A new generation being spoon-fed

The constant flow of misinformation originating from various NGOs and charities makes a day in the life of a vaper feel a little like groundhog day. It is usually the same preposterous rubbish with some words jiggled about to make “new” headlines. Or in the case of this subject, tweets.

I do spend an incredible amount of time on social media, and although I may not see the tweets directly, other vaping advocates do so I get to see their responses. Social media. Great isn’t it?

In this instance, I want to have a quick look at the American Lung Association.

AboutALA

 

“Working to save lives” all to improve lung health and lung disease prevention through education, advocacy and research. With the “generous support of the public”, uh not quite. I had a peek at their financials for the 2014 fiscal year.

ALA_Financials
See anyone you recognise?

Now I’m going to put my tin foil hat on for a second and ask a simple question. How can you classify Pfizer Inc. as “the public” ? Or any of the other Pharmaceutical companies for that matter?

2012_Figures

Here’s the thing, out of the $58 Million US Dollars spent, only 12% of that went towards research. Which, correct me if I’m wrong here, is one of their key statements isn’t it? Whilst almost half of the $58 Million was spent on Public Health Education, which I read as campaigns of various kinds. What is worse, is that they spent more on advocacy than research.  Doesn’t that speak volumes about their priorities?

That selection of tweets only goes back five days.  No doubt this falls under their Public Health Education budget. Classy.  The most recent of which is all about, yep you guessed it, ‘e-cigarettes and youth’.

HookedOnNic

You see, the really stupid thing here is, no research into personal vaporisers (I’m going to try to not call them e-cigs from now on), has ever highlighted any nicotine addiction. To be fair, there is no real scientific rule for ‘addiction’ as such, so to claim a “nicotine addiction” or any other addiction cannot justifiably be called ‘science’.  Think what they are trying to say is nicotine dependence. That is a completely different thing from a science perspective.

It did make me wonder a little so I took a trip to the link mentioned in the tweetpic.

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, include e-pens, e-pipes, e-hookah, and e-cigars are known collectively as ENDS – electronic nicotine delivery systems. According to the FDA, e-cigarettes are devices that allow users to inhale an aerosol (vapor) containing nicotine or other substances.

Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes are generally battery-operated and use a heating element to heat e-liquid from a refillable cartridge, releasing a chemical-filled aerosol.

It all starts to make a little sense now. First off they call them ENDS. We all know where that came from don’t we? The ever so meddlesome World Health Organisation, who spend their time discussing stuff behind closed doors whilst a deadly disease ravages through less developed countries. (stepping down from my soap box now).

The main component of e-cigarettes is the e-liquid contained in cartridges. To create an e-liquid, nicotine is extracted from tobacco and mixed with a base (usually propylene glycol), and may also include flavorings, colorings and other chemicals.

Because there is no government oversight of these products, nearly 500 brands and 7,700 flavors of e-cigarettes are on the market without an FDA evaluation to determine what’s in them. So there is no way for anyone—healthcare professionals or consumers—to know what chemicals are contained in e-liquids, or how e-cigarette use might affect health, whether in the short term or in the long run.

Early studies show that e-cigarettes contain nicotine and also may add in other harmful chemicals, including carcinogens.

It seems that just like every other major NGO in the US, they firmly believe personal vaporisers are a bad thing, and the e-liquids are worse. I guess being so busy ‘educating’ the public, they haven’t caught up on all the research out there.

Nicotine

Ah yes. Nicotine. Oh, and I see they are still harping on about some tests from back in 2009 where some liquids that were labelled as “0 nicotine” contained trace amounts. This bit caught my eye and made my head hit my desk. Again.

Experienced users learn how to use e-cigarettes in a way that increases their exposure to nicotine. Newer e-cigarette devices, especially “tank” styles, with higher voltage also deliver a greater concentration of nicotine. This matters because the more nicotine used, the greater the potential for addiction.

Uh, no. Not at all. High power necessitates a reduction in nicotine content. For the love of… look folks, I do not know how many times I need to say this, nicotine on it’s own is not addictive. It has no “reinforcing properties” :

The reinforcing properties of a drug are thought to be reason why most people become addicted to drugs

There. Now stop saying that nicotine is “addictive” ffs. We know that nicotine isn’t exactly benign, it can be toxic in large quantitiesNot just a few drops of spilled e-liquid. For an ‘organisation’ that values research you’d think that they would understand that wouldn’t you?

OtherChemicals

I guess not. Look, we live in a ‘chemical world’ where everything is made up of chemicals it is all part of our technological and societal advancements.

Aside from concerns about e-cigarette use and emissions alone, data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows calls to the nation’s poison centers for e-cigarette exposure poisonings are rapidly increasing. One study found that while most calls involving e-cigarette liquid poisoning came from accidental ingestion of the e-cigarette or its liquid, about one-sixth of the calls related to someone inhaling these items. Exposure through the eye and the skin were also reported.

The ‘poisonings’ thing. Again. Look, if you folks are going to quote this stuff, at least provide some context to the statement. Not just throw a “800% increase” type figure around. 800% increase from a small figure such as ONE isn’t huge.

Anyone else getting a headache from the stupidity and misinformation here? Oh wait.

While e-cigarettes do not produce smoke, they do expose others to secondhand emissions. Little is known about these emissions or the potential harm they can cause. Two initial studies have found formaldehyde, benzene and tobacco-specific nitrosamines (all carcinogens) coming from those secondhand emissions. Other studies have shown that chemicals exhaled by users also contain formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and other potential toxins. There is no evidence that shows e-cigarettes emissions (secondhand aerosol) are safe for non-users to inhale.

Really. This is straight out of the Frampton Blands playbook.  The exact same rubbish that is being used in the CADPH campaigns right now.

QuitSmoking

Thanks to recent research we know that using a personal vaporiser the individual is more likely to be successful in his or her quit attempt. Guess they missed that one too huh?

YouthUse

Ah yes, no gumpf about “e-cigarettes” would be complete without mentioning the magical youth card now would it. Odd that they state “Youth use of e-cigarettes has now surpassed youth cigarette smoking” but make it sound like it is a bad thing. I would have thought they would be overjoyed about the actual cigarette use declining, but no. This is an anti-vaping organisation dontcha know.

The tobacco industry aggressively markets e-cigarettes to youth, glamorizing e-cigarette use in advertisements and offering e-cigarettes in candy flavors like bubble gum and gummy bears.

Again, lack of research people. The tobacco industry doesn’t market flavours as they don’t have any, not really.  Don’t forget, that adults like flavours too.

Kids can also easily buy e-cigarettes online, according to a March 2015 study published in the Journal of JAMA Pediatrics.

Yet, they fail to mention that the kids in this ‘study’ (which was more like a survey than an actual study) were given their parents credit cards.  Most online stores I know of only have real age verification when it comes to payment, i.e. credit cards. As most credit card holders have to be 18 or older it kind of goes without saying that anyone with access to that card will pass age verification.

BottomLine

The bottom line to this little story, is that the American Lung Association with its pharmaceutical funding is like all the other outspoken groups. They want to see vaping heavily regulated to the point where it is useless.  Maybe if they spent some of that ‘hard earned’ cash on actual research rather than advocacy or education they might, just might learn something, but it’s unlikely.

May the Others take them all.