E-Cigarettes: Why We Should Keep Them: Part 3

The FDA is out to apply the same regulations to e-cigarettes that the tobacco companies operate under. Do I think you should be 18 or 21 to buy e-cigarettes and e-liquid?  Yes.  I think that’s common sense.  Should there be some kind of oversight into the flavorings and other additives?  Probably.  Again, I think that’s common sense.  Should there be standards for hygiene in the lab?  Yes, but look at what good that did the victims of the pharmacy who sold the contaminated injections.

Item #1 – I don’t really see the similarities.  One is a potentially lethal cocktail of carcinogenic and poison laced smoke that’s carefully crafted to keep the customer making purchases.  The other is way to quit smoking and eventually break a nicotine dependency.

Item #2 – The process to make them isn’t similar at all.  Tobacco is genetically engineered and grown in a field where it is sprayed with herbicides and pesticides which eventually end up in your cigarette.  E-liquid is blended in a lab from chemically produced nicotine.

Item #3 – Tobacco is taken and processed with additives like tolulene, formaldehyde, salt peter, ammonia and often worse.  E-liquid is blended with ingredients that are already approved for things like asthma inhalers.

Item #4 – If you’re going to do this with e-cigarettes, it needs to include ALL nicotine containing products.  I know too many people who quit smoking but now have a Nicorette habit.

Let’s take a close look at who’s pushing this.  Wait… Let me get my shocky face ready… It’s Big Tobacco.  Guess what’s been eating into their sales?  You got it… E-cigarettes.   This is just another lame attempt by an industry group to legislate and regulate themselves back into relevance once technology has passed them by.  It is EXACTLY the same thing that the Recording Industry Artists Association (RIAA) did with Napster when their lobbyists shoved the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) through Congress.

Don’t fool yourselves about Big Tobacco. They only thing they’re looking out for is that wallet.  Big Tobacco is about as dirty as you can get this side of Auschwitz.  Let’s take trip down memory lane or in this case, Big Tobacco’s history.   Big Tobacco told us that cigarettes were safe.  When that got debunked, it lied for decades and said that cigarettes weren’t addictive. Big Tobacco has been caught red handed marketing to children.  Big tobacco has been caught red handed tinkering with the ingredients to get and keep users hooked.

Allow me to describe Project SCUM to you.  Project SCUM was carried out fairly recently – during the 1990’s. This was the brain child of one of the biggest tobacco companies – R J Reynolds, the makers of Camel and Pall Mall, among others.  They decided to target specific communities like gays, because they didn’t like them and thought they could trick them into smoking.  Since these were “fringe groups” of society, they thought that no one would care.  The marketing was so selective that it’s been called a hate crime against certain communities.

Big tobacco has been busted for creating a secret spy organization to keep tabs on anti-smoking groups, their members, and their activities. While that does sound a bit over the top, you can google “Operation Berkshire” for more information.

Contrast this with the guys who live down the road from me and run my local vapor bar.  They blend most of the e-liquid they sell themselves.  They buy the best ingredients they can find. They test every batch themselves – on themselves.  Which one would you trust?

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E-Cigarettes: Why We Should Keep Them: Part 2

In the red corner we have real cigarettes. Weighing in at 4000 various and mostly toxic compounds, these are made not just from tobacco, but a whole host of other things.  There are about 4000 different compounds in them besides just plain old tobacco.  Some are “flavorings”, others are meant to keep the “cherry” lit and hot, others are “filler” and others are just stuff off the tobacco leaves.  Some of these things are known carcinogens.  Others are known poisons.   Others, like tar, just damage your lungs.

In the blue corner we have e-cigarettes.  Weighing in at just 4 chemicals, we have e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes just have nicotine, water, polyethylene glycol (aka PEG) and vegetable glycerin. Nicotine, other than being addictive, isn’t any worse for you than caffeine.  There is even something called the “Smoker’s Paradox” because nicotine, on its own, actually prevents certain cancers.

Polyethylene Glycol sounds scary but it really isn’t.  It’s already approved for inhalation and is found as an “inactive ingredient” in most asthma inhalers, nebulizer treatments and a whole host of other products.  It’s used in eye drops, food, make up, and even baby wipes.

Vegetable glycerin is used in small quantities and is an inert ingredient that can be found in everything from injectable medications to lotion to baked goods.

E-cigarettes are better just from the “common sense” perspective simply because of what they are missing. No tar.  No carcinogens.  No poisons.

E-Cigarettes: Why We Should Keep Them: Part 1

So I gave up real hot fire and burning tobacco for e-cigarettes.   It’s the first time I’ve been off cigarettes without either A) losing my mind, B) being a complete B***H from somewhere that makes Hell itself look like Key West or C) giving up and going back to cigarettes.

It turns out that there’s a lot of stuff in those burning sticks.  Some of the compounds act like MAOI anti-depressants.  If you’re looking for a prescription analog it would be something similar to Eldepryl.  Others things act like Zoloft or Prozac.  So not only is the nicotine messing with your brain chemistry, so are other things in the smoke.  Other things cause the release of dopamine that’s on par with many of the lesser amphetamines like Ritalin.

If you smoke, you’ll get what I’m about to say.  There are no “hot loads” or “wash outs” in e-cigarettes.  For the non-smokers in the crowd, allow me to explain. Not all real cigarettes are created equal. Sometimes you get one and that’s all you need all day because you’re so buzzed from it.  Other times you have “wash outs” and you have to smoke 5 to get enough nicotine.  It’s all in the luck of the draw and you tend to get a whole lot more “wash outs” than you do “hot loads”.

Not so with the e-cigarettes.  Since it’s a liquid, it’s all created equal.  All of the nicotine is pre-measured for you.  It’s right there on the label.   I started this two months ago and I have to say that I’m pretty happy with my progress.  This lets me carefully monitor and control my nicotine usage.  I’ve been able to taper my nicotine usage down and I’m currently at 18mg/ml or 1.8%.

You can go as high as 36mg or 3.6% depending on how your liquid is labeled.  I don’t recommend this since that’s the same amount of nicotine as smoking 2 packs per day.    However, if you’re a two-pack a day smoker, this might be just what you need to kick the habit.

In case anyone was wondering the correct answer is all of the above.