Breathe Easy

The National Vapers Club recently sponsored a study comparing the levels of potentially dangerous byproducts produced by second-hand tobacco smoke and the vapor produced by electronic cigarettes. Researchers at Clarkson University’s Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science found that most of the compounds found in tobacco smoke were not present in e-cigarette vapor. Toxicology analysis on the few compounds that were detected concluded that such small levels are considered no risk to public health.

Electronic Cigarettes, or e cigs, are designed to look and feel like a tobacco cigarette. Tobacco cigarettes deliver nicotine through pyrolysis. When tobacco leaves are burned the nicotine trapped within is deposited onto tar droplets at a molecular level.  These tar droplets are carried by the smoke into the lungs of a smoker and deposited onto the alveoli where the nicotine is rapidly absorbed into the blood stream. Alternatively, E cigs use a battery-powered vaporizer to gently heat the nicotine carrier solution into a gas phase, which is inhaled and then absorbed into the bloodstream of the user.  Depending on how quickly the user breathes out, residual condensation may be exhaled, the appearance of which could cause bystanders to assume that it too contains harmful carcinogens like those found in second-hand tobacco smoke.

E cigs have recently been scrutinized based on misinformation regarding the vapor. Many college campuses, corporations, city parks and restaurants/bars have banned vaping with an e cig as well as smoking tobacco. Dr. Michael Siegel of Boston University’s School of Public Health said, “[the study] demonstrates that the risks of secondhand vapor from electronic cigarette use are very slight in comparison to those associated with secondhand tobacco smoke, [and] the current data provides no justification for eliminating electronic cigarette use.”

Matthew Steingraber, co-founder of White Cloud Electronic Cigarettes, is pleased that a study has finally emerged reinforcing what those in the industry have known for years. “The carrier solution used in electronic cigarettes contains propylene glycol, vegetable glycerol and the flavorings.  All of which are listed in the US Pharmacopeia under the GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) designation.  Nicotine concentration amounts vary and the consumer can choose between 5 different levels depending according to personal preference.  Even the highest concentrations of nicotine are almost completely absorbed upon inhalation, and this is consistent with the findings of the study as well.”

Bill Godshall, Executive Director of Smokefree Pennsylvania, an activist group that for over 25 years has been advocating indoor smoking bans said, “…based on the results of this study I see no reason for e-cigarettes to be included in smoking bans.”

It is time to educate those who have ostracized e cigarette vapers. We vapers cover every age and every occupation. We are doctors, lawyers, college students, truck drivers and single moms. We are part of every demographic. We pay our taxes and we mind our own business. All we want is to enjoy nicotine while living our lives. Now, with studies like the one mentioned above finding e cigarettes are not harmful, when will lawmakers overturn the unnecessary bans? We should be allowed to enjoy a hit of nicotine whenever and wherever we want. Also, will the media and critics be as vocal in letting the masses know some of these bans have been overturned? Vapers like us shouldn’t hold their breath.

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