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> E-Cigarettes, Is There a Controversy?
BoF
post Feb 12 2014, 06:12 PM
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One of our current fads is the “electronic cigarette.” There is much information on the web, both pro and con about these products.

I have chosen an article from the Mayo Clinic as the basis of this thread.

QUOTE
Electronic cigarettes, often called e-cigarettes, are battery-operated devices that provide inhaled doses of a vaporized solution of either propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin along with liquid nicotine. An atomizer heats the solution into a vapor that can be inhaled. The process, referred to as ‘vaping,’ creates a vapor cloud that resembles cigarette smoke. Some liquids contain flavoring, making them more appealing to users.

As of right now, there is no long-term safety data showing the impact of repeated inhalation of propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin on lung tissue,’ cautions Jon Ebbert, M.D., associate director at Mayo Clinic's Nicotine Dependence Center. ‘There is some short-term data suggesting that e-cigarettes may cause airway irritation, but until we have long-term safety data, we are not recommending e-cigarettes for use among cigarette smokers to help people stop smoking.’

http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussi...garettes-26c7a6

Questions for debate:

1. Are e-cigarettes a safe alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes?

2. Should the FDA or other government entities regulate e-cigarettes the same as traditional tobacco products?

3. Should e-cigarettes be banned in specific places like restaurants?


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scubatim
post Feb 12 2014, 06:49 PM
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1. Are e-cigarettes a safe alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes?
I have a hard time believing there is anything safe about inhaling nicotine. I do believe it is safer than commercial cigarettes unless there are more ingredients that were not listed in the above quote.

2. Should the FDA or other government entities regulate e-cigarettes the same as traditional tobacco products?
Same as traditional tobacco products? I would lean towards no given it is not a tobacco product. I believe, however that the FDA given it's current role should have regulatory authority over this product based on scientific data.

3. Should e-cigarettes be banned in specific places like restaurants?
I see this as a similar action as banning so called assault rifles. The reason the gun control lobby wants these weapons banned isn't because of increased lethality, rather because they look scary.

Similarly banning e-cigarettes would be done solely because they look like cigarettes. If the vapor exhaled is truly only water, the arguments that have banned cigarettes from public spaces can't be applied. There is no threat of stench or health concerns from the second hand smoke from a product that emits water.

This post has been edited by scubatim: Feb 12 2014, 06:50 PM
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AuthorMusician
post Feb 12 2014, 09:05 PM
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1. Are e-cigarettes a safe alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes?

They are certainly a safer alternative due to not containing any tar, which is what gives people health problems. The nicotine is too low to have significant impact, and this has always been the case. Low tar is the healthier way to go, and not smoking at all is the best.

2. Should the FDA or other government entities regulate e-cigarettes the same as traditional tobacco products?

Right now for purity and possibly later for further restrictions to access.

3. Should e-cigarettes be banned in specific places like restaurants?

Unlike cigarette smoke, the vapor doesn't carry harmful chemicals. Propylene glycol is commonly used in shampoo and other personal care products, along with the deicing of jetliners and planes. If you breath in the shower, you are likely ingesting the chemical through your lungs.

I think there's a pretty long history of shampoo use.

Vegetable glycerin is a fatty acid found in Mazola, olive oil, and virtually every kind of vegetable out there. Maybe not so much with spuds, but then they get deep fried or otherwise enhanced with oil.

Inhaling the stuff might cause problems, but again there is a long history of cooking with vegetable oil. That produces fumes that are inhaled, so you'd think that evidence of harm would be already available.

Banning e-cigs strikes me as the last bastion of the anal-retentive 1990s. So it will likely happen. OMG, there might be vegetable fumes in the air! Are you aware that you're in a fast food joint? You were breathing the stuff blocks before you got here, and it's the industrial sludge version of grease, having been mixed with loads of beef fat and bubbling pork rinds (bacon). In other words, you're at a greasy spoon and have health concerns? That indicates a bigger problem with fundamental thinking.

This post has been edited by AuthorMusician: Feb 12 2014, 09:09 PM
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scubatim
post Feb 12 2014, 09:47 PM
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QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Feb 12 2014, 03:05 PM) *
1. Are e-cigarettes a safe alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes?

They are certainly a safer alternative due to not containing any tar, which is what gives people health problems. The nicotine is too low to have significant impact, and this has always been the case. Low tar is the healthier way to go, and not smoking at all is the best.

2. Should the FDA or other government entities regulate e-cigarettes the same as traditional tobacco products?

Right now for purity and possibly later for further restrictions to access.

3. Should e-cigarettes be banned in specific places like restaurants?

Unlike cigarette smoke, the vapor doesn't carry harmful chemicals. Propylene glycol is commonly used in shampoo and other personal care products, along with the deicing of jetliners and planes. If you breath in the shower, you are likely ingesting the chemical through your lungs.

I think there's a pretty long history of shampoo use.

Vegetable glycerin is a fatty acid found in Mazola, olive oil, and virtually every kind of vegetable out there. Maybe not so much with spuds, but then they get deep fried or otherwise enhanced with oil.

Inhaling the stuff might cause problems, but again there is a long history of cooking with vegetable oil. That produces fumes that are inhaled, so you'd think that evidence of harm would be already available.

Banning e-cigs strikes me as the last bastion of the anal-retentive 1990s. So it will likely happen. OMG, there might be vegetable fumes in the air! Are you aware that you're in a fast food joint? You were breathing the stuff blocks before you got here, and it's the industrial sludge version of grease, having been mixed with loads of beef fat and bubbling pork rinds (bacon). In other words, you're at a greasy spoon and have health concerns? That indicates a bigger problem with fundamental thinking.

Hmmm....a topic AM and I agree on.....I am at a loss for words.... tongue.gif
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Dontreadonme
post Feb 12 2014, 09:59 PM
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3. Should e-cigarettes be banned in specific places like restaurants?

I suppose they can be banned by individual establishments at the owners discretion, though I'm not sure there's any noticable second hand effects that would impact other patrons. I have a distinct problem with a government mandate of such a ban, in a private business establishment, but I have that issue with cigarettes as well.

The farcical nature of such a ban, as in the case of NYC, is that said ban is predicated on the fact that "it looks like actual smoking", making "law enforcement harder".

So we'd ban the use of legal product based on not wanting to make our law enforcers actually determine if a law is being broken [my disagreement regarding cigarettes notwithstanding].

Is this the sort of society we would aspire to? Or merely the one we deserve.
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Julian
post Feb 13 2014, 10:08 AM
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1. Are e-cigarettes a safe alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes?

They are a lot safer than tobacco cigarettes (and somewhat safer marijuana cigarettes, which despite not having tar problems, still produce similar amounts of carbon monoxide from inefficient combustion, etc.). But they contain nicotine, a known poison with (unlike ethyl alcohol) no known "safe" or therapeutic dose. In absolute terms, it is better not to ingest or inhale any nicotine at all than to ingest or inhale any nicotine, even in doses below those that produce noticeable effects, so they aren't absolutely safe. They are relatively safe, but then tobacco smoking itself is safe relative to playing Russian roulette while tightrope walking across lake of alligator-infested sulphuric acid.

2. Should the FDA or other government entities regulate e-cigarettes the same as traditional tobacco products?

They are being used as the delivery method for the uptake of an addictive chemical - nicotine - which has measurable physiological effects and therefore acts as a drug. Since they are not a food, but are delivering a drug, I'd guess the 'D' part of the 'FDA' means they have a legal and moral duty to regulate. The nature and severity of that regulation is open to debate, but that they should regulate at all is not open to question if there is any point to their existence at all. And that's another debate (though of course they should - just look what happens when you deregulate or take resources out of enforcement, like Europe has over the past 10 years. You get horsemeat labelled as beef, is what happens, plus all the other food scandals queueing up unreported.)

3. Should e-cigarettes be banned in specific places like restaurants?

Restaurants and bars can ban you for looking at the barstaff funny, or for wearing (or not wearing) a necktie. I think they'll do whatever they like. Plus, what concerns me more, is that large numbers of "e-smokers" might well fool smokers into thinking they can spark up as well, or be used by them as an excuse to do so. It's the thin end of the wedge and could be used as a backdoor to circumvent smoking laws. But their right to smoke ends at my right to breathe clean air, and since they can't decide or control where their smoke goes, I'm happy enough with the ban to stay.

This post has been edited by Julian: Feb 13 2014, 10:11 AM
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Hobbes
post Feb 13 2014, 06:45 PM
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QUOTE(Julian @ Feb 13 2014, 04:08 AM) *
They are a lot safer than tobacco cigarettes (and somewhat safer marijuana cigarettes, which despite not having tar problems, still produce similar amounts of carbon monoxide from inefficient combustion, etc.). But they contain nicotine, a known poison with (unlike ethyl alcohol) no known "safe" or therapeutic dose. In absolute terms, it is better not to ingest or inhale any nicotine at all than to ingest or inhale any nicotine, even in doses below those that produce noticeable effects, so they aren't absolutely safe. They are relatively safe, but then tobacco smoking itself is safe relative to playing Russian roulette while tightrope walking across lake of alligator-infested sulphuric acid.


FWIW...there is no 'safe' dosage of alcohol, either. Every drink you take kills brain cells, just as every intake of nicotine has its impact. They have just labeled certain amounts 'safe' as to their immediate effects (DUI, etc). If that were the milestone, the 'safe' amount of nicotine would be insanely huge. How many cigarettes can one smoke before it impairs cognitive functionality that day? Hundreds? Thousands?

QUOTE
2. Should the FDA or other government entities regulate e-cigarettes the same as traditional tobacco products?

They are being used as the delivery method for the uptake of an addictive chemical - nicotine - which has measurable physiological effects and therefore acts as a drug. Since they are not a food, but are delivering a drug, I'd guess the 'D' part of the 'FDA' means they have a legal and moral duty to regulate. The nature and severity of that regulation is open to debate, but that they should regulate at all is not open to question if there is any point to their existence at all. And that's another debate (though of course they should - just look what happens when you deregulate or take resources out of enforcement, like Europe has over the past 10 years. You get horsemeat labelled as beef, is what happens, plus all the other food scandals queueing up unreported.)


Agree with Julian. If they deliver nicotine, they are a drug. Look at it this way---would we want our kids having access to them? if not, they need to be regulated.

3. Should e-cigarettes be banned in specific places like restaurants?

Why should they be? The only reason to ban cigarettes was second hand smoke, ie their impact on the health of others. Do e-cigs have this same impact? I don't think so.
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AuthorMusician
post Feb 14 2014, 09:08 AM
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QUOTE(scubatim @ Feb 12 2014, 05:47 PM) *
Hmmm....a topic AM and I agree on.....I am at a loss for words.... tongue.gif

Yep, if you hang around here long enough, it's bound to happen.

At the core of this is the need for people to feel they have control over the world. Complain about e-cigs, and the illusion carries forward. Can't complain about regular cigs because that battle has already been won (in the US).

From what I've observed, it's all about the smell. If e-cigs didn't smell, they wouldn't be noticed except in meeting rooms, some snarky minion over there puffing away, maybe blowing rings, lighting up that green or red or whatever light right in their faces.

I was attending one meeting in which a young lady stuck a white plastic spoon on her nose. It was a hoot.

Today it's a moot point. I could be cooking meth while writing prose for clients. I could be refining nuclear materials. The downside is that there's no spunky kid, a survivor of meningitis, with a white plastic spoon stuck to her nose and breaking me up across the room.

I say kid, but she was in her early 30s and had children of her own. She had very little respect for corporate speak, that's all. I don't think she would have cared if someone lit up a nickle cigar, having had faced her own death in spades. What's a little stink? Thank God, she would probably say, that I can still smell something. Then she'd raise her eyes to the heavens and remember the dirty diapers, a smile playing at the corners of her mouth.

But I can see the Powers that Be getting all huffy about e-cigs. It's just not respectful. It's as if those people have figured a way around the controls!

Now, about all that noise pollution coming from your brats . . ., but then there are noise-cancelling headphones, aren't there. Also breathing filters and home water distillation units. Guess a person could live in a sterile environment if desired. I just don't see how that would be desirable.

This post has been edited by AuthorMusician: Feb 14 2014, 09:12 AM
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Sleeper
post Mar 1 2014, 11:14 PM
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State and Federal governments get large amounts of money from taxes on tobacco. As e-cigs become more and more popular you can bet you will see government step in and find some kind of way to tax them to recoup for lost revenue from tobacco products.
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AuthorMusician
post Mar 6 2014, 01:35 PM
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QUOTE(Sleeper @ Mar 1 2014, 07:14 PM) *
State and Federal governments get large amounts of money from taxes on tobacco. As e-cigs become more and more popular you can bet you will see government step in and find some kind of way to tax them to recoup for lost revenue from tobacco products.

Maybe not, since e-cigs are not seen by younger people as being sinful, therefore there's no automatic okay to tax them. These are the voters of tomorrow, and it'd take quite an effort to get them to think differently.

They call it vaping, as in doing vapor. They don't see it as any more harmful than inhaling steam when you have a cold.

In contrast, cigarette taxes have had no trouble passing, since everyone knows it's an unhealthy habit. Before the unhealthy thing came around, taxes were still easy to pass because many people considered smoking to be sinful.

I'm thinking this is probably why there's such an effort to link e-cigs with some kind of health problem that's serious enough to warrant high taxes. It must be frustrating to those who want to tax them when the studies keep coming back with disappointments.

It reminds me of the health findings on cigs back when this was a big deal. The common thread was that the tar was what would kill you, not the nicotine. E-cigs have nicotine and no tar. While not exactly a healthy choice, it's still a lot better than smoking cigs.
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