Center For Smoke-free Policy…What Were You Thinking

Last week, the Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy sent a letter to a hotel at which a vapers’ convention was held last weekend, urging the hotel not to allow vaping inside the building because of what the Center alleged were the carcinogenic effects of exhaled nicotine produced by electronic cigarette users.

The Center director warned that: “nicotine is also found in the vapor. Nicotine creates a sticky residue that reacts with a normal substance in the air to form cancer-causing agents that off-gas into the indoor air and cling to carpets, drapes, and other surfaces.”

The Rest of the Story

If the Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy is correct, then the use of nicotine inhalers such as Pfizer’s Nicotrol poses a grave danger to the public, as the nicotine exhaled by users may “react with a normal substance in the air to form cancer-causing agents that off-gas into the indoor air” and put people at risk of cancer.

After all, users of Nicotrol are also inhaling an aerosol mist that contains nicotine. If they, like vapers, are exhaling large amounts of nicotine that may react with ambient nitrous oxide to form carcinogens, then anyone who lives with a Nicotrol user or is exposed to Nicotrol use in a public place may be exposed to carcinogens.

Surely, the Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy would want to warn the public about this risk, call for a ban on Nicotrol use in public places, and urge Nicotrol users not to use the inhaler inside the home where the exhaled nicotine might react to form carcinogens.

However, I can find no evidence that the Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy is making any effort to warn the public about the potential carcinogenic risks associated with the use of Nicotrol. This is shocking, given the number of people using Nicotrol and the efforts to which the Center is going to warn people about similar risks associated with the use of electronic cigarettes, which deliver similar amounts of nicotine to the user.

Clearly, if the exhaled vapor from electronic cigarette users poses a public health risk because of nicotine reacting with ambient nitrous oxide to form carcinogens which off-gas into the indoor air, then Nicotrol inhalers pose a similar risk and the FDA should reconsider its decision to approve the marketing and sale of Nicotrol inhaler systems, as cancer is obviously not an acceptable side effect of an FDA-approved medication.

Before all of you Nicotrol users out there start to panic, you ought to know the rest of the story. First of all, there is no credible evidence that even with thirdhand smoke, the deposition of nicotine on surfaces and its reaction with ambient nitrous oxide results in levels of, and exposure to carcinogens that are substantial enough to pose a risk to humans. So even if nicotine was present in appreciable amounts in “secondhand vapor,” there is no documentation that it would pose any risk.

Second, and most importantly, there is no evidence, and little reason to believe, that there is any substantial release of nicotine into the air as a result of vaping. Unlike cigarette smoking, where nicotine is present in the sidestream smoke, there is no sidestream vapor produced by an electronic cigarette. Instead, the vapor is directly inhaled and so the only “secondhand” exposure is that resulting from the exhaled vapor from the user.

It is important to now recognize that nicotine is readily absorbed in the lungs. In fact, nearly 90% of inhaled nicotine is absorbed by the smoker and therefore, the levels of nicotine in exhaled smoke are quite low. The same phenomenon would also be true with vaping. The vaper is going to absorb the overwhelming majority of nicotine so there will be very little nicotine in the exhaled vapor. This is why any carcinogenic risks resulting from exhaled nicotine are likely to be negligible. And this is in fact why the FDA is not concerned about any potential carcinogenic risks resulting from the widespread use of Nicotrol inhalers.

The rest of the story is that in its zeal to eliminate electronic cigarette use, the Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy has completely lost its consideration for the scientific evidence. It appears to be driven more by ideological considerations than by science. This is not the first anti-smoking group to place its agenda above the science, but it is a particularly important example, because the results of this group’s misrepresentation of the scientific evidence could be substantial. By convincing vapers that they face a substantial risk of cancer, the Center may actually succeed in getting many vapers to discontinue electronic cigarette use, which likely means a return to cigarette smoking. And how ironic that would be.

Not only is the Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy inexplicably biased in its treatment of electronic cigarettes compared to Nicotrol inhalers, but it has also lost its adherence to rigorous science in apparent deference to the need to promote a pre-ordained policy agenda.

Source = Michael Siegel

7 thoughts on “Center For Smoke-free Policy…What Were You Thinking

  1. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this web site. I am hoping the same high-grade web site post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own web site now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a good example of it.

    • I’ve been smoking for 6 years now and as smonoee who has tried every traditional and chemical method of trying to quit, I can say first hand that I don’t give a s**t what people on here say. I’m gonna try it. They have steps to work off the nicotine, though they aren’t advertised a quit smoking aid. they even have a no-nicotine cartridge. Water vapor isn’t that bad in your lungs. it’s not like drowning. it’s gas, not liquid. vapor. key word:VAPOR. Besides, even if it doesn’t help me quit, at least I won’t be putting rat poison or battery acid into my lungs anymore.A friend of mine got hers and she loves it. Her kids are much happier about the healthier exhale as well.

    • it helped more tughoh, because it also takes care of your physical addiction of wanting to put something in your mouth. (Which made my wife very happy, because she was very worried about gaining weight when she quit).The key is to make sure you start out with the correct nicotine level to satisfy your craving, so you can stop the regular cigarettes, then you start cutting back. If you start with to low of a nicotine, you will not be satisfied and not give up the regular cigarettes.It costs the same as the patch or gum to start-around $ 40. My wife spent about $ 25 a month on refill liquid for it and it got cheaper as she used it less and less.Since there is no tar in electric cigarettes, she experienced slight coughing up of stuff . Our family doctor examined her and told her it was because her lungs were starting the healing process of purging the tar from them. It is common for people who quit smoking.Anything has to be better for you then regular cigarettes.

    • Honestly, everyone retacs to differently to different products. What works for one doesn’t always work for others. But I’ve been using electric cigarettes for a few months and they have helped my hubby and I in our quest to quit. It has really helped, especially with the hand to mouth addiction. I have been nothing but please with my switch.It was very easy to cut back, the first week I went from a pack a day to a 3-5 cigs a day. The hard part was choosing to stop the regular cigs completely. I looked at it like this, I am only smoking a few a day anyway, I might as well just not buy another pack. Now I can’t even stand the smell of a real cigarette.Although, I am still addicted to nicotine, I have been cutting my nicotine levels back in steps. I started at 18mg carts. I am to the point now I use 2 different carts Low and 0 nicotine. I use the low cart when I am really having a craving and use the 0 mg cart when I just need to puff or put something in my mouth. I hope to be nicotine free next month.I know there is controversy surrounding them, but to me anything has to be better then the 4000+ chemicals I was inhaling. It also has saved me money it costs me between $30-$35 a month to smoke (no month isn’t a typo).I tried everything, for me personally ecigs were the only thing that worked. I found a good vendor that was willing to support me through the transition.

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