Skip to comments.E-Cigarettes - Public Health Crisis Or Smoker's Friend
Posted on 01/01/2014 8:36:15 AM PST by LD Jackson
This will be one of those posts where my inner libertarian comes closer to the surface. When I see our governments, both local, state, and federal, begin to interject itself into an issue where it should be limited, I can't help but wonder why they are traveling this route. Case in point would be e-cigarettes.
I venture into this arena with little or not technical or scientific expertise. I know nothing about e-cigarettes except what I have learned from my own research and from watching some of the people I am around during my daily work. At least two men I work with use e-cigarettes. One of them has completely stopped smoking real cigarettes and the other is working on his own complete cessation. I have been around both of them while they are puffing vapors from their e-cigarettes and I can tell you, first hand, there is no such unpleasant stench as is the case with a real cigarette. Both of these men will tell you their e-cigarettes have been good for them.
Scientifically, there is no real proof that the vapors from e-cigarettes are harmful to those who are near when the vapors are inhaled and exhaled. Given what we know about secondhand smoke from real cigarettes, and the tests that have been performed on the vapors that are produced by e-cigarettes, there is every indication that these vapors are, in fact, far less harmful than secondhand smoke. Why, then do our governments seem so intent on banning something that has proven, to more than a few smokers, to be helpful in stopping smoking habits that have spanned decades?
I often wonder if our governments, again, local, state, and federal, are suffering from a insecurity crisis. They want to be "useful" to us, their constituents, so they often do things that work to secure that usefulness. I can not help but wonder if e-cigarettes are not a prime example of government creating a job for itself. This is apparent all over the country, even in conservative Oklahoma. You see, Governor Mary Fallin recently issued an executive order banning the use of e-cigarettes on state property. Here is some of her reasoning behind that order.
The McCarville Report - Documents attempting to explain Governor Fallins executive order banning e-cigarettes on state property contain bizarre reasons for the ban.
OPINION First, the documents claim their vapor is harmful but admit much more research is needed to make a determination.
Second, the documents assert it is necessary because they look like traditional cigarettes.
So the ban is based on little research and the way e-cigarettes look. Heres what the state document says:
Why cant e-cigarettes and vapor products be used on state property? Isnt the vapor just water vapor?
There are two primary concerns related to the use of vapor products outdoors on state property. First, these products are relatively new, and much more research is needed on the potential impact for users and bystanders. Research has shown that the vapor is notjust water vapor ecigarettes and vapor products still release nicotine and toxic chemicals into the air. Citizens in Oklahoma have come to expect clean air in most places, and the use of ecigarettes and vapor products results in less clean air than currently experienced on state property.
The second concern is related to social norms and public perception of smoking prevalence. Many ecigarettes look like traditional cigarettes and emit a vapor that looks like traditional cigarette smoke. Research shows that teens that see tobacco use in their homes or public places in their community may come to see smoking as a normal part of adult behavior. Since many state agencies offer services to families and youth, it is important to maintain social norms that protect youth from exposure to tobacco use of any kind on state property or by state employees while providing services to Oklahomans.
Mike McCarville is not the only person questioning the wisdom and reasoning behind Governor Fallin's decision to ban e-cigarettes on state property. There is also the question of the implicit recommendation for harmful drugs that are used to help some people stop smoking. Couple that with the fact that Fallin's order is based, in part, on a very suspect interpretation of a research study on e-cigarettes performed by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
There is one other reason why I suspect e-cigarettes are under attack by governments everywhere. In the midst of a long piece by The Huffington Post, I found this piece of information. Listed as one of nine terribly disturbing things about e-cigarettes is the fact that they are not taxed in the same manner as normal cigarettes. It is no big secret that the tobacco companies are taxed in extraordinary fashion. I suppose this is how they must pay for their sins against public health. Is it possible that some governments see e-cigarettes as a threat to their coffers? Maybe they are seeking to be proactive in their search for new fees and taxes to increase their funding?
AxXiom for Liberty - One faulty point that Fallin uses to justify the need for a ban is the result of an embarrassing misreading of existing e-cigarette research by the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Executive Order 2013-43 states that secondary e-cigarette vapor contains formaldehyde.Formaldehyde?!!.
The actual research that the Oklahoma State Department of Health is basing this claim on (see footnotes for their sources) did show a minute increase in formaldehyde that began when the subjects entered the testing room and BEFORE they even began using the e-cigarette.
In the study cited by OSDH the researchers themselves note that the increase in formaldehyde might be caused by the person in the chamber itself, because people are known to exhale formaldehyde in low amounts
If you want to know more about this, Dr. Farsalinos, a Greek cardiologist and researcher does a great job covering the actual findings of the German study that Fallin and the OSDH are basing their formaldehyde claims on here.
In no way am I condoning smoking cigarettes, electronic or real. I believe the Bible teaches a person to be careful about what they allow in their bodies. Smoking tobacco, especially with the additives that are inserted in the manufacturing process, has been proven to be harmful to your health. The nicotine contained in e-cigarettes is a poison to the human body and can be fatal in small doses. There is substantial proof, however, that e-cigarettes have been helpful for some smokers to stop smoking completely. If that works for them, then I see e-cigarettes as a helpful tool.
This is where my inner libertarian comes to the surface. I believe the Bible teaches us against smoking, drinking alcohol, and even overeating. This is because of the harm that all of them can do to the human body. I also believe in personal liberty and freedom. A person should be free to choose what we do with their body. God even allows that. He does not force us to abide by his rules. We are given choices and will face the consequences of those choices in the judgement. Should government not, at least, give us the same choice?
I can fully understand the decision that has been made to ban smoking tobacco products in so many public places. Secondhand smoke is a real and viable danger to public health. Extending the ban to e-cigarettes makes me wonder what the real motive is behind the attack on e-cigarettes. All of this is food for thought. I am more than a little interested to hear what you, my readers, have to say on this burgeoning issue.
No, it's not. That turned out to be just another reckless lie by the safety Nazis. It's unpleasant, though.
Excellent piece. Kind of alarming, to see Oklahoma so concerned about the appearance of an adult smoking a cigarette corrupting the young, whilst selling Plan B abortifacients to 13-year-olds over the counter.
Didn’t we recently get a report that damage from second hand smoke is almost non-existent?
The gov’t loses tax revenue if people switch from heavily taxed tobacco to e-cigs, so they are a danger to gov’t health.
And if we ban things because of the way they look, I might come up with a few suggestions.
Follow the money. Eventually, they will be taxed, and taxed heavily—nicotine will become a controlled substance in the same way that alcohol is a controlled substance. The large tobacco companies will do their best to buy up e-cig producers to maintain their nicotine oligopoly. Whether or not the Marlboro Man mystique transfers to e-cigs remains to be seen.
For me (a non-smoker), these look like a great innovation. If someone wants to be addicted to nicotine, and I don’t have to smell it, great. And, from a societal point of view, if reduction of lung cancer is worthwhile, e-cigs do the job, because there is no tar.
An untaxed tobacco plant, picture taken a few minutes ago. Cigarette included for scale.
Not only will I not comply with the nanny staters, I will figure out a way around them.
Our son smoked cigarettes for over ten years. He tried medication, gum, candy, patches but nothing worked. Then he went to e-cigarettes and it works. He doesn’t smell like cigarettes anymore. His health is better. So I’m a big fan.
I suspect the large tobacco companies will become crony capitalists and attempt to rely on restrictions of new products based on the notion they are “untested and unproven” in order to shut out competition from e cigarettes. Which is a damn shame because e cigarettes are helping people’s lives and genuine tobacco, as much as we rightfully protest the out of control regulations on it, has wrecked lives just as much as alcohol and, yes, marijuana.
“Didnt we recently get a report that damage from second hand smoke is almost non-existent?”
Pretty close. We got an exhaustive study that showed that second hand smoke did not increase the chances of lung cancer.
The whole “second hand smoke” nonsense is almost as much scientific malpractice as anthropogenic global warming.
My son just bought a place with a little land, so I could probably try growing some tobacco. What are the best growing conditions for growing tobacco?
Every time I tell someone that second hand smoke has never been proven harmful, they look at me as though I have three eyes and horns.
Whatever it is, it most definitely is NOT the federal government’s business.
Can you make a salad with green tobacco leaves? Have a healthy lunch and get that nicotine buzz!!!
Coming up on one year since I switched to e-cigarettes. I have noticed significant positive changes to my health, mostly respitory and nasal congestion. The advantages are huge, odor, convenience, cleanliness and cost. A five box cartridge costs me 10.00 and lasts for about six days. I have read that over twelve million people have switched to vapors from cigarettes. Hell yes the gubmint finds something wrong with them.........they are losing huge tax revenue.
I’ve been using “e” for nearly two years....swear by ‘em.....and all our docs have zero resistance to our using.
Hell yes the gubmint finds something wrong with them.........they are losing huge tax revenue.
Remember Homer Simpson and his genetically engineered food hybrid....Tomacco? (Tomatoes and tobacco)
Everyone in town was hooked.
That’s what I was thinking too.
That’s what I was thinking too.
You would pretty much poison yourself.
There's a lot of nicotine in just one leaf.
Just handling the leaves at harvest time will give you a real buzz.
You got it. Anymore I have had it with the whole demonization of what is normal and accepted and replacing it with what is perverse and unacceptable.
Now I am not the sort of person to be "difficult for the sake of being difficult" (blaring example would be vegetarians), but I am about at the point to just give the finger to the whole of our corrupted lunatic culture and Go Galt.
The last time I went to doctor for a checkup, I made sure non-smoker was put on my medical chart.
The gestapo people in city, state, and federal govn. are so intent on running your life, they don't want you to have something in your hand that looks like a cigarette. A pox on them for wanting to control my entire life down to what I put in my mouth.
Those of you who don't smoke, will one of these days, not be allowed to buy certain foods to put in your mouth and other food will be taxed. There will be a tax on butter, veggie oil, power drinks, anything with sugar in it, anything with salt in it, every dessert, whatever they can tax saying it isn't good for you.
Eventually, you will be personally taxed if you weigh over a certain amount for your height. That is already on your medical chart that is in a computer.
That last time I went to the doctor, I asked him if the government had access to our records with him. He said they are all on computer and the government can get them any time they want. So, they will know if you are over weight and it's my opinion, you will be taxed due to those extra pounds.
You don't care if we are taxed for e-cigs, but you will not escape taxation in the future for what you put in your mouth. However, if you engage in homosexual sex, it is not your fault you get AIDS and that treatment will be covered by insurance as long as you need it before you die. /s/s
Nazi governments are quite fond of forbidding, regulating, and taxing the behavior of others. It makes them feel good.
Control-freaks gotta control.
You made the following statement in your piece:
Given what we know about secondhand smoke from real cigarettes…these vapors are, in fact, far less harmful than secondhand smoke.
Exactly how harmful is secondhand smoke?
A paper by James E Enstrom (UCLA School of Public Health) and Geoffrey C Kabat (Albert Einstein College of Medicine) published in 2003 tracked over 118,000 Californians from 1959 to 1998. This study had the following conclusion:
The results do not support a causal relation between environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality, although they do not rule out a small effect. The association between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and coronary heart disease and lung cancer may be considerably weaker than generally believed.
The study, Environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality in a prospective study of Californians, 1960-98, was originally published in the British Medical Journal.
Then we have a German study, Mortality from Cancer and Other Causes among Airline Cabin Attendants in Germany, 19601997, originally published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2002, that concluded:
Airline cabin attendants are exposed to several potential occupational hazards, including cosmic radiation. Little is known about the mortality pattern and cancer risk of these persons. The authors conducted a historical cohort study among cabin attendants who had been employed by two German airlines in 1953 or later. Mortality follow-up was completed through December 31, 1997. The authors computed standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) for specific causes of death using German population rates. The effect of duration of employment was evaluated with Poisson regression. The cohort included 16,014 women and 4,537 men (approximately 250,000 person-years of follow-up). Among women, the total number of deaths (n = 141) was lower than expected (SMR = 0.79, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.67, 0.94). The SMR for all cancers (n = 44) was 0.79 (95% CI: 0.54, 1.17), and the SMR for breast cancer (n = 19) was 1.28 (95% CI: 0.72, 2.20). The SMR did not increase with duration of employment. Among men, 170 deaths were observed (SMR = 1.10, 95% CI: 0.94, 1.28). The SMR for all cancers (n = 21) was 0.71 (95% CI: 0.41, 1.18). The authors found a high number of deaths from acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (SMR = 40; 95% CI: 28.9, 55.8) and from aircraft accidents among the men. In this cohort, ionizing radiation probably contributed less to the small excess in breast cancer mortality than reproductive risk factors. Occupational causes seem not to contribute strongly to the mortality of airline cabin attendants.
(Note that Lufthansa did not ban smoking on their flights until 1997)
Bottom line, by actual peer-reviewed epidemiological studies, what hazards are there to second-hand smoke?
Ping to post #28. A couple of links in there that you can cite for authority.
There are any number of studies that show secondhand smoke is dangerous to those who breath it. The chemicals it contains are toxic to the human body and some of them are known to cause cancer.
“E-cigarette, public danger or untaxed source of government revenue.”
OK, so can you cite a long term statistically sound epidemiological study that backs that assertion up?
After all, there are plenty of studies that show that anthropogenic global warming will destroy the planet...too bad none of them are sound.
I still smoke real cigarettes but have been using the e-cigs when driving. Major improvement. The car no longer smells like an ashtray.
and you can wean yourself off nicotine, if you want.
how are the leaves in a salad? can you eat em?
Are e-cigs taxed like regular cigs?
If not, the state and feds probably want to wipe out competition. Gotta keep the money flowing.
Don’t forget they will cover operations for trans sexuals too.
Some of the companies are already making you pay extra for insurance if your BMI is too much. Never mind that well conditioned athletes and other healthy people who workout and have muscles instead of fat will have a higher BMI.