Chattin’ Chief vs. The Myths Against Vaping – Part 3

Chattin’ Chief vs. The Myths Against Vaping

Part 3 

 

No loud headlines this time – no segues or intros either – but welcome nonetheless to the third and final installment of the Chattin’ Chief’s attempt to shed a bit of light upon the smoke-screen being released by the anti-vapor movement, namely a recent Live Science article titled “4 Myths About E-cigarettes” that I’ve been disputing. Now, let’s get right to it…

E-cig ‘Myth’ #3 – E-cigarettes Help You Quit Smoking

First of all, before we get to any studies, it should be made clear that this particular ‘myth’ is more of a personal preference. It is my personal opinion that some people just don’t want to quit smoking cigarettes, and for those people there is nothing that will ever help them do so. However, from my own personal experience, the people that e-cigarettes can help tremendously are those who already wish to quit smoking. Maybe they’ve previously tried other methods, nicotine patches, gum, cold turkey, warm ham – hey, anything’s worth a try, right? – only for nothing to work. That is who e-cigarettes can help, because they actually work to please the same senses as cigarettes, without any of the negative side-effects.

But to LS (Live Science), this idea is seen as a myth. Because they are actually so similar to cigarettes in the way that they act, as if the inhalation and exhalation of a cloud of vapor is no different from a cloud of smoke, it seems that many people simply refuse to believe that they could possibly be safe or helpful in any way, and those people are trying to convince everyone else of the same thing.

So to dispel this ‘myth’ that e-cigarettes can successfully help smokers quit, they quote a ‘recent scientific review’ that concludes “e-cigarette use is not associated with successful quitting”. And to really get that over and sell it even more, LS then takes aim at young people as they go on to say that “there is even some evidence that e-cigs may get non-smokers hooked on nicotine. Studies have found as many as one-third of young e-cigarette users have never tried conventional cigarettes.”

Although they don’t openly state where their information was taken from, I’m pretty sure they’re speaking of a NIH (National Institutes of Health) study that quoted a recent survey, “The Utah Department of Health found that 32% of e-cigarette users reported that they had never smoked conventional cigarettes.” Now they don’t specify whether or not that’s just in Utah, or how many people were actually surveyed, but it does fit the one-third estimate that LS claims, so it probably is the number they’re talking about.

But no matter how not-cool that is, we can’t go using the results of a single survey to say that e-cigs can’t help people quit smoking.

That’s just not true.

Actually, it’s quite the contrary, because in a recent New York Times article, published on May 20th, 2014, they note that “a large study in England has found that smokers trying to quit were substantially more likely to succeed if they used electronic cigarettes than over-the-counter therapies such as nicotine patches or gum”.

Now let me repeat that… a large study found that “Smokers trying to quit were substantially more likely to succeed if they used electronic cigarettes than over-the-counter therapies such as nicotine patches or gum”.

So why all the fuss?

Why are the incredible benefits of these devices so incredibly hard to believe?

Why are the FDA and the WHO and all these random news outlets speaking so negatively against the life saving possibilities of e-cigarettes?

What message are they actually trying to get across?

Now I may not hold the answers to any of those questions, but I do know that I didn’t want to smoke cigarettes beyond the age of thirty. To be honest, though, despite my wanting to quit smoking cigarettes, I really didn’t want to quit, if that makes any sense at all.

I knew it was bad for me, deadly even, but it was that tobacco that made me feel comfortable in an uncomfortable world. It was something I could rely on in a reality filled with disappointment. But it was also burning a constant hole in my wallet, not to mention my lungs.

I knew it was killing me – the morning cough, constantly hacking up gunk from my lungs, that heavy wheezing in my chest whenever I took a deep breath. I knew I needed to quit, but quitting isn’t a simple thing. Not at all.

The way I see it is, as a smoker, I compare my relationship with cigarettes with that of an infant and its nipple. As long as it’s near, everything’s fine. But the moment it’s gone, the sky starts to collapse. It becomes a habit quite quickly, and paying insane prices for them just seems easier than trying to give them up. But that gets expensive pretty fast.

I did my own math, and I was spending approximately $56 per week on cigarettes, just to sustain a habit that was literally killing me. So in the plainest of terms, I was paying fifty-six dollars per week to slowly kill myself.

I mean, seriously, that’s what it comes down to.

I knew it needed to stop, but there was no sandwich meat that was going to help me, neither cold turkey nor warm harm. Also, I wasn’t going to lie to myself. Patches and gum weren’t going to work. They weren’t going to work because I don’t want to be chewing on or injecting nicotine into my arm. I want to mimic smoking a cigarette. That simple. I needed my nipple, but not the deadly circumstances that traditionally came with it.

So I began by trying the cheap e-cigarettes at random gas stations, but only to fall right back to tobacco each time. They just didn’t do a good enough job of mimicking the effects of conventional cigarettes, not for me.

It wasn’t until a little shop on Genie Street named Big Chief Vapor Products opened up that I was introduced to the true e-cigarette movement. With each e-juice mixed in-house, where I hold the ability to control my own intake of nicotine, controlling the mimicking effects of e-cigarettes in whatever way I saw fit, I was able to find a perfect mixture of VG, PG, and nicotine that fit exactly the experience I was looking for.

That was three months ago, and I haven’t once thought about smoking a cigarette since I stepped foot in their door. Now I understand completely that three months is more like the blink of an eye compared to my sixteen years of smoking cigarettes. But I’d like to think that I know myself, and I know that I’ve never been this long without a cigarette since before I started smoking. I also know that as long as Big Chief Vapors is around, as long as e-cigarettes and e-juices aren’t banned by some legislative act of ignorance, I’m never smoking a tobacco cigarette again. To be quite honest, I believe that e-cigarettes saved years of my life, and I’d be pretty damn upset if the FDA actually tried to take those years back away from me.

But if I can be real for a minute, it wasn’t e-cigarettes alone that saved my life, no. I’d walked that e-cigarette road before, and I only found failure at its end. So when it comes down to it, I believe that it was the owners of Big Chief that saved my life. If they would not have opened up, I wouldn’t have quit smoking. I’d still be waking up coughing my lungs out, killing myself for 56 dollars a weeks.

Now, however, thanks to no one but them – because I honestly would not have been able to quit without their understanding and kindness, their patience and knowledge of the products – my cough is completely disappeared, and as long as I don’t get run over by one of these crazy drivers down here, I’ve at least been granted a few extra years of life, years that I otherwise would not have had.

So, seriously, be smart about it… be wise. Nicotine addiction is a very serious thing, so treat it as such. Maybe an all but assured chance of cancer is your thing – it surely seems to be what the FDA is fighting to keep in place – but if it isn’t. If you’re anything like me, and you’ve been searching for a way to quit smoking, just try to remember…

It’s just a nicotine addiction. And at its core, it often devolves into nothing more than a simple hand-to-mouth fixation, the feeling of that hit in the back of your throat.

Now I really don’t mean to sound like one of those old cigarette commercials, but honestly, after remembering that, the only real questions left are… would you rather mix your nicotine with substances like acetic acid (an ingredient in hair dye), ammonia (a common household cleaner), arsenic (rat poison), benzene (a natural constituent of crude oil), butane (lighter fluid), cadmium (battery acid, also used by the Super X to attack Godzilla in 1984’s ‘Return of Godzilla’), carbon monoxide (also released in car exhaust fumes), hexamine (more lighter fluid), toluene (used to manufacture paint), lead, tar, and yes, even acetone and formaldehyde (nail polish remover and embalming fluid, respectively), not to mention all the other 7,000 chemicals that are created by the simple combustion of a cigarette that I didn’t even feel like typing?

Or would you rather mix your nicotine with two simple ingredients that are already approved safe by the FDA, propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, and a little bit of flavoring?

Ask yourself how much you’re spending per week to kill yourself, and figure out if it’s worth it.

For me, it’s really a simple answer.

But I think CASAA Scientific Director, Carl V. Phillips sums it up better than anyone when he said of the study of all studies that we discussed in Part 1, “This study assures us that e-cigarettes are as low risk as other smoke-free tobacco and nicotine products, like smokeless tobacco and NRT. All of these products are about 99% less harmful than smoking, and so smokers who switch to them gain basically the same health benefits as if they quit tobacco and nicotine entirely.”

Did you just hear that?

Of course you didn’t. You’re reading a computer screen, silly.

But seriously, did you just read that?

“Smokers who switch to them gain basically the same health benefits as if they quit tobacco and nicotine entirely.”

That is HUGE!

And that’s the Scientific Director of CASSA talking. Oh, good ole Carl V.

So enough with the over-dramatization of the naysayers…

It’s time to face the facts…

And the fact is… electronic cigarettes are so much safer than cigarettes, it ain’t even a race, and instead of taking lives, these little electronic trinkets hold the ability to save a great many of them.

So deal with it. It’s a good thing.

 

I’m RMP – 12 Weeks Smoke-Free

Peace and Love… Always!!!

Join The Fight Against The FDA’s Proposed Regulations @ casaa.org!!!

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Chattin’ Chief vs. The Myths Against Vaping – Part II – LIQUID NICOTINE IS TOXIC!!!

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Chattin’ Chief vs. The Myths Against Vaping

Part II – LIQUID NICOTINE IS TOXIC!!!

Sorry about the loud headline, but I really wanted you to read this. And now that you’re here, I’m going to make sure that you leave this page that much more knowledgeable about the truth regarding e-cigarettes, which may not actually be as bad as all these headlines make it sound.

So hello and welcome to Part 2 of the Chatting Chief’s attempt at shedding a bit of light upon the smoke-screen which the FDA is trying to push upon us in order to gain control of the entire vapor movement.

If you missed out on Part 1, be sure to check it out, (E-cig Myth #1 – E-cig Vapor Contains No Harmful Second-hand Smoke) because I’ll be continuing right where I left off.

This is a direct response to an article written by Live Science, titled “4 Myths About E-cigarettes”, where they go on to make it sound quite dangerous to be vaping anything.

In our first ‘myth’, we saw how they twisted different studies to their own whim in order to ‘bust’ it, which only further spreads the same disinformation that the FDA wishes the masses to believe as truth. And, with this second ‘myth’ presented to us by LS (Live Science), we’ll see more of the same as they continue shining a bright light on anything they can twist to sound negative while completely ignoring all the positives, as I remain as truthful as the actual studies allow me to be.

Now, on with the show…

E-cig ‘Myth’ #2 – E-cigarettes Are Safe

Despite this being such a broad topic, I’ll try to stay on track with the article that I’m disputing by following their exact course, and this is the section that LS uses to attack liquid nicotine. So the first thing that they and so many other articles seem to mention, usually in dramatic fashion, is that “liquid nicotine is extremely toxic if swallowed”, touting that as a reason to restrict its use.

So I think it would only be fitting if I, as well, jumped onboard this bandwagon to wield this catchphrase as my own, as you may have noticed up yonder. But don’t worry. I haven’t sold out and I haven’t been brainwashed. I’m just trying to make a point.

The statement itself is not a lie; however it seems to be a truth that is often manipulated to be used as a simple one liner that can easily draw a few people’s eyes. At least that’s the idea. Here… let’s try it again…

Liquid Nicotine Is Toxic!!!

Quite dramatic, right? Sure. And I’ll bet a link like that gets quite a few clicks. But I could say the same about a lot of things that we use on an everyday basis, that are all probably just as deadly, some even more so than liquid nicotine…

Gasoline is Toxic!!!

Dishwasher Detergent is Toxic!!!

Air Freshener is Toxic!!!

Cigarettes are Toxic!!!

Each should stimulate the same exact feelings of fear that so many seem to have towards e-cigarettes. Just adding the word TOXIC is meant to incite sensations of paranoia and nervousness, yet for some reason, as much as each example is true and as much as I’d like them to do just that… they just don’t.

But why, I have to ask. Why can’t I be so afraid of these very dangerous things that I come into contact with each and every day? And that’s when I realized… ‘Bam’… that was exactly the reason why.

I’ve grown up using these all too common things, watching other people use them on a daily basis, just like I watched other people smoke their cigarettes and puff on their cigars, and as I live now, I’m genuinely not afraid of any one of those things, no matter how much I should be.

I put gas in my car just about every other day, it seems, and wash dishes way more than I’d really like. I live with a few animals, so air fresheners of all sorts are simply inevitable, and I also smoked cigarettes consistently between the ages of 14 and 30. Still, despite my ignorance of these items, each one of them is equally dangerous if used in the wrong way.

Gasoline is flammable, even harmful if inhaled, and don’t even try to drink it.

Dishwasher Detergent is the #1 cause of child poisonings, according to the Poison Control Center.

Air Freshener’s work because they “interfere with your ability to smell by disabling your nasal passages with an oil film or a nerve-deadening agent”. They also contain over 130 VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), of which “24 are classified as toxic or hazardous under U.S. federal laws,” according to a 2011 study published in Environmental Impact Assessment Review by researchers at the University of Washington, where they tested the leading air freshener brands for safety.

And cigarettes, or any form of tobacco for that matter… do I even have to explain what they do?

But e-cigarettes are new and scary, and that’s why this myth isn’t finished yet, no. Now, apparently, e-juice is beginning to “entice” children into drinking it. “The chances of this happening may increase with flavored liquid nicotine, which may come in enticing-looking packages and can smell tempting,” so says LS in their e-cig myth article.

They say it “mistakenly has this reputation for being safe because it’s purchased over the counter,” but I’d like to know… since when did everything sold ‘over-the-counter’ become safe?

Clothes detergent is pretty bright and colorful, looks quite flavorful, enticing, if you will, and I can grab that right off the shelves… does that mean I’m supposed to feel comfortable enough to chug it?

Cigarettes are sold over-the-counter. Does that make them safe? Does it make children believe that they are safe? And if so, why doesn’t anyone complain about cigarettes being sold over-the-counter?

Anyway, they then go on to mention that “a teaspoon of standard liquid nicotine would be enough to kill a person who weighs 200 pounds”. Okay, so let’s dig a bit deeper into that figure…

When it comes to the Poison Control Center, they claim that “60 milligrams of nicotine is enough to kill a 150-pound adult,” and that is taken by most to be an unwavering fact, just because it comes from the PCC, though there are researchers out there who dispute this number.

German toxicologist Bernd Mayer, part of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, is one of those researchers. He became curious how this number was generated, so he ultimately traced the source of those calculations back to two mid 19th century researchers who were experimenting on themselves.

The year was 1856 – the same year that Last Island, Louisiana and all of its luxurious majesty became washed from the face of the Earth by a mighty hurricane – and Austrian pharmacologist Carl Damian von Schroff was publishing his pharmacological text book, where he describes the self-experiments of two researchers known only as Dworzack and Heinrich.

He reports that “The symptoms were determined exactly in self-experiments by (Wilhelm) Reil and later by Dworzack and Heinrich. After 1–4 mg (milligrams) of nicotine, these authors felt a burning sensation in the mouth, scratchy throat, increased saliva excretion,” and so on.

As time passed, this text book notes that the subjects “became agitated, suffered from headache, dizziness, numbness, cloudy vision and hearing, light sensitivity, anxiety, nausea, vomiting,” you get the point. And “After 45 min the experimenters lost consciousness. One of them suffered clonic seizures for 2h, particularly of the respiratory muscles, also tremors of the limbs and shivering over the whole body. After the initial recovery, feelings of exhaustion, drowsiness and bleakness remained for 3 days.”

Now, taking all that into account, let’s jump forward fifty years…

The year was 1906 – the same year that a mighty earthquake devastated the city of San Francisco – and Rudolf Kobert, a renowned pharmacologist and pioneer of toxicology in Germany, made the following calculations based on those previous reports from 1856…

“The lethal dose of pure nicotine is also difficult to determine,” he admitted, “because it easily decomposes a bit and, on the other hand, mostly contains more or less water; however, in accordance with the severe symptoms evoked in several experimenters by 0.002–0.004 g (2-4 mg) it (a lethal dosage) is certainly not going to be higher than 0.06 g (60 mg).”

And ‘BAM’, that right there is where the Poison Control Center gets their number – “60 milligrams of nicotine is enough to kill a 150-pound adult,” – from a one-hundred year old study that did some math on a one-hundred-and-fifty year old study.

Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up.

And in regards to his discovery, German toxicologist Bernd Mayer, the one that first sought out the origin of these lethal calculations, states that, “Some of these effects resemble typical symptoms of nicotine overdosing, but 1–4 mg of oral nicotine will certainly not evoke the severe adverse effects described, such as clonic seizures and loss of consciousness. Curiously, Kobert mentioned the Pharmacologist Wilhelm Reil but ignored Reil’s account on very mild symptoms caused by self-ingestion of up to around 7.5 mg of nicotine.”

“Thus, Kobert estimated the lethal dose of nicotine on the basis of highly dubious self-experiments performed in the mid of the nineteenth century while ignoring conflicting data. His excellent reputation as a leading scholar in toxicology has apparently led to uncritical acceptance and citation of the 60-mg dose by contemporary fellows and successive researchers.”

So, in his closing, he states, “This value is still accepted without scrutiny and taken as the basis for worldwide safety regulations of tobacco and other nicotine-containing products. Nicotine is a toxic compound that should be handled with care, but the frequent warnings of potential fatalities caused by ingestion of small amounts of tobacco products or diluted nicotine-containing solutions are unjustified and need to be revised in light of overwhelming data indicating that more than 0.5 g of oral nicotine is required to kill an adult.”(His entire study can be found HERE)

And that leads me to my final point, one that this LS article and many others just fail to mention, and that is the fact that pure liquid nicotine IS NOT sold over the counter. What is sold over the counter is a mixture of mostly vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG), flavoring, and only a small amount of actual nicotine.

Still, though, this is not an excuse. We cannot hide from the fact that nicotine in any form is indeed poisonous, even ‘toxic’, if you will. But just because it is a toxic substance, that does not mean it should be treated as being completely unsafe.

Just like every other toxic substance that we handle each day, it is up to us to properly handle our e-juice. Just be sure to stay smart about it. Use common sense – keep it all clear and out of the reach of any children or pets, at all times, make sure nothing is leaking and everything is sealed tight, throw empty bottles straight into the garbage can – and I think that’s the only real way that we can assure that our liquid nicotine is indeed kept as safe as any other toxic substance can be… no differently from gasoline, or dish detergent, or air freshener.

Another selling point of the anti-vapor club, though, another ‘myth’ that they are there to dissuade the masses from believing, is whether or not e-cigarettes can help a smoker actually quit smoking cigarettes, and that’s the subject I’ve been all too excited to tackle since starting this, next time, in the conclusion of “Chattin’ Chief vs. The Myths Against Vaping”.

(Spoiler Alert!)

I’m RMP – 12 Weeks Smoke Free

Peace and Love… Always!!!