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Electronic cigarettes, part 2, Warning whispers

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The negative feedback received in wake of the electronic cigarette article struck unexpected. The introduction article was not meant to stir public contempt, but was designed to reveal a potentially serious health concern not yet documented by the FDA. In effort to place this article series on track the negative feedback must be addressed. To be sure, all comments were read and considered, with due respect for those voicing their opinions. However, it seems that the readers who commented either misunderstood or carelessly read the work, which caused them to unduly judge the writer.

To begin with, the reader comments charged the writer with making "unsubstantiated claims", "lack of research", "lies and falsehoods". But in truth, while reviewing reader reactions, many of which were strewn with overlapping redundancy; a fearful blaze of mostly frivolous claims made by e-cig users, seeming to regard the writer as their adversary -- publishing false findings to stop the ‘supply' feeding their addictions.  Perhaps e-cig users thought they had escaped the tremendous challenge of "breaking the habit".    

For clarity, an article such as this should not take more than 750 words to write, though it takes more than  mere "cover reading," to fairly judge such a piece as having been "poorly written". But the writer still should not patronize the reader by listing the research hyperlink yet again.

The topic has been diligently investigated and the findings soundly assimilated.

Perhaps new readers may find the writer is not seeking to encourage or discourage the use of the electronic cigarette, but aims only to reveal the truth regarding false advertising claims made by product manufacturers, so to prevent children from legally purchasing it, for it may lead them to smoking tobacco should the FDA impose a permanent ban on the device.  E-cig manufactures seem unwilling to step-up and design a better quality "smoke free" device.  
 

Furthermore, the comments against last week's article seemed a mix of fear and verbal rubbish; the two often go together when clever people overwrought with emotion reduce themselves to casting baseless insults. However, there were also comments that lent thought-provoking insights, even though the former heavily outweighed the latter -- as is often the case with controversial issues. Something Nietzsche refers to as "herd behavior".  One often secures a sense of safety tucked in the shadow of majority opinion. 

In truth, article 1 contains a small gluttony of scientific research. But did the reader closely investigate the piece and open the hyperlink listed in the first sentence of the article? Did the reader also open the links listed on the page which  the writer carefully selected for the very purpose of providing research procedures and results? Did the reader give the writer a fair chance before casting 'paper stones' of superficial judgments?  Perhaps the contemptuous readers should take a look at the "foundation link" provided in last week's piece.   There they will find an FDA article link containing far greater condemnation than the warning whispers voiced in this series. 

But it is not the job of the writer to instruct the reader of how to follow a trail of hyperlinks. If the reader had properly read the piece it would have made a brighter picture of the scorching test results.  But instead, like children, many even boasted their product knowledge compared to that of the writer, as though they had won some sort of challenge -- but never seeing how they overlooked or suppressed or ignored something they may have learned from instead of 'conquered' in their imaginations.

Again, research has been done; the facts and findings have been presented with integrity; from photos of used cartridges tested by the writer, to evidence and data gladly offered to any university or laboratory wishing to substantiate the findings. Yes, it is true, the evidence has been brought to a material testing lab.  But why bother with proof beyond pictures of used cartridges?  Material testing facilities demand editing oversight to keep their company name clear of public controversy, and documentation is worth nothing without the name of the lab  backing the results. However, the writer will disclose that only the most basic research was done and was done solely for the purpose of proving the combustion theory. To be clear, the actual "safety level" of the devise was not tested, and even despite traces of combustion identified, scientists speculated with confidence that the electronic cigarette was far less harmful than those containing tobacco. As for the other charges readers posted against last week's article, it seems best to simply let the matter be, save for a few additional comments that may further help clarify things.

 One gentleman posted a comment in which he correctly cited that the chemical composition of liquid nicotine withstands 700° heat and the 2 wires connected to the battery (1 positive and 1 negative wire) heat up to 350/400° -- depending upon both the strength of the user's "vape-pull" and the device's rate of use. However, the combustion theory presented in the previous article had nothing to do with burning liquid nicotine. It was rather the various synthetics which scorch at much lower temperatures. Try placing plastic or paper inside an oven set at 400° and see what happens -- the acrid smell of fumes.
In close, it is morally wrong to falsely advertise any product, especially a product such as this, and even (if) in this case the benefits outweigh the potential for long-term danger, who could deny it is wrong that such a device remains as accessible to children as ice cream; it would seem hard pressed for anyone to refute this moral debauchery -- soulless manufactures advertising more than ‘31 flavors.'   Certainly not to appease the adult demographic, as some readers had actually summoned the audacity to minimize and to deny.  What if they were your children? 
 

As for the death charges posted against last week's piece -- supported by two postings -- perhaps one should consider the children before they consider themselves and other adults fighting the addiction. However, if e-cig manufactures and distributors move swiftly and produce a higher quality product, along with stricter, self-mandated distribution practices then the FDA might yet still decide to stay at bay.

Smoke related cancer could become a disease of the past if only all the experts and technology joined together and designed a near flawless e-cigarette.  What a concept.  And what a tragedy it truly is that this will likely never occur -- for obvious reasons too tragic to list.  
 

Comments

  • Profile picture of concerned consumer
    concerned consumer 3 years ago

    Sir, could you please;
    1) Share with your readers the peer reviewed, scientific research studies that you used to formulate your opinions that you have shared? Using the links you provided in your part one article, I find a series of news releases, summaries, and media updates. These, I assume you would agree, do not constitute links to peer reviewed, published research study results. Citing one's sources is an important part of imparting information for publication.
    2) Share with your readers your credentials that would indicate competence in evaluating the aforementioned published research studies.
    3) Provide the results of your submission to the material testing lab- redacting the name of the lab as you indicated would be necessary for privacy concerns, although, it would seem that if the lab in question was unwilling to stand behind it's work, one should wonder why.
    4) Include in your anecdotal testing more than the oldest technology cartomizer available, and include the options such as direct dripping or the new tank atomizers that use no filler material at all.
    5) Understand that it is possible that you are incorrect in your conclusions- especially if they are based on faulty, incomplete, or one sided sources (as your sources seem to be), and accept that you may need to explore both sides of the debate and examine the information that each side provides prior to publishing your articles.
    Thank You

  • sqrrlsarge 3 years ago

    First off, I just want to say this is probably the best flame war I have EVER seen yet; I have never seen somebody write an actual article fully in response to negative feedback on their last article. Now then, let's get to a few things, shall we? First off, as the first guy here said, your source was a link to a news article, from almost 2 years ago. everybody knows the study done by the FDA was hardly scientific, they took 2 brands, one I know for a fact was the N-Joy, a very low quality e-cig that you can buy from 7-11 right next to the 5 hour energy and beef jerky for about 20 dollars, and I believe the other one was the 51 trio, another notoriously low quality E-cig that costs about 40 dollars. It's a COMPLETE misnomer that diethylene glycol is a main ingredient in the cartridges; in reality, it's propylene glycol that is the main ingredient, which is just a polypropylene compound found in several things you put in your body on a daily basis such as gum. the problem is, low quality E-cigs use low quality propylene glycol, which can contain the toxic diethylene glycol. Now, let's talk about the combustion issue. I have taken apart my cartridge when I was done with it and saw no evidence that anything inside it burned at all, for the record I use a Green Nicotine E-cig, which by the way only sells flavors based on traditional tobacco cigarettes, in particular, one based on Marlboro, one based on Camel, and one menthol flavor. (part 2 coming)

  • sqrrlsarge 3 years ago

    (part 2)
    I agree that it's wrong to market these to kids, and many responsible companies, such as green nicotine, only want hard core smokers to use their products, you can look at their website here if you haven't already at greennicotine.com another issue I have is the credibility of the FDA. I honestly do not trust the FDA or the government as they have clearly shown that in the past they are easily bought up and allow things that shouldn't be allowed. there are many dangerous drugs that kids are FORCED to take as children that adults shouldn't even be taking. in particular, ADD medications and anti-depressants. when I was a kid, I had no choice to take adderall, and I'll tell you what, I became emaciated when I was in 8th grade because of it. I couldn't sleep for days straight, and at one point I looked like I got out of a concentration camp because I could barely force myself to eat. one day I nearly killed myself because of it, and I know many people who have family that DID kill themselves because of benzodiazepines that they were prescribed to. but of course, the FDA doesn't care, and neither do the pharmaceutical companies that paid the FDA off so that they could use these terrible drugs on children. if you want my opinion, big tobacco and pharmaceutical companies that make cessation products that don't work have collaborated to make sure the FDA slams electronic cigarettes as much as possible so people will keep using their stuff. (one more thing, part 3 coming)

  • sqrrlsarge 3 years ago

    (last thing, part 3)
    The last thing I want to point out is that E-cig companies aren't on nearly the same level as big tobacco. comparing the 2 is like comparing wal-mart to a local convince store chain. Companies like Phillip-Morris have been around for what, 80 years or more? these E-cig companies are a new thing that don't have near the funds or near the lobbying power tobacco companies have, and as I said before, I honestly think that the FDA has proven untrustworthy in several instances (and I really would like to explain more examples of what I mean, and I will later if you ask me to!), so I can only believe that the FDA is being bribed to show electronic cigarettes in a negative light as much as possible, as the people I mentioned before see them as a threat. also, once again, please show me every E-cig model and brand you experimented with, because "highest consumer rated" means nothing. this ain't the auto industry here. I only recognized a few of the cartridges you showed in the picture, and they were to brands that are gross and crappy. mine is almost completely made of metal except a few parts that as I said before, showed no evidence of being burnt when I opened a completely used up cartridge.

  • BSmeter 3 years ago

    You're sounding a little defensive and self-righteous there, writer. And yes, I have a few comments. First, the 'paper, plastic' comparison is EXTREMELY poor - No, no. The writer meant what he wrote. He specifically stated, "However, what the E-cig industry does not reveal or perhaps even realize is that the device produces not only vapor but also smoke; there is in fact a combustion process involved, which occurs when the nicotine inside the reservoir is transformed from a liquid to a so-called vapor. And this fact alone should be enough to stop the sale of this product."

    Uh, writer? Hello? As ex-smokers ... I'm sure we know what smoke tastes like. And to add, there's nothing more obvious than the smell of burning plastic. Oh, and by the way ... it's not a 'so-called' vapor - it IS vapor. How about you, oh I don't know, interview some doctors instead of playing into this fear-mentality the FDA is playing with the public? FDA has indirectly killed many people's lives and ruined others because of it's lack of testing certain medicines. Hah. Funny. They're repeating this lack-of-testing mistake with e-cigarettes, when it could save thousands of lives. Doctors know it already; their patients health and lab results PROVE it. FDA so far hasn't proved a DAMN thing.

    Please educate yourself. Please. Because this poor attempt at defense (which failed, big time) needs to be remedied.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    Can't believe you posted a follow up to your originally poorly researched first piece. Not only a follow up, but a defense of the original. If you had any sense you would have left it alone.

    I'll just add to the previous responses that I started using an E cig before the FDA's dog and pony show and press release that generated so much unfounded media attention. Way before the FDA lost their first court case where the court found no proof offered by the FDA that E Cigs were any danger to the public. Long enough ago to have read the Appeals Court opinions that the original ruling was correct.

    In fact, it's been so, so long ago that I haven't had a puff on a real cigarette in well over a year now after smoking for 43 years. I now only occasionally take a few puffs off mine when the mood strikes me, just for the flavor. The E cig is the best invention ever for getting off cigarettes. It's a shame your myopic eyes can't see that.

  • Profile picture of ekeller-646
    ekeller-646 3 years ago

    Looking for some research? Here you go:

    Ayers JW, Ribisl KM, Brownstein JS. (2011) Tracking the rise in popularity of electronic nicotine delivery systems (electronic cigarettes) using search query surveillance. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2011 Apr;40(4):448-53. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21406279

    Bullen,,C., McRobbie, H., Thornley, S., Glover, M., Lin, R., & Laugesen, M. (2010) Effect of an electronic nicotine delivery device (e cigarette) on desire to smoke and withdrawal, user preferences and nicotine delivery: randomised cross-over trial. Tobacco Control. 2010 Apr;19(2):98-103. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20378585

    Cahn, Z. & Siegel, M. Electronic cigarettes as a harm reduction strategy for tobacco control: A step forward or a repeat of past mistakes? Journal of Public Health Policy(2011) 32, 16–31. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/centers-institutes/population-development/fi...

    Etter, JF. (2010) Electronic cigarettes: a survey of users. BMC Public Health. 2010; 10: 231. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2877672/

    (continued)

  • Profile picture of ekeller-646
    ekeller-646 3 years ago

    Laugesen, M. (2010) Nicotine electronic cigarette sales are permitted under the Smokefree Environments Act. N Z Med J. 2010 Jan 23;123(1308):103-5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20173811

    Siegel, M., Tanwar, KL., & Wood, K. (2011) Electronic Cigarettes as a Smoking Cessation Strategy: Results from an Online Survey. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Volume 40, Issue 4 , Pages 468-471, April 2011. http://www.ajpm-online.net/article/S0749-3797(10)00794-4/fulltext

    Trtchounian A., Williams M., & Talbot, P. (July 19, 2010) Conventional and electronic cigarettes (e-ciagrettes) have different smoking characteristics. Nicotine & Tobacco Research Advance Access. Doi:10.1093/ntr/ntq114 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20644205

    Vansickel, AR., Cobb, CO., Weaver, MF., & Eissenberg, TE..(2010) A clinical laboratory model for evaluating the acute effects of electronic "cigarettes": nicotine delivery profile and cardiovascular and subjective effects. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010 Aug;19(8):1945-53. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20647410

  • Profile picture of ekeller-646
    ekeller-646 3 years ago

    This site has a lot of nerve telling me that I have "triggered the spam filter" when I had to dismiss a gazillion pop-ups tyring to put in these comments. There are 7 popups that I still have to get to. This is just too annoying Dick. I won't be back.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    It's always been said you can find any claptrap poorly written if you want to on the INTERNET, this writer proves the point. I'm certainly glad the comments cited some credible studies my real scientists with actual factual data.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    Humorous that part 2 tries to focus on the psychological aspects of why readers reacted, then to try to subtly and negatively label them as desperate addicts, which would of COURSE be the only reason they would react with such disdain. This is where your two pieces should have started and stayed. You should have left out any attempt to conclude health risks or benefits, as that requires examining the scientific facts, and floated in the clouds with your thoughts. Stick to what you know.

    Reporting on health requires you to follow proper protocol for scientific exploration. By not doing so, you are doing harming those less mentally nimble. You are no champion, but rather an ill-informed opinion based on NO scientific review, and consequently neither deserve any credibility with any reporting you do nor to be labeled as a health examiner.

    Fact is we know MORE about what is in electronic cigarettes than we do about traditional cigarettes, and every single thing that the liquid is composed of is ALREADY AN INGREDIENT IN TRADITIONAL CIGARETTES!

    Children can no more buy one of these devices than they can purchase a pack of traditional smokes so don't bother with that emotional plea. Adults gladly take their chance to try the "31 flavors". Just because a person is over 18 doesn't conclude you to a proper belief that they don't want to taste peach or licorice. Afterall, they are trying to leave tobacco behind, why would they all want to taste that and only that?

  • santhony 3 years ago

    I just turned 63 and had been smoking real cigarettes since I was 16 until 6 weeks ago when I started "vaping" using electronic cigarettes. During the last 6 weeks I have not even thought of smoking a "real" cigarette with the result that my breathing is better, I no longer cough throughout the day, my senses of taste and smell have returned, and I no longer smell bad. This is all in opposition to previous attempts at quitting using other FDA approved methods such as nicotine patches and antidepressents that not only did not work, but caused me to become generally angry at everything and terribly depressed.

    I've read both your original article, which I found to be full of just plain factual errors and over-hyped "warnings," all 61 of the comments to that article, and this followup with comments, and I have to conclude that you didn't then and still do not know what you are talking about. Worse, in the intervening months since the first article, you do not seem to have investigated very much the "other side" of the debate to become better informed.