Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Smoke Free Wisconsin Opposes Smoke Free Electronic Cigarettes

In a recent post to it's blog, USA Today - Our Opinion On Public Health, Smoke Free Wisconsin continues it's irrational opposition to electronic cigarettes.

If their goal was truly "Preserving the right to live and breathe tobacco free" then this opposition makes absolutely no sense. Electronic cigarettes ARE tobacco free. What they really seem to object to is NICOTINE.

They post the following points:
When the FDA randomly tested the nicotine cartridges, it discovered carcinogens and a toxic chemical found in anti-freeze. Still, the most worrisome ingredient is nicotine itself. The FDA strictly regulates it in patches, gum and other smoking-cessation products, and it has banned nicotine lollipops and water. E-cigarettes deserve to be treated like other nicotine-delivery devices.

It has been shown in a few studies that the nicotine delivered by tobacco cigarettes is much higher than electronic cigarettes. No one seems concerned about the amount of nicotine in tobacco cigarettes - even though it has been reported that the tobacco companies are even using free base nicotine for greater strength. Electronic cigarettes use pharmacy-grade nicotine in clearly disclosed amounts. Even if the nicotine is higher than the extremely ineffective nicotine devices they regulate, it's still better than smoking tobacco cigarettes.

What is conveniently forgotten and never reported is what the FDA did NOT find in electronic cigarettes - no tar, carbon monoxide, ammonia, arsenic and hundreds, if not thousands, of other toxins found in tobacco cigarettes and second hand smoke. Why does Smoke Free Wisconsin refuse to acknowledge this?
E-cigarettes come in flavors — from traditional menthol to chocolate and
strawberry — that might lure curious youngsters and prompt them to move on to
the real thing. Distributors say their product is for adults only, but who's to
stop young people from buying it? Only a few locales have banned sales to

This argument simply does not hold water. Aside from the fact that the greater majority of retailers refuse to sell the devices to those under the age of 18, there is no indicationthat children even have the slightest interest in them - even with the attractive flavors. On the contrary, anecdotal evidence shows that teens feel it isn't worth the high cost, nor is it "cool."
Despite protests from the Electronic Cigarette Association that its members
don't make claims about helping smokers quit, plenty of sellers make far
more outrageous health claims. In recent weeks, one marketer
claimed e-cigarettes reduce the risk of heart disease and touted an endorsement
by a physician-and-nurses group. Another website, which says it reviews
e-cigarettes, went them one better: It claims, based on a 1942 study, that an
ingredient in e-cigarettes could prevent flu and other respiratory diseases.
While it may seem reasonable to disregard the claims from manufacturers, but what about the actual owners? Why do non-smoking advocates continuously ignore the experiences of the millions of people who have used these devices to quit smoking and report no adverse health effects? On the contrary, they report improved health and positive doctor's reports.
"The most important point that article makes is this, "All the public has to go on now is the word of the product's marketers. Before consumers inhale something that gives them "vapes" of highly addictive nicotine, they might want an independent authority testing the product to see what's in it." If the e-cig makers are anything like their Big Tobacco counterparts, truth in advertising is bent at the expensive of health and in the favor of profits. "

Again, the FDA did a study, so did Health New Zealand. Electronic cigarettes were found to be hundred's of times LESS toxic and contain hundred's of times LESS carcinogens than tobacco cigarettes.

Smoke Free Wisconsin did not print the follow up letter's to the USA Today editor - nor the hundreds of comments by electronic cigarette users. One letter was from a doctor endorsing their use and another was from an owner that made an excellent point:
"If the majority of users were substituting e-cigarettes for FDA-approved smoking cessation products, perhaps e-cigarettes would deserve to be treated like other nicotine-delivery devices. But the nicotine-delivery devices that e-cigarette users have given up are tobacco cigarettes. They are not using e-cigarettes because of any outrageous health claims on the part of retailers. They are using them because, unlike the FDA-approved smoking cessation products, these work. "

When will Smoke Free Wisconsin realize how wrong they are? By opposing electronic cigarettes, they are signing a death warrent for millions using them to stay away from tobacco cigarettes. Read the comments by the electronic cigarette users on these articles and decide for yourself.