Electronic Cigarettes are much safer – science trumps the FDA

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:   We at the Weeks Clinic for Corrective Medicine and Psychiatry have been helping people stop smoking for years. It is a very gratifying aspect of our practice. One tool we have used for the past 3 years is the electronic cigarette.

We are delighted that research has caught up with us  (it is lonely practicing medicine so far ahead of the curve!)  and we congratulate the professors who now endorse electronic cigarettes as a much safer alternative to the usual butt.

Now, if we could only get the FDA to get out of the pocket of industry and also support this safe and effective smoking cessation tool!

….”These pseudo-scientific actions are clearly intended to form the justification for banning a category of products that are probably 99.9% safer than cigarettes.”    Dr. Rodu

and

…. “The FDA should be encouraging, not maligning the manufacture and sale of electronic cigarettes…”  Dr. Nitzkin

…  “A smoking alternative exists, maybe not perfect but on balance the existence of this alternative cigarette should at least be more widely known.  We all know that second hand smoke carries more risk than the smoker is getting. Now there is an alternative but somehow the FDA wants to slow this down. Could it be that our government needs the tax revenue from sale of cigarettes and related products?”   Dr. Gordon


FDA STUDY PROVES E-CIGARETTES ARE SAFER THAN TOBACCO CIGARETTES

COLLEYVILLE, TX, August 03, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ —

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The study by the FDA released July 22, 2009 may actually prove what e-cigarette aficionados have been shouting on the rooftops from day one: that electronic cigarettes are actually much safer than tobacco cigarettes. Within the last year at least three independent labs have given the green light to electronic cigarettes and the FDA pretends they do not exist.

In the recent FDA study, trace amounts of tobacco-specific nitrosamines and tobacco specific impurities were reportedly found in a limited test of two brands of e-cigarettes. Nitrosamines may also be found in consumer foods such bacon and beer. Trace amounts of carcinogens may also be found in nicotine replacement products such as NicoDerm CQ and Nicorette gum which are FDA approved. The list of hazardous chemicals found in tobacco cigarettes is somewhere around 4,000 according to the CDC

The FDA claimed their analysis detected diethylene glycol, a chemical used in antifreeze which is toxic to humans was present in only one of the samples. They failed to qualify at what level is it harmful or how much was in the sample. This misleads the public to believe that antifreeze is in their e-cigarettes. Diethylene glycol is not an ingredient used to make electronic cigarettes and how it came to be in the sample should raise an eyebrow. But the FDA sounded an alarm even though the test was done months before.

With as many toxic chemicals found in tobacco smoke in comparison to electronic cigarettes, the alarm the FDA is sounding about a less hazardous product is both suspicious and negligent. One might be left to believe that the real FDA agenda may not be to protect the publics’ health, but to aggressively protect the bottom line of the makers of smoking cessation products as well as the loss of tax revenue from the sale of tobacco cigarettes. The pressure the FDA is under from health groups and special interest groups is certainly noticeable. It is public record where these organizations receive their funding from and to who they owe their allegiance.

“In effect, the FDA news release was telling the public go smoke tobacco cigarettes, cancer sticks, which are known to kill millions of people while not one death has been recorded as a result of using electronic cigarettes,” says Kyle Newton, owner of eCigarettesChoice.com. “It does not make sense.” eCigarettesChoice.com is an online Super Store that manufactures the SS Choice No 7 brand along with the new No 7 Stealth electronic cigarette for military use in combat environments. This brand was not part of the FDA test.

The FDA scare resulted in several customers canceling orders. However, on Monday morning they were calling back to order again. “It was educational,” says Kyle, “after our customers did their homework, they determined the benefits of the electronic cigarettes far out-weighed the risks. Almost everything consumers come in contact with has traces of hazardous chemicals. Nothing is 100% safe. I lost my mom, who was a smoker, to cancer in 2005, so we do our best to protect our customers and our reputation.
Several prominent doctors and tobacco researchers, including Dr. Michael Siegel at the Boston University School of Public Health, Dr. Joel Nitzkin of the AAPHP Tobacco Control Task Force, and Dr. Brad Rodu, Endowed Chair, Tobacco Harm Reduction Research University of Louisville, has chastised the FDA and requested that they justify their warning about electronic cigarettes with qualified scientific proof.

BOSTON, July 27 /Standard Newswire/ — The FDA recently went public with misleading information about the safety of electronic cigarettes and the marketing of the devices, not only using its clout but recruiting other prominent organizations to demonize a product that has great public health benefit potential.

A group of prominent doctors and tobacco researchers, including Dr. Michael Siegel at the Boston University School of Public Health, Dr. Joel Nitzkin of the AAPHP Tobacco Control Task Force, and Dr. Brad Rodu, Endowed Chair, Tobacco Harm Reduction Research University of Louisville, challenge the FDA to provide the full quantitative data of the study upon which the FDA has based its warning against electronic cigarettes. They are concerned that the FDA’s disingenuous targeting of electronic cigarettes through a biased presentation of the scientific data has had significant negative impact upon the public perception of electronic cigarettes, when the best available evidence suggests that these have shown that the devices offer great potential to reduce serious health issues among traditional tobacco smokers.

In a July 22 news release, the FDA cited the detectable presence of carcinogens and “toxic chemicals” in a “small sample” of electronic cigarette cartridges as reason for alarm, singling out nitrosamines as particularly toxic. What the FDA fails to inform the public is that detectable amounts of carcinogens are also present in nicotine replacement products such as NicoDerm CQ and Nicorette gum, both approved by the FDA, and nitrosamines that can be also found in food items such bacon and beer (Hot dogs, bologna, salami, pepperoni, pastrami, ham, any cured meat-RM). This double standard and alarmist attitude has had the significant and unfortunate effect of inducing hysteria among the public, discouraging tobacco smokers from using a product which is thought to be a significantly safer alternative to traditional tobacco.

Regrettably, the FDA has used biased reporting of this small and inconclusive study, the complete results of which have not been made public, to secure the vocal support of groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics Tobacco Consortium, the Institute for Global Health, and the American Lung Association in their attack on electronic cigarettes. These researchers argue that it is absurd to consider taking electronic cigarettes off the market when it is the conventional ones which have been shown to be killing people. Further, the electronic cigarette community calls for accurate and fair reporting relative to the findings and statements of prominent medical professionals in favor of this new and important technology and challenges the media to tell the other side of the story.

“The FDA’s laboratory findings actually indicate that electronic cigarettes are much, much safer than conventional cigarettes,” says Dr. Michael Siegel. “The traces of carcinogens present are also present in nicotine replacement products. The FDA and the anti-smoking groups have fallen into a huge analytical trap as they have failed to ask the appropriate question. The question they are asking is: ‘Are electronic cigarettes safe?’ That is not the right question. The right question is: ‘Are electronic cigarettes much safer than traditional ones?'”

Dr. Rodu states, “The FDA tested e-cigarettes for TSNAs using a questionable sampling regimen, and the methods that were so sensitive that the results may have no possible significance to users. The agency failed to report specific levels of these contaminants, and it has failed to conduct similar testing of nicotine medicines that have been sold in the U.S. for over 20 years. These are not the actions of an agency that is science-based and consumer-focused. These pseudo-scientific actions are clearly intended to form the justification for banning a category of products that are probably 99.9% safer than cigarettes.”

Dr. Joel Nitzkin speaking as individual states, “The newly adopted FDA/Tobacco legislation will give full FDA approval to currently marketed conventional cigarettes. The new law encourages cigarette companies to produce new “reduced exposure” cigarettes to be marketed as reduced exposure products, with no scientific evidence that such reductions in exposure will reduce risk of future tobacco related illness and death. In the context of these provisions of the newly adopted FDA/Tobacco bill — FDA should be encouraging, not maligning the manufacture and sale of electronic cigarettes, and working with manufacturers to assure the highest possible quality control.”

For more information and interviews, contact:

Michael Siegel, MD, MPH
Professor
Department of Community Health Sciences
Boston University School of Public Health
617-638-5167
Email: mbsiegel@bu.edu

Joel L. Nitzkin, MD, MPH, DPA
Chair AAPHP Tobacco Control Task Force
Phone: 504 899 7893 or 800 598 2561
Fax: 504 899 7557
jln-md@mindspring.com
www.aaphp.org

Brad Rodu
Professor of Medicine
Endowed Chair, Tobacco Harm Reduction Research
University of Louisville
Phone: 502-561-7273
Email: brad.rodu@louisville.edu
http://rodutobaccotruth.blogspot.com

Thomas R. Kiklas
Director of Media
inLife LLC
Phone: 949-250-9600 x108
Email: tkiklas@myinlife.com

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