E Cigarette News Round Up – 13th January 2012

New E-Cig Study Claims Health Hazard

A recent study conducted in Greece has apparently revealed heretofore unreported physiological effects of inhaling e-cig vapor. According to the study, which exposed 30 “healthy smokers” to e-cigarette nicotine vapor, study participants were found to have significant airway constriction and inflammation after only five minutes of exposure.

While the study admits that it is unknown if this effect has any long term implications, the results are getting wide play in the press, with a recent Google search on the topic revealing more than 300 associated articles citing the study.

Caution needs to be exercised in embracing these results as widely as the press appears to be doing. For one thing, the information about the study details reported thus far has been scant, with virtually no information provided on the existence of a control group in the study or how the 30 “healthy smokers” achieved that designation and by what criteria. The 30 subject study is not a good representative sample according to standard application of scientific method—results already being skewed by study participants being “smokers”. If a control group of non –smokers was included (and suffered similar effects) in the study this fact has not been reported. A study without a control group is of dubious scientific value.

It may be argued that someone used to inhaling the over 4000 tars and other harmful chemicals of traditional cigarettes might develop “inflammation” and “airway constriction” to any vapor differing from the noxious cigarette smoke they are accustomed to. The human body has vast capabilities to become “used” to substances it is exposed to on a regular basis (even toxic ones)—and to react adversely to anything unfamiliar (even benign in origin). It is difficult to see how mere water vapor—even nicotine laden (as is the smoke from traditional cigarettes)—with the addition of so called e-cig chemicals (common food additives considered safe for human consumption in foodstuffs) could pose any long term harm equal to continued use of cigarettes.

One can sense diversionary strategy in the widespread promulgation of this story in a press that cannot claim to be unsupported by big tobacco revenue. More detailed reporting of this study and its particulars needs to be made available before the results of this study can be considered worthy of serious attention.

Smoking cessation devices ineffective, study claims

Another recent study announced in the press has discovered that the popular cessation therapies of nicotine gums, patches, nasal sprays etc. are largely ineffective in aiding smokers to ultimately kick the habit. Nicotine replacement therapy as more commonly known, was found to be no more effective in helping smokers quit than going “cold turkey”, not even when reinforced by “smoking cessation counseling”.

Considering that NRT is so often stressed as the only “tried, true and safe” method for quitting smoking by governmental entities such as Health Canada and the US’s FDA, its overall lack of effectiveness should focus more positive attention on e-cigs—which have a proven anecdotal record of helping even decades long smokers cut down and often quit the noxious traditional cigarette habit. Presently e-Cig manufacturers and retailers cannot even advertise the benefits of their “tobacco alternative products” for fear of governmental backlash and more stringent regulation for doing so.

And yet public funds continue to be devoted to the promulgation of these failed cessation methods—even over other smoking interventions which HAVE shown marked effectiveness, including anti-cigarette media campaigns, proliferation of no-smoking policies and tobacco price and tax increases.

In a financial climate where even the most worthy causes face funding cutbacks it is insupportable that so much federal support goes to the advancement of what amounts to worthless methods of promoting smoking cessation. Even if governments never embrace e-cigarettes as a viable cessation method—the waste of time, effort and precious resources on proven failures is unconscionable.

E-Cig Market Poised to Grow by 40%

A market analysis of the e-cig industry has recently been released, and indicates that e-cig manufacture and sales are a growing force to be reckoned with, and can expect a healthy growth rate industry wide in the next several years. Published by Linarch Information Solutions Pvt Ltd the analysis revealed the following:

  • Since coming into prominence in 2008 the e-cig market worldwide has experienced exponential growth
  • Conservative growth forecasts indicate that the e-cig market can be expected to grow more than 40% over the next five years.
  • Online sales will continue to be the largest segment of the market
  • Sales are driven by the public perception of e-cigarettes providing a close approximation of traditional smoking experience while at the same time offering reduced negative health effects contrasted against tobacco cigarettes
  • The market moving into the future will continue to feature refinement of technology, product quality and effectiveness
  • The tendency toward bans, over-regulation and concerns about usage by minors are the biggest challenges to the industry in the near term.

Tobacco Banned in Boise—but e-cigs going strong!

Boise, Idaho recently implemented a strict new ordinance which follows a growing number of other U.S. municipalities in banning smoking in public places—including bars, parks, bus shelters, transit parks and other open air areas formerly not covered by prior indoor smoking bans.

The new rules against traditional tobacco smoking have resulted, perhaps not unexpectedly, in new interest in the use of e-cigarettes. Stores in the city of Boise are reporting a significant increase in the number of people wanting to buy electronic cigarettes—which are not included in the new ban because they are not tobacco based and do not produce toxic smoke from combustion.

The new E-cigarette popularity in Boise has been attributed to the social aspects of smoking—smokers can’t light up in their favorite places any more, but still want the socialization and enjoyment to be had in an activity that so closely resembles actual tobacco cigarette smoking. E-cigs offer them the rites and rituals of tobacco without the social stigma and regulatory interference.

This social aspect is also seen as significant in e-cigs proving to be a more successful means of replacing traditional cigarettes –part of the allure of tobacco smoking comes from its rituals and social aspects—and what makes giving up the addiction that much more difficult because it isn’t merely a chemical withdrawal that occurs. Any alternative that provides the social gratification while minimizing the risk of exposure to toxic fumes and carcinogenic substances must be seen as a positive thing.