For more information please stop in at my Smoke versus Vapor website
FDA smoke screen on e-cigarettes
Cigarette substitute produces no deadly smoke
Article By Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan | Thursday, August 6, 2009 ... you can read her full article here it is extremely enlightening. Please also read the posting by Dr. Michael Siegal entitled "The Rest of The Story" posted August 7, you can find this posting here. It is important that the general public is aware of this controversy. Our Government needs to be informed so that this product is once again made available to the consumer. You'll find even more information regarding the recent and highly controversial border bans on my Media Updates page.
The question being asked is: "'Are electronic cigarettes safe?" ... let's change that to "Are electronic cigarettes much safer than traditional ones?'" ......... the answer ....... YES
The reason the electronic products are being pulled off shelves and banned at our borders is because our Government and Health Canada are so concerned for our safety and are worried about our health. Okay ... if you believe that one, you're gullible enough to believe almost anything.
They are advising those Canadians who have used e-cigarette products and are concerned about their health to consult with a health care practitioner. As it turns out the only concern they seem to face regarding their health, lies in the fact that they are no longer able to purchase this product and are being forced to return to the deadly tobacco products they were trying to rid themselves of.
Health Canada reminds us that it has authorized the sale of a number of legal smoking cessation aids, including nicotine gum, nicotine patches, nicotine inhaler and nicotine lozenges. Here's a tidbit of info for you ... detectable amounts of carcinogens are also present in nicotine replacement products such as Nicoderm CQ and Nicorette Gum although both are approved by the FDA and nitrosamines can also be found in food and beverage items such as bacon and beer.
This little piece of information I found though is where I believe the actual problem lies. Health Canada says that anyone selling, importing, or advertising electronic cigarette products in Canada "must stop doing so immediately." Appropriate establishment licenses issued by Health Canada are also needed prior to importing, and manufacturing electronic cigarettes. Rather than embracing a product that is a viable alternative to smoking ... a product that has already won the support of millions of consumers around the world, they have instead slammed the door shut. It's a matter of dollars and sense, if they aren't seeing the dollars ... it makes no sense.
Recently China began production of a product called the electronic cigarette, aka the e-cig or e-smoke. The e-cigarette closely imitates traditional smoking since it tastes, looks and also feels like a regular cigarette. When "smoking" the e-cigarette ... inhaling produces both the tactile and craving satisfactions which the traditional smoker seeks and generates a vaporizing process that releases a vapor mist that evaporates into the air within just a few seconds. Since the introduction of this product to the consumer marketplace, a number of new companies around the world, have started producing them in order to take advantage of the overwhelming positive response being generated by the consumer.
" In a July 22 news release, the FDA cited the detectable presence of carcinogens and "toxic chemicals" in a "small sample" of electronic cigarette cartridges as reason for alarm, singling out nitrosamines as particularly toxic. What the FDA fails to inform the public is that detectable amounts of carcinogens are also present in nicotine replacement products such as NicoDerm CQ and Nicorette gum, both approved by the FDA and nitrosamines can also be found in food items such bacon and beer. You can read up on carcinogens here ... one specific point that hasn't been mentioned by the alarmists, is the fact that temperature relates directly to the formation of carcinogens. One of the main reasons tobacco products are so toxic is the fact that they burn at temperatures between 450 and 850 degrees. The heat produced by the battery process in an electronic cigarette is between 20 and 40 degrees, so even if the electronic cigarette contained the same chemicals, the result would not be the same.
CTV.ca also covered this news story and you can access their full article here. "In an effort to move beyond cigarettes, tobacco companies have introduced a number of smokeless products to keep smokers as buyers of other items. They are trying to convert smokers to products such as moist snuff, chewing tobacco and snus -- teabag-like pouches that users stick between their cheek and gum.
R.J. Reynolds spokesman David Howard said the company is focused on being the "total tobacco company," pointing to its products like dissolvable tobacco, rather than technology like e-cigarettes.
Neither Reynolds nor Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris USA currently market electronic cigarettes.
Earlier this year, the FDA gained the authority to regulate tobacco products for the first time. However, the agency already could regulate electronic cigarettes because they do not actually contain tobacco."
The FDA's double standard and alarmist attitude has had the significant and unfortunate effect of inducing hysteria among the public, discouraging tobacco smokers from using a product which is thought to be a significantly safer alternative to traditional tobacco." You can read the entire article here and as a result, some of the electronic cigarette manufacturers are getting third party testing done and the results are in and being made public now. eSmoke has posted their results on their site and you can read them on their site here.
I believe that the electronic cigarette is ultimately set to dominate all other nicotine related products which have been introduced to the marketplace through the years and could very well be a cleaner, greener viable alternative to smoking. As such, this product also stands to divert a huge portion of the yearly tobacco profits our Governments see and could very well overtake the tobacco industry ... a market that has never really been challenged before. Here are some numbers for you to digest ... China is home to 300 million smokers who consume approximately 1.7 trillion cigarettes a year, that's 3 million cigarettes a minute. Worldwide, there are approximately 10 million cigarettes purchased a minute, 15 billion are sold each day and upwards of 5 trillion are produced and used on an annual basis.
Recently the Canadian Government placed a border ban on this product and I believe that the reasoning for doing so, has much more to do with the loss of profit rather than the health and welfare of Canadians. Federal health officials said Wednesday July 22, 2009 that they have found cancer-causing ingredients in electronic cigarettes, despite manufacturers' claims the products are safer than tobacco cigarettes. You can't help but notice the large bold headline "FDA says electronic cigarettes contain same cancer-causing ingredients as tobacco cigarettes" read the article here.
It was after reading this article, that I started to wonder what the motivations behind this decision really are. As we all know, cigarettes emit about 4,000 identifiable chemicals as they are smoked and at least 69 of those are known to cause cancer ... an electronic cigarette contains less than 10 to 20 chemicals on average, depending on the brand and strength purchased. Now, perhaps it's just me, but this double standard seems a bit ridiculous that the electronic cigarettes are being pulled off shelves and banned at our borders due to the "possible associated health risk," but yet the tobacco products remain available even though they have been aware of the "proven health risks" associated with these products for decades. I assume this means that the Canadian Government intends to remove ALL the tobacco products as well. (just a bit of witty sarcasm)
Although the electronic cigarette is marketed to smoking adults and is not available for minors to purchase, public health advocates have suggested that the electronic cigarettes are instead aimed at young people and they can serve as a "gateway" to tobacco smoking, since many come in flavors including chocolate, bubblegum and mint. "Tobacco industry research has demonstrated that fruit and candy flavors increase the social acceptance of cigarettes and curiosity to try the product," said Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Tobacco Consortium.
There have been a few smoking cessation products which have hit the marketplace through the years, the most popular being the Nicorette product line, Nicorette®Gum, Nicorette®Inhaler and the Nicorette®Lozenge admittedly, these products have assisted many smokers to kick the habit. You can read up on this company on the Nicorette Additive page or visit the Canadian site here. I would however like to inform the aforementioned public health advocates that "gum" has always been a product "directly" aimed at our young people. One of the active ingredients in Nicorette®Gum is also nicotine, so the logical conclusion is that this product could also serve as a "gateway" to tobacco smoking. Perhaps this fact was overlooked, but one can't help but wonder how on earth they managed to sneak this dangerous product past the watchful, ever vigilant public health advocates, our Canadian Government and the Health Canada agency. By the way, I'm not sure if anyone else has noticed the irony, but Nicorette® Gum is available in 6 flavors ?
White Ice™ Mint—helps whiten teeth while you use it, coated for a cool mint flavor
Cinnamon Surge™—coated for an intense rush of bold cinnamon flavor
Fruit Chill™—coated twice for an intense fruit flavor with a hint of mint
FreshMint™—coated for a delicious burst of mint flavor
Governments around the world have long been aware of the associated health risks caused by tobacco products, unfortunately for those of us that still smoke, the tobacco industry is one of the most lucrative ... reaping trillions of dollars annually, therefore they have and will continue to remain available to the consumer. It is a fact that the use of tobacco is the single largest cause of preventable deaths worldwide, but still contributes to approximately 5.4 million deaths from heart disease, stroke and other diseases annually. These figures are staggering.
Governments in Canada have been heavily involved in the tobacco industry for decades, by way of taxation, research and publicity. The Federal Government regulations, set out requirements for packaging that the tobacco companies are required to comply with. These include putting health warnings on all of our packages, which are drafted by the Federal Government. You can access the Health Canada website here, for more information regarding the dangers of smoking.
For over 80 years Imperial Tobacco Canada has been the largest Canadian tobacco producer. The ingredients disclosed by this company on their website which are used in the production of cigarettes are natural tobacco, water, a filter including tipping paper, cigarette paper, glue and ink. Menthol cigarettes also include menthol. The filter ingredients are potassium sorbate, cellulose diacetate, triacetin, mineral oil, titanium dioxide, sorbitan monolaureate and eloxylated sorbitan monolaureate. Paper manufacturers use the following ingredients cellulose, chalk, depolymerized guar gum, hydroxyethylated starch, potassium citrate, cationic starch, polyglycol ester in oil, polyvinyl alcohol and sodium alginate. Imperial Tobacco Canada utilizes two types of glue: polyvinyl acetate (an ingredient which is 1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid, butyl phenylmethyl ester) and hot melt. Humectants glycerine (2.74%), invert sugar and propylene glycol are used to ensure freshness.
Toxic emissions relayed on the packaging on my preferred brand of cigarette sits at Tar 11-32 mg, Nicotine 1.1-2.5 mg, Carbon monoxide 12-30 mg, Formaldehyde 0.045-0.13 mg, Hydrogen cyanide 0.096-0.27 mg Benzene 0.042-0.093 mg and inside the pouch is another warning highlighted in yellow "Nicotine is a very addictive drug when delivered by a tobacco product"... I would personally like to thank both the Canadian Government and Health Canada for this very sincere gesture ... as I am reminded each time I light up, just how dangerous this product really is.
One quick reminder to the Anti-Smoking Groups, the Public Health Advocates, Health Canada and our Canadian Government who are all in favor of the border ban on the Electronic Cigarette Products ... the tobacco cigarettes have been shown to contain at least 57 known carcinogens at significant levels while the electronic cigarettes have not been shown to contain any carcinogens at more than trace levels.
Table 1. List of Identified, Known Carcinogens in Electronic Cigarettes, Present at More than Trace Levels (defined as 1 nanogram per cigarette)
Table 2. List of Identified, Known Carcinogens in Tobacco Cigarettes, Present at More than Trace Levels (defined as 1 nanogram per cigarette)