comparison, it would taste beyond disgusting, but surely it’s better that they vape than smoke. It seems that many teens don’t even use nicotine in their eliquid and the numbers of never smokers vaping, is absolutely tiny.

      As far as “Another generation of hopeless addicts” is concerned – nicotine outside of cigarette smoke has never been proven to be addictive and in fact, as vapers lose their tolerance to the nicotine and use advanced devices (not cigalikes), we routinely have to reduce it. MAOIs are added to cigarettes, which bind with nicotine, to cause the addiction and they are not in vapourisers. In clinical trials, by Dr. Paul Newhouse of Vanderbilt Unversity, to treat never smokers for cognitive problems (depression, Schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and also Ulcerative Colitis), nobody became addicted or started smoking, despite wearing high strength nicotine patches for a period of six months at a time. When pharmaceutical companies applied for and won approval for long term and concomitant use of their Nicotine Replacement Therapies with other nicotine products, (including cigarettes) these trials were cited. No concerns for safety or abuse (addiction) were found. We are all continually lied to about nicotine being a highly addictive, dangerous monster, just so pharma can sell patches and gums.

      Is Nicotine Addictive:

      • Cathy Ball

        Still in denial about the harmful effects of nicotine?

        • Lollylulubes

          Experts on vaping:

          “On nicotine’s potential for dependence

          “It seems very safe even in nonsmokers,” he said. “In our studies we find it actually reduces blood pressure chronically. And there were no addiction or withdrawal problems, and nobody started smoking cigarettes. The risk of addiction to nicotine alone is virtually nil.”
          – Dr. Paul Newhouse
          Director, Vanderbilt University Center for Cognitive Medicine
          April 16, 2014

          “There is very little to no evidence for the abuse of nicotine when not delivered in a tobacco vehicle.”
          – Prof K Fagerstrom

          “Studies have shown that none of the nicotine replacement therapies – chewing gum, inhalers, patches – none of those are addictive. Nicotine is not addictive. The cause of addiction is the release of monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or MAOIs, along with nicotine.”
          – Prof Peter Killeen
          Emeritus Professor of Psychology, ASU

          “The changes that FDA is allowing to these labels reflect the fact that although any nicotine-containing product is potentially addictive, decades of research and use have shown that NRT products sold OTC do not appear to have significant potential for abuse or dependence.”

          US FDA
          Nicotine Replacement Therapy Labels May Change

          To clarify: the FDA are stating that pure nicotine does not create dependence, although this is slightly obscured.”

        • Lollylulubes

          A very important new study has just been published. Dr. Farsalinos, a Cardiologist and world renowned expert on vaping discusses it here:

          Royal College of Physicians Strongly Endorses E-cigarettes As Smoking Substitutes

          By the way, pharma’s nicotine replacement therapies are prescribed to 12 year olds. If nicotine was that harmful, it wouldn’t be allowed!

          • Cathy Ball

            Are you aware Dr Farsalinos’ research is funded by e-cig companies? Thought not!!

          • Lollylulubes

            Many vapers have funded Dr. Farsalinos because he is an ethical scientist and tells it like it is, good or bad. There is no big research money for scientists who tell the truth about vaping. All the big cash, millions of taxpayers’ money, goes to unethical scientists who lie to order for preordained solutions. That’s something you should be cross about. The Government gets 80% of the money from a packet of cigarettes – billions of pounds every year and unbelievable amounts in the US, including the Master Settlement Agreements – money paid by the tobacco companies for smoking education – but councillors use it to prop up their budgets instead. The corruption around the $trillion dollar smoking economy is enormous – that’s why they hate ecigs – because they will stop the gravy train.

            Using ecigs as a way we can finally stop smoking is like a miracle for us and should be supported wholeheartedly – especially as it’s proven by several studies that there is no second hand vaper and that the exhaled aerosol is cleaner than normal exhaled breath from a non user, because nicotine and propylene glycol is antibacterial.

          • Cathy Ball

            Are you aware that several doctors were PAID to say smoking was harmless many years ago? They subsequently told the truth and admitted they were wrong in misleading people. Now that is something I can get cross about!! LOL. As for your last paragraph, well you have given my husband and I a good laugh at the absurdity!! I ask again, if there is no harm in cigarettes, then why did you give them up? I ask again, do YOU use cars, buses, trains and planes? Noticed you did not answer!! Finally, there are several studies that say that there is exposure to second hand vapour, which can exacerbate lung and heart conditions. It does not reduce blood pressure at all either.

          • Lollylulubes

            I have given you the studies, but clearly you aren’t reading them. I have answered you on the post you wrote above and I said that I’ve never said there was no harm from cigarettes; that would be ridiculous – I said some of the harms were exaggerated. I gave them up because I preferred vaping and because it’s proven at worst to be 95% less harmful than smoking but more likely 99%+ less harmful. Studies against vaping are just about all proven to be propaganda and are regularly debunked. It does reduce blood pressure.

            I suggest you read the latest study on vaping from the Royal College of Physcians. You can download it at the bottom of the page. and

            Ecigarettes – An Evidence Update Commissioned By Public Health England

            I’ve come to the conclusion that you are just trolling me. I’ve given you plenty of information and still you insist on conflating vaping with smoking and that’s exactly what the propagandists do. I’ve got better things to do than keep trying to educate you – you’ve got the evidence and everything I’ve written is from information I’ve found and know to be true.

    • Asylumsix

      Although some do experiment with them I would much rather see them experimenting with vaping than cigarettes, around 50% of all people that “ever tried a tobacco cigarette” become addicted, however a study of over 10,000 people show the rate of “never smokers” continuing to use e-cigarettes after trying them is just 0.02% in never smokers.

      Makes you wonder why ANTZ even mention it doesn’t it?

  • Michael Hoting

    A big “Thank you” for this well done article!

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  • Bill Godshall

    An excellent analysis of the unethical and inhumane War on Vaping that protects deadly cigarettes from market competition by lifesaving vapor products under the deceitful guise of protecting children and public health.

    Since 2009, Obama’s DHHS (FDA, CDC, NIH, NIDA, and even the VA) has spent and given hundreds of millions of dollars to activist researchers, state and local governments, and many others to misrepresent the scientific evidence (including their own findings) to confuse and scare the public about vaping to lobby for FDA’s unlawful 2009 e-cig ban (that was struck down in federal court) and, since 2011, for FDA’s e-cig ban Plan B called the Deeming Regulation.

    Unfortunately, the FDA’s Deeming Regulation bans >99.9% of nicotine vapor products (but no cigarettes) 24 months after the FDA issues the final rule, which will create a huge multi billion dollar black market akin to federal alcohol prohibition in the 1920’s and federal marijuana prohibition in the 1930’s.

  • Pierre Bartsch

    The official advice of the “Conseil Supérieur de la Santé” is:” electronic cigarettes are not the problem but a part of the solution for smoking cessation” This is in line with PHE position !

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  • ChrisR

    Thank you, nice to see some common sense on this topic. As a smoker of 32 years who saw his father die of smoking related illness, I can say that I made many attempts to quit. Using NRT gum I stopped for 12 months (fourth attempt) but relapsed. A previous attempt saw me finish up on anti depressants. I then tried Chantix, which was worse than nothing at all. (Hello depression again). I actually spent more years trying to give up smoking than I did smoking with no regard for the consequences. When I tried vaping though I realised that this was what I’d been looking for because it gave me nicotine with the benefits, which the gum never did. I guess I missed it and that’s why I relapsed.

    Now here’s the really interesting bit. I realised after vaping for two weeks that tobacco smoke smelled absolutely repulsive. Suddenly I understood why all those anti-smokers found the smell repulsive because now I did too. I had made the psychological switch to being an ex-smoker. Two weeks is all it took and I knew that as long as I had some vape gear I would never have to smoke again. I am three years cigarette free this month.

    If they want to understand tobacco addiction and vaping these doctors and researchers need to get out of their labs and talk to ex-smoking vapers. We learn very quickly that there is more addictive substances in tobacco smoke than just nicotine. The only product that comes close to replacing almost all of the the things we are dependant on while at the same time while dramatically improving the health outlook, is vaping.


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  • Smellsweet

    I suppose if the government figures out a way to slap a tax on vaping like they have cigarettes, they won’t be in such a hurry to shut it down. I smoked for 40+ years. Tried everything to quit, but nothing worked until I tried vaping. I have been smoke-free for 4 years now and don’t even want a cigarette. I know it doesn’t work for everyone, but for me it was the miracle I needed to quit. Pretty sure the pharmaceutical companies aren’t happy people like me stopped filling expensive Chantix prescriptions and buying expensive patches and gum.

  • R Perry

    There is one problem with e-cigarretes: the use of a flavoring agent call diacetyl. It has no pharmacological effect (not a drug constituent). It’s found, yes, in artificial butter flavoring used in microwave popcorn.

    It’s also present in large quantities when grinding and roasting coffee. It’s EXTREMELY toxic to the lungs and over time can lead to death from severe lung damage.

    It shouldn’t be added to anything ingested or inhaled, and I don’t want to inhale it 2nd-hand from an e-cigarrette user.

    • Beany

      A bit late on this, but it’s worth noting that diacetyl is found in cigarette smoke in quantities up to 100x more than in e-cig liquids and their effluents.

      ‘Popcorn lung’ in e-cig use is not a thing that is likely to happen, because there is no evidence of it happening in lit tobacco use – where you have significantly higher doses, while the lungs are also being damaged by the other compounds released by burning organic material, which should make it far more prevalent.

      It’s also worth noting that bronchiolitis obliterans presents in a fairly unique way when diagnosed correctly, so while it’s possible for it to be mistaken for other things (pneumonia, etc) the idea that no-one has ever linked BO to smoking is beyond the reach of credibility; it simply would have happened by now.

      By this process of deduction, it’s not unreasonable to suggest that if a ‘100%’ dose in cigarettes isn’t triggering BO, then a 1-10% dose is extremely unlikely to, either.

      While diacetyl is probably wise to avoid (there’s no point introducing a potential risk if it can be avoided), evidence that it’s use in e-cigarettes is particularly risky (to the user, never mind second hand) is scant at best from a theoretical standpoint, and from an evidential standpoint, absolutely non-existent.

      So don’t panic about it, like.

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  • Twila Mendenhall

    I was smoke free for three years and then I started smoking an e-cig and now I am again a cigarette smoker with a very serious addiction I can’t seem to Kick. All I’m saying is they can be a gateway drug of sorts which it turned out to be for me. It made me miss the real thing when I was forced to smoke it outside alongside the cigarette smokers. And I ended up smoking again. I’m not saying this will happen to everybody but it can happen to anyone.

    • Lollylulubes

      I really don’t understand why you would decide to take up vaping when you had been cigarette free for three years. By the way, you ‘vape’ – you don’t smoke an ecig; there is no smoke, that’s the whole point.

      I don’t think you can blame vaping for your decision to return to smoking. Experts who work with nicotine and never smokers in clinical trials for cognitive diseases say that, outside of cigarette smoke, nicotine isn’t addictive. It’s MAOIs in cigarettes that bind with nicotine to create the addiction. Those MAOIs aren’t in ecigs and after 3 years you would have lost your tolerance.

      I can understand a little that having to go out with the smokers tempted you to smoke again, but I don’t believe that was the fault of the ecig and vaping shouldn’t be blamed – it was a decision you made for yourself aided by stupid laws of sending vapers outside.

      Depending on how many you’re smoking, you should buy a comparable eliquid to start and return to vaping and then gradually wean yourself off. For instance, I smoked a pack a day and started on 24mg/ml and then I reduced in 6mg/ml intervals without even noticing the difference. If you’re unsure, go to a vape shop and discuss it with them and avoid smoking shelters. Good luck.