Harm Reversal: E-cigs 96% Safer than Combustible Cigs

Choice between cigarette and e-cigarette

The university of Catania, Italy has structured an integrated clinical research program designed to detect early changes of sub-clinical injury in ‘healthy’ smokers who have made the switch to vaping as well as those with preexisting lung disease.  The report states that “the initial findings are promising and generally supportive of a beneficial effect of electronic cigarette use in relation to respiratory outcomes, both in health and disease.”

‘Healthy’ smokers were invited to quit or reduce their tobacco consumption by switching  to e-cigarettes and changes in lung function were monitored for up to a year.   The report outlines significant early positive changes by 3 months, with steady progressive improvements following after.   The report also states that participants with preexisting asthma and COPD displayed significant improvements in respiratory physiology, and did not suffer any asthma attacks.

The report claims that “compared to combustible cigarettes, e-vapour products are at least 96% less harmful and may substantially reduce individual risk and population harm.”  Closing advice in the report recommends that the emerging evidence on harm reversal should be “taken into consideration by regulatory authorities” in policy creation.

Canada to Regulate E-Cigarettes; Recommendations from the Standing Committee on Health

 canadianthing

This March the Standing Committee of Health produced a report outlining recommendations for the regulation of E-cigarettes based off of evidence collected from eight meetings with a total of thirty-three witnesses, including government officials, health officials, manufacturers, and users of the devices.  Overall  it looks hopeful, and potentially  good news for vapers in Canada.  You can read the full report here.

 

The Good:

  • Recommendation 1:  That the Government of Canada financially supports research on the health effects of E-cigs (potential risks and benefits), and their impact on the uptake of nicotine products by youth and on other tobacco control efforts (renormalization and potential gateway effects).  We feel that this is good because currently the claims against e-cigarettes are not supported by evidence, and conducting research is more likely to dispel disparaging attitudes than create new ones.
  • Recommendation 2:  That the Government of Canada works with all affected stakeholders to establish a new legislative framework for regulating electronic cigarettes.  This is awesome because it means that they will not be regulated as tobacco, or medical products (won’t be required to have a prescription to obtain a vape etc).
  • Recommendation 7:  Establish standards relating to the safety of all components of electronic cigarettes, and also require manufacturers and importers of electronic cigarettes to disclose information relating to ingredients.   We feel  that it’s important for consumers to have full disclosure.
  • Recommendation 8:  Require electronic cigarette components be sold in child resistant packaging, and that all packaging clearly and accurately indicate the concentration of nicotine and contain appropriate safety warnings about the product.  This recommendation makes sense, and would certainly improve the safety of vaping.
  • Recommendation 9:  Prohibit electronic cigarette manufacturers from making unproven health claims.    We couldn’t agree with this more!
  • Recommendation 10:  Prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes or other electronic nicotine delivery systems to person under the age of 18.  Most retailers are already enforcing this rule, ourselves included.

The Bad:

  • Recommendation 5:  Electronic Cigarettes be required to be visually distinct from other tobacco products (ie not look like a cigarette, like our e-dart).   This recommendation is based off of the fear that vaping may re-normalize tobacco use, and as outlined in recommendation 1 there currently is not enough evidence to support the claim. 
  • Recommendation 6:  Establish maximum levels of nicotine contained in electronic cigarette liquid or vapour.   This could pose unnecessary limitations on consumers , as the amount of nicotine considered to be safe in e-liquid is well over the amount currently found in even the highest concentrations available.

The Ugly:

  • Recommendation 11:  Prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems in federally regulated public spaces.  This would prohibit vaping in bars, restaurants, and other places that may want to cater to vapers. 
  • Recommendation 12:  Restrictions for advertising and promotional activities for these products.  This recommendation greatly imposes on businesses and consumers ability to connect with appropriate harm reduction devices. 
  • Recommendation 14:  Prohibit the use of flavourings in electronic cigarette liquids that are specifically designed to appeal to youth, such as candy flavourings.  This recommendation comes from the baseless idea that youth, whom are mostly mimicking adult behaviors when they engage in smoking may be drawn to vaping because of candy flavours.  A large amount of vapers prefer sweet and fruity flavours, and this would pose unnecessary restrictions on them.

Overall the recommendations to regulate e-cigarettes are very reasonable, other than the few that lack supporting evidence to warrant their creation (in their current forms).  While some of the recommendations are not favourable  we feel positive that if The Canadian Government continues to work with all stakeholders and pays close attention to research coming forward in support of vaping we will have a world class regulatory system.

Toronto board of health to review a ban on electronic cigarettes

Toronto Board of Health meeting to discuss banning electronic cigarettes

The Toronto board of heath is meeting on Monday to discuss a possible municipal ban on electronic cigarettes, categorizing them the same way as traditional cigarettes.  This would mean that there would be no vaping or use of electronic cigarettes in public parks, in any bars or restaurants, or anywhere that traditional tobacco cigarettes are banned across the greater Toronto area.

 

Furthermore, the Toronto board of health will review a suggestion to prohibit the sale of flavoured e-cigarette products and ban e-cigarette displays in stores.

The Toronto board of health also wants to look at banning the use of electronic cigarettes in the workplace, as well as at the Toronto School boards, universities, and colleges, and Toronto hospitals, encouraging them to prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes both indoor and outdoor on their properties.  They will also be contacting the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel association, and Toronto Association of business improvement areas suggesting they implement similar practices.  Finally, they will be suggesting this to the Parks and Environment committee.

The reason or justification for these potential actions are twofold.

First, they are suggesting that there is not enough stuhttp://canadavapes.com/info/blog/toronto-board-health-review-ban-electronic-cigarettes/dies on the risk of second hand vapor.  They are citing possible health risks associated with second hand vapor.

Secondly, they are stating that there could be an acceptance of this as a gateway to tobacco cigarettes, and a ‘normalization of smoking’ again, after many years of struggling to make tobacco cigarettes obsolete.

I believe they are missing the big picture, which is the overwhelming positive results already taking place by ex-tobacco smokers who have successfully transitioned to electronic cigarettes, and are experiencing success beyond their wildest dreams.  They have never suggested that mint flavoured Nicolette gum could potentially be a gateway to tobacco cigarettes, and in my opinion, electronic cigarettes are very different from tobacco cigarettes.  This is why so many ex-smokers who turn to electronic cigarettes will, almost without exception, state that when they go back and have a tobacco cigarette, it tastes and feels nothing like an electronic cigarette, and they no longer like the taste and feel of the tobacco cigarette.

Furthermore, I find it interesting that they are implying that scientific evidence states that e-cigs could be a gateway to tobacco cigarettes, of which there is no evidence to support this, and in the same breath using a lack of “Scientific evidence” regarding second hand vapor as a reason to ban e-cigs.  This is governmental heresy its finest.

For my last rant, I would state that it would be a much better use of time for our government to work on regulating the manufacturing of these products, instead of creating a ban based on zero scientific evidence.  Requiring labels, child proof lids, warnings, and information to be used by all vendors of e-cigarettes would be a much better potential governmental ruling vs. pulling them off shelves and banning them publicly.

Top scientists warn WHO not to stub out e-cigarettes

Top Scientists warn World Health Organization not to classify electronic cigarettes as tobacco products.

 

LONDON (Reuters) – A group of 53 leading scientists has warned the World Health Organization not to classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products, arguing that doing so would jeopardize a major opportunity to slash diseaseand deaths caused by smoking.

The UN agency, which is currently assessing its position on the matter, has previously indicated it would favor applying similar restrictions to all nicotine-containing products.

In an open letter to WHO Director General Margaret Chan, the scientists from Europe, North America, Asia and Australia argued that low-risk products like e-cigarettes were “part of the solution” in the fight against smoking, not part of the problem.

“These products could be among the most significant health innovations of the 21st century – perhaps saving hundreds of millions of lives. The urge to control and suppress them as tobacco products should be resisted,” the experts wrote.

Leaked documents from a meeting last November suggest the WHO views e-cigarettes as a “threat” and wants them classified the same way as regular tobacco products under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

That has set alarm bells ringing among a number of medical experts – and in the booming e-cigarette industry. A total of 178 countries are parties to the international convention and are obliged to implement its measures, with the United States the one notable non-signatory.

A move to classify e-cigarettes alongside regular cigarettes would push countries into taking similar tough measures to restrict demand, including raising taxes, banning advertising, introducing health warnings and curbing use in public places.

Uptake of electronic cigarettes, which use battery-powered cartridges to produce a nicotine-laced inhalable vapor, has rocketed in the last two years and analysts estimate the industry had worldwide sales of some $3 billion in 2013.

But the devices are controversial. Because they are so new there is a lack of long-term scientific evidence to support their safety and some fear they could be “gateway” products to nicotine addiction and tobacco smoking – though the scientists said they were “unaware of any credible evidence that supports this conjecture”.

BIG TOBACCO BACKS SCIENTISTS

For tobacco companies seeking to offset the decline in traditional smoking, investment in e-cigarettes was an obvious choice and all the major players now have a presence, prompting Big Tobacco to line up behind scientists on this occasion.

Kingsley Wheaton, director of corporate and regulatory affairs at British American Tobacco, said classifying e-cigarettes as tobacco products would mean smokers find it harder to access a less risky alternative.

The Geneva-based WHO said its position on e-cigarettes was still in flux ahead of a key meeting on the FCTC scheduled for October 13-18 in Moscow, where proposed regulations will be discussed.

“At this point the only thing I can say is that we are elaborating these regulations and they will soon be available to you,” Armando Peruga, programme manager for the WHO’s Tobacco Free Initiative told reporters this week.

Gerry Stimson, emeritus professor at Imperial College London and one of the organizers of the letter to Chan, told Reuters that the WHO’s position was “bizarre” and its stance on e-cigarettes was harsher than that of regulators in Europe and the United States.

“We want to make sufficient noise now before things get too set in stone,” he said.

 

By By Ben Hirschler

(Additional reporting by Tom Miles in Geneva, editing by David Evans)

Electronic cigarette advertsments – Will they be banned?

A recent US rule implemented by the FDA is attempting to regulate the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.  While this is certainly a good thing, and a positive step in the US electronic cigarette market, it is leaving many people wondering if this is just the first step in an electronic cigarette laundry list of to be regulated by the FDA.  FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the current proposal “lays the foundation for many more actions and activities.”  What this means is that this rule is essentially the groundwork for future policies and regulations laid out by the FDA in the future in restrictions towards electronic cigarettes.

 

My personal belief is that the FDA is choosing a ban on minors as their ‘entry rule’ so that everyone will be behind them, and then continue to add and implement other ‘grey area’ rulings regarding electronic cigarettes.  The two two that everyone is talking about is advertising of electronic cigarettes, and the sale of fruity or candy e-liquids to customers.  We are going to discuss advertising of electronic cigarettes in this story.

Some are suggesting some US e-cigarette companies are promoting electronic cigarettes to a younger crowd.

 

 

A recent advertisement from blu e-cigarettes in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit magazine in the states has suggested that some e-cigarette companies are focusing on the younger crowd when advertising their products.  Personally, this is more of a ‘sex sells’ type advertisement then anything else, however an argument could be made that if electronic cigarettes become more of an accepted social practice they would be tried and used a lot more then traditional tobacco cigarettes.  We at CanadaVapes.com have always promoted electronic cigarettes as an alternate to people currently smoking tobacco cigarettes, and never as a device for current non-smokers.

 

 

Electronic cigarettes with nicotine “very similar to drinking coffee” UK Professor reports

Electronic Cigarettes effects are very similar to drinking coffee

A UK professor states electronic cigarettes with nicotine are “very similar to drinking coffee” to the body.

A recent test was completed at Queen Mary University in London, England with a subject.  He is having the levels of carbon monoxide tested both after using en electronic cigarette, and then a tobacco cigarette.  You can watch the video here.

This test is overseen by Professor Peter Hayek.   Hayek stated: “Many people see nicotine itself as a dangerous poison, but if nicotine is taken without the accompanying toxins (such as with an electronic cigarette) then the health effects would be very similar to drinking coffee”.

“E-cigarettes contain no discernible toxins or carbon monoxide” as stated by the reporter Graham Satchell of the BBC.  After using a carbon monoxide detector both before starting the test,  immediately after using an electronic cigarette, and then immediately after using a tobacco cigarette, the test clearly showed that electronic cigarettes do not increase carbon monoxide in the body, whereas tobacco cigarettes do.  Carbon monoxide is very dangerous for the body.  There is good evidence that high levels of carbon monoxide in the blood of smokers is one of the main factors causing smokers to have increased rates of cardiovascular diseases (such as angina and heart attacks)1  It is clear that reduced oxygen supply caused by carbon monoxide is a major factor.

 

References:

Electronic Cigarettes vs. Smoking – How do they compare?

Carbon Monoxide in Cigarette Smoke

 

 

E-cig Madness — Comparable to Reefer Madness

I’m not going to pretend to have any personal experience with the 1930’s craze surrounding marijuana and the hysteria that surrounded it back in the day.   A number of ludicrous movies were made back in the day about the dangerous affects of marijuana use, and the ability for you to go insane with just a few drags from a joint, or a few hits from a bong.  Needless to say, this hysteria scared many people into believing that weed was just about the most dangerous thing on the planet, and may have been the reason for it to be lumped together with other more harmful drugs, while alcohol got all the rights of passage.

I have heard, and I do believe to an extent that electronic cigarettes may be the 2000’s version of reefer madness.  It is a relatively new product that so many people don’t understand, and the media is quick to pounce all over it.  The government doesn’t understand it, the news reporters don’t understand it, and people are simply scared of things they don’t understand.  They can’t accept the possibility that it could be safer to use then a known cancer causing product like cigarettes.  They assume that there is some evil sinister motive behind electronic cigarettes.  All of the arguments I have read about electronic cigarettes are at best a real stretch, and many are down right lies.  It is very very important with any new product that accurate and informed information is presented, or else we may just have reefer madness 2.0 on our hands about electronic cigarettes.

 

Vaping on Air Canada – Air Canada staff allows electronic cigarette use on flight

Man Vapes his electronic Cigarette on Air Canada Flight

On March 28th, a man boarding an Air Canada flight headed to Toronto from Calgary airport vaping his electronic cigarette.  This man continued to vape throughout the flight, and many were surprised that the Air Canada flight attendants either did not see him, or did nothing to stop him.  Officially, Air Canada does have a policy in regards to using an electronic cigarette while on board an airplane:

You can read Air Canada’s official stance on electronic cigarettes here, where they clearly label electronic cigarettes as acceptable items to bring on board the aircraft, with this exception: Electronic cigarettes (or ‘e-cigarettes’), provided they remain stowed and unused in your carry-on baggage. 

So the bottom line is that you are allowed to bring electronic cigarettes and electronic cigarette accessories with you on board an Air Canada flight, however you are not supposed to have it on your person, and should not actually use it.  This is more then likely simply a matter of the flight attendents of Air Canada not being aware of the polocies of electronic cigarettes during flight.  While all studies that have been done to date have shown no negative effects of second hand ‘vape’ to those around you, never the less with individual companies, they ultimately have the right to accept or reject people using electronic cigarettes in their places of business, and in this case being Air Canada’s planes.

It is very likely that over the next few years we will begin to see signs very similar to the smoking and no smoking signs we are all familiar with being edited to include vaping and no vaping signs as well.  Hopefully our aggressive government will not overstep themselves once again, and continue to allow the individual companies and businesses to choose for themselves whether they want to be accepting of their patrons using electronic cigarettes in their businesses.

While this is certainly not a big story, it is something to keep your eye out for as each business and corporation both needs to decide what their policies are going to be regarding the use of electronic cigarettes, as well as their enforcement of said laws.  With this new technology of electronic cigarettes gaining popularity across Canada, these questions will need to be answered sooner rather then later.

 

Electronic cigarette Vapor vs. Cigarette Smoke – A pratcial experiment

Electronic Cigarette Vapor vs. Cigarette Smoke

When people are smoking cigarettes, one of the biggest preaching points from non smokers is second hand smoke.  We have now seen the dramatic negative effects of non-smokers who work in smokey envirnments for years and years.  From cancer to lung deseise to heart demise, all by just breathing in second hand smoke.

I remember back as a smoker setting up a fan in the window of my office.  I would smoke in my office and attempt to exhaust the tobacco smoke from the room with this window fan.  The realiziation of just how disgusting tobacco smoke is came after a few months when I moved the fan from the window.  There was a yellow brown stain in the exact dimensions of the fan on the screen, and it was disgusting!  All I could think of was the inside of my lungs being coated with this disgusting film.  This was after all just the second hand smoke from the room.

I’m sure many of you have had experiences like this, or other ones similar.  Cleaning the inside of the glass of a car window after smoking in it, or even house windows and walls after years of smoking.

 

I watched a great YouTube Video – You can see it here – About an experiment someone does comparing the second hand cigarette smoke with second hand vapor from an electronic cigarette.  While this is by no means a scientifically valid experiment, never the less, it becomes obvious very quickly in the experiment the difference between the vapor of an electronic cigarette and the smoke from a tobacco cigarette.

What this experimenter did is essentially run a full cigarette through some paper towel using the force of water coming out of a bottle.  He then did the exact same thing using an electronic cigarette.  With the paper towel with a tobacco cigarette, what you saw was very similar to what I was talking about with the yellow/brown disgusting sludge that built up with my window fan.  With the electronic cigarette, the paper towel remained completely white.  Here is a photo:

Now as I said in the beginning of this article, this is in no way a scientific experiment, however it is a pretty neat side by side comparision of e-cigarette vapor vs. tobacco smoke vapor that I think is really quite interesting.