Archive | October 2013

I simply HAD to recommend e-cigs to my parents. They are safe enough!

Safe Enough
By Josef K

My parents have both smoked for over fifty years. Between them they have consumed over half a million cigarettes. They both enjoy smoking… the taste, the effect of nicotine and (particularly in their youth) the social aspect of smoking. For both of them, smoking is a choice they freely make… in the knowledge of the harmful effects of tobacco smoke upon their health.

I simply HAD to recommend e-cigs to my parents. Wouldn’t you?
I took some examples for them to try and after a few initial coughy episodes (one pretty bad), they ordered some ego-twists, evods and juice flavours which were put to the test last week.
I sat on the sofa next to my father as he vaped all night without reaching for a cigarette. All. Night.
Now I know what has been said by those advocating tobacco/medicines regulation for e-cigs. I know the concerns expressed and am familiar with the scientific data that exists. I know nothing is utterly risk-free… but I also know that e-cigs are safe enough.
Safe enough to allow my parents to enjoy an alternative to smoking without fear or discomfort. Enjoy. An alternative. Safe enough.
Faced with similar circumstance and similar choices, I would hope that the McAvans and McKees of this world would make the same recommendations to their own parents. To put over-zealous ideology above genuine care and concern would seem utterly heartless, to me.

The American Association of Public Health Physicians Supports E-Cigarettes

By Lindsay Fox

The AAPHP has called on the FDA to investigate and support the electronic cigarette as a better alternative to nicotine intake for the general public.

One of the most frustrating elements of the growing electronic cigarette industry is that it faces an uphill battle against the far-reaching tobacco empire. The pressure and sway that this industry holds is bolstered by their vast sums of money along with their historic ties with the government and major pharmaceutical companies. 


However, the AAPHP believes that the FDA, for one reason or another, are being misleading with their statement to the public regarding electronic cigarettes. Currently, the FDA classifies them as a drug device combination – in other words, not a tobacco product. If the FDA were to follow the advice of studies that have already taken place that indicate electronic cigarettes being a safer option, they may be able to improve the health of many people. 
Similarly, the FDA are yet to conduct their own series of testing and show no immediate interest in doing so. According to the AAPHP, the risk of fatality from electronic cigarettes is roughly in line with cigarette replacement products such as patches – this alone seems to be in the public interest and could benefit many people looking for a way to come off traditional cigarette smoking. 


E-Cigarettes May Not Be Gateway to Smoking: Study

Page on Healthday
By Brenda Goodman
HealthDay Reporter

E-Cigarettes May Not Be Gateway to Smoking: Study

It found few teens go on to smoke cigarettes, use other kinds of tobacco after ‘vaping’

In just one year, the number of kids in grades six through 12 who said they’d ever tried an e-cigarette more than doubled, rising from 3.3 percent to 6.8 percent. Among the 2.1 percent who said they were current e-cigarette users, more than three-quarters said they also smoked regular cigarettes.
Given that overlap, many health experts worried that e-cigarettes might be acting like a gateway drug, sucking kids more deeply into nicotine addiction, and law officials urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products.
The new study suggests that may not be the case.
Researchers surveyed 1,300 college students about their tobacco and nicotine use. The average age of study participants was 19.
“We asked what the first tobacco product they ever tried was and what their current tobacco use looked like,” said researcher Theodore Wagener, an assistant professor of general and community pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, in Oklahoma City.
Overall, 43 students said their first nicotine product was an e-cigarette. Of that group, only one person said they went on to smoke regular cigarettes. And the vast majority who started with e-cigarettes said they weren’t currently using any nicotine or tobacco.
“It didn’t seem as though it really proved to be a gateway to anything,” said Wagener, who presented his findings at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, in National Harbor, Md.

Dear Health Minister

A post by marlowejames


RE: How many people have contacted their MP’s? 
My last letter to my MP got passed to Anna Soubry who replied but never answered my specific questions, but provided an original albeit another cut and paste reply. My MP asked if I had further questions or concerns to inform him and he would pass them onto the Health Minister. After a great deal of thought I’m asking a very simple question. Here’s my letter:

Dear Health Minister,

We have now identified that the information the previous coalition Government relied on to formulate policy and legislation regarding e-cigarettes was flawed and inaccurate and subsequently this Labour Government will act quickly to change legislation that has caused potential users of e-cigarettes to continue smoking harmful tobacco cigarettes. The Labour Government will also seek to implement measures to ensure that all future health policy is not based on ideology or the vested interests of the Pharmaceutical Industry and their NRT products, but only reliant on accurate and unbiased scientific data. It was wrong for the MHRA consultation in 2010 to ignore 96% of all respondents, as these ex smokers were the very stakeholders who were most affected, most qualified and best placed to understand the impact of the proposed e-cigarette legislation.” 

The above fictional Department of Health Government statement is a sample of what is extremely probable, should the Government’s position to medically regulate-cigarettes continue. When the Government’s position on e-cigs is flawed from both a legal perspective and a scientific perspective than it is only a matter of time before any policy whose foundations are so fragile fall down under the weight of both public opinion, media insight and legal challenges.

I can fully understand how any Government minister is reliant on the information and advice that they receive from their respective departments and especially in the case of policy that relies on scientific or technical information and it is wholly correct that any Government is seen to be united and in agreement with the departments and regulatory bodies that they inadvertently place their political trust in. A bad decision made by a politician is always seized upon and attacked. The fact however that the politician was relying on information and advice from their trusted departments or regulatory bodies is nevertheless ignored by the media and public. 

Since the matter of medically regulating e-cigarettes was first suggested by the MHRA in 2010 (you will notice that this policy is not a Government policy, but a MHRA inspired policy) the Government quite rightly has had to use the information from both the MHRA and CHM as justification for the Government’s policy.

Wasn’t it even Columbus who had to seek funding from another countries monarch in order to explore and find America, as the Portugal’s monarch’s scientific advisers were adamant that the world was flat? History is sadly littered with examples of politicians and Governments relying on bad advice to make decisions. 

Every letter I have written to my MP has been replied with cut and paste excerpts from MHRA documents justifying the Government’s position. Any specific questions that I have asked get ignored and remain unanswered. All documents or information links I supply as evidence of my concerns get ignored or at best are answered by the same cut and paste MHRA documents. These aren’t isolated concerns, but the concerns of a whole community of ex smokers, now users of e-cigarettes – the very same e-cigarette users who have been ignored in the consultations despite representing 96% of all the consultation responses. 

Why is it that the Department of Health is so keen to use NHS patient surveys to learn, improve and change bad policy and procedures, yet in a consultation exercise with the health aim of understanding how e-cigarettes could be used to reduce smoking tobacco it blatantly ignored the actual experiences and knowledge of experienced users of these new products?

Why is it that the MHRA were given the brief to decide how e-cigarettes should be regulated? They can only regulate medicines and considering that all existing legal precedents have concurred that e-cigarettes are not medicines including the US Court of Appeal and the EU’s own JURI legal committee than this initial faux pas means that when ever anyone questions Government Policy we are always automatically referred to the MHRA documents that justify this policy citing that e-cigarettes do not meet the appropriate standards of safety, quality and efficacy of medicines. Has no one in Government questioned the fact that a jar of coffee or pack of wine gums would also not meet the MHRA’s appropriate standards of quality, safety and efficacy for the simple reason that none of them are medicines or meant to be medicines in the first place. This is why the MHRA have stated that noexisting e-cigarette on the market would meet their exacting standards, as none of them are meant to be medicines in the first place. 

Unless the Government is prepared to accept that the MHRA’s recommendations may be flawed, incorrect or even out of date, than any further democratic dialogue is futile. To date all the evidence that myself and others have received from our elected representatives is that the MHRA have reached a decision and the Government accepts it – period. They won’t question the MHRA’s findings or even investigate further the crucial validity of “are e-cigarettes legally in fact medicines”. 

It was highly embarrassing to watch your predecessor Anna Soubry at the EU Scrutiny Committee hearing obviously having relied on her department advice and having to take the personal wrath from the committee members, when the advice given to her has been flawed from the beginning. So the point of my question is to simply understand is it the Government making policy or the MHRA?

As a voter, a citizen of the United Kingdom and of the belief that Government and politicians are in place to serve the electorate I would like to ask just one simple question. I do not want another Department of Health/MHRA civil servant cut and paste reply, but as straight forward answer to a very simple question. 

“Is the Government willing to consider, acknowledge or accept any reputable scientific or statistical evidence that the MHRA’s findings and conclusions regarding e-cigarettes may be flawed and incorrect” 

I look forward to receiving your replay.

Yours sincerely


CANADIAN PRESS REPORTER BIZARRELY CLAIMS GOVERNMENT IS ABOVE THE LAWS OF CANADA BREAKING NEWS – October 25, 2013 Helen Branswell (medical reporter for the Canadian Press since 2000) has landed herself and her employer in hot water after a story written by her, containing false information which defames numerous small businesses in Canada, was published without being fact-checked. Refusing to acknowledge the error, the journalist has since put forth a bizarre defense in Twitter – by publicly claiming that the laws of Canada don’t apply to government agencies. 


Rest of article at

By Rachel Steen 25.10.2013

The Stupid, Lopsided War Against Electronic Vapor Devices

October 23, 2013 by  

…. One Post commenter brought the words of C.S. Lewis to bear on the government’s hypocritical and dangerous regulatory push into the vaping world – words that apply to nanny government and its executors wherever they may be found:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

Nicotine is one of the last great taboo subjects in the western world.

The Great Nicotine Myth

Nicotine is one of the last great taboo subjects in the western world, and as a result is subject to some powerful myths and restrictions completely unrelated to its actual properties. As a good example of this, most people would be surprised – even amazed – to learn that there is not even a single published clinical trial of nicotine; an extraordinary fact considering the intense interest in this subject (and which raises many interesting questions). It also means we do not have even the most basic evidence to discuss some aspects of it.
There are four nicotine myths perpetuated in modern culture that have no basis in fact. These are:
1. The myth of nicotine’s dangerous and alien nature
2. The myth of nicotine’s toxicity
3. The myth of nicotine’s potential for addiction
4. The myth of nicotine’s potential for harm

For the full article please see The Great Nicotine Myth