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The Science Behind E-cigarettes

NICOTINE
• Nicotine is not a carcinogen.

• It is the carcinogens and toxins in smoke that increase the risk of smoking-related diseases, not the nicotine.

• The FDA reported in 2014 that long-term nicotine use, outside of smoking, is not a significant health risk.

• Nicotine levels in e-cigarette vapor are too low to be toxic.

• Recent studies of ulcerative colitis patients treated with 15 mg nicotine patches show that nicotine alone is not particularly addictive, even after 6 months of treatment.

VAPOR VS. SMOKE
• Vapor is actually a liquid converted into a fine mist. Smoke is the result of burning solid matter. Imagine a smoke-filled room compared to a sauna.

• Vapor does not create harmful carbon monoxide as smoke does.

• Unlike smoke, vapor does not leave a lingering odor in the air.

• Vapor does not travel as far from the consumer as smoke and it dissipates quickly.

• The smell of vapor doesn’t settle on people and objects. Unlike smoke, it is nearly impossible to tell if someone has been exhaling vapor in a room without being there to see it happen.

CARCINOGENS & TOXINS
Ecigarettes and Formaldehyde ChartThe levels of carcinogens found in one sample of e-liquid by the FDA in 2009 was identical to the level that can also be found in FDA-approved nicotine patches. It is clearly not a health concern.

• A Marlboro cigarette has over 11,000 ng/g of tobacco-specific carcinogens. E-cigarettes and pharmaceutical nicotine patches both have around 8 ng/g.

• Reports of finding formaldehyde and other chemicals in e-cigarette vapor fail to disclose that the levels found (0.013 ppm), on average, are lower than can be detected in average city indoor/outdoor air (0.03 ppm).

• A 2009 FDA press statement claimed to find “toxins” after testing e-cigarettes, including diethylene glycol (DEG), a chemical found in antifreeze. Reviews of the FDA testing found that only the DEG was found (no other “toxins” were reported) in just one sample, at non-toxic levels. The company that made the sample no longer sells e-cigarettes and in the 5 years since the report, no e-cigarette consumer has reported DEG poisoning.

• While nicotine can be highly toxic, the levels found in the vapor are too low to be toxic. A recent spate of news reports about calls to poison control centers regarding e-cigarettes do not specify whether the call was an actual poisoning situation or simply informational inquiries. There have been no reports from emergency rooms or pediatricians of actual child poisonings causing injury or death due to e-cigarettes. A typical bottle of e-liquid contains only 2.4% or less nicotine and while it may smell appealing, the actual taste in un-vaporized form is extremely bitter.

• There have been nearly 100 separate studies done on e-cigarettes, many testing for carcinogens and toxins. While some have found trace evidence of chemicals and metals, the levels found were extremely low, unless researchers “misused” the devices in a way a consumer never would. A comprehensive study done in 2003 by Dr. Igor Burstyn (Drexel University School of Public Health) reviewed all available e-cigarette chemical tests and found that chemicals in e-cigarettes pose no health concern for users or bystanders based on generally accepted exposure limits.

• Reports of “ultra-fine particulates” found in vapor are misleading. Particulates in cigarette smoke are “solid” particulates, while particulates in vapor are water particulates (otherwise known as “droplets.”) The effect on the lungs is not comparable in any way. For example, fine solid particulates inhaled while in a sandstorm are not comparable to the fine liquid particulates inhaled while standing in a rain storm.

YOUTH USE, FLAVORS & THE “GATEWAY EFFECT”
• The CDC started tracking youth use in 2011, however, e-cigarettes have been available since 2007.

• While youth use is on the rise, youth smoking continues to decline significantly year after year.
High School Smoking vs Ecigs NO LOGO
• The vast majority of youth who said they tried e-cigarettes stated they smoke conventional cigarettes.

• There is no evidence youth smokers who said they use e-cigarettes were non-smokers before using e-cigarettes.

The CDC youth survey did not ask the students which product they used first. Therefore, there is no evidence that non-smoking youth are trying e-cigarettes and “graduating” to smoking.

• Because the smoking rate is far higher than the reported e-cigarette use but has been declining since e-cigarettes became available, it is logical to conclude e-cigarettes are not leading non-smoking youth to smoke.

• Non-smoking youth who try e-cigarettes may have otherwise been trying smoking if e-cigarettes had not been available.

• Children of smokers benefit when their parents switch to low risk alternatives. It not only reduces their exposure to second-hand smoke at home and in cars, but significantly reduces the high risk that they will become smokers themselves.

• The claim that adult smokers do not want “candy” flavors is patently false and based on conjecture and personal bias. Numerous surveys of adult e-cigarette users shows that non-tobacco flavors are an important part of moving away from smoking.

• Once smokers quit smoking, their sense of taste returns. Many report that tobacco no longer appeals to them and even tastes especially foul after using pleasant-flavored e-cigarettes.

• FDA-approved pharmaceutical nicotine products, clearly intended to appeal adult smokers, come in flavors such as Cherry, Mint, Orange, Cinnamon Surge and Fruit Chill. Liquor companies market vodka flavors such as Cotton Candy, Bubble Gum and Peanut Butter & Jelly to appeal to the nostalgia of adult consumers. The idea that flavors can only exist to target youth and not adult smokers is clearly disingenuous.

Is it true that sweet-flavored nicotine products are targeting youth?
       Is it true that sweet-flavored nicotine products are targeting youth?

 


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