Is there an Answer?
We are all aware of the health damages caused by smoking, so here is a look at a different side.
The worst part of the current situation in smoking is that some Public Health officials and many of the associated bodies seem to be politically motivated to prolong smoking in many people.
Some bodies such as the CDC appear to be exaggerating the possible negative effects of SHR (Smoking Harm Reduction) and the currently best tool out there to achieve this. In the USA, the consumption of cigarettes has decreased by something like 6% by the latest figures over the previous year, but this figure is ignored as it appears to be a consequence of the continuing uptake of the “trendy” electronic cigarettes (e-cigs). In order to preserve their jobs and positions of “health advisors” and anti-smoking authorities, many of these pundits are cherry-picking the few bad points and ignoring the actual figures which show that e-cigs are not only less harmful to the users, but are are considerably better for the people associating with the users.
- E-cigs are 95 – 99% less harmful than traditional cigarettes.
- The “Passive vaping” worries of some people are almost laughable. An e-cig stops producing vapour when it is not being used (no sidestream), and the exhalate is almost solely water vapour ( with a small amount of glycerin, and propolyne glycol (both medically used in inhalers and medicines) with a trace amount of nicotine. Other chemicals are present, but in quatities below levels which do damage.
- The uptake of e-cigs by minors does not seem to be happening, a recent study, showed that almost only minors who were already smokers were using e-cigs.
Why are PH bodies encouraging these misconceptions?
- These bodies are primarily funded by the big pharmaceutical companies, the direct competitors of e-cigs in the field of SHR.
- Many of these bodies will lose their influence, funding and much of their power if the market for e-cigs continues to grow at its present rate (currently doubling every year).
- To be fair, some of the individuals involved are good, honest people who believe that the devil is nicotine, rather than just smoking causing all the harm. Nicotine has an LD50 (50% lethal dosage) officially of about 60mg, even this has recently been proven incorrect, the correct LD50 is about 1200mg if inhaled or ingested, but about 600mg for contact. Nicotine apparently is a mildly beneficial and harmless drug, albeit slightly addictive, again new studies in the recent months have shown that it is not the real devil, as there are some chemicals in cigarettes that appear to potentiate the nicotine to make it and smoking much more addictive.
Why does the pharmaceutical industry encourage this scenario?
Big P and Big T both have a financial interest in seeing smoking continue, as a lot of their turnover comes from selling anti-smoking drugs, and the drugs which can help with smoking caused diseases, and Big T of course sells the tobacco products in the first place. The “Quit Cycle” is very profitable to both industries, and the e-cig is threatening this cycle itself.
The Quit Cycle.
- A smoker decides to stop smoking, and buys NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) products from Big P. These products have a failure rate of 90+% at one year.
- The smoker relapses, and is again a customer of Big T.
- The smoker tries to stop again, this time probably using a more expensive product. Since the failure rate is still averaging 90% …
- The smoker relapses.
- Redo from start  if the smoker has not by now contracted any of the fatal diseases associated with smoking.
This cycle is highly profitable for both industries.What often happens now that e-cigs are available is:-
- A smoker decides to stop smoking, and buys an e-cig (any brand).
- If he likes it, he will continue with it. If he doesn’t like it or it’s not successful in keeping him away from cigarettes, then he may either return to smoking or try a different brand or generation of e-cig. Either way, there is no profit to Big P, and a good chance of a reduction in the profits of Big T. He may of course continue with his e-cig, and still smoke (a considerably reduced amount) as well, this is common in a new user, as it is an indication that the user has not yet found an e-cig that is right for him.
- The e-cig vaper continues to vape into the future, with minimal harm to himself and those around him. He may reduce the nicotine concentration in his e-cig, and eventually come down to using a zero-nicotine liquid, with the possibility of actually stopping completely one day. This is not the object of e-cigs as they are not medicines, but it is a choice made by each user, to continue as he is, or to vary his consumption.
For links to the scientific research papers mentioned here, please see my blog on Quora (E-cigs) or my wordpress blog (
First published on Quora.com @ http://e-cigs-board.quora.com/