E Cigarette News Round Up – 10th December 2011

E Cigs Banned in Boston!

Earlier this month Boston’s Public Health Commission voted to ban the use of e-cigarettes in public areas including workplaces and restaurant decks and patios, citing a need to bring regulation of e-cigs within the Boston city limits into compliance with existing tobacco product restrictions.

Smoking bans in public places are nothing new—and have become nearly universal in the United States. Given the danger posed by second hand smoke with its over 4000 toxic and carcinogenic chemicals, this is a laudable trend that no one would argue with. But someone should be disagreeing with this “banned in Boston” issue.

E-Cigarettes, while they do deliver measured doses of nicotine to users, are categorically not tobacco products. They emit no noxious fumes, merely a non toxic vapor. Much is made of this vapor containing possibly dangerous chemicals—but the worst to have been found so far is a form of glycol that is also present in foodstuffs in similar amounts, such as cake mixes.

E-cigs have also been decried as “drug delivery devices—an accusation that is laughable given that nicotine doesn’t appear anywhere on the Drug Enforcement Agency’s “controlled substances” lists—and no credit given for the fact that the amount of nicotine delivered by the average e-cig, even at full strength in the devices is still substantially less than a pack of tobacco cigarettes and not any more than is to be found in smoking cessation products such as patches and gums.

The bottom line is that in Boston, tobacco smokers and e-cig vapers are both marginalized in exactly the same fashion—both to protect the public health. But rather than lumping the vaping in with the deadly smoking, Boston officials should be thinking about ways to make tobacco cigarettes even less appealing than they already are. By allowing the use of e-cigs in places where tobacco cigarettes are banned outright—Boston would be dangling a carrot in front of tobacco users—they’d be able to enjoy experience of smoking over a meal or a drink—just one more incentive to make the switch from tobacco use to vaping!

A Revolution in Medical Cannabis Delivery?

The active pain relieving chemical in medical cannabis is called Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC a mild to moderate chemical with proven analgesic effects which works by altering neurotransmitter chemistry on brain structures. While still widely controversial, the use of cannabis among chronic pain AIDS, multiple sclerosis, pain, glaucoma, epilepsy sufferers as well as patients with terminal cancer diagnoses whose pain cannot be managed without narcotics is gaining acceptance, albeit slowly.

In a breakthrough which may or may not further the cause of Medical cannabis acceptance, Medical Cannabis Management, (an entity which provides marketing, consulting and management services to the medical cannabis industry) announced that it is close to striking a deal with a leading e-cig manufacturer to provide prescribed doses of TCH in e-cig flavor cartomizers. This would remove the need for the use of the cannabis plant matter itself by end users and provide a safe and effective delivery of the specific chemical without the side effects and risks associated with it.

Other benefits associated with this unique marriage are the ability for the THC/cannabis user to light up anywhere, without the fear of giving bystanders a “contact high”, and also eliminating the acrid marijuana cigarette odor. Cannabis smoke, like tobacco smoke also contains potential carcinogens—e-cigarettes produce only water vapor. Further, the THC in an e-cig cartridge would be in the form of an oil –which would eliminate the need for users to stockpile plant material. The quality of the TCH in oil form would become more consistent over plant matter as well.

This move is bound to be controversial and given the recent wave of e-cig bans, may prove a further excuse to expand regulation and prohibition against the electronic devices. However, Medical Cannabis Management has stated that the THC cartridges and dedicated e-cig devices would be marketed only to medical professionals and licensed medical cannabis dispensaries, not directly to the end users, and only in areas where medical cannabis is legal to be dispensed.

New Year’s Resolution Time Approaches!

Midway into the holiday season the end of the year is fast approaching and with it that time when everyone pledges better behavior in the New Year.

Now is the perfect time to promote the idea among friends and relatives who still smoke tobacco cigarettes to make the switch to e-cigs as part of their New Year’s resolution ritual. With many e-cig retailers such as Green Smoke offering starter kit packages at attractive prices, there has never been a time to make the suggestion—gift a kit or urge a trial run! Possible health benefits aside—the economic savings of vaping over smoking cannot be denied. Put a flea or two in the ear of your favorite smoker—and direct them to one of the many “cost savings calculators” available at e-cig manufacturer websites and get them on the path to better health in the new year!