Posted on January 25th, 2011 by Jack Stone
The state of New York is trying to ban electronic cigarettes outright with a new bill before the state Assembly Health Committee. Linda Rosenthal, a local New York politician wants to ban the devices until they are more thoroughly investigated and regulated.
Unfortunately, this move suggests Rosenthal hasn’t been paying attention to the electronic cigarette news wire so I’ll key her in on a little “secret”:
A federal judge declared that e-cig companies are not selling the devices as “smoking cessation aids,” and as such, they cannot be regulated by the FDA. In the mind of the United States government at this point in time, electronic cigarettes are no different than regular cigarettes…just another way to get that nicotine fix (albeit probably a hell of a lot more safely).
So, Ms. Rosenthal, the United States government sees electronic cigarettes as simply alternatives to regular cigarettes. Because of this, you may be waiting quite a while for the FDA to run further tests on the devices.
I’m curious as to why Ms. Rosenthal isn’t pushing for testing and further regulation on standard tobacco cigarettes when they are clearly more dangerous than electronic cigarettes.
It amazes me that politicians are fighting so hard – no doubt only to please their constituents and get re-elected – to ban electronic cigarettes when they are quite clearly a safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes. People seem to be against anything that is even remotely linked to tobacco or smoking, even if it’s a product that is clearly a better alternative to traditional smoking.
Ms. Rosenthal’s time would be better spent encouraging people to switch to electronic cigarettes with the ultimate goal of quitting smoking altogether. Any smoker knows how addictive smoking is, and trying to quit cold turkey is tough. If there’s an option to help smokers move to a safer alternative, shouldn’t we be encouraging that instead of trying to handicap them from the outset?
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Posted on December 15th, 2010 by Jack Stone
The FDA has been fighting to be able to regulate Electronic Cigarettes as stop-smoking products, however, a recent court ruling signals a loss of ground for the FDA and likely means that Electronic Cigarettes will become far more widespread and popular than they are even today.
E-Cigs have made huge advances and are gaining in popularity by leaps and bounds, especially by former smokers as a healthier alternative. Although they aren’t marketed as smoking-cessation products, per say, many people are using them to get off tar-infested traditional cigarettes.
For those who aren’t familiar, electronic cigarettes work by heating a nicotine solution to a vapor, which is then inhaled. The real cancer-causing agents in tobacco cigarettes are all the by-products of combustion are created when anything is burned, including tobacco. Electronic Cigarettes don’t contain many of these cancer-causing agents and are viewed by many to be significantly more healthy than traditional tobacco cigarettes.
Check out our review of Blu Cigs…they’ll make a perfect gift for the holidays!
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Posted on October 4th, 2009 by Jack Stone
I’m not the type of person that likes to draw attention to himself, so when my worries when I first got my electronic cigarette was whether or not I’d be able to smoke inside without attracting too much attention or risking anti-smoking zealots yelling at me or some other kind of crazy reaction. I didn’t want to have to explain to every single person that I was actually smoking a real cigarette, so I was a little worried about that at first. But what I found out was that this crazy scenario I had built up in my head about people going nuts in drawing too much attention to myself because I was smoking an electronic cigarette indoors didn’t actually even happen.
When I first got my electronic cigarette it took me about a week or two before I got up the nerve to take it to a bar or restaurant. Like I said, I’m just not the type of person that likes to draw attention to himself. So, one night, I finally decided to take it with me to a local restaurant I frequent and see what happens. As soon as we sat down I pulled out the device and started smoking it, and to my surprise, no one said anything except my server when she came back to greet us.
The thing I didn’t think about until I tried smoking at a restaurant was that the electronic cigarettes don’t produce any smell and only produce a very small visible vapor that actually completely dissipates in a matter of seconds, so unless you were looking right at me as I was taking a hit in that restaurant you would never have even known I was smoking anything at all, which is probably the case for 99% of people in that place that night. It was only my server who said something when she came to greet us at the table and she didn’t even tell me I couldn’t smoke inside; she could tell right away I wasn’t smoking a real cigarette and, not being able to smell any smoke, only asked me what it was I was smoking. I told her what it was and she seemed really interested and, in fact, ask me for the website where I bought the device as I was leaving.
It was really that simple, the whole time I was thinking somebody was going to come out and throw a drink in my face for smoking inside or some other crazy scenario like that and in reality nobody even noticed I was smoking anything at all except my server, who wanted one for herself!
That gave me a little more confidence to try smoking my new e-cig at other restaurants and bars. I’ve since smoked in over 20 restaurants and bars and found similar responses every time. About a third of those times an employee actually approached me and said I couldn’t smoke inside, but when I explained that I was smoking electronic cigarette and not a traditional tobacco cigarette they had no problem with it at all. What actually found out, was that I actually received a bunch of good attention from people, mostly employees at the restaurants and bars who smoked themselves and were just fascinated with the device and wanted to know where they could buy one.
After this whole experience I feel like I should be selling these things because I could probably make a pretty good living at it considering the number of people that approach me and ask where to buy them.
So, the moral of the story is that smoking electronic cigarettes indoors, in my experience, was as easy as simply explaining to the occasional employee what the device was and where they could buy one. At no point did I ever receive any grief from anybody for smoking inside and no one told me to go outside or stop smoking when I explained what the device was, so that was a pretty big relief and now I’m a happy regular indoor smoker bypassing the smoking bans with my spanking new electronic cigarette.
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Posted on October 2nd, 2009 by Jack Stone
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about the recent FDA press release regarding electronic cigarettes. Most of the information on the Internet is simply wrong; most of it is written by people that heard about the press release from another website or a friend but never bothered to read it themselves, so it’s understandable that most of this information is inaccurate. I personally read the press release myself and can tell you exactly what the FDA thinks about electronic cigarettes according to this press release.
Basically, the FDA took a very small sample of brands, brands which they didn’t actually name, and tested a few cartridges from those brands. They found trace amounts of toxic chemicals and tobacco specific nitrosamines in these cartridges and that’s all. It’s my understanding that they actually only tested to brands and a very small sampling of cartridges from those brands. That’s really all the press release said, so it’s a bit misleading, and a number of prominent tobacco researchers and scientists have come out in opposition to the press release because it so easy to misinterpret. The press release almost makes it sound like the FDA did a comprehensive study and found that electronic cigarettes are dangerous, when in fact, they did no such thing.
In addition to the fact that the press release refers to results that can in no way be considered a scientific study, the FDA failed to mention that the chemicals found in the cartridges are also found in tobacco cigarettes, but in much higher concentrations. Tobacco cigarettes also contained thousand more dangerous chemicals that were not found in the cartridges. Additionally, the tobacco specific nitrosamines that were found are also present in FDA approved stop smoking devices that you can by your local pharmacy.
So what is the FDA saying with this press release? Well, if you consider the facts, it seems the FDA is saying that they found some chemicals that may or may not be damaging in electronic cigarettes, and those chemicals are also found in smoking cessation devices and, surprisingly, many foods we eat on a regular basis. Not only that, but there’s no evidence to suggest that tobacco specific nitrosamines found in the quantities they were in the cartridges tested by the FDA are even dangerous to humans at all and those concentrations.
To me, and apparently to a number of prominent tobacco researchers, this press release is almost like the FDA trying to rally opposition to pizza because it contains saturated fat. If you’re considering electronic cigarettes, the question you have to ask yourself is, do I think they’re more dangerous or less dangerous than tobacco cigarettes? For me, the answer to that question is dead simple, they can’t possibly be worse than tobacco cigarettes and that’s why I switched.
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Posted on September 30th, 2009 by Jack Stone
With the recent actions by the FDA against electronic cigarette distributors, such as seizing imports at the border and moving to restrict the sale or ban the products outright, one has to wonder why does the FDA allowed tobacco cigarettes to be sold so freely yet at the same time they are pushing so hard to ban electronic cigarettes? Should these devices be regulated by the FDA? Or should they be considered tobacco products, which don’t fall under the authority of the FDA?
The main crux of the matter is that the FDA is trying to classify electronic cigarettes as drug delivery device a, just like nicotine inhalers that you might buy at the pharmacy. To be sure, electronic cigarettes do function very similar to nicotine inhalers and very well could be looked at as drug delivery devices, but that begs the question, is it a bit hypocritical to classify electronic cigarettes as drug delivery devices, knowing that they will be under tighter regulation than tobacco cigarettes, when they can’t possibly be worse for you than real tobacco cigarettes?
I’m all for regulation of the devices, electronic cigarettes represent a new industry, and you can’t cripple a brand-new industry with the same regulations you apply to drug companies who have literally billions of dollars of funding, some of which actually comes from the United States government. Electronic cigarettes are simply an alternative to tobacco cigarettes and should be looked at that way; they should not be considered drug delivery devices if for no other reason than this would cause them to be so regulated that it would probably drive them straight off the market.
Considering the fact that over 400,000 United States citizens die every year as a direct result of tobacco usage, shouldn’t these devices that are likely significantly safer than tobacco cigarettes be promoted and encouraged as an alternative to traditional cigarettes? The FDA doesn’t seem to feel that way, and no doubt because of significant pressure from special interest groups, including big drug companies who stand to lose a lot of money if a new, more effective stop smoking device enters the market. Also, anti-smoking groups these days tend to be a little bit on the wacky side. Of course, we should discourage tobacco smoking because we know it kills people, so I’m all for that, but many anti-smoking groups discouraged the use of tobacco through lies and propaganda as well is high pressure lobbying tactics. These groups don’t want to see any products on the market with even a hint of nicotine in them, so when a new product like electronic cigarettes enters the market that show a huge potential to help people get off tobacco cigarettes, these special-interest anti-smoking groups see these devices as just another way that people can smoke.
I’ll leave it up to you to decide your own opinion, but consider all these facts when you hear in the news about an FDA ban that may or may not come in the future.
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