Reviews. Resources. Specifications.

Mislead & Misinform

This slide is copied from a presentation by a medical health professional that is a moderator for a smoke cessation program. The moderator is hired by a hospital and works through a diabetes education organization.

I sat through this presentation and objected to this slide and one previous (which I do not have a copy of, but will describe).

There is not one single true statement in the slide. All statements are absolutely incorrect, unproven and not documented in any other literature through any health facility or government website.

First statement. "Most contain unregulated amounts of nicotine."  In Canada at least, the label and ingredients are governed by the Food and Drug Act.

Second statement: "Release acetic acid, acetone, isoprene, formaldehyde and acetaldehyde into the air" is a statement taken from a University of California (San Francisco) report that has been proven to be completely false. Most of the chemicals listed are in regular cigarettes ... See my comments and copies of the rebuttal on this. Some of these statements are also copied a provincial Lung Association website, also fostering mis-information.

Third statement: "Put detectable levels of several significant carcinogens & toxins in the air" is from the same University of California (San Francisco) report and has been proven to be completely false. See my comments and copies of the rebuttal on this.

Fourth statement: "Health concern for bystanders" ... is the moderator's interpretation of the two previous false statements.

Fifth statement: "? More difficult to stop smoking with such a familiar presentation" ... I discussed this with the moderator and was told that this was the moderator's take on using electronic cigarettes as a smoke cessation strategy. The question mark at the front is conciliation that the moderator's view is not firm. I would hope so ... the moderator through this four week smoke cessation program teaches how to replace every single "familiar presentation" with another action that is identical or similar. For example, the moderator suggests using a pen/pencil etc as a round and similar form to a cigarette to move to the lips as a mimic of the action of taking a puff on a cigarette. In other slides in this third week of this program, the moderator offers that the brand Nicorette Inhaler is a nicotine replacement therapy that would work perfectly since it uses hand to mouth, and mouth stimulation as a cigarette would and even duplicates the inhalation process.

Missing Slide: The handout for this class is missing several slides (as most handouts are each week). There are several statements on the missing slide. I have to paraphrase here, I did not copy them exactly – but put the comments and my thoughts on this page.

I took exception to every  slide related to electronic cigarettes for several reasons (with a few noted exceptions):

  1. I see absolutely no difference between electronic cigarettes and any other form of nicotine replacement therapy that includes: nicotine gum, nicotine lozenges, nicotine patches, nicotine mist, nicotine inhaler ... and others. They are all a method of handling the addiction component of smoking while getting rid of the 4000+ plus chemicals in regular cigarettes. I do want to note that other than dealing with nicotine replacement, eCigs are different in that they are not "health" related products and make no such claims.
  2. The chemicals in electronic cigarettes are common to all of them (that I am aware of, there may be some that I am not aware of). Those chemicals are:
    • nicotine
    • propylene glycol (PG) and/or vegetable glycol (VG): can be 100% of one or the other, or a mix - typically 70%/30% or 50%/50% PG/VG
    • flavoring
    I have these chemicals described in detail on the eLiquid page.
  3. The chemicals used in electronic cigarettes are USP Food Grade
  4. Electronic Cigarette vendors in Canada, for the most part, are members of the Electronic Cigarette Trade Association of Canada. ECTA promotes compliance with rules and regulations and stopping the "wild west" market environment that exists now. 

I do completely agree with one basic premise of the moderator of this class: there is something fundamentally wrong with the eCig industry as it is. It needs to be better regulated and I hope that happens soon. While this should come under some government scrutiny, I believe the industry can self-regulate. I do not believe that the regular cigarette industry vendors (big tobacco companies) should have any favoritism in this process ... and it appears they are being favored now. As I write this, the company Lorillard Tobacco Company owns the electronic cigarette brand Blu. This brand is already widely distributed in convenience stores. In my neighborhood, I am able to buy Blu electronic cigarettes in six different locations, all within minutes of my home. That's in addition to availability through on-line shopping on the Blu eCig website. Governments in the US and Canada are chasing smaller vendors while allowing the tobacco companies to proliferate. Yes, something needs to be done about this emerging industry ...