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    E-Cigarette Users Criticized In New Paper
    By News Staff | May 4th 2014 09:30 AM | 42 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments

    E-cigarettes are bad, marijuana is good, according to the latest culture war.

    E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution. The user inhales the vapor created and ingests the nicotine. Some e-cigarettes are flavored, some have been found to contain toxic chemicals. They have been sold in the United States since 2007 and are marketed as an option to help smokers kick the habit. 


    While science requires evidence of harm, e-cigarette critics insist on proof of safety, a standard that can't be met by any product.

    A presentation at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver criticizes young parents who use e-cigarettes. To determine how often and why young adults use e-cigarettes, researchers surveyed a random sample of 3,253 adults in September 2013. 88 percent completed the survey. 8 percent were young adults ages 18-24 years old, and 22 percent were parents. 

    Participants were asked if they had heard of electronic cigarettes and if they had ever tried them. They also were asked if they currently smoke cigarettes or if they had smoked in the past.

    Results showed that 13 percent of parents had tried electronic cigarettes, and 6 percent reported using the devices in the past 30 days. In addition, 45 percent of parents who had tried electronic cigarettes and 49 percent who reported using them in the past 30 days had never smoked regular cigarettes, or were former smokers.

    Parents reported several reasons for using electronic cigarettes: 81 percent said e-cigarettes might be less harmful than cigarettes to people around them; 76 percent said e-cigarettes are more acceptable to non-tobacco users; and 72 percent said they could use the devices in places where smoking cigarettes isn't allowed.

    All young adults who reported using e-cigarettes said they used devices that contained menthol or fruit flavor compared to 65 percent of adults ages 25 and older. Young adults also were less likely than older adults to use e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking (7 percent vs. 58 percent).

    "This study has two alarming findings," said lead author Robert C. McMillen, PhD, associate professor, Social Science Research Center, and coordinator, Tobacco Control Unit, Department of Psychology, Mississippi State University. "First, the risks of e-cigarette use and exposure to vapor are unknown, yet many parents report using these electronic cigarettes to reduce harm to others. Second, half of current users are nonsmokers, suggesting that unlike tobacco harm-reduction products, e-cigarettes contribute to primary nicotine addiction and to renormalization of smoking behaviors."


    Comments

    God help us if we renormalize our medication.

    You lost me at the word "alarming," which is a sign of "alarmism" which is not a science, and in fact generally denotes lack of science masquerading as science. If your findings are "alarming" then you have an agenda: Your bias is showing.

    Well spoken.

    "Alarming" was used by a quoted source, not by the author. There's a difference between presenting the opinions reached by an expert in the field and an editorial. That said, consider that the source is the coordinator of the Tobacco Control Unit. That association already invites a suspicion of bias. I would agree that "alarming" invokes an air of propaganda much more than"surprising" or "unexpected".

    I am a 53 year old mental health professional. I tried again to quit smoking last May with the patch. I had been wheezing for months. Couldn't handle quitting. Started e-cigs may 15 20013. Been almost a year now, cigarette free. I am addicted to nicotine, but no tars and carcinogens. I can breathe fine now. Only big tobacco could get a negative campaign going against a product for which there is no proven health risk and helps people quit. Of course I agree that young people who are not addicted shouldn't start. But there are many like me whose life is potentially being saved and who is being treated like a pariah.

    Lol, what have you quit if you're still using nicotine a year later? If the vapor pens/e-cigs disappear tomorrow you'd be at the gas station in no time looking to get your fix. At this point you've simply transferred how you get your fix.

    You don't get it. I know I am hooked on nicotine, which is potentially as harmful as caffeine, but I am not inhaling the cancer causing smoke anymore. You prove my point: if Big Tobacco shuts down the ecigs, people WILL be running back to them.
    BTW, that is also nicotine gum and the patch are supposed to work. By replacing the nicotine.

    Hank
    Agreed, it is like saying it's pointless to give up booze if you replace it with coffee. Smoking kills people, not nicotine. They want to ban e-cigarettes because of cultural fundamentalism against smoking and refuse to realize it is not smoking.
    Nicotine patches and nicotine gum have been shown to be ineffective at helping people to quit (e-cigs are too new, so no research exists yet). All they do is extend the nicotine addiction longer, increasing the likelihood of an eventual relapse. The most effective method is still the "cold turkey" method. 2 days of nicotine detox, followed by a lifetime of non-physical physiological craving.

    The danger of e-cigs is that they seem to prompt young non-smokers to become e-cig smokers at a far greater rate than other forms of tobacco. My recommendation would be simply to make e-cigs a prescription drug for people like you who are finding some limited measure of success using them.

    "The danger of e-cigs is that they seem to prompt young non-smokers to become e-cig smokers at a far greater rate than other forms of tobacco."

    So what? If the health risk is very low, why take away their vice? It is nothing more than Puritanism.

    Oh absolutely they should be allowed to take whatever they want. Personally, I'm for the legalization (and taxation) of most drugs... with a few exceptions, mostly those that are so dangerous that even a single dose is worrisome.

    However, lead and tar aren't the only harmful things in a standard cigarette. Nicotine itself is quite harmful to humans, dramatically raising the likelihood of certain diseases, and causing issues with the parts of the brain that form memories. But that's not really any different than being moderately fat, is it? I myself am a bit chunky (not outright fat, but too close for comfort in my opinion). It's just that if you're a bit fat or smoke e-cigs, your health insurance should be 3 times the normal rate. If you smoke ciggies, take crack, or are morbidly obese you should be closer to 10 times the normal rate. Other people shouldn't be subsidizing your lifestyle. Ya makes your choices ya pays your money.

    Oh wait, I see that the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, that funds Ms. Goniewicz research is the manufacture of Nicotrol, the prescription vaporizer, interesting indeed.

    Footnotes:
    Competing interests:
    Maciej L. Goniewicz received research funding from Pfizer, a
    manufacturer of stop smoking medication. Peter Hajek provided
    consultancy for and/or received research funding from manufacturers of
    stop smoking medications including Pfizer, GSK, Johnson and Johnson,
    Novartis and others.

    Any site with "Scientific" in its name should not be referring to e-cigs as "electronic cigarettes". They are electric cigarettes, just as people are not electrocuted in an "electronic chair". Both use an electric current to heat an object, and neither one attempts fine control of electron flows.

    Hank
    I was curious about this based on your comment. The top entry for e-cigarettes in Google, the top Internet company in the world, is not a company but Wikipedia. Obviously, Wikipedia should not be the top entry for anything but you should start by going there and requesting that their entry be deleted - because it is called electronic.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I need to finish this book on electronical engineering.

    Hank, you also have a point. However, as I am sure you know, "electronic" has (or at least used to have) the specific meaning of "electronics-based". "Electronics" implies the presence of active electrical components like transistors, diodes, etc. "Electronic cigarette", though wide-spread, _is_ a misnomer. If English were French and we had an Academy to regulate language use, this would be a serious problem, but, thank goodness, that is not the case :-) Thanks for your articles and for maintaining this website!

    OK, if one considers the battery charging circuitry (if present), then the E-cig is indeed "electronic". Splitting hairs :-) Cheers!

    This wasn't a study, it was a survey.... How "alarming"! People are using a product that in 5 years no health risk can be found. Or is it alarming that 51% of the people in the survey are using this product as a substitute for one that is known to be harmful?

    Let's see...... verifiable and validated benefits VS. imaginary, conjecture or hypothesized risk?

    The logic is what is alarming.

    Shame on you. I don't use e-cigarettes but thank goodness my wife does now. She was a life long smoker and had progressed to coughing all night and getting bronchitis several times a year. She has not smoked cigarettes now for 10 months. It is amazing that the coughing is gone, no bronchitis, and my house doesn't smell of smoke anymore. I think e-cigs are a prayer answered in our case. Yes, prohibit sale to minors but stop the assumptions about ill health effects until you have some science to prove it.

    Heaven forbid people have the freedom to choose. Certain types of people have worked hard to demonize people who choose to smoke, and they have largely succeeded. They claimed that their outrage was due to the negative effects of second hand smoke on others who did not get to choose whether or not to be exposed. Based on the second hand smoke concern, this makes sense. However, now that there is an alternative that apparently removes the threat to bystanders, and may also greatly reduce the threat to the individual smoker, why do those against smoking still oppose it, and lament that all their hard work to demonize smoking is being undone? Because it possibly was never about second hand smoke in the first place, it was about controlling people's personal choices, forcing them to comply to the their critics' standards. I suspect that many people who get caught up in a movement forget the goal of the movement (protecting the innocent children from second hand smoke) and instead enjoy the power trip that they get from regulating people's personal lives.
    If it can be proven that the vapor is harmful to children, then they have an argument, otherwise let people make their own personal choices.

    Did this study ask how may of the new users were using e-cigs with nicotine? E-cig juices come in nicotine free varieties most of which contain only 2 or 3 ingredients (propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin, flavoring).

    The main reason people smoke ecigarettesh, is so they can smoke inside. Vaping is smoking, and their vapor is second hand. What they don't understand is people don't care what they vape, just do it outside. They think their second hand vapor is not harmful, but no one really knows.

    vaping is NOT smoking, smoking requires smoke. Maybe nobody likes the way you smell, you go outside

    Vaperors believe, under some ridiculous assumption, that their second hand vapor is not harmful. They believe that people around them, in bars, restaurants, medical facilities, wherever, don't mind inhaling their contaminated vapor. that "vapor" still has chemicals in it, plus if the vaperor is ill, all the germs go out in the vapor as well. It all boils down to manners. Since it might offend someone, and it does, the polite thing to do is to take it outside, even if it might offend one person. Vaperors are so hypocritical as well, they even stand around like smokers, hang their vaping equipment around their necks, and generally push their nicotine habit in other peoples' faces. If that is not addiction, what is? So vape away, just take it outside. Thanks for sharing!
    '

    "plus if the vaperor is ill, all the germs go out in the vapor as well"

    How is that different than breathing?

    You might want to read the Drexel study and learn science. Vaping can't be smoking.

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/14/18/

    Yeah you're wrong on an alarming level. Vaping can't be smoking in any logical or scientific sense. Do you have any facts to back up your assumptions? Read the Drexel University study, and google vaporization vs combustion. I'm seriously confused about how you formed your opinion in light of the facts.

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/14/18/

    Interesting conclusion to draw. Based on the study, it's also hotter in the summer than it is in the city

    Hank
    Smoke 'em if you got 'em. You look like a dork but you aren't harming anyone.
    Why are you so judgmental? Did a vaper do something mean to you? Why do care what we look like? Last I checked looking like a dork isn't against the law. So what's your problem?

    Too bad our governments, sciences and the medical fields are not so rabidly critical of booze, mary jane, prescription drugs, illegal drugs, harmful weapons use and violent citizens. They'd save a lot more lives then they will ever save by crucifying ecigs and eventually taxing them to death.

    Joey, you've hit the right chord there. It is all about money. Real tobacco is already heavily taxed. E-cigs are a serious threat to both Big Tobacco and the Government because of their potential to steer the nicotine addicts' spending somewhere else where neither entity would make money. We can call this an unfortunate convergence of interests.

    E-cigs are also unsettling to me, a non-smoker but serious caffeine addict, because the next big thing to tax is coffee :-)

    Very deceptive survey/poll of adults presented at a pediatric convention. I can only deduce the category of "parents" is the variable pertinent to this group of physicians. So let's look at the numbers for the "parents":

    Of 3253 surveyed, 88% completed the query = 2863
    Of the 2863, 22% were parents = 630
    Of the 630 parents, 13% had EVER tried e-cigarettes = 82
    Of the 82 parents who ever tried e-cigarettes, 45% were non-smokers or FORMER smokers = 37

    Look at the last line again...45% were non-smokers or former smokers...the distinction is important because e-cigarette users who quit smoking consider themselves former smokers. Why lump non-smokers with people who have successfully quit smoking with the e-cigarette? There is only one reason, to artificially inflate the "category" of non-smokers trying e-cigarettes.

    Even if we assume the 37 of parents trying e-cigarettes were all nonsmokers, the paper also reports 49% of those parents used e-cigarettes on the last 30 days. If we assume e-cigarette users who consider themselves former smokers the number becomes 40. So, at least 3 parents became former smokers with e-cigarettes.

    Very small numbers to work with.

    Smoked 2 packs a day for about 20 years. I bought an ecig 5 years ago and never looked back.I don't care what anyone wants to say. I feel better hands down and because of the ecig, I have not touch a real cig in 5 years. Nothing else would help me do this. HANDS OFF!!

    by the way, we know real cigs are deadly so where is the push to ban them? Exactly!

    If it's just steam and nicotine going into your lungs and just steam being exhaled - - they have my 100 percent support and they should be allowed anywhere and everywhere. Anything that can cure cigarette smoke addiction has my full support and I have never been a smoker. I also suspect people who are trying to rally a movement against them either have a private agenda or are just being spiteful.

    If it's just steam and nicotine going into your lungs and just steam being exhaled - - they have my 100 percent support and they should be allowed anywhere and everywhere. Anything that can cure cigarette smoke addiction has my full support and I have never been a smoker. I also suspect people who are trying to rally a movement against them either have a private agenda or are just being spiteful.

    I see a lot of speculation and some outright lies by the vaper haters, and by Robert C. McMillen, PhD. A recent study by Drexel University found even under the worst circumstances exhaled vapor isn't harmful. Also some basic logic you can't re normalize something that you're not doing. Vaping can't be smoking. It's physically and scientifically impossible. Although Vaping will and is being normalized. Too many people are experiencing benfits for opportunistic politicians, or ant-smoking crusaders turned ant-vaping extremists to stop it. This is really about money. Also it's about how as a society, it is deemed acceptable to discriminate and vilify. Those of us that live will addiction issues.

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/14/18/

    So much misinformation - ecigs have been around long enough for studies. One study based from users in Europe where they have been available much longer shows 85% of ecig smokers eventually quit all together in two years. The reason why you don't see statistics on the dangers of ecigs and the steam people inhale is because there really isn't any.

    What they fail to mention is that Maciej L. Goniewicz receives funding by the pharmaceutical company that manufactures quit smoking drugs. Little bit of conflicting interest, ya think?

    Footnotes:
    Competing interests:
    Maciej L. Goniewicz received research funding from Pfizer, a
    manufacturer of stop smoking medication. Peter Hajek provided
    consultancy for and/or received research funding from manufacturers of
    stop smoking medications including Pfizer, GSK, Johnson and Johnson,
    Novartis and others.

    Hank
    'Follow the money' is the biggest fake disqualifier in science. It means, for example, that Republicans can't trust any science done during the Obama administration because the implication is that anyone who got money is for sale to a politician. 100% of EPA, FDA and USDA studies have to be paid for by industry by US law because the law requires that companies prove their goods are safe.

    By then saying that these studies are invalid because they did what they are legally obligated to do is silly. If e-cigarettes are supposed to help people quit, manufacturers have to pay for studies to show it. If other companies say the products don't work, they have to pay for studies to show it.

    You are implying the author got handed a bag of money to produce a result for industry. That they are basically a liar. You have no evidence for it, so you are engaged in silly libel. Disclosures like this are routine - I can't think of a single study done in the last 50 years that did not get funding from someone. Are they all invalid?

    This article is written very sneaky to alarm people of the HUGE amount of parents who never smoked before and are now using electronic cigarettes.
    Since this is a website about Science. Lets actually do the math shall we?

    Researchers surveyed a random sample of 3,253 adults in September 2013
    88 percent completed the survey. That equals 2863 people (rounding up to the nearest person)

    22 percent were parents.
    22 percent of 2863 people means 630 are parents

    Results showed that 13 percent of parents had tried electronic cigarettes
    13 percent of 630 is 82 parents

    6 percent (of parents) reported using the devices in the past 30 days
    6 percent of 82 parents is 6 parents

    45 percent of parents who had tried electronic cigarettes and 49 percent who reported using them in the past 30 days had never smoked regular cigarettes, or were former smokers.

    45 percent of 82 parents is a whopping 37 PEOPLE!!!!

    49 percent of 6 parents is a HUGE PROBLEM OF 3 PEOPLE!!!

    Remember these 40 parents out of the 2863 people who took the survey never smoked regular cigarettes, or were former smokers.

    Former Smokers as in ex smokers who now use a known 99% safer alternative in electronic cigarettes!!!

    So basically this article shows absolutely nothing except a bunch of scary numbers such as 49% (of 6 people!)
    This is classic tobacco control scaremongering at its finest.

    "This study has two alarming findings," said lead author Robert C. McMillen, PhD

    "First, the risks of e-cigarette use and exposure to vapor are unknown" WRONG!!!!
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/159590828/Drexel-University-E-cig-Study

    Second, "half of current users are nonsmokers"
    Isn't the whole point of switching to electronic cigarettes is to become a nonsmoker?
    I would say it is. But this is even wrong because this junk scientist is only referring to 40 parents out of the 2863 people.

    People have different kind of opinions related to Electronic Cigarette. Because some people thinks it's bad or other love to use it and they use this electronic device as a top alternative globally.