June 4, 2015 at 11:46 pm #3174
I skim 20-30 e-cig articles per day that appear on the web. Most of them are the same old story, reworded or simply reprinted that circulate about the evils of e-cigarettes. I even saw one published today that reported, “yesterday, the CDC reported that use of e-cigs amongst kids was on the rise” (that CDC report has not only been completely discredited, but it’s more than two months old!).
I said I “skim” these articles because I simply can’t bear to read the same old misguided or agenda-driven crap repeatedly. Give me something new, journalists of the world, or at least something to show that you did even the slightest amount of research before parroting the words of some shill for Big Tobacco, Big Pharma or the Health Care Industry (an industry that cares far less about people’s health issues than how they can profit from them).
Every now and then, I am lured in by a headline that is so outrageous, I have to give the article a read. This week, it was an article on the Wall Street Journal online. A newspaper once known for its straight talk, no bull financial analysis, they seem to have taken the same integrity nose dive that all newspaper dinosaurs have. It’s an epidemic, as I discussed in this piece about an idiot journalist who took her sophomoric crack at denigrating e-cigarettes.
The Wall Street Journal article was titled, “10 Things E-Cigarettes Won’t Tell You” with the caption, “They’re Safer and Cheaper, but They Could Upend Anti-Smoking Efforts.” You can head on over to that article if you want to read a totally unabashed anti-ecig piece full of so much disinformation that it can’t possibly be unintentional. (Yes, I use the word “disinformation” here instead of the more innocuous “misinformation” because this is clearly an article that is intended to mislead the public).
In response to their astoundingly uninformed piece, I offer my own list that counters their weak arguments, one by one:
#1 – Big Tobacco is Killing The E-Cig Industry
After several years of fighting tooth and nail against e-cigarettes, the tobacco industry seems to have adopted an “if you can’t beat them, join them” attitude. Every major cigarette company has either come out with their own e-cigarette brand or they have one in the works.
Unlike the small companies that have driven the electronic cigarette industry, pushing for more innovative and better devices, Big Tobacco is completely content with devices that use technology that is five years old. Their e-cigarettes are weak, expensive to use and very poorly made.
At the same time, they have been pressuring legislators to enact regulation that is so oppressive and expensive, they will be the only companies able to survive it. They have no problem with mandating new taxes on the devices – the higher the better.
Big Tobacco doesn’t care that their e-cigs are inferior. When your only choice is between a crappy device and the real thing, they hope you’ll go back to tobacco cigarettes. Either way, they win, though!
#2 – E-Cigs Are Undoubtedly Healthier
One thing the anti-ecig shills love to say is that e-cigarettes are not proven to be any healthier than traditional tobacco cigarettes and that more testing needs to be done. This is nothing more than a stall tactic that will give them time to enact so much oppressive legislation, the movement will be killed before any long term effects are ever known.
Lets give the do-gooders the benefit of the doubt. Lets assume that they’ve never read that even a Former FDA Official Admits Ecigs Are Safer or that E-Cigarettes Improve Blood Problems.
Or, here’s a novel concept – why not ask the people who are actually using the devices if they have seen improved health after making the switch as James Dunworth did in his survey – How Electronic Cigarettes Affect Your Lungs: Results of an Online Survey of Users?
If serious scientific data is all that will quell the lust of the anti-ecig movement, why not turn to the foremost authority when it comes to research – Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos? There are several well documented studies that his Electronic Cigarette research Advocates Group has done. And, let’s not forget, Dr. Farsalinos puts his medical career at risk every time he does a study that shows that e-cigarettes may be a better smoking cessation solution than the ones being offered by the medical community at large!
If that doesn’t do it for the anti-ecig zealots, there’s always the technical report known as “The Drexel University Study” which showed that more than 9,000 separate observations have been made about the chemicals inside of electronic cigarettes and their effect on the body. The study, which was made to determine the effects of second hand vapor, found that:
“there is no evidence that vaping produces inhalable exposures to contaminants of the aerosol that would warrant health concerns by the standards that are used to ensure safety of workplaces.”
That should be enough, alone, to get the anti-smoking crowd off the backs of e-cig users. If there’s no harm to non-users, people should be free to do whatever they want to their own bodies.
No, those who believe in a nanny state think that governments should be in charge of making personal decisions for the public who are too stupid to make decisions for themselves, forgetting that those same governments have no problem allowing the use of real cigarettes and alcohol, both of which do great harm to the individuals who abuse them. And, if the public, at large, is too dumb to think for themselves, why are they allowed to vote for the government officials who insist on controlling their lives?
Instead, they devise devious tests that manipulate e-cigarettes to make them seem more dangerous to a person’s health than they really are, like the bogus test we discussed in our article, “E-Cigarettes May Be Harmful … Maybe not!” or this ridiculously convoluted study!
#3 – E-Cigarettes – Are a More Effective Way to Quit Smoking
Although we cannot market electronic cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid, it is undeniable that a large percentage of e-cigarette users are using them toward that end and have been successful at not only quitting the use of tobacco cigarettes, but have ultimately stopped vaping, as well.
I don’t need any research to prove this. Not only am I an example of someone who quit a 20 year, 2-pack-a-day cigarette habit with ecigs, but there is hardly a week that goes by where I don’t receive a call or an Email from a thankful customer who has made the switch.
Furthermore, I have the disappearing customers to prove that an amazing number of people have stopped using e-cigarettes, too. When I send an Email to a long-lost customer, asking if there is something we have done wrong that has caused them to stop using us, 9 out of 10 times their response is that they don’t use cigarettes OR e-cigarettes anymore. Good for them; bad for me!
There are definitely studies that prove that e-cigarettes are more effective than current pharmaceutical offerings. As we reported in our article, “New Study Shows E-Cigs are Better than the Patch,” e-cigarettes with one quarter of the nicotine found in “The Patch” were 25% more effective at smoking cessation than the patch was.
If that doesn’t convince you, maybe the ECLAT Study or the American Journal on Health Behavior study will. There are dozens of similar studies and I won’t name them all.
The main difference you’ll see between studies that reveal that e-cigarettes are effective at smoking cessation and ones that say they aren’t is that e-cigarettes don’t have multi-billion dollar corporations financing the studies.
Big Pharma, on the other hand, has done everything they can to finance the anti-ecig movement as Michael Siegel points out in his article, “Anti-Smoking Groups that Opposed Electronic Cigarettes Accepted Money to the Tune of $2.8 Million from Pfizer Alone in 2011-2012.”
Those that get money from the pharmaceutical industry or who have practices built entirely around writing prescriptions and pushing pills have been known to skew the facts, too, as this article points out – “Biased Doctor Dismisses Ecigs as Smoking Cessation Device.”
4 – Almost All Avenues for Advertising E-Cigarettes Have Been Cut Off
The anti-ecig crowd likes to gasp at e-cigarette commercials that are on TV, claiming that they are trying to lure non-cigarette smokers into becoming e-cigarette users, although they have never been able to point to a single commercial that does that. No, every commercial I have ever seen is one that tries to convince current smokers that there is a better alternative.
Back when I got into this industry, you could run Google AdWords, Bing or Yahoo text ads to try to get new business. Those ads showed up for searchers who were looking to buy an e-cigarette already. Then, multimillionaire ambulance chaser John Banzhaf and A.S.H. threatened to sue those search engine giants for aiding and abetting in the marketing of dangerous devices and, like so many corporate cowards, all three companies caved into the threat and disallowed the advertising of electronic cigarettes.
A.S.H. didn’t stop there. They threatened PayPal and one of the biggest banking networks in the world – First Data – with lawsuits. As expected, both of those companies tucked their tails behind their legs and cowered in a closet. This caused online e-cig retailers to scramble for more obscure payment processing companies and resulted in credit card processing rates that were triple what they had become accustomed to. If you don’t think that resulted in higher prices to consumers, you are fooling yourself!
Even eZine articles was threatened and stopped publishing articles that had anything to do with electronic cigarettes. Facebook, too, has started ripping down e-cigarette company pages as they find them, no doubt as a result of threatened litigation.
All this does it make it increasingly harder for consumers to find real suppliers of quality electronic cigarettes. Instead, they are forced to wade through a ton of bogus review sites that push the e-cigarette models that make them the most affiliate commissions, regardless of whether they are truly decent e-cigs or not.
I’ll be the first to sign a petition for stopping the TV ads for e-cigarettes. Why not? Only Big Tobacco or some of the scam recurring billing scheme e-cig companies can afford them. It’ll level the playing field a little bit, at least!
#5 – Ecigs Aren’t Medicine – Ecigs Aren’t Cigarettes
Despite the efforts by the FDA to classify e-cigarettes as medical devices, which would have given them an opportunity to shut down the e-cig movement in its infancy or make them devices that could only be used with a doctor’s prescription, a Federal District Court ruled that electronic cigarettes cannot be regulated as medicines by the FDA.
The whole reason for the case was that the FDA was trying to protect its own interests. The health care industry and pharmaceutical companies are the FDA’s sugar daddies and without them, the agency would not have the money to even exist.
Unfortunately, the ruling by Judge Leon did give the FDA the authority to regulate electronic cigarettes as tobacco products (but not tobacco). This is not the fault of the court but, really, is the fault of congress, which included in the Tobacco Act a definition of a tobacco product as being anything that is derived from the tobacco plant. Even if only a millionth of a percentage of of a product contains something that was squeezed out of a tobacco leaf, it can be called a “tobacco product.”
The FDA, however, has taken this to mean that they can regulate electronic cigarettes exactly the same as traditional cigarettes, ignoring Section 3 of the act, which explicitly states that the FDA must “provide new and flexible enforcement authority to ensure that there is effective oversight of the tobacco industry’s efforts to develop, introduce, and promote less harmful tobacco products.”
How do I know they intend on ignoring that provision? Just take a look at the FDA’s own summary of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act and you will see that the above mentioned section is conspicuously absent. We’ll see how this ultimately pans out but, if the FDA does what it usually does, we can count on seeing them in court again sometime soon.
Judge Leon, in fact, said this of the FDA: “This case appears to be yet another example of the FDA’s aggressive efforts to regulate recreational tobacco products as drugs or devices,” adding, “its tenacious drive to maximize its regulatory power has resulted in its advocacy of an interpretation of the relevant law that I find, at first blush, to be unreasonable and unacceptable.”
I couldn’t have said it better, myself!
#6 – Taxing E-Cigarettes Benefits EVERYBODY (except the consumer)
An argument that the e-cig bashers constantly like to make is that they need to be taxed the same way cigarettes are. Without high taxes, people won’t be dissuaded from using them, they reason.
This is an argument that is so blatantly stupid, it would be like trying to sell the notion that condoms should be taxed at a higher rate because they lead to more sex. OK, if you think that argument holds water, be prepared for a whole lot more STDs and babies!
Likewise, increasing the tax on something that clearly is healthier than traditional cigarettes will give people far less reason to switch to e-cigarettes. I can tell you for a fact that a HUGE number of people have switched to electronic cigarettes, not out of concern for their health, but out of concern for their wallets. Take away the lower cost, and I absolutely guarantee you that you will see a rise in the number of people smoking tobacco cigarettes!
Of course, the tobacco industry is all for increasing the taxes on e-cigarettes. They don’t have to pay the taxes; the consumer does. Anything that makes it a less attractive thing to switch to, Big Tobacco will line up in support of.
The health care and pharmaceutical industries also support a nice, big tax on e-cigarettes. They are losing their ability to push pills when there is a far less costly alternative out there.
More than anything, governments large and small want to tax e-cigs. They are 100% behind any method of boosting the money in government coffers. Politicians know that smokers have been pushovers when it comes to taxes and figure the same will be the case for e-cigarette users.
If the smoking community stuck together and voted as a block, they would have tremendous power. The number of smokers (traditional or electronic) far exceed the number of African Americans, Hispanics and homosexuals combined – all of which are groups that politicians cater to.
In the end, higher taxes will benefit everybody but the cigarette smoker who is trying to switch to a healthier alternative. Maybe John Madden said it best in his reply on Google+ to Delaware’s proposed 30% tax hike on e-cigarettes – “This is the most asinine government proposal on ecigs yet!”
#7 – E-Cigarettes ARE NOT Being Marketed to Children
One of the lamest arguments the anti-ecig crowd makes is that electronic cigarettes are being marketed to children. They claim that e-cigarettes are offered in all kinds of yummy flavors in order to lure lollipop sucking six year olds to them.
For some reason, people making this incredibly stupid argument believe that only children like tasty flavors. Tell that to the person who orders a pina colada, a strawberry daiquiri or a mint julep. Inform the alcohol guzzling crowd they they can have one flavor, and one flavor only and see what happens!
As long as we are in favor of banning all but one flavor variety for things that are bad for children and adults, alike, lets throw in ice cream, candy and sodas, too (outgoing Fascist New York Mayor Bloomberg would love that!). I’m not sure how the FDA will justify allowing Equate Smoking Control lozenges to be sold in cherry and mint flavors but not e-cigarettes, though. Oh, that’s right, those are “medicines” and the FDA has control over exactly how much flavor they can have. It’s not about flavor, it’s about the power to control flavor.
The CDC’s recent report that e-cigarette “use” has doubled in the last year amongst teens is another blatant case of a government agency bending the truth about as far as it can. There have been dozens of articles that show that study to be the sham that it is. Shanon Steeves did as good a job as anyone pointing out the lies told in that CDC report in her article, “Study Exposes CDC Lies & Scare Tactics.”
One of the very best things about electronic cigarettes are all of the flavors that are available. If I want to vape strawberry upside down cake or vanilla gorilla, what business of yours is it? I can’t imagine anything much more gross than the taste of a cigarette now. Take away the great flavors, and you might see people making their way back to regular cigarettes again. You’ll notice that you hear no outcry from Big Tobacco at all about limiting flavor choices!
Finally, it must be said. It’s about time that parents start holding themselves responsible for the actions of their children. Stop trying to push off the baby sitting of your brats onto the rest of society. If your little angel wants to puff on an e-cigarette, where is he or she getting the money to buy it? Where is your parental responsibility in making sure your child makes prudent decisions? Stop blaming your bad parental skills on the rest of us!
#8 and #9 – We’re Not Smoking Indoors, We Are Vaping!
More and more states and municipalities are banning or proposing legislation to ban the use of electronic cigarettes indoors. Whether in an office, in a restroom on an airplane or in a public park, there is nothing at all harmful in electronic cigarette vapor that will harm “innocent” bystanders. Please see #2, above, if you have forgotten already that there are no “dangers” from “secondhand vapor.”
There is not a single component within e-liquid that has ever been shown to be toxic. In fact, everything we are inhaling and exhaling has already been approved as “safe for inhalation” by the FDA and the EPA. Convenience Store Decisions, of all places, published a recent article stating those very facts – The Upside of E-Cigarettes.
This is not an argument that is made by e-cig naysayers that has anything at all to do with concern for the health of bystanders. No, it’s the appearance that they object to. Vaping looks too much like smoking and they just don’t like it!
Get over it, whiners! There are tons of things I see happening in public that I, personally, would prefer not to see. Show a little tolerance and, while you’re at it, you better make sure “Junior” isn’t viewing anything on the internet that you may find objectionable, watching a TV show that may contain adult situations or playing a video game that is too graphic. Oh, that’s right; that’s not your responsibility!
#10 – Nobody is Switching to Ecigarettes To Do Drugs!
Despite the efforts of “The Big Three” (Big Pharma, Big Tobacco and the Health Care Industry) as well as politicians and government agencies that are funded by The Big Three to alarm the public with all of the above, people with the brains to see through the lies remain unconvinced.
Their latest ploy has been to state that people are using e-cigarettes to smoke crack and marijuana. Really? That’s the best you can do now? People are using soda cans, paper towel rolls, aluminum foil and even pieces of fruit to do that. I lived in a neighborhood once where you couldn’t even find a car that didn’t have its antenna snapped off because crack users were using the antennas as pipes.
Surely you are not suggesting that we ban all of those things, too? I didn’t think so! No, this is one last embarrassingly desperate attempt at stirring up the emotions of the incredibly gullible. You can rest assured that there will always be soda cans, paper towel holders and aluminum foil. Once again, it’s not about public health, it’s just another ploy to get rid of e-cigarettes!
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