Debunking the Five Most Ridiculous Assertions About E-Cigarettes

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John Gilhooley
Such little bottles, so much drama...
Assertions about e-cigarettes run the gamut from factual, misinformed, overly positive, and just downright stupid. The latter is the easiest to run with because it's so damn sensational...and easily debunked. Here are our favorites...

1. Nicotine Juice is Extremely Dangerous

A recent New York Times article contended that e-liquid is just poison by the barrel, and that title alone sparked E-Fer Madness across the Interwebz. Since then, reams of articles have fretted about hundreds of cases of people poisoned by it, whether from ingesting the e-liquid, puffing like a maniac, or spilling it on themselves in their sleep.

The truth: E-liquid is not for drinking nor is it a topical oil. There's hundreds of chemical products in every American home that if ingested or poured onto the skin would make for a real bummer of a night. Most people poisoned by juice via ingestion are kids. Kids are also known to eat shit and drink Drain-O if left to their own devices.

Poisoning by inhalation is also easily debunked. Puffing on nicotine for three hours straight makes you nauseous? No way! Smoking regular cigarettes for three hours straight will do the same exact thing! That also applies to drinking, marijuana, excessive jogging, oversleeping, playing Grand Theft Auto V , and every other activity if done in excess. Moderation has always been the key, and e-cigs are no different.

One of the few articles to point out this obvious fact quoted someone with little clout these days--a Big Tobacco man. Jason Healy, the president of Lorillard Inc.'s Blu E-cigs Unit, told the Winston-Salem Journal, "The product is for adult smokers, and therefore the responsibility for children's safety falls on the parents, just like bleaches and prescription medications...The focus should be on parenting and education, and not regulation."

2. Exhaled Vapor is Equivalent to Second Hand Smoke

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John Gilhooley
Oh no! That's not a barrel full of poison, is it?

Oh no! Pull the fire alarm! We don't know the affects of second-hand vapor and we're all gonna diiie!

The Huffington Post wrote a laughable piece on the possible dangers of second-hand vapor, and that's not even counting when they wondered if it's safe to "bogart an e-cig" or why people have "got to" smoke in the first place. They examined an admittedly small study by Wolfgang Schober of the Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority that found exhaled vapor worsened the indoor air quality and increase the concentration of nicotine, PAHs, and aluminum in the room. Well, sure: if you're hanging out in a vape shop with 10 other people puffing away, it might get a little hazy. But for the average person that doesn't vape, it won't affect them since it dissipates almost instantly and the amount of nicotine released after a person has already inhaled is minute. You'll get more nicotine in your system if you eat an eggplant for dinner.

Time Magazine quoted a study from Nicotine and Tobacco Research that "found...e-cigarettes are a source of second-hand exposure to nicotine, but not of other compounds released when tobacco is burned." They also pointed out that the amount of nicotine was 10 times less than tobacco smoke. Pretty sure that when folks worry about real second-hand smoke, it's not the nicotine they're concerned about.



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22 comments
pamg777
pamg777

LP Hastings has his/her facts wrong. I spent a 2-hour car ride with an avid e-vaper 10 days ago and haven't stopped coughing ever since. My lungs felt weird from his first puff. Now I've got fluid in my lungs that will not subside. Wait until studies are in and scientific facts are published before you go writing an inane, non fact-based, biased and dumb opinion on the health effects of a vapor made from a substance which, if an adult drank a mere tablespoon of, may cause DEATH. Get your facts straight.

jerrypage91
jerrypage91

As teenagers we all did things we weren’t proud of, that’s what teenagers do and one of these things is smoking now if a child was going to try nicotine and studies indicate there is a pretty good chance as a parent would you want them breathing in over 3,000 cancer causing agents plus tar and carbon-monoxide which is found in tobacco smoke or water vapor and nicotine which is found in the E-cigarette ? While nicotine is not harmless in small amounts it can improve mental function and it does feel good so if kids are going to do it may aswell do it as safely as possible so the argument about E-cigarettes as a gateway device has been squashed. more on http://soulblu.com/

valeriecrowfard
valeriecrowfard

State & Co Insurance http://statecoinsurance.com/content/e-cigarette-insuranceoffers a unique combination of innovative products and services to meet the rapidly changing needs of our e cigarette business clients. We work with electronic cigarette retailers, distributors and manufacturers. We have relationships with some of the largest insurance companies in the world, which gives us the ability to place virtually any type of e cigarette risk.

jazzer
jazzer

The nicotine Nazis are mainly against this for one reason. They don't like the way it looks. What's next? Put a ban on James Dean and Humphrey Bogart movies?


Also, nice article.

DavidFoureyes
DavidFoureyes topcommenter

6. Using a vaporizer doesn't make you look ridiculous.

jjl809221
jjl809221

Ok, I can solve this pretty quickly.

My wife smoked for 43 years.

She started using an e-cig which uses juice one year ago.

She has not had one cigarette since then.

Her O2 level has increased.

Her coughing has been history for 11 months.

Her lungs are clear and free of noise.

The house stopped smelling 6 months ago.

Her blood pressure dropped to almost normal levels.

Her pulse is now normal.

We have saved over $1,000.

She does not vape constantly and is on track to being done with nicotine juice within 3 months. She is now on the lowest level.

Chantix, patches gum did nto work.

This did..no nightmares, no frights, no skin irritation.

Solved.

tee-wee
tee-wee

Either e-cig makers paid for this piece, or it was written by a 15 year old who vapes, or both. I say smoke (or vape) 'em if you got 'em, but at least present an intelligent argument if you want to debate it.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

As a [former] long-term smoker, I was never able to find out what the health risks of nicotine were.  Smoking, sure; tons of studies.  Chewing, sure.  But not just plain nicotine.  When I went on Chantix to help quit, the risks were clear and pretty scary, though not common. The scary dreams were a real problem, but a little Melatonin helped that and the course of Chantix was only 3 months.  All the times I used the patch it worked, until it was time to completely go off it.  Then I had all the symptoms so familiar to us nicotine addicts.  What are the health impacts of just plain nicotine? I've never seen a real answer to that question.  That's what's missing from the vaping discussion.

Rucus
Rucus

I believe the main concern is that in the cheap(er) quality vapes, the atomizer is made out of low quality metal, which in turn allows people to inhale dangerous molecules. Aluminum is the main metal used in the cheap vape e-cigs. Alzheimer's anyone?

BobLoblawsLawBlog
BobLoblawsLawBlog

6. Vaping looks cool. Sorry idiot, but you still look like a dork even if the "cherry" is blue. You don't look like some futuristic bounty-hunter. You look like an asshole.

Vaping is just a new nicotine delivery device. Smoking is dying and rightly so. Hopefully vaping will be a niche market like hookas and pot. But to say that the flavored nicotine juice is not marketed to kids is naive at best. While I'm sure that 6 year olds are not going to bother with it, 13 year olds will. Get 'em while they're young. It's the same trick the tobacco companies pulled with cigarettes. Most of the purveyers do not want regulation. "and some juice makers have already moved production into OSHA certified facilities." whoop-dee-do, they're following already established legal frameworks designed so their workers are in a safe environment. Weak-sauce at best. We still do not know what, if any, health effects vaping may have, but it should be watched like a hawk because we are already aware of nicotine's addictive nature. The last thing we need is another form of addiction just when we seemed to be kicking the habit of cigarettes.

Homer
Homer

What are the top 5 ways to modify an e-cig ?

JGlanton
JGlanton topcommenter

Good and informative article, LP. Issues, claims, and counterclaims. 


I'd like to see more of this tone at the OC Weekly. 

LPHastings
LPHastings

@tee-wee  Would you like to point out specific reasons why it isn't intelligent? Gotta be able to back your claims, bud. That's debate 101.  

LPHastings
LPHastings

@swmnguy  Nicotine isn't bad for you in moderation. There's a lot of nicotine in certain vegetables; it's a natural thing. Think of it like caffeine. One or two cups of coffee a day isn't going to do any harm. Maybe three won't even do harm. But once you start drinking more coffee than that you feel yucky. You get headaches, your tummy hurts, and you feel sick. It's the same thing with nicotine. If you vape a reasonable amount then the nicotine probably won't harm you, but if you're puffing all day long then you won't feel good.

velvetcloudy
velvetcloudy

@BobLoblawsLawBlog

So neat that the Pope stopped by the OC Weekly to tell us what 'we need' to do. Would you also submit a list of everything you do and ingest so we can judge you accordingly? Not everyone is as enamored with the sound of your voice as you are...

a_vap-er
a_vap-er

@BobLoblawsLawBlog  I may "look like an asshole",but you sounds like a self righteous one. And in what delusion are we "kicking the habit of cigarettes"?

tee-wee
tee-wee

@LPHastings Though you're asking me to do something that you did not often do in your short piece, here goes - in order of the 5 "myths" you "debunked":

1: You quote a "big tobacco man", who you note has little clout, to say that parents should take the responsibility. Judging by the history of big tobacco, and even after admitting that he's not the best source, you print his asinine quote. That's not evidence, it's an opinion from a guy who works in an industry that actively lied to the world. That's not an intelligent argument.

2. The HuffPo article was pretty weak, but not only did it examine the effect of second hand vape completely separate from 2nd hand smoke, it also offered a study as evidence. You offered no study to back up your claims that it dissipates quickly, etc. That's not an intelligent argument, it's only your opinion unless you can offer evidence to back it up.

3. Essentially the same problem as #2 - your "debunking" offers no proof or studies that bolster your statement. A quote from an expert is just a quote unless there's some backup. You offer plenty of opinions, but putting the word scientific in quotes is not cute, and it's not an intelligent argument.

4.You refer to your own opinion in earlier in the argument rather than anything either evidential or intelligent. Did you really think that was an intelligent argument? It wasn't.

5. More anecdotal "evidence", without even a quote to show any evidence. Coupled with #4, it looks like you're now just mailing it in. Also, I hope you know that something being kosher does not mean it's safe, just that it's made within kashrut law. Meth could likely be kosher, that wouldn't make it safe, OSHA rules deal only with workplace safety, and confer no certificate of safety on a product. None. At all. Not an intelligent argument.

In short, you may have reams of evidence to back up what you wrote, but you chose to use none of it. I do think that you earned whatever big vape must have paid you, but don't equate that with an intelligent argument.


BobLoblawsLawBlog
BobLoblawsLawBlog

Awww. did your widdle feewings get hurt? I tell you what, you tell me where I tell people what they "need" to do beyond keeping an eye on this new delivery device? You sound like one of those defensive douch-bags smokers who gets mad when they're told not to smoke in a restraunt.

BobLoblawsLawBlog
BobLoblawsLawBlog

That's great you are content with looking like an asshole. I'm glad you are embracing the latest and greatest way to ingest a drug and poison. I'm sure it will be almost as much fun as actual smoking. The constant worry if you have enough to last until you can get more. The wonderful people you meet. The money spent on something that is most likely going to contribute to a early death. Smoking rates have declined pretty consistantly since 1964 (when the Surgeon General issued his famous warning). If you cannot be bothered to even look up that basic fact, you're an uninformed asshole. Great job!

sgtmajorbill
sgtmajorbill

@BobLoblawsLawBlog

You sound like a control freak with a screw loose about nicotine. Why don't you worry about just yourself for a change? I know that will be overwhelming and unpleasant for you. Rome wasn't built in a day was it, Pontiff? Can I get you a caffeinated beverage or a glass of lukewarm water? Stay cool blah blah. Congrats on your blog...

sgtmajorbill
sgtmajorbill

@BobLoblawsLawBlog

Your ad hominem debating style is so persuasive I just changed my mind. Bet you're a lot of fun at parties!

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