First and foremost, here is the link to the news article found within the electronic pages of Slate.com, and the basis of this blog post of mine.
I do wish to commend Slate for a well-constructed piece. This article brings home several questions all consumers of Electronic Cigarettes are asking. Unfortunately, the ones with the answers we seek, namely our government officials in the FDA, are not offering up any answers except the standard tripe statements which have had all of us consumers on edge for the past months, some I've already addressed earlier in this blog, and some more yet to be debunked.
An excerpt from the article:
The American Lung Association, along with the American Cancer Society Cancer
Action Network, the American Heart Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, recently called for e-cigarettes to be removed from the market. The groups say e-cigarettes have yet to be proven safe and that kids may be attracted to the products, some of which come in flavors like chocolate and strawberry.
"Nobody knows what the consumers are actually inhaling," says Erika Sward,
director of national advocacy at the American Lung Association.
The boldface emphysis is mine, and what I want to take a closer look at. Nobody knows what we are actually inhaling? I know. That's an easy answer - Do I win the Double Jepardy Trophy???
Let's just take a look at the old ingredient label, shall we? Totally Wicked is based in the UK, and takes its certification standards seriously. I trust them to manufacture a quality product to UK standards. In my bottle of E-juice, there are exactly 16 ingredients....in order of volume, the top 4 are:
- Propylene Glycol - 65%
- Glycerine - 20%
- Water - 10%
- Nicotine - >3% (let's say, for the sake of argument - 2.5%)
Can we add? These 4 ingredients are 97.5% of the contents of my bottle. Flavoring ingredients, such as tobacco leaf oils, are mixed into this cocktail - making up the remainder of the contents. Take a look at a box of cheese crackers, or a can of spaghetti sauce, or any of the other stuff sold in this country as a basic foodstuff, and tell me that you can understand all of those ingredients! By this comparison alone, my e-juice is a simpler formula than anything else I eat or drink, and certainly simpler than any commercial cigarette out there, with it's 4000+ chemicals, 60 or so of which are known carcinogens. And tell me, for that matter, where is the ingredient list on a pack of cigarettes? Hmmmm?
But, what are these 4 big ingredients? Let's take them one by one.
Propylene Glycol (PG) - the biggest chunk of stuff in my vape, is used in various preparations, including theatrical smoke machines, prescription inhalers and cough syrups, and is an additive in cigarettes and food products, such as artificial flavors. PG is GRAS (generally regarded as safe) by the FDA, and the MSDS shows only minor throat irritation by inhalation.
So, the largest portion of the product that I am inhaling is already used in other vaporization techniques, in inhalers used by asthmatics, and in the food I eat. Does this sound like a dangerous substance?
And, there's more. Back in the 1940's, a scientific study was conducted using a military base and a children's hospital ward. The experiment was on the properties of PG as a germ killing air sanitization substance. You guessed it, they vaporized PG and pumped it into the air in the children's ward and the military bases' barracks, monitoring the occupants for various symptoms. Here's the link: http://www.ajph.org/cgi/reprint/36/4/390.pdf Their conclusion: PG vapor in the air does not comprise any health risks, and was shown to reduce the amount of airbourne infectious agents already present in the air. A germ-killing vapor.
Curiously, in the 60+ years since this study, there have been no studies to prove this suposition wrong. In 2007, the EPA re-registered PG for an air sanitizing agent in hospitals, restaurants, restrooms, mass-transit facilities, and others.
Conclusion - of the liquid in my PV, the bulk of it is approved by various government agencies already as an inhalant, and may actually be beneficial in killing germs already in my body.... Oh, yea, let's ban this dangerous stuff - FAST!
Vegetable Glycerin (VG) - this is the next biggest chunk of stuff - and is used, again, in food products all over the world.....the glycerin I have seen, and purchased, in a craft store was marketed to extend cake frosting. It is made from vegatable oils. Again, for commercial sale to anyone with a couple of bucks, this is a food product and, as such, is safe for human consumption. Dangerous? Unknown? I'm thinking the answer to that one is, again, NO.
Water (good old H2O) - Unless you are on the bandwagon to ban dihydrogen monoxide, the only danger to water is drowning if you jump in over your head....
Nicotine - The studies on what nicotine does to the body are long, complete, complex, and easy to find. Nicotine is an approved drug by the FDA for usage in smoking cessation as an over the counter product.
The flavoring ingredients I'm going to not worry about at this point, as their concentrations in formula are too low to investigate.
Well, there you go. This is what we're inhaling. Simple, logical, easy. And, in my opinion, its certainly cleaner than walking down the street during rush hour and inhaling the exhaust fumes from a bus or car.
My question to these "public health groups" is: I want to know why you have a hard time connecting the dots? I'm not a research scientist, a chemist, a "smoking cessation expert." How is it that I can do a bit of research and come up with this, and you can't.
The answer, of course, is these bully organizations don't want to connect the dots, they want to remove the product. Period. Which means, the agenda they have put forth to the public is not the agenda they are following.
Follow the logic, if nothing else.