Study Finds Realistic Vaping Conditions Emit Minimal Levels of Aldehydes

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

Sources:

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

Electronic Cigarettes Included in New Orleans Smoking Ban

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

http://nyti.ms/1yTHAFL

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http://abcn.ws/1byGo0f

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

Norwegian Institute of Public Health Publishes False Statements in its Report

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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

http://1.usa.gov/1yM9rYe

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

Report Shows Increase in E-Cigarette Use and Decrease in Smoking Among Teens

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

http://1.usa.gov/1FZoel9

http://nyti.ms/1IyhtUY

photo: cdc.gov

Questions Raised Over Flavor Chemicals in E-Liquid

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

http://ti.me/1b4Nuth

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

Senate Bills Seek Regulation of the E-Cig Industry

billvectorElectronic 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

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Study Concludes E-Liquids Contain Significantly Lower Levels of Tobacco-Derived Toxins Compared to Tobacco

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.

Sources:

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Reducing the Number of Cigarettes Smoked per Day Increases Chances of Completely Quitting

550016-575-4Completely cutting out tobacco is one of the best things you can do for your health and life expectancy. Whether quitting is achieved with the assistance of nicotine replacement therapy or (less commonly) through sheer will power, ex-smokers have done a great service to themselves and others by kicking the habit. Unfortunately, as every smoker knows all too well, quitting is no easy feat.

In an attempt to eventually quit smoking there are those who are looking to cut down on cigarettes by using electronic cigarettes and reducing their cigarette consumption simultaneously. Anti-smoking groups warn against dual use and argue that reducing the number of cigarettes smoked per day provides no health benefits.

The journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research published a study examining the correlation between reducing cigarette consumption and complete smoking cessation. The authors of this study were seeking to discover if increases in smoking cessation are due to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or if reductions in the number of cigarettes per day (CPD) in and of itself leads to cessation.

According to the study the results are as follows: …”every one percent decrease in CPD or carbon monoxide was associated with a 3% to 4% increase in the odds of cessation. The naturalistic studies found that ordinal (e.g., quartile) increases in participants’ magnitude of reduction in CPD were associated with 50% to 290% increases in the odds of cessation.” These findings suggest “reduction in CPD is a mechanism of increased cessation in prior NRT-aided reduction studies.”

Anti-smoking and public health groups’ warnings against dual use may discourage smokers who are attempting to quit smoking by supplementing the number of cigarettes smoked with using an e-cigarette. Perpetuating the lie that electronic cigarettes are no better for you than smoking may cause smokers to give up on their reduction attempts and return to tobacco cigarettes. However, these findings suggest that reducing the number of cigarettes smoked per day may be an effective way of achieving the ultimate goal of complete smoking cessation.

Sources: http://bit.ly/1GelfS7

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Are Public Health Groups Doing More Harm Than Good?

No-SmokingAnti-smoking and public health groups have done much in the way of informing the public on the dangers of tobacco use. Historically, their mission has been to provide education on the very serious hazards of smoking. Over the years, these groups have done a great service by taking a stand against big tobacco.

However, as of late some public health organizations have demonized electronic cigarettes. One such group is the California Department of Public Health. We recently posted an article describing the issues with a Health Advisory released by the CDPH.

The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed taking a closer look at public health organizations and their “crusade against e-cigarettes”. Sadly, deception among these groups is not limited to the CDPH. Many other public health groups are jumping on the bandwagon and their fear mongering is undermining the potential harm-reducing benefits of electronic cigarettes.

The op-ed entitled The Misbegotten Crusade Against E-Cigarettes examines false claims made against electronic cigarettes. One such claim comes from Thomas Frieden, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In September of 2013 Frieden stated, “many kids are starting out with e-cigarettes and then going on to smoke conventional cigarettes.” In reality, there is no evidence to support his statement. On the contrary, there are multiple studies proving electronic cigarettes are not acting as a gateway to tobacco cigarettes. We reported on one such study back in November of 2013. Additionally, the op-ed cites a recently published study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine along with a piece in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence to further quell Frieden’s unsubstantiated claim.

Transparency is essential, and no one is claiming that electronic cigarettes are 100% safe. While there is a need for continued research, existing studies show that e-cigs are far safer than tobacco cigarettes. Vaping does not involve combustion, therefore vapers are not exposed to the more than 60 known carcinogens produced by smoking. With the information that currently exists, electronic cigarettes lend themselves to a categorization of harm reduction. Harm reduction does not mean “safe”; it is a way of mitigating negative consequences.

Despite a clinical trial that concluded otherwise, the California Department of Public Health said, “there is no scientific evidence that e-cigarettes help smokers to successfully quit traditional cigarettes.” If smokers are made to believe e-cigs are a “community health threat” there is no incentive to make the switch. Sadly, the war against electronic cigarettes rages on.

Sources: http://on.wsj.com/1N97XLH

http://bit.ly/1zSF11w

California Department of Public Health Warns Against E-Cigs

logo_CDPH_v.1_colorThe California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued a health advisory report warning California residents of the “toxicity” of electronic cigarettes. According to CDPH director and state health officer Dr. Ron Chapman, “E-cigarettes contain nicotine and other harmful chemicals, and the nicotine in them is as addictive as the nicotine in cigarettes. There is a lot of misinformation about e-cigarettes. That is why, as the state’s health officer, I am advising Californians to avoid the use of e-cigarettes and keep them away from children of all ages.”

We all agree, electronic cigarettes should be kept out of the hands of minors. The CDPH’s recommendations of requiring leak-proof containers and child-resistant safety packaging should be a legally required, industry standard. Regulation, within reason, is not a bad thing. In fact, standardization ensures a quality product for consumers.

Dr. Chapman mentions the significance of misinformation surrounding e-cigs. However, in the same breath he makes a statement that is simply untrue. Yes, nicotine is addictive, but to say that “the nicotine in them [electronic cigarettes] is as addictive as the nicotine in cigarettes” is misleading. In fact, the journal Nature: Scientific Reports published a study on this very topic entitled Nicotine Absorption from Electronic Cigarette Use: Comparison Between First and New Generation Devices. According to this scientific study, “The results of the study showed that nicotine absorption from e-cigarettes was significantly lower compared to tobacco cigarettes.”

The Health Advisory also states, “there is no scientific evidence that e-cigarettes help smokers to successfully quit traditional cigarettes or that they reduce consumption of traditional cigarettes.” The report cites an article by Dr. Katrina Vickerman published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research to provide backing for this claim. However, the author of Vickerman’s article entitled Use of Electronic Cigarettes Among State Tobacco Cessation Quitline Callers stated,The recently published article by Dr. Katrina Vickerman and colleagues has been misinterpreted by many who have written about it. It was never intended to assess the effectiveness of the e-cig as a mechanism to quit. ”

On the other hand, there are existing clinical trials which were conducted to determine the efficacy of electronic cigarettes as smoking cessation tools. Dr. Riccardo Polosa supplied one such study. Sadly, there was no reference to this in the Health Advisory.

While there are viable concerns surrounding electronic cigarettes (e.g. keeping them out of the hands of minors), it’s unfortunate the CDPH isn’t providing the public with accurate information to accomplish their agenda.

Sources: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/Pages/NR15-12.aspx

http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2015/01/california-dph-report-on-e-cigs-is.html

http://bit.ly/1DfvLqA

http://blog.alerewellbeing.com/bid/288222/E-Cigs-Are-They-A-Problem-Or-A-Solution

http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2014/11/proof-of-concept-study-shows-great.html

http://ecigarette-research.com/web/index.php/research/2014/155-ecig-nicotine#comment-1025