In response: E-cigs are clean, don’t cause cancerThe News Tribune’s Sept. 8 editorial stated many false things, and I’d like to take an opportunity to clear up some myths about vaping (Our View: “Obvious danger requires fair and responsible rules”).
By: Greg Baughman, Duluth News Tribune
The News Tribune’s Sept. 8 editorial stated many false things, and I’d like to take an opportunity to clear up some myths about vaping (Our View: “Obvious danger requires fair and responsible rules”).
The editorial read, “The packaging on electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, doesn’t say much. Which actually is kind of scary. Just what’s being inhaled into the body when ‘vaping?’ ”
Simple: propylene glycol; vegetable glycerin; nicotine in a measured dosage; and food-grade, water-soluble flavoring. The Food and Drug Administration has categorized propylene glycol as “generally recognized as safe.” There is little to no skin irritation or sensitization even with prolonged direct exposure to the undiluted chemical, according to naturallycurly.com. Vegetable glycerin, or VG, is used in many food and health products, globalhealing
center.com tells us. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the nicotine that causes cancer. And nicotine isn’t carcinogenic, as pointed out by a University of California-Berkeley study and posted online by the National Institute of Health.
Let me reiterate that last point: The National Institute of Health says nicotine is not cancer-causing. That’s our government saying that.
The editorial asked what’s being exhaled for everyone around to breathe in and ingest. That answer is simple, too. It’s water vapor. Nicotine is absorbed into the body very quickly, and the exhaled vapor is just that, vapor, the same kind as at a theater or a wedding when a fog machine is used. That’s according to Igor Burstyn of the School of Public Health at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
The editorial also stated that nicotine is “highly addictive.” The addiction level actually is similar to coffee. In fact, the health effects of nicotine and caffeine are almost identical. Both are addictive. Both are a mild stimulant. Both are a vascular constrictor (meaning they shrink the blood vessels slightly). And both are safe. If nicotine was carcinogenic, then nicotine patches and nicotine gums also would cause cancer. Once again, this is from the National Institute of Health.
Further, the carcinogenity of tobacco smoke is not explained by nicotine, per se, which is not carcinogenic or mutagenic, according to smoke-vs-vapor.webs.
The editorial pointed out that the government has yet to certify e-cigarettes as safe and effective smoking-cessation devices the way it has nicotine patches and other products. But 35 percent of smokers who switched to vaping quit using tobacco cigarettes, and two-year case studies showed no adverse reactions to vaping.
There are things government should do with regard to
Government should regulate the purity of the liquid used in e-cigarettes. There have to be some checks in place. I want to know that, yes, the liquid I have in my personal nicotine delivery system (the biggest mistake made in this whole thing was calling them a cigarette at all) is in fact what it says. And I want to know there’s a measurable and verified dose of nicotine in there along with FDA-approved, food-grade propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, flavoring — and nothing else.
Regulations should restrict minors’ access to e-cigarettes. Yes, absolutely, I agree 100 percent.
We also could use a little more community support for people who are actually making an effort for a better environment. There are immeasurable (as in “cannot be detected”) amounts of nicotine in secondhand vapor, as demonstrated by the Drexel University study. However, the city of Duluth played right into the hands of Big Tobacco. How’s that? Because there is no incentive and no support — other than a desire to better oneself by getting away from burning plants — to switch to a vaping delivery system. In fact, as a result of Duluth City Council action, in Duluth, we vapers will be forced to be outside where we’ll continue to be exposed to the secondhand smoke of tobacco users. As a result, the city, like others taking a backward look at things, reduced the incentive for smokers to get away from tobacco use. And that played right into the hands of the tobacco companies.
I had hoped that Duluth was a little more forward-thinking. But instead, the City Council, with support from the News Tribune, reduced the incentive for people to better themselves and their environment.
Greg Baughman of Virginia, Minn., is a DJ, entertainer and information-technology manager who smoked for 27 years and who has been vaping on and off for the past four years. He has been completely off tobacco cigarettes for nine months.