Somebody Has Made A List

Somebody Has Made A List

Trouble is, they’ve not checked it twice. It must be a really slow day for the opponents of vaping, though you would hardly suspect that considering how often this article appears from a variety of seeming unrelated twitter accounts.

It is a common practice unfortunately. A body, be it Government, Education whatever buys a whole bunch of accounts, or engages with someone who can “spread the word”; either way it costs money, to share on social media an article, or a link or some other piece of information, and share it repeatedly throughout a given day or days. We saw it with the whole formaldehyde “study” (which turned out to just be a letter to the editor, not the actual study), it’s happened with the shenanigans on the daft arsed “sugar tax” (and no I don’t agree with that either) and it probably happens on a myriad of other subjects too.

This “list” is of course the “10 Dangers of e-Cigarettes”. Cue the Top of the Pops music.

Number 10 - The Children™

Hailed by many as the “magic bullet” that will allow millions of people to stop smoking, e cigarettes have come onto the scene with much fanfare. When they are used properly, they may offer smokers an effective solution that will allow them stop smoking, but what if they become as habit-forming as the real cigarettes people are trying to stop using?

Erm. Why the fuck should we stop? Isn’t the choice to smoke or vape ours? Fuck off.

Since e cigarettes contain nicotine, smokers will still get their “fix” by smoking of “vaping” with e cigarettes. The question then becomes, how does the user break their addiction to nicotine, and stop using it completely? E cigarettes do not expose users to many of the harmful ingredients that are found in cigarette smoke, but what about the vapor that e cigarettes produce? Is that safe, or are there risks associated with that as well?

Aain with the unreasonable goal of being “safe” - nothing in this world is “safe”, everything has a degree of risk associated with it, even sleeping ffs!

The following are some of the potential risks of using e cigarettes. First and foremost, it’s important for e cigarette users to understand that the fluids used to refill them is extremely dangerous, and should be kept where kids cannot access them. Since the liquids are prepared with numerous attractive flavors like watermelon, bubble gum and cotton candy, they can be extremely attractive to children.

I could go on about the brightly coloured alcohol bottles or the Nicorette packaging, but I won’t as it’s completely irrelevant. Have folks never heard of such a thing as parenting? Parenting is what stands between a child and “danger”; parenting is about educating the child about risk, and yes even about reward too. It sure as hell isn’t up to the state to decide.

Since they contain high concentrations of nicotine, ingesting the fluid is a serious health hazard. Just a few drops of the fluid contain enough nicotine to pose a serious danger to children, including irregular heartbeat, convulsions, coma, and even death.

Really? Do I need to link to the substantive review of the “lethality” of Nicotine again? Or even some detailed information on Nicotine in general? Conflating “pure” Nicotine with that contained in e-liquid is bonkers and completely irrelevant. Is e-liquid a substantial risk to the kiddies? Based on what we know, the concentration found in e-liquid is likely to not cause the level of harm mentioned in this “list”. The human body, even a young one will expel anything it doesn’t like, and it will do so in the most expedient (and often very messy) way possible.

Number 9 - Toxic Chemicals

Since the e cigarette industry is mostly unregulated, the formulas that are used to manufacture refill liquid is somewhat of a mystery.

Partially true, the vapour industry is not directly regulated, but it is subject to a lot of existing consumer regulation. As such, the ingredients that make up the “refill liquid” are generally well-known, and in the case of PG and VG are well documented.

Independent testing of various refill fluids revealed that some of them contained cancer-causing chemicals. There’s also the danger posed by fluid that is produced in countries like China, where product safety laws are more lax or simply are not enforced.

Again. Just because something “may” cause cancer, doesn’t mean it will cause it. Me doing a dance in the morning “may” cause it to rain that afternoon, but it won’t directly cause it. Cause doesn’t necessarily mean effect. Correlation is most certainly not causation. Besides, a fair number of the “chemicals” found are at levels that are likely to have no biological effect. In other words, hardly worth worrying about.

Number 8 - Long-term safety

There’s no doubt that getting away from real cigarettes is a good thing. The potential problem is that e cigarette users may view them as a healthy option, even though the potential long-term dangers of their use is currently not well understood. Additionally, any activity that continues to further an addiction to nicotine certainly cannot be considered healthy.

I don’t think I need to explain how there are several users that I personally know that have been using a vapouriser for a number of years (7+ years) with no ill effect do I? And for fuck sake, it is not an addiction. Call me an addict to my face I dare you.

Number 7 - More smoking

Since the vapor produced by e cigarettes is not as offensive to many people as cigarette smoke, there are places where it is acceptable to use e cigarettes that would not permit the smoking of tobacco products. This may encourage users to use e cigarettes even more frequently than they smoked real cigarettes, and make it more of a temptation to satisfy those nicotine cravings more frequently.

If someone finds cigarette smoke “offensive” then they, quite frankly have bigger problems. You know, the fake coughing and windmilling arms that give away the presence of a true anti-smoker zealot. People use vapourisers to not smoke. How hard is that to understand? Not to mention the delivery of nicotine via combustible tobacco is the fastest way to deliver nicotine. Vapour products are getting there, but there is this thing called “self titration” where the user knows what they need, and more importantly when they need it.

Number 6 - Ineffective

Tests conducted on e cigarette filters showed that many of them did not reduce the amount of nicotine the user was inhaling as they were supposed to do. A user who is attempting to ween off of nicotine gradually will not be successful if the method they are using to cut down on nicotine does not work. Although well-intentioned, many e cigarette users may end up simply replacing one bad habit with another one that’s considered more socially acceptable.

I wondered if this one would come up. Are vapour products ineffective? I would suggest that ~10+ million former smokers worldwide would belie the claim that vaping is ineffective. I would also submit that the decline in smoking prevalence wherever vaping is on the rise also points out the fatal flaw in that statement.

Also, why would a user want to “ween off nicotine gradually”? Vapour products are there to be enjoyed. Get over it.

Number 5 - Promotes smoking

Even though it was established that smoking is a serious health hazard decades ago, new smokers get started every day, most of them young people.

Erm, what? A fair number of the “health hazards” being attributed to smoking are just that - attributed to, mostly due to laziness to investigate further or simply a lack of motivationSmoking may cause harms sure, but those harms are far less than the propaganda would have you believe.

Since smoking is still considered “cool” by so many young people, the temptation to try e cigarettes is a significant one, particularly since they are readily available over the internet, and are perceived to be a safer alternative.

Since the tobacco control industry have been banging the very thin and worn out drum of “denormalisation” and “stigmatisation” it is unlikely the youth of today would view smoking as “cool”; they may view it as “rebellious” but they wouldn’t call it “cool”. Thing is, with “public health” continuing their efforts to demonise both cigarettes AND vapour products they are doing far more to make both visible and tempting as the marketing of the industry ever did.

Also, wouldn’t it be nice if parents could actually, you know, parent?

Using e cigarettes is an activity that is also much easier to keep hidden, since the vapor that is produced is much less visible, and does not smell nearly as strongly as tobacco smoke.

So your teenager vapes, should you worry? - Spoiler alert: no, you shouldn’t.

Number 4 - Misuse

E cigarettes are a potentially efficient delivery method for substances other than the liquid that is designed to be used in them. Some people have already used them to inhale liquid forms of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana). Again, the lack of actual smoke that results from the actual smoking of any substance makes it easier for drug users to conceal their activity.

Good grief! It’s almost as though they have forgotten that things like spoons can be used for getting high isn’t it? So what? If someone wants to vape liquid forms of THC then it’s their bloody choice and is nothing to do with nicotine vapour products. Besides, they’ve been doing that far longer than vapourisers have been around. Stop conflating the issues.

Number 3 - Nanoparticles

Medical researchers studying the vapor that is produced by e cigarettes discovered that they contain high concentrations of extremely small particles called nanoparticles. These nanoparticles can cause inflammation, and may also be responsible for other health problems such as stroke, diabetes, asthma and heart disease.

Taken straight out of the Glantzian playbook this one. Don’t they realise the make up of the nanoparticles (if they even actually exist) matter? Of course not.

Number 2 - Cancer

Although not well-established at this time, there is evidence to suggest that e cigarettes may be introducing cancer-causing chemicals to the lungs. The high temperatures used by e cigarettes to produce vapor can also transform some chemicals in the vapor-producing liquid into more harmful substances. This can produce compounds known as carbonyls, which include cancer causing chemicals such as formaldehyde, and another suspected carcinogen called acetaldehyde.

Someone hasn’t been paying attention have they? Just because these compounds were found does not mean that they will have a biological effect. A does not necessarily lead to B.

Number 1 - Sickness and infection

Another startling discovery made by scientists was that the use of e cigarettes could make it more difficult to kill off certain bacteria, like those that normally cause pneumonia. Researchers found that exposing the bacteria to vapor from e cigarettes caused them to produce a thicker and more effective biofilm defense that made them less susceptible to attack by the body’s own natural immune system defenses.

Erm. What? Am I missing something about Propylene Glycol not having antibacterial and antimicrobial properties? PG has been used in a variety of situations, such as being a carrier in asthma medication, and even in some nebulisers and a snippet from here:

Further, the Agency has concluded that there are no endpoints of concern for oral, dermal, or inhalation exposure to propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol based on the low toxicity observed in studies conducted near or above testing limit doses as established in the OPPTS 870 series harmonized test guidelines. Therefore, a quantitative risk assessment was not conducted for propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol.

Whew. There is the top ten mythical “facts” lies about e-cigarettes someone wants you to know, and are now thoroughly put in the trash where they belong.