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While anti-smoking lobbyists and lawmakers in the US continue to make claims that e-cigarettes are no safer than tobacco, Public Health of England (PHE) has taken a bold step by recognizing electronic cigarettes as effective smoking cessation tools. According to the largest independent report to date, “E-cigarettes are 95% less harmful to your health than normal cigarettes, and when supported by a smoking cessation service, help smokers to quit tobacco altogether.”

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death. Sadly, the sensationalist media has done an excellent job of dissuading smokers from using potentially life saving e-cigarettes with its fear mongering and unscientific biases. PHE believes up to 80,000 lives annually could be saved if smokers made the switch to vaping.

PHE is hoping the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will move quickly to license e-cigarettes for medicinal purposes so that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence can grant their final approval.

It’s refreshing when a public health organization truly has the protection of the public’s health as its primary focus. Too often we see organizations like the CDC and FDA spewing misinformation. Public Health of England has done its due diligence in coming to their conclusion on the importance of e-cigarettes. Hopefully, PHE’s findings will lead the way in the vaping revolution.




Posted By Laura

A new study funded by British American Tobacco adds to the growing body of work examining the health implications associated with electronic cigarette use. The purpose of this experiment (published in the journal Toxicology in Vitro) was to take a closer look at the way e-cigarette vapor affects human respiratory epithelial cells.

The study was conducted using MatTek Corporation EpiAirway models of human cells used in in vitro lab experiments. EpiAirway is a 3D airway tissue model produced from normal tracheal/bronchial epithelial cells. These cells were then exposed to cigarette smoke and two brands of e-cigarette vapor via VITROCELL smoking robot, an “aerosol smoking system”.

The results of this experiment show that cell viability decreases 12%- near complete cell death- after six hours of exposure to cigarette smoke. However, six hours of continuous exposure to e-cigarette vapor showed no significant decrease in cell viability. The impact on the airway tissue exposed to vapor were “similar to that of air”.

According to British American Tobacco spokesperson Dr. Marina Murphy, “By employing a combination of a smoking robot and a lab-based test using respiratory tissue, it was possible to demonstrate the ability to induce and measure aerosol irritancy and to show that the different e-cigarette aerosols used in this study have no cytotoxic effect on human airway tissue.”

Marina Trani, Head of Research and Development for British American Tobacco’s next generation nicotine products stated, “Currently there are no standards concerning the in vitro testing of e-cigarette aerosols. Our protocol could prove very useful in helping the process by which these guidelines might progress.”

Further studies are needed to test different e-cigarette models, but these results provide additional scientific evidence that vaping is safer than smoking.


Sources: http://bit.ly/1M7SKdZ



Photo: bat.com

Posted By Laura

There has been a ton of media coverage on the increasing popularity of electronic cigarettes. Despite a lack of evidence, concerns over nonsmokers being sentenced to a lifelong addiction to nicotine through the use of e-cigs continue to flood the news. Now there’s research refuting the CDC’s claimsthat e-cigarettes are a gateway to addiction and smoking.

Professor Linda Bauld who is a Cancer Research UK scientist at the University of Stirling stated, “There’s a common perception that the rise we’ve seen in the use of electronic cigarettes will lead to a new generation of adults who have never smoked but are dependent on nicotine. This fear is based on the expectation that due to the appeal of the products, children who have never used tobacco will be attracted to e-cigarettes and start to use them regularly.”

According to the Youth Tobacco Policy Survey, sponsored by Cancer Research UK, “Of the 1,205 children aged 11-16 who took part in the new UK-wide survey, 12 percent reported that they had tried an e-cigarette. Figures for regular use were lower with two percent reporting e-cigarette use more than monthly and one percent more than weekly… Regular e-cigarette use among non-smoking children was low at three percent.”

Alison Cox is the director of cancer prevention at Cancer Research UK. Her statement regarding this study is, “These data on electronic cigarette use in youth suggests that e-cigarettes are not serving as a gateway to tobacco. It’s reassuring that rates of smoking in young people are continuing to fall at a time when e-cigarette use has been rising.”

Additionally, a study published in Tobacco Control finds that nonsmoking adults are overall not regular electronic cigarette users either. The study surveyed Minnesota adults and found that of the participants, 5.6% of nonsmokers had tried e-cigarettes and 1.2% had used e-cigarettes in the past month. Only 0.1% of nonsmokers had used e-cigarettes more than 5 days in the past month.

The study concludes, “These results suggest that many infrequent users are experimenters, unlikely to continue their e-cigarette use over time. If that is the case, then measuring e-cigarette current use prevalence based on any use in the past 30 days may lead to an overestimate of regular users. That conclusion is reinforced by the finding that most individuals who had ever used e-cigarettes reported no use in the past 30 days.”

Both of these studies show that nonsmoking youth and adults becoming regular electronic cigarette users is unlikely. Not only are the constant concerns brought on by e-cigarette opponents unwarranted, they are damaging. Hopefully the time will come when anti-smoking activists will look into the potential lifesaving aspects of electronic cigarettes and stop dwelling on these nonexistent threats to public health.






Photo: cancerresearchuk.org

Posted By Laura

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Michael Crespo enjoys an electronic cigarette at the Vapor Shark store on February 20, 2014 in Miami, Florida. As the popularity of E- cigarettes continue to grow, leading U.S. tobacco companies such as Altria Group Inc. the maker of Marlboro cigarettes are annoucing plans to launch their own e-cigarettes as they start to pose a small but growing competitive threat to traditional smokes.   Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP

A new study in the journal Addiction addresses the importance of measuring the chemical composition of e-cigarette vapor under realistic conditions. The study disproves an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine that boldly reports the risk of of vaping is up to 15 times higher than the risk associated with long-term smoking. The true manner in which e-cigarettes are used was not taken into account, making the study somewhere between incomplete and an outright lie.

The media caught wind of the above statistics and sensationalized the findings. The bombardment of this misinformation caused fear in the public and vindication for opponents of e-cigarettes. However, scientists with an understanding of electronic cigarettes and real usage conditions were appalled by the outlandish claim that vaping increases the lifetime risk of cancer.

“Dry puff” conditions occur when e-liquid is overheated, creating a burnt flavor. While the NEJM conducted their study under these conditions, no user would ever continue to vape at settings where this occurs.

Frustrated by the lack of knowledge of dry puff conditions, Dr. Farsalinos and his team sought out to conduct a fair and truthful study evaluating levels of formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetone and acrolein in e-cigarette vapor, specifically reporting differences between normal and dry puff conditions.

Through his study of real-world vaping conditions Dr. Farsalinos explains, “Our results verify previous observations that it is possible for e-cigarettes to generate high levels of aldehydes; however, this is observed only under dry puff conditions, which deliver a strong unpleasant taste that vapers detect and avoid, by reducing power levels and puff duration or by increasing inter-puff interval. Minimal amounts of aldehydes are released in normal vaping conditions, even if high power levels are used. In those normal-use conditions, aldehyde emissions are far lower than in tobacco cigarette smoke.”

This study reiterates the need for comprehensive understanding of the actual conditions under which electronic cigarettes are used. Scientific studies are always needed, but as is the case of the NEJM study, data accrued under unrealistic settings can be very damaging.

For information on the methods and specific findings of this study please visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.12942/abstract






Photo: http://yhoo.it/1RkLi05

Posted By Laura

Maple Leaf Bar going smoke-free; bartender says outlook is hazy

Just before midnight on Tuesday, April 22 patrons of the more than 500 restaurants, bars, and casinos in New Orleans lit their last cigarettes indoors. According to the Associated Press, “[casino] employees handed out lollipops to smoking gamblers at the stroke of midnight and removed ashtrays from the casino’s gambling floors.” The Big Easy is the latest US city to officially enact a smoking ban in public areas.

Louisiana state law had previously banned smoking in restaurants. Prior to the wide-spread ban some bar and club owners voluntarily prohibited smoking in their establishments. In an effort to do away with smoking in public places City Council member LaToya Cantrell proposed a sweeping smoking ban last fall. After some revisions the council approved.

Reactions to the anti-smoking ordinance have been mixed. Understandably nonsmokers, including musicians who performed in smoky local venues, are pleased. On the other hand, objections have been made by some business owners claiming the ban will negatively affect business and infringes on the city’s freedom.

Smokers looking to step outside for a smoke will have to step at least five feet away from the windows and doors of restaurants, bars, casinos, sporting arenas, and hotels. If the establishment is owned or operated by the city or state, smoking is permitted twenty five feet from the entrance. Fortunately electronic cigarettes aren’t tobacco, so vaping is permitted indoors, right? Wrong.

The ban includes electronic cigarettes. Using an e-cigarette is forbidden in all of the same places as cigarettes. According to Gilbert Morris, a molecular biologist at Tulane University School of Medicine’s pathology department, “there’s not enough data to say that e-cigarettes don’t have harmful side effects. And until we know more, we should treat them exactly as tobacco cigarettes.”

Morris also said, “we know that e-cigarettes are not as bad as tobacco smoke. That’s just a given. So if you’re trying to switch someone off of cigarettes and onto e-cigarettes, that’s a good thing. The bad thing is the other way around, when people use e-cigarettes as a gateway to try tobacco cigarettes.”

Earlier in the week additional information was released and the “gateway” myth was debunked. Subjecting electronic cigarettes to the same regulations as tobacco because they mimic the act of smoking or because of unwarranted fears is not a justifiable reason. This smoking ban has potential to be a positive move for smokers as well as nonsmokers. If smokers were allowed to use electronic cigarettes freely, there is potential for decreasing the number of cigarettes smoked per day and possibly quitting altogether.


Sources: http://wapo.st/1Gbz6qI




photo: http://bit.ly/1PqgCcQ

Posted By Laura

Unfortunately, a newly released health report casts a shadow on electronic cigarettes yet again. This time the source is the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH). While the report points out that most e-cigarettes are used by smokers and ex-smokers, there are portions of this report that are particularly disturbing because they are simply untrue.

Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos is a Greek cardiovascular specialist who devotes much of his time to clinical research and scientific studies involving electronic cigarettes and the effects of their use. According to Dr. Farsalinos, statements made regarding passive exposure to e-cigarettes are “the most significant mistake in the report.”

According to the report, “…nicotine levels in the environment following passive exposure to e-cigarette aerosols causes similarly high nicotine levels in the blood as that of passive smoking of regular cigarettes. This means that one can expect similar harmful nicotine-related effects of passive smoking from e-cigarettes as for regular cigarettes. This does not mean that passive exposure to aerosols from e-cigarettes causes carcinogenic effects, but that passive smoking may affect the cardiovascular system, have stimulatory effects and contribute to addiction.”

The ways in which the NIPH came to these conclusions is unclear. However, there is scientific evidence that “the average concentration of nicotine resulting from smoking tobacco cigarettes [is] 10 times higher than from e-cigarettes.” Furthermore, Dr. Farsalinos revealed that continine levels of active smokers were approximately 1200 times higher than that of “passive vapers.”

According to Dr. Farsalinos, the NIPH is “legally and scientifically” obligated to provide truthful information. He is calling on the NIPH to retract the false statements from their report.

Sources: http://bit.ly/1yxDrY7




photo: http://www.fhi.no/eway/?pid=240

Posted By Laura

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report from the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey. The report looks at tobacco use among students in grades six through twelve from 2011-2014. The nine tobacco products assessed for use were cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, hookahs, tobacco pipes, snus, dissolvable tobacco, bidis, and electronic cigarettes.

Current use was defined as using a product for more than one day out of the past thirty days. E-cigarette use jumped in both middle and high school students. The results of current e-cigarette use are as follows:

Middle school students: 2011: 0.6%, 2012: 1.1%, 2013: 1.1%, 2014: 3.9%

High school students: 2011: 1.5%, 2012: 2.8%, 2013: 4.5%, 2014: 12.4%

In response to the 2011-2012 increase in electronic cigarette use among teens Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the CDC, stated “…many kids are starting out with e-cigarettes and then going on to smoke conventional cigarettes.” However, the data tells a different story. Electronic cigarettes do not appear to be a gateway to smoking. To the contrary, cigarette smoking rates in high schoolers decreased from 15.8% to 9.2%.

Unfortunately, due to increases in hookah use from 4.1% in 2011 to 9.4% in 2014 the overall use of tobacco remains stable. This report confirms that teenagers continue to experiment as they always have. While overall tobacco use persists, the method of which teens are receiving nicotine has shifted from tobacco cigarettes to less harmful electronic versions.

Although the study does not specify the nicotine content of the devices used, the increase in youths using electronic cigarettes is very troubling. Electronic cigarettes are not intended for minors and regulatory measures should be taken to ensure this doesn’t happen. Youths should be discouraged from using tobacco and nicotine in all forms.

Sources: http://bit.ly/1Gdv7zx



photo: cdc.gov

Posted By Laura

The journal Tobacco Control published a study examining the chemicals found in thirty e-liquid flavors certified as safe for ingestion by the Flavor Extracts Manufacturers Association. The results raise important questions about the safety of inhaling flavors that are generally recognized as safe in foods.

The study’s author, James F. Pankow, is a professor of chemistry and civil and environmental engineering at Portland State University. Panko and his colleagues examined chemical levels in a wide variety of flavors including tobacco, menthol, cotton candy, vanilla, cherry, grape, chocolate, bubblegum, and coffee. The results found flavor chemicals made up anywhere from one to four percent of the e-liquids sampled.

The researchers did not examine the potential health risks in e-cigarette users, but the analysis of the e-liquids themselves poses important questions. One concern is that six of the twenty four compounds used to give the e-liquid samples their flavor are aldehydes which are know respiratory irritants. At this point it is difficult to fully analyze long-term health risks, as electronic cigarettes are relatively new products.

The study did not conclude that e-cigarettes are unsafe, but it does reemphasize the need for regulation and industrywide quality control. As a certified member of the American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association (AEMSA), Vapor Shark takes consumer safety very seriously, going so far as removing e-liquids containing DEG, diacetyl and acetyl propionyl. As e-cigarette research continues and more information becomes available it is imperative that e-liquid manufacturers consider the science and make adjustments where needed.


Sources: http://bmj.co/1In39OU



photo: http://bit.ly/1baZBVC

Posted By Laura

Electronic cigarettes continue to grow in popularity and lawmakers are stepping in. Senate bills seeking to tighten regulations are being proposed around the country. One such bill in Indiana is focusing on e-liquids.

The Indiana Senate voted to proceed with a bill looking to enforce strict regulations on e-liquid manufacturing. If passed, e-liquids used in the state will be required to obtain a permit, regardless of being located in Indiana. Manufacturers will be forced to install 24 hour security systems in “clean rooms” where liquids are produced and bottled. Additionally, manufacturers must keep three 10mL bottles of e-liquid from each batch.

Many people agree with the implementation of childproof safety caps proposed in this bill. However, some local shop owners are concerned that stringent regulation may put them out of business. If House Bill 1432 is cleared, its next step will be approval by the governor.

Meanwhile in California, Sen. Mark Leno proposes Senate Bill 140. Leno equates e-cigarettes with tobacco cigarettes and states, “No tobacco product should be exempt from California’s smoke-free laws simply because it’s sold in a modern or trendy disguise. Addiction is what’s really being sold. Like traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes deliver nicotine in a cloud of other toxic chemicals, and their use should be restricted equally under state law in order to protect public health.”

Regulation within reason can improve the electronic cigarette industry by ensuring a quality product for consumers. Also, it may increase the legitimacy of this industry in the eyes of lawmakers and the general public. However, treating e-cigs like tobacco and making them subject to the same laws will hinder smokers’ accessibility to a potentially life saving alternative.


Sources: http://bit.ly/1PoEBds



Posted By Laura

1280px-NNK_chemical_structureThe International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health published a new study examining the accuracy of nicotine labels as well as the presence of tobacco-derived toxins in tobacco flavored e-liquids. Specifically, researchers were looking for the presence of phenols, nitrate and tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) in conventional and NET e-liquids.

Natural Extracts of Tobacco, or NET liquids, get their flavor through steeping and solvent extraction of cured tobacco leaves. According to some e-cigarette consumer forums, NET liquids are preferred because they more closely resemble the flavor of conventional tobacco. This is the first time NET liquids were specifically tested.

A total of twenty one e-liquid samples (ten conventional and eleven NET liquids) from the US and Greek market were tested for nicotine levels and compared with labelled values. Additionally, tobacco-derived chemicals were measured in both types of e-liquids and the results were compared with each other and traditional tobacco.

According to this study, “nicotine concentrations were similar to those labelled.” The results are as follows: Nicotine levels deviated from their valued amounts at an average of 5.9% in conventional liquids and 1.5% in NET liquids, with maximum deviation found at 22%. Twelve samples (more than half) were within the 10% range which is acceptable for pharmaceutical products. Nine samples contained less nicotine and twelve samples contained more nicotine than labelled. There was no difference between conventional and NET liquids in regards to nicotine levels and label accuracy.

Acetaldehyde was present mostly in conventional e-liquids and formaldehyde was found at trace levels in both liquid samples. Phenols were present in trace amounts, mostly in NET liquids. Nitrates were found almost exclusively in NET liquids.

The study reports, “TSNAs are probably the most important compounds associated with negative health effects in tobacco cigarettes, mostly due to a combination of abundance and strong carcinogenicity.” TSNAs were present in all samples at ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter) levels. A nanogram is one-billionth of a gram. Total TSNAs and nitrate were found at levels 200-300 times lower in 1mL of NET liquids compared to 1 gram of tobacco products.

The study concludes that the extraction process by which NET liquids obtain their flavor does not transfer a significant amount of toxins. Most importantly, all of the e-liquid samples contained significantly lower levels of tobacco-derived toxins when compared to traditional tobacco products. Nitrosamines were 146-1447 times lower in e-liquids compared to tobacco products, and nitrate was 1360 times lower. This study adds to the growing body of work confirming electronic cigarettes are much less harmful than tobacco.




Posted By Laura
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