Popular Theory not Facts drive the Ban Movement

Posted January 15, 2016 By Richard McKelvey

Florida Times-Union
E-cigarette bans and propaganda are driven by cronyism, not public health
Daily Caller
The most important, devastating yet preventable public health problem in the western world is cigarette smoking.

How It Works

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) helps reduce nicotine withdrawaland craving by supplying your body with nicotine. It contains about one-third to one-half the amount of nicotine found in most cigarettes.

People become dependent on the nicotine in cigarettes because it increases the levels of certain chemicals, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, in their brains. When people quit smoking, the levels of those chemicals drop. Their bodies react by having nicotine withdrawal symptoms such as grouchiness and hunger.

Nicotine from medicines increases the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine just like nicotine from cigarettes does. Chemical levels in the brain are kept level so that withdrawal symptoms are reduced. This can temporarily replace the nicotine that a person got from smoking cigarettes. Nicotine replacement can be used in smaller and smaller amounts until a person no longer needs it.

When you inhale tobacco smoke, the nicotine in the smoke moves quickly from your lungs into your bloodstream. The nicotine in replacement products takes much longer to get into your system. This is why nicotine replacement medicines are much less likely to cause dependence on nicotine than are cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Nicotine replacement therapy is safe when used properly. Nicotine by itself is not nearly as harmful as smoking. Tars, carbon monoxide, and other toxic chemicals in tobacco cause harmful effects, not the nicotine.

Why It Is Used

Nicotine replacement therapy is useful for most people who are trying to quit smoking.

Nicotine replacement therapy may not be right for you if you are pregnant or have heart disease

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E-Cigarettes gives Edge in Helping Smokers Quit

Posted June 5, 2014 By Richard McKelvey

Study Gives E-Cigarettes Edge in Helping Smokers Quit


 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. These results offered encouraging but not definitive evidence in the contentious debate about the risks and benefits of these increasingly popular smoking devices.

Researchers interviewed almost 6,000 smokers who had tried to quit on their own without counseling from a health professional. About a fifth of those who said they were using e-cigarettes had stopped smoking at the time of the survey, compared with about a tenth of people who had used patches and gum.

“This will not settle the e-cigarette issue by any means,” said Thomas J. Glynn, a researcher at the American Cancer Society, who was not part of the study, “but it is further evidence that, in a real-world context, e-cigarettes can be a useful, although not revolutionary, tool in helping some smokers to stop.”




  • Video: Vapor BoomtownAPRIL 26, 2014

  • F.D.A. Will Propose New Regulations for E-CigarettesAPRIL 24, 2014

  • E-Cigarettes Are Targeted at Youths, Report SaysAPRIL 14, 2014

The use of e-cigarettes has risen rapidly across Europe and the United States, and regulators are scrambling to figure out how to respond in the absence of hard evidence about their effects. The debate is particularly fierce in the United States, where some experts say the devices could lure children to start smoking, while others contend that they are the best hope in generations to get smokers to switch to something less dangerous than traditional cigarettes.

About 42 million Americans smoke, and some 480,000 people die every year from smoking-related illnesses, one of the United States’ leading causes of preventable death. The central question is whether e-cigarettes will cause the ranks of smokers to shrink or swell.

So far, the evidence is too thin to provide a convincing answer. The Food and Drug Administration has commissioned a broad study, but its results will not be known for years. A clinical trial in New Zealand, which many researchers regard as the most reliable study to date, found that people given e-cigarettes had only a slightly better quit rate than those with patches. While the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes are unknown, many health experts believe that the concentrations of toxins in the vapor are much lower than in cigarette smoke.

The English study was not a clinical trial, the gold standard of scientific research, in which participants would have been randomly assigned to different groups: for example, one that used e-cigarettes to quit and another that used nicotine replacement therapies. But authors of the study said that they controlled for many factors, including social class, age, level of nicotine dependence and time since the attempt to quit first started. They also said the study, one of the largest to date, offered valuable insights into the real world experiences of smokers.

Prof. Robert West, director of tobacco studies at University College London and senior author of the study, which is to be published Wednesday in the journal Addiction, said that clinical trials could not answer the question most people have about whether e-cigarettes help smokers quit because the devices are changing so fast that they become obsolete before an experiment ends. What is more, he said, people who wanted e-cigarettes and found themselves put in a group that used, say, the patch, would just drop out.

“The medical model is great for cancer drugs, but it doesn’t really work for this situation because there’s nothing to stop participants in the patches group from just going out and buying an e-cigarette,” Professor West said.

 He said the database used for the study was financed by Cancer Research UK, a nonprofit group; England’s Department of Health; and several large drug companies that make nicotine replacement therapy, including Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson.

Professor West, an e-cigarette optimist, said that solid epidemiological evidence would not be available for at least several decades, while the need for policy decisions is now.

He calculated that more than 5,000 lives could be saved for every million smokers who switched to e-cigarettes, even if the devices carried significant health risks and people used them indefinitely after quitting real cigarettes.

“Potentially millions of lives are at stake, and our job is to help policy makers to protect those lives,” he said in an editorial that accompanied the study.

The standard recommended practice for helping people quit is a prescribed medicine such as Chantix or a combination of nicotine patch and gum together with counseling from a trained professional. But even in England, where these options are widely advertised and nearly free, the majority of smokers rely on willpower or nicotine products bought from a store, and success rates are low. The study found that the rate at which smokers quit by using e-cigarettes was similar to that for people who used prescribed nicotine therapy with brief counseling.

Stanton A. Glantz, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said the study’s limitation was that it tried to measure the effect of e-cigarette use only among smokers who were trying hard to quit, not all smokers.

Professor West responded that the study’s goal was to find out whether e-cigarettes helped people who were trying to stop smoking. But he said data still being analyzed may yet provide clues to the broader effects on smokers generally.

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Doctors praise Ecigarettes at London Summit

Posted March 20, 2014 By Richard McKelvey

The Royal Society gives off an opulent vibe. The walls are decked with images of scientists such as Isaac Newton,  golden-framed and hanging ominously overhead.   Today the Royal Society became the site of the E-Cigarette Summit,  a day dedicated to debating the safety, efficacy and regulation of e-cigarettes. The day was split into three sessions, firstly looking at the safety and  efficacy through talks with scientists and researchers such as Dr. Lynne Dawkins and Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos,  then moving on to regulation with talks from public health professors  like Prof. Jean Francois Etter and  important figures such as Jeremy Mean from the MHRA  (Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority – effectively the UK’s FDA)  and finally looking at the controversies surrounding the technology with a talk  from Professor of Public Health Antoine Flahault and one from Deborah Arnott of ASH UK.

With an impressively positive morning with the researchers and scientists, it was time to consider the dark cloud of regulation currently looming over the future of e-cigarettes.

•UK healthcare excellence organization cannot recommend an unlicensed product.

•Misinformation may play a role in discussions – research shows almost half of people in both the US and UK believe that nicotine causes most cancer.

•Clive Bates equation for harm reduction: harm reduction = reduced risk × number who switch. The reduced risk is without question with or without regulation and medicines regulation will only reduce the appeal of e-cigs.

•Many believe the black market would thrive in the presence of harsh regulation.

•MHRA argues that the “spectrum” of medicines regulation would allow e-cigs to continue to thrive. •MHRA believe e-cigs don’t meet safety standards, and have received 12 reports about e-cigs to date (out of 1.3 million UK users), including one of lipoid pneumonia (which is impossible without oils in e-liquid).

•When questioned about the cost of medical regulation to small businesses, Jeremy Mean did not provide a sufficiently detailed answer.

•When questioned about virtually anything else, Jeremy Mean did not provide a sufficiently detailed answer.

•Prof. Jean Francois Etter believes “light touch” regulation does not exist, and argues that neither medicines nor tobacco regulations are appropriate for e-cigs. Says regulators should make room for “recreational nicotine products.”

•Liberal Democrat MEP comments to Prof. Etter that they had to think practically about what would be accepted in EU.


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Electronic Cigarettes and Harm Reducing Control

Posted December 15, 2013 By Richard McKelvey

Of course, in the matter of Electronic Cigarettes, one of the newer buzzwords is “lower harm control”. The FDA is certainly at it again by saying that they will announce regulation guidelines by the end of this month. I can’t wait to see what gems the FDA comes up with, I am certainly betting that they will make things so restrictive, that smokers will be forced back to tobacco cigarettes, in droves.

smoking proponents would at least welcome some sort of product that would reduce and/or eliminate tobacco smoking. No, they want to fight anything that even resembles a cigarette. I recently read an article in the Las Vegas Sun newspaper, and I quote s tobacco control program, Is she for real, did she have to take an IQ test for her position. Did anyone inform her that the 3 ingredients in the electronic cigarettes are 1) Nicotine 2) Flavoring 3)  propylene glycol (which is approved by the FDA for use in food and drugs). So, since it has been proven that nicotine has no harmful effect on the human body, and propylene glycol is already approved, Ms. Azzarelli must be talking about the flavorings. Maybe she should be talking to the people at the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention who concede, that “e-cigarettes appear to have far fewer of the toxins found in smoke compared to traditional cigarettes.”

Boston University public-health professor Michael Siegel, who supports vaping as a harm-reducing alternative to smoking, notes that “we actually have a much better idea what is in electronic cigarette vapor than what is in tobacco smoke.” He better not talk to the FDA if he continues to use logic in his arguments.

We all can certainly go on forever, with quoting this source and that source, each one with conflicting views, all I know is what works for me. Although I am only on day # 40, of my stop tobacco smoking program, I am seeing very positive results. I have stopped coughing throughout the day for the first time in many years and I am breathing much better as a result.

Maybe in a few years the new statistic of only 300,000 people died from smoking instead of 400,000 people died from smoking will make sense to the folks who are studying the harmful effects of electronic cigarette usage.

I will be examining the various e-cigarette brands and especially cartridge makers in my upcoming posts, because there seems to be a great disparity in the industry as to quality and price, I want to search out the best deals for anyone who wishes to use e-cigs as a way to stop smoking tobacco cigarettes.


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Two Cheers for E-Cigarettes by Joe Nocera

Posted December 9, 2013 By Richard McKelvey

 I want to reprint this article from the NY Times, it was very insightful, especially the city council feeble attempt at regulation.


Published: December 6, 2013  New York Times
  • Imagine a product — a legal but lethal one — that kills 400,000 Americans a year. Public health advocates have been trying for decades to persuade Americans not to use it. The industry has been sued and sued again, but it is still operating profitably. One out of every five Americans is addicted to the product.
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Joe Nocera

Now imagine that an alternative comes to the market, an innovative device that can help people wean themselves from the deadly product. It has the same look and feel as the lethal product; indeed, that’s a large part of its appeal. It, too, is addictive. But the ingredients that kill people are absent.

This, of course, is no imaginary scenario. The lethal product is cigarettes, which use nicotine to addict and combustible tobacco to kill. And the alternative is electronic cigarettes, which deliver nicotine without the tobacco, and emit a vapor that almost instantly evaporates. Yes, users can be hooked on nicotine, which is a stimulant. But people who “vape” are not going to die, at least not from inhaling their cigarette.

You’d think that the public health community would be cheering at the introduction of electronic cigarettes. We all know how hard it is to quit smoking. We also know that nicotine replacement therapies, like the patch, haven’t worked especially well. The electronic cigarette is the first harm-reduction product to gain serious traction among American smokers.

Yet the public health community is not cheering. Far from it: groups like the American Lung Associationthe American Heart Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids are united in their opposition to e-cigarettes. They want to see them stigmatized — like tobacco cigarettes. They want to see them regulated like cigarettes, too, which essentially means limited marketing and a ban on their use wherever tobacco cigarettes are banned.

Thomas Farley, New York City’s health commissioner, trotted out most of the rationales against e-cigarettes the other day at a City Council hearing. (The City Council is considering a bill, strongly supported by the Bloomberg administration, that would forbid the use of an e-cigarette anywhere that cigarettes are banned.) E-cigarettes, he said, “are so new we know very little about them.” Thanks to e-cigarettes, smoking is becoming glamorous again, and could become socially acceptable. The number of high school students who have tried electronic cigarettes doubled from 2011 to 2012. He made a particular point of showing how closely e-cigarettes resembled old-fashioned tobacco cigarettes.

The reason to fear this resemblance, say opponents of electronic cigarettes, is that “vaping” could wind up acting as a gateway to smoking. Yet, so far, the evidence suggests just the opposite. Several recent studies have strongly suggested that the majority of e-cigarette users are people who are trying to quit their tobacco habit. The number of people who have done the opposite — gone from e-cigarettes to cigarettes — is minuscule. “What the data is showing is that virtually all the experimentation with e-cigarettes is happening among people who are already smokers,” says Michael Siegel, a professor at the Boston University School of Health.

Siegel is a fierce critic of tobacco companies, but he’s also not afraid to criticize the anti-tobacco advocates when they stretch the truth. When we got to talking about the opposition to e-cigarettes in the public health community, he said, “The anti-smoking movement is so opposed to the idea of smoking it has transcended the science, and become a moral crusade. I think there is an ideological mind-set in which anything that looks like smoking is bad. That mind-set has trounced the science.”

Another person who considers e-cigarettes promising is David Abrams, the executive director of the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies. “It’s a disruptive technology,” he said, “that might give cigarettes a run for their money.” In his view, the anti-tobacco advocates had spent so many years arguing from “a total abstinence framework,” that they haven’t been able to move from that position. Yet, he noted, the country has long tolerated many similar harm reduction strategies, including needle exchanges and methadone maintenance.

None of this is to say that electronic cigarettes should be free of regulation. But they should be regulated for what they are — a pharmaceutical product that delivers nicotine, not a conduit for tobacco poison. Let them make health claims — which they can’t now do — so long as they are backed up with real science. And, most of all, use e-cigarettes to help make “real” cigarettes obsolete.

At that recent New York City Council meeting, one of the fiercest critics to testify was Kevin O’Flaherty of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “If it walks like a duck and it talks like a duck and it sounds like a duck and it looks like a duck, it is a duck,” he said.

Is this what passes for science when you oppose electronic cigarettes?

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Ecigarettes Regulation and Common Sense.

Posted December 2, 2013 By Richard McKelvey

When it comes to electronic cigarettes, using the words regulation and common sense is certainly going to be construed as a oxymoron. Every time I see a new article on the news wires about another politician introducing legislation to control the use of ecigs, it brings me back to my college days and my favorite definition of a politician, ( poly) meaning many, and (tics) small blood sucking creatures, so politics is comprised of many small blood sucking creatures. They latest attempts to regulate Ecigarettes from NY City, the sponsor of the bill ( I won’t use his name in order to protect all village idiots), cites his main reason to prohibit vaping in bars and restaurants as to not send a message to children that it is OK to smoke electronic cigarettes.

Well, that is certainly based on scientific proof.  He must have studied the subject for at least 10 to 15 minutes. First of all, what are his children doing in bars, when they could be at home, with their Xbox, and watching and participating in murder and mayhem, and killing terrorists, and learning how to become famous by threatening to kill all their classmates.

This guy is a joke. Also quoted was a vice president of the American Lung Association, who states that since the effects of electronic cigarettes are unknown at this point, they should be banned in public places. She wanted to contribute more to this issue, but she was running late for her meeting at the Flat Earth Society.

Since these devices emit a water vapor, perhaps we should look into banning water from public places also, because we all know that water can cause death through drowning.

Here is what I know. I am on day 26 of using Ecigs as a smoking replacement therapy, and for me, it is working wonders, as I am smoke free after 52 years of using tobacco cigarettes. This is no small fete, since I have tried every single replacement therapy that is on the market.

However, what personal choices a person makes is not the issue here, the real issue is how much regulation of our personal lifestyles are we willing to endure. I am not talking about well thought out legislation, like the ban on cigarette smoking in most public places, this I agree with, the possibility of harming someone else had been demonstrated, and we, as responsible adults need to modify our behavior habits to make sure that no one else if affected.

I certainly believe that all forms of alcohol should be banned from public places, like bars and restaurants, because alcohol causes ulcers, cirrhosis of the liver, brain damage, automobile deaths, divorce, job loss and on and on. (OMG, I am starting to sound like a politician)

I believe that the current use of electronic cigarettes will actually save lives, verses the alternative to smoke tobacco. Now, this is based on a personal feeling, no proof has been put forward by the scientific community to support this belief, nor have they submitted any studies to dispute it.




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Ecigarette nicotine control

Posted November 21, 2013 By Richard McKelvey

My electronic cigarette replacement is now beginning day 16. Everything is going according to plan. I have no cravings for tobacco and that I attribute to the regular distribution of nicotine from my e-cigarettes.

However, I am now faced with one small problem. I cannot figure out how to control the amount of nicotine that I am receiving. The cartomizers clearly state the they are equal to 2 packs of cigarettes, so being a one pack a day smoker, a single cartomizer or a single throw away e-cigarette should last me about 2 days. At present, one is lasting about a day and a half, and when I am stressed out from work, it lasts about a day and a quarter.

So, now my concern is that I am consuming more nicotine than when I was using tobacco cigarettes, and what will be the long term effects of that consumption.

I am not complaining about this, because I feel that just getting rid of the tobacco smoke is a real blessing. I already feel the benefit effects, the coughing has diminished quite a bit, and my breathing has improved.

However, am I trading one addiction for another one ? This I believe to be true. So now I am faced with the classic quandary of “the lesser of two evils”.

I will be establishing a base line for the ecigs consumption. Actually counting not only the amount of puffs I take, but also the depth of the puffs. You see, at certain times I inhale a lot more deeply than normal.

By doing this, I want to establish a routine that will get me closer to my actual one pack a day smoking routine. When this is accomplished, I will be able to figure out how to reduce the amount of nicotine derived from the electronic cigarettes. I will make a chart that anyone can follow and understand, for anyone facing the same challenge as myself.

I will have to do this using all the available brands on the market to test which electronic cigarettes deliver the desired balance that is required to remain smoke free.

Keeping in mind that the long term goal is to be completely free of nicotine as well as free from smoking. I will be reporting back on this dilemma this week.

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Ecigarettes to stop smoking

Posted November 13, 2013 By Richard McKelvey

At 9:00am this morning, it has been 7 completed days of stopped smoking.  This is no small feat, I have attempted to stop smoking more times than I can count, and the best I have done prior to this date is 4 days.  I have been smoking cigarettes for 52 years and the last 40 years I have smoked Camel non-filter cigarettes.

At first I did not believe that ecigs would do it for me, I was thinking that it was just another gimmick. I have been to hypnosis, a hospital sponsored stop smoking course, tried every gum, patch and lozenge on the market. Believe me, nothing worked.

That is because every system is based on one purpose, the withdrawal and/or reduction of nicotine from my system.  However, this still left the craving, and at most times it was overpowering. When I fought the craving, it would cause mood changes, and none of them good.

Then I remembered one fact from the hospital smoking cessation course, that it is NOT the nicotine that is harming my body, it is the nicotine delivery system, “the cigarette”.

So when the electronic cigarette came around as an alternate nicotine delivery vehicle, I figured what did I have to lose by trying it.

So far, so good. I have absolutely no cravings, and I am thrilled.

Now I am going through the process of trying and tasting different brands, and different levels of nicotine.  I will keep you posted on what I am finding in this search.


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Smoking Cessation Choices

Posted October 28, 2013 By Richard McKelvey

The Continuing Evolution of Smoking Cessation Choices Can Lead to Your “ElectronicCigaretteChoice”

An October 8, 2013 posting (below) from The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (www.tveca.com) referred to their optimistic view about the future growth of the electronic cigarette market.

 Smokers who are trying to quite look at their alternative choices: nicotine replacement therapies such as the patch (NicoDerm), Chantix® (varenicline) or, just cold turkey   now have an alternative to smoking cessation with an electronic cigarette choice.

The October 28. 2013 edition of the Winston-Salem Journal Analyst projection: E-cigs will overtake traditional tobacco revenue at Reynolds in 2021 state, ” Bonnie Herzog, with Wells Fargo Securities, has estimated Reynolds will have $4 billion in revenue from e-cigs in 2021 compared with $3.9 billion from conventional cigarettes” (http://www.journalnow.com/business/business_news/local/article_948674ca-1ca9-11e3-a0ae-0019bb30f31a.html)

“Our Bullish E-Cigs Thesis Remains Intact

E-Cig Online Sales Ban Being Considered as We Expected – We wanted to put out some thoughts on an article earlier this afternoon on potential online sales restrictions on e-cigs. According to a WSJ article, the FDA may be considering a ban of online sales of e-cigs, citing people ”familiar” with the ”package of regulations” the FDA is readying for e-cigs, which we continue to believe will be released in October. We have long been saying that we expect tight regulations of e-cigs and that we wouldn’t be surprised if an online ban was eventually enacted. If online sales are banned, we’d expect most of the online sales volume (currently $500-625M) to move to traditional retailers, where we believe e-cig sales have passed $1B (we believe total sales – retail and online – will hit $1.7B by the end of the year). If online sales of e-cigs were banned, we believe this clearly would be a huge positive for e-cig manufacturers that are already well entrenched with retailers, including LO (blu) with over 100,000 retail points of distribution and privately-held NJOY. Blu’s online sales are about 15-20% of its total and we think most of this volume would move to brick-and-mortar stores if online sales were banned. Bottom line–we would not be surprised if online e-cig sales were restricted or banned but this does not impact our bullish thesis that consumption of e-cigs could overtake conventional cigs within the next decade.

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E-cigarettes or tobacco, the choices are clear.

Posted October 13, 2013 By Richard McKelvey

Compare E- Cigarettes to Tobacco Cigarettes

  E-Cigarettes  vs. Tobacco Cigarettes

Price per Pack of Cigarettes* As low as $1.82 Avg. Price $5.50
Contains Nicotine
Designed for Smokers
Classic Cigarette Taste
High Smoke Volume
Easy to Use
Rich Variety of Flavors
Smoke Almost Anywhere
No Risk of Fire
Clean & Fresh Smell
Store in Pocket Between Puffs
Tar Free
Carbon Monoxide Free
Combustion Free
Ash Free
No Cigarette Smell
No Smoker’s Breath
No Cigarette Butts
Choice of Design
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