National Geographic Daily News
An electronic cigarette store owner demonstrates a product.

Robert Everhart, manager of the e-cigarette store MadVapes, tries one of the products.

Photograph by Diedra Laird, Charlotte Observer/MCT/Getty Images

Diane Cole

for National Geographic News

Published September 16, 2013

Electronic cigarettes may produce an aerosol vapor instead of smoke, but two new studies raise burning questions about their uses and risks.

E-cigs—as these battery-operated nicotine inhalers are commonly called—are increasingly popular, with a Wells Fargo financial analyst predicting that U.S. sales will double this year, going up to $1.7 billion.

Their visibility is becoming ever greater as well, with television and online marketing campaigns that feature celebrities like Jenny McCarthy and Stephen Dorff touting the pleasures of what they describe as more socially acceptable, "guilt-free" smoking.

The reasoning behind such claims is that e-cigs, which have the look of conventional cigarettes stylishly updated for the techno-age, produce vapor instead of ash or smoke. They also generally deliver lower amounts of nicotine than conventional cigarettes—a feature that may make e-cigarettes useful as an aid to smoking cessation.

Research Urgently Needed

Whether that is so was the focus of a study published in The Lancet, which concluded that e-cigarettes were statistically comparable to nicotine patches in helping smokers quit over a six-month period.

But this was only the first study to compare e-cigarettes to an already established quitting aid. "There is still so much that is unknown about the effectiveness and long-term effects of e-cigarettes" that more research is "urgently needed," cautioned lead researcher Chris Bullen, director of the National Institute for Health Innovation at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

In that vein, Alexander Prokhorov, a smoking cessation expert at Houston's MD Anderson Cancer Center who was not involved in the study, commented, "I'm glad that there is finally some tangible research starting to appear." But several aspects worry him. "Nicotine is not a neutral substance," and in addition to being highly addictive, "it can be a poisonous substance."

Because e-cigs mimic the look and rituals of conventional cigarette smoking, there is a danger that rather than e-cigs helping you quit, "you may just switch to this product and continue using it," Prokhorov said. And since a smoker's dependence on nicotine remains, there is a risk for a relapse to smoking conventional cigarettes.

Not a Risk-Free Alternative

Still, wouldn't there be some potential benefit to using only electronic cigarettes as an alternative to conventional cigarettes? "There is no question that e-cigarettes deliver less toxins than conventional cigarettes," said Stanton Glantz, director of the University of California, San Francisco's Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. They may have as little as one-tenth of the toxins inhaled from burning tobacco, he said. (Related: "Cigarettes vs. e-Cigarettes: Which Is Less Environmentally Harmful?")

But that's not the entire story, he emphasized. "Whereas e-cigarettes are less dangerous than regular cigarettes, in an absolute sense they are negative," because they contain a number of toxic chemicals and ultrafine particles in addition to nicotine, and secondhand e-cig vapor could be harmful.

Moreover, he continued, "most people who use e-cigarettes also continue to use regular cigarettes; they are dual users. That means they are probably suffering all the risks from smoking."

There is also a quality control issue for e-cigarettes, both Glantz and Prokhorov agreed. Unlike prescription nicotine patches, no electronic cigarettes have been approved for therapeutic use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"Further research is needed to assess the potential public health benefits and risks of electronic cigarettes and other novel tobacco products," said FDA spokesperson Jennifer Haliski. (Although the FDA's authority extends only to those e-cigs marketed for therapeutic purpose, with none having gained approval, it has announced its intention to propose broadening regulations to encompass additional categories of tobacco products that would include all electronic cigarettes.)

That's an important point, said Glantz, because the Lancet study's bottom line is that electronic cigarettes "are no worse than nicotine patches, but they are no better either." That leads to the question: "Why would you use something that has not been tested when there is something [with] quality control and [that] has been tested?"

Gateway Cigs for Teens?

Another question, about the average age of electronic cigarette users, brings us to the second study. This one, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows that the number of U.S. middle and high school students using e-cigarettes doubled between 2011 and 2012, bringing the number nationwide who had tried e-cigs to 1.78 million.

That statistic is disturbing, said Tim McAfee, director of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, because about 90 percent of all smokers begin in their teens. E-cigarettes may be particularly attractive to youngsters because they are sold in a broad array of flavors, including cherry, vanilla, and even bubblegum.

"We know that this makes these products more appealing to children," he said. "The worry is that it is going to acclimatize kids to the behaviors that are like smoking. Until proven otherwise, we need to assume that this may increase their chances of taking up smoking with burn [conventional] cigarettes." Prokhorov shares that worry.

"My major concern is that this will be a gateway behavior, a potential risk of getting kids hooked on nicotine for life," he said. That's also why Glantz favors greater regulations, including banning the use of flavors (which are prohibited in conventional tobacco cigarettes) as well as prohibiting the sale of e-cigs to minors.

"In the current world, where cigarettes are ubiquitous with a marketing budget of $8 billion a year, we have to be careful and not make it easy" for vulnerable children to start using tobacco, said McAfee, whose budget for the CDC's 2012 Tips from Former Smokers campaign was $54 million.

"You go on YouTube and see how e-cigarettes are being glamorized, making smoking look sexy and rebellious," he said, which are the very elements that research has shown will attract kids to smoking. This is why media critics are comparing current e-cig ads to the ubiquitous cigarette ads of the 1950s, he added.

But going back to that era would be a mistake, said Prokhorov. "Psychologically, our society has just started to enjoy a tobacco-free and smoke-free life," he said. "The renaissance of cigarettes in e- or any other form is not a pretty picture."

100 comments
Abel Aguilar
Abel Aguilar

Here's just one breakthrough study of more to come done by Stanford, Duke, and other research institutes about nicotine for all of you who are so bent out of shape over the nicotine controversy.
http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/drugs-alcohol/nicotine-health-benefits.htm

The real worries should be about long term effects of proylene glycol and glycerol inhalation; of which immediate effects are already known and pose very little to no concern for those who voluntarily use e-cigs. As the old saying goes, Anything is okay in moderation.

Abel Aguilar
Abel Aguilar

There have been studies done even before this article that dissect everything about the e-cig from the materials used in the tanks, atomizers and e-liquids themselves, which makes me think this author was not very well educated in the matter.


  There are 4 main ingredients in all e-liquids (sometimes less). Vegetable Glycerin (VG), Propylene Glycol (PG), Nicotine, and natural (sometimes artificial) flavorings. VG as many already know is completely safe for consumption and harmless to the human body, so no need to talk about that. PG has also been deemed safe for consumption by the FDA as well since it has been in thousands of consumables for decades like asthma inhalers to food colorings. Few people may be alergic to PG, but many e-liquid companies offer VG only blends for their juices. Nicotine is a fairly benign drug on its own, comparable to caffeine, and must be consumed in rediculously huge doses to be poisonous. Subsequently, you can get e-liquids that contain no nicotine at all from just about every company. And as for the flavorings, natural or artificial, they pose no health dangers either.

  New studies have also found that Nicotine by itself can be a very beneficial drug for people suffering of alzheimers, tourettes, ADHD, Parkinson's, schizophrenia, depression, diabetes, and anxiety by boosting the production of serotonin and dopamine. It also boosts the growth of new blood vessels contrary to popular belief, which opens up new possibilites for medicinal research (diabetes).  In addition to that, it acts as a neurotransmitter that binds to nerve receptors and makes nerve cells fire more frequently (alzheimers, parkinson's); this is the main effect of nicotine that shows the most promise for future studies. 

  Finally, the materials used in some tanks/cartomizers/atomizers have been known to use stainless steel, clean plastics, ceramic coils, silica wicks and glass. Although not every manufacturer uses the best materials, there are many products available that utilize high quality materials. E-cigs are already very considerably safe and somewhat theraputic to many people and the future of this topic looks bright.

I won't list sources because there are many, and it doesn't take long to google it for yourself. Happy Vaping!

Travis Starnes
Travis Starnes

I think the ecigs should require carding just like standard cigarettes.  Already on some ecig companies, like http://fincigs.com/, you have to go through age verification before you can order their cigarettes online.


Stores should do the same.

Dave Thompson
Dave Thompson

I think e cigs now are completely cool, and there now the best way to quit smoking. Me and my parents who are now OAP's quit because of these fantastic methods of quitting! So many good brands out there as well, I use cloud cig, who helped me and advised me on what to start with, there fantastic!

Greg Dj-g
Greg Dj-g

I would like to point out that studies HAVE been done.  

http://publichealth.drexel.edu/~/media/Files/publichealth/ms08.pdf

How about "No detectable chemicals in exhaled vapor".

Here are some other key conclusions:

"Even when compared to workplace standards for involuntary exposures, and using several conservative (erring on the side of caution) assumptions, the exposures from using e-cigarettes fall well below the threshold for concern for compounds with known toxicity"

"There is no serious concern about the contaminants such as volatile organic compounds (formaldehyde, acrolein, etc.) in the liquid or produced by heating. While these contaminants are present, they have been detected at problematic levels only in a few studies that apparently were based on unrealistic levels of heating."

... as far as those "harmful chemicals" they keep quoting... that is addressed as well:

"The frequently stated concern about contamination of the liquid by a nontrivial quantity of ethylene glycol or diethylene glycol remains based on a single sample of an early technology product (and even this did not rise to the level of health concern) and has not been replicated."

... funny that this study wasn't referenced at all.

David G.
David G.

This is not good that e cigarette companies are attract young kids. They should mutually understand and try to target people who are actually smoker of real cigarette.Another question, about the average age of electronic cigarette users, brings us to the second study. This one, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows that the number of U.S. middle and high school students using e-cigarettes doubled between 2011 and 2012, bringing the number nationwide who had tried e-cigs to 1.78 million.

Justin Jeffries
Justin Jeffries

Any company trying to market specifically to kids should be shut down or fined. But to call them a "gateway product" is just unacceptable to me, much like cannabis has been called a "gateway drug" for years but is shown not to be in reality.

Personally i use my e-cigarettes at the times i am unable to smoke like indoors and at work etc, this really helps me a lot and gives me back some of the freedom that the smoking ban took away! Plus the fact they are not subject to the same tax regulation that tobacco is means i can actually save money so to see the recent campaigns to make them seem so bad is just not good for anyone. Like others mention they should not be sold to anyone under the age of 18 anyway so this really should combat the majority of the issues this article outline.

http://www.s-ecigarette.co.uk/

Robert Pattinsion
Robert Pattinsion

This is not good that e cigarette companies are attract young kids. They should mutually understand and try to target people who are actually smoker of real cigarette. If they do so than this will benefit them and society as well.

https://www.facebook.com/Steamlite

Kyle Lee
Kyle Lee

What they failed to mention is that in small amounts, nicotine is very similar to caffeine; and are mostly harmless. At large amounts both nicotine or caffeine could kill you. Even water could kill you if drinking way too much at once. They're failing to mention varying toxicity levels. One main reason nicotine in small amounts is "mostly" harmless, is because of people with certain heart conditions, or women who are pregnant. However those same people should also avoid coffee and other caffeine.

I in no way condone nicotine habits, but I do use an E-hookah myself. Take two smokers who've both been smoking cigs for years. Have one quit cold turkey, have the other use vapor. Within a week give or take, both will have brown stuff come out of their throats in the morning. This means both of their aveoles in their lungs have sprung back to life, and are both trying to get rid of the built up tar and chemicals.

katrina coupland
katrina coupland

I gave up smoking six months ago, I use to smoke 10 smokes a day and suffered from bad breath, a cough, wheeze, shortness of breath, pain in my left eye, chest and pain sometimes in my veins, since switching to e-cigs I no longer have any of these symptoms and my skin looks great.  I only use my e-vap in the evenings and so enjoy going out now to the pub or to dinner and not have to stand outside in the cold to smoke and then walk back into the restaurant  smelling of stink.  My kids now love cuddling up on the couch with me and not complaining that I stink of smoke.  I feel fitter and when I exercise my chest feels free and not tight.   I can't stand the smell of smokers now and all I smell is poison when a smoker comes close, I could never imagine going back to that stinky habit again.   I don't really plan to give up my e-cig as I don't feel ill health problems anymore, I enjoy having my pipe as I call it to sit back and enjoy a bit of t.v. or a glass of wine with my strawberry flavored vapour.  It costs be about $25 every 2 months which is nothing compared with $16 for a packed of cigs.

Jeremy Evans
Jeremy Evans

I started vaping exclusively at the beginning of the year and have steadily lowered my nicotine level.  My wife loves the fact that the bedroom is quiet when I sleep and I can taste and smell things that I never smelled before.  I had smoked since I was 16, I am now 30 and very happy to be a e-cig user.  One thing that non-vapers fail to realize is that there is numerous Nicotine levels available to include 0, as in NO nicotine in Ejuices, most people who vape are people who have tried everything to quit there nicotine dependence and live a healthier lifestyle, this is a means to end with e-cigs.  Also most people who vape DON'T smoke real cigarettes anymore either.  This article is poorly written and in bad taste, it is completely 1 sided and doesn't show the benefits from switching, and there is plenty out there.  I do agree with young people under 18 not being able to purchase e-cig and e-cig accessories just like things for tobacco, but I don't see kids trying to come into vape shops I frequent.  Vape On my friends

Russ Dennis
Russ Dennis

I've been Vaping for almost two years and have nothing but the best health.  I was a half pack day smoker since I was in my teens.  The E-cig has saved my life and millions more and it makes me ashamed that our government wants to scrutinize us " Vapers" when traditional cigarettes are still legal and millions of people die every year.  It's all about greed for the all mighty dollar with big tobacco and pharmaceutical companies. Wake up america!!! 

Mark McG
Mark McG

 I see a lot about e-cigs, but nothing seems to mention the "juice" which has a primary ingredient of propylene glycol. If you read the MSDS(material safety data sheet) on that chemical, it basically says that inhaling the vapors of propylene glycol are dangerous and carcinogenic. The sheets which I did read, didn't seem to indicate much information regarding the vapors of propylene glycol, since it was primarily an ingredient in fire extinguishers and firefighters are people who are mostly exposed to it. But, you have to think that someone pulling on a vaporizer 20-40 times a day, have to be approaching the same sorts of exposure level that firefighters would be getting from their exposure to it, especially at a more purified level present in the ecigs.

Mark McG
Mark McG

I see a lot about e-cigs, but nothing seems to mention the "juice" which has a primary ingredient of propylene glycol. If you read the MSDS(material safety data sheet) on that chemical, it basically says that inhaling the vapors of propylene glycol are dangerous and a carcinogen. The sheets which I did read, didn't seem to indicate much information regarding the vapors of propylene glycol, since it was primarily an ingredient in fire extinguishers and firefighters are people who are mostly exposed to it. But, you have to think that someone pulling on a vaporizer 20-40 times a day, have to be approaching the same sorts of exposure level that firefighters would be getting from their exposure to it, expecially at a more purified level present in the ecigs.

Richard Lungi
Richard Lungi

And this amazes us? The very thought of this kind of input from the government and tobacco companies is very expected, so of course there will be negative print, lol hey they are losing money. Since I have quit smoking the real thing, which has now been 1 year, I feel much better, more staying power, foods taste better, my wind is much better, it does increase one's blood pressure, but so did smoking the real cig's. I also understand that some tobacco companies have already bought out Blue and a few other e-cig companies, so there you have it. The only way I would never trust an e-cig is if some tobacco company was selling it to me. Vape on people!!!!!!!!!!

Tabitha Guinn
Tabitha Guinn

All i have to say is ... Peach Shnaups, Cherry Pucker, Chocolate Vodka,... The list could go on and on

Ash M.
Ash M.

An overlooked aspect re teenagers is that even pretend smoking is a ritualistic event.  Smoking in any form is partly a CONFIDENCE RITUAL.  Some would go so far as to say that it is a faux confidence ritual.  Think of the way that it looks, the posing, the way that cigarettes are held, the way that smoke is retained, held, and discharged.  All of it bespeaks confidence.  It's highly STYLIZED behavior.  For the very young, especially, it presents a façade of mature worldliness, sex appeal (In significant measure due to commercials, videos, movies.  Even novels).  Most baffling is that despite the mountains of evidence with regard to the deleterious effects on the human body... even those aware of this continue to smoke.  I've lost friends to pulmonary emphysema, cancer and heart attacks.  And the beat goes on.

Big tobacco should find something else to do.  They do not fear the e-cigarette at all.  It is already opening the gate to their coffers.

Paul Lott
Paul Lott

I find the tone of this article to be highly melodramatic.  


Reading the actual content reported, it would seem that several studies, however preliminary, have reported beneficial aspects of electronic cigarette use. This information is 'balanced' with conjecture regarding toxicity that is as vague as it is speculative. Given the hundreds of billions of dollars spent each year on cancer treatment, any method that reduces tobacco related health problems by even a small percentage directly improves not only the lives of individuals, but also their communities, both local and global.
Coming from so august a source as NG, I am truly shocked and saddened to see this flimsy piece of journalism. 
If there is proof, evidence, or fact to be reported then by all means, let that be broadcast.  But where, then, are the statistics relating to  revenues lost by big tobacco from this new technology? Ought we to have questioned airplanes so vocally when they surpassed trains and boats? Should we have legitimized wild surmises that decried the impact to the abacus industry when computers were invented?  Where were the articles that warned the public of the potential dangers of toilet paper, and of the harmful effects its' adoption might have on the leaf and corncob producers?
This is intellectually on par with claims that immunizations cause autism, that birth control causes wanton behavior, or that antibiotics contravene the will of the almighty. 
The benefits so outweigh the harm as to make the objections raised above objectionable in and of themselves. What editor assigned this watery effort? What reporter phoned in the accounts of these nebulous perils? We know, at least, the publisher who green-lit this headline. I expected yellow from your border, NG, not your journalism.

Sonia Wilson
Sonia Wilson

I have smoked for many years and have tried to quit on numerous occasions, the only successful times being when I was pregnant with my kids. That said, I love my e-cig. I haven't had a "real" cig in 7 days. I'm breathing better, I have more energy, and I'm sleeping better. I prefer this over the patch because the patch is cost prohibitive.  Whenever I wanted to quit and considered taking the patch, I always ended up buying a pack of smokes instead, because $7.00 for a pack was easier to fit into my budget than $50.00 for a box of nicotine patches. I've always said that the FDA or whoever the powers that be, are, should have offered to sell the patch individually, like those bowls of condoms you find sometimes at the checkout in a convenience store, instead of a 1 week supply in a box for fifty bucks.  They also should have made the tobacco companies pay for the lion's share of the cost of the patches to anyone who was trying to quit.  If a patch cost as much and lasted as long as a pack of smokes maybe I would have opted for that instead of the pack of smokes. But they never offered that option so I kept buying that pack of smokes. Not anymore! I think a few more weeks of this e-cig and I'll be done with it for good!

Sterling Bushnell
Sterling Bushnell

the kids are not using them for nicotine they use the eciggeretss and a thc delivery system and are smoking the oils in a tar form distilled by butane or alcohol.

Benson Stein
Benson Stein

Perhaps there is a way to use only nicotine in sterilized water, without any other additives? I'm sure it would taste like crap.  I still am not sure though if e-cigs are supposed to be a quitting technique or just a safer alternative, or perhaps both?

Thomas Knapp
Thomas Knapp

I am so sick of hearing government bureaucrats (posing as "scientists") demanding the power to control what I do because of what they "fear" or because they "don't know" what it might do.

The only thing I have in common with these people is that we both want to control my life.

Elaine Keller
Elaine Keller

"You may just switch to this product and continue using it," Prokhorov said. 

Yes?  And?  Your point?  I switched to e-cigarettes and the wheezing that was keeping me awake at night vanished, along with the productive morning cough. I can laugh now without going into a coughing jag. Why is that considered a bad thing?  I can't think of any health benefit that quitting nicotine would give me that I don't already have by getting rid of the smoke!  Quitting nicotine gives me problems with attention, concentration, and visual memory.  I prefer to stay healthy.

bob pope
bob pope

"Why would you use something that has not been tested when there is something [with] quality control and [that] has been tested?" Because it works and is a hell of alot cheaper? Nicotine is nicotine, and is as bad for you as caffeine.

Ben Daines
Ben Daines

Yet another FUD article about electronic cigarettes, nothing more.  I'm really disappointed to see this kind of "journalism" from national geographic.  I generally think of Natgeo being a highly reputable news source that writes in depth articles about important issues around the world.  However, this article is the farthest thing I can imagine from that standard.  It is very clear that there was little to no research put into this article, just a repackaging of the plethora of similar articles we've seen with a few quotes thrown in.  

If you had bothered to do any research about electronic cigarettes and vaping you would have found that they are in fact a safe(er) alternative to smoking.  First of all, there is no combustion.  That in itself makes vaping infinitely healthier than smoking.  Beyond that fact, nothing else about them matters.  The ingredients used to create eliquid (the "liquid nicotine solution") are all regarded as safe by the FDA (and there's only 3 ingredients by the way).  VG and PG (base solution) have been used in cosmetics and medicines for decades and there have been no issues.  The flavorings used are food flavorings, not meant for inhalation specifically, but they are water based and there should be no reason for them to cause any harm.  The only other thing in eliquid is nicotine.  This is pharmaceutical grade nicotine (the same exact nicotine used in gums and the patches).  Nicotine itself is not harmful to the human body.  It is very similar to caffeine in its effects and level of harm.  

If an adult wants to consume nicotine they should be ENCOURAGED to use electronic cigarette products, not scared away from them.  Even though electronic cigarettes are extremely new and have not been used by humans long enough to have the "long term data" that we "so badly need," we know beyond any doubt that cigarettes ARE EXTREMELY harmful.  

That's what it comes down to.  Cigarettes are known to kill, and there is no reason why electronic cigarettes should cause any harm, as none of the ingredients cause any harm on their own.  

Yes, smoking is bad and causes much harm to a society.  Yes, people should be dissuaded from smoking.  No, there is nothing wrong with an adult using nicotine.  No, someone who smokes is not evil.  There is no reason to extend the ideological war against smoking to vaping.  

I don't think I'm alone in saying that I'm sick and tired of seeing these scare tactic articles against electronic cigarettes.  How about we start focusing on how they can help people stop (hell, even cut down) smoking?

Jim Cunningham
Jim Cunningham

I smoked at least a pack every day from 1993 to Thanksgiving Day 2011. During the last year of smoking I decided to try the Ecig ("Fifty-One" brand). My intent was NOT to quit - I liked smoking, and in my opinion the anti-smoking hype is nothing but an absurd witch hunt by scared soccer moms who are hellbent on bubble wrapping the entire planet; my intent was to have a cig that I could take anywhere, especially indoors. Although it was never quite as powerful as a good lungful of warm smoke, it really simulated smoking very well, and it was easy to get used to. I used regular cigs while I was outside, and used the Ecig when indoors. However, I decided to quit smoking, mostly out of respect for my spouse who had to smell the stench of smoke on my clothes and breath all the time. Even after I bathed, the clothes still left a lingering smell in the house.

I quit cigarettes cold turkey and have not had so much as a single puff - though I will freely admit that it was brutal to deal with sometimes. I smoked when I was nervous, sad, angry, frustrated, annoyed, bored or felt claustrophobic - and of course, there was that orgasmic after-dinner cigarette. I could stand or sit or walk anywhere, day or night, and not be considered suspicious or a loiterer, so long as a lit cigarette was in my hand, and smoking always made awkward or uncomfortable situations more bearable. The Ecig undeniably made breaking away from cigarettes survivable. But it is true what everyone else says - the Ecig might HELP quitting, but it takes outright willpower to stop.

Interestingly, over the past 6 month my use if the Ecig decreased, and now I don't use it at all. What is particularly fascinating is that, it was my spouse who pointed out that I hadn't puffed the Ecig in a long while - I hadn't even noticed that I wasn't using it anymore! i am now completely free of a desire for cigarettes, and only once, in fact it was yesterday, have I taken a single puff of the Ecig. I predict total withdrawal before the end of the year.

Sam Clemens
Sam Clemens

As any reasonable adult here might conclude, research will be ongoing for decades. It's obvious the industries tied to tobacco has been saying that about smoked products forever and yet nothing changed except them adding more nicotine to their products. Awesome!

Anyway ..  Here it is. E Cigs Articles and Studies that show harm and increased resistance to respiratory tract .. Just saying. Also not a person here has been able to provide a valid argument against the probable increased use of smoked tobacco by teens and youngsters once the are hooked .. 

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/249784.php

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/05/study-finds-e-cigarettes-_n_1187166.html

I love the free market too but for all those e Cig users that want to make the completely absurd argument here that those that don't want another drug addicting product out there that is not good for health because they are against personal liberties, here you are ...

It's an article from Forbes that sites studies to contradict your so called 'SAFE' claims. 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertglatter/2012/10/30/are-electronic-cigarettes-a-safe-alternative-for-smokers/

Also, it seems that those that have said they were only able to stop smoking from using the product make the argument for us who can see that the real culprit here is nicotine, which if you're still using, you never quit. 

Nobody is saying you can't smoke these, but if you're going to get on this board and taught the device as a quitting aid, then make them strictly by prescription. Seem reasonable enough, I mean, if using it for quitting is your argument.

That solves a major point with regards to youths using and getting hooked.

If you're not for that than it is clear that your argument does not hold water.


Galactic Stone
Galactic Stone

Interesting, all of my comments from earlier have been deleted.  Now Nat Geo is engaging in censorship because I dared to call them out for being owned by Rupert Murdoch, and not even in a direct way.  Wow.  I'm am so done with Nat Geo and everything associated with it.


Noah Papafagos
Noah Papafagos

People are making way to big a deal about e-cigs...I have tried them numerous times from family members and friends and they all use them just for fun...they arent addicted to them..and niether am I. And they arent a gateway drug so stop whining about that because that just made my die laughing. And if your still worried about nicotine then get them without nicotine because you can do that.

M. Moss
M. Moss

A couple of anti-smoker opinions and quite a few "what-if's" in this article.  This is a scare tactic and a semi-smear campaign in one.  

Dan Miller
Dan Miller

What's funny is that the people who make up the core of the Health Nazi brigade are overwhelmingly pro-choice.  Anyone who says that a woman has the right to do what she wants to her body - including murdering their unborn child - is intellectually dishonest if they are not full on supporters of people eating, drinking, snorting and shooting up whatever they please.

Robert Everhart
Robert Everhart

@David G. It's just like anything else in this world. People are gonna buy for underage users just like with tobacco products to even alcohol.

Kyle Lee
Kyle Lee

@Robert Pattinsion Thought I had just responded O_o.... Well, just as cigarettes, E-cigarette liquids/refills, are required to have labeled on them, for sale to persons 18 or over, in the U.S. at least. I do not support underage nicotine consumption,.. but what you're failing to realize, is that nothing stopped teens from having someone else get cigarettes for them before, it's nothing new. So it doesn't surprise me they've had adults buy these safer e-nicotine products for them now. Your point and reasoning is invalid, e-cig or no e-cig, teens will still find a way to consume nicotine if they so choose to, and find means of getting it. But it is required on all nicotine products to have 18 or over labels on them, it just doesn't make a difference to teens who have friends or family get nicotine products for them. They were already doing this in the first place.

Kyle Lee
Kyle Lee

@Robert Pattinsion E liquids are all required to have only for sale to persons of 18 years of age or older on them. Nothing stopped teens from smoking actual cigarettes in the first place, so I really don't see the difference if they choose a healthier alternative. I do not support underage nicotine consumption, but they'd still be having people buy them regular cigarettes as it is anyway if it weren't for E-cigs. Teens using nicotine is nothing new, so you aren't making very good reasoning. Nothing stopped teens from getting regular cigarettes before.

Collin White
Collin White

Well said, and the other thing that bothers me about this article is how it shows that this is quickly becoming another subject where the Government wants to decide what's best for people rather than allowing people to decide what is best for themselves...

jackie williams
jackie williams

@Mark McG Thank you, finally i find the propylene glycol addressed. As for Spazmelda Whee, i think we can generally disregard GRAS, as they generally regard many questionable things as safe! I've been trying e cigs for the first time and i find they make my throat feel raw, which is why i started researching. Granted, i'm not inhaling the MANY other chemicals in cigarettes, but my hope is they will help me wean off of cigs period. Wish me luck!

Spazmelda Whee
Spazmelda Whee

Propylene glycol is considered generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and it is used as an humectant (E1520), solvent, and preservative in food and for tobacco products, as well as being the major ingredient in the liquid used in electronic cigarettes. It is also used in pharmaceutical and personal care products.[4] Propylene glycol is a solvent in many pharmaceuticals, including oral, injectable and topical formulations, such as for diazepam and lorazepam that are insoluble in water, use propylene glycol as a solvent in their clinical, injectable forms.[7]From Wikipedia and many other sources. Google 'propylene glycol GRAS'

Tabitha Guinn
Tabitha Guinn

@Benson Stein I use it as a safer alternative. Mentally if i tell myself I'm quitting smoking all together the ecigs aren't good enough and i end up smoking real cigs BUT if i just tell myself that i am not quitting but instead giving myself a healthier cheaper option then i do fine with the ecig.

Benson Stein
Benson Stein

@Thomas Knapp   I think even if e-cigs were found to be 100% safe, there would still be anti-smoke NAZI's ranting about them and furious that someone could legally enjoy one. 

Rebecca Betz
Rebecca Betz

Absolutely AGREE!!! I smoked for 26 years solid. I never tried to quit because I KNEW I wouldn't be able to succeed. My son made me angry enough to try his ecig...he never got it back, and I have not lit an actual cigarette since. That was January. I no longer have to use an inhaler, and can laugh without coughing. Food tastes great, and I don't smell like an ashtray anymore.

Benson Stein
Benson Stein

@Elaine Keller   Are these things seriously being marketed to help smokers quit? That is fairly moronic, since it is still giving people the caffeine.  I would think that they would be as hard to quit as cigarettes.  As for health, it's a no brainer that these things are healthier.

Kyle Lee
Kyle Lee

@bob pope Oh but caffeine and nicotine are very similar, except nicotine is far more addictive. They're both known to be "mostly harmless" by themselves, in small amounts. One key reason for being "mostly" harmless is for people with certain heart conditions, and pregnant women, but those same people should also avoid coffee and other forms of caffeine. In large amounts at once, caffeine and nicotine both could kill you or send you to the hospital. ...But then again, a lot of water in a short period of time could also kill you. It's all about toxicity levels, the more of it, the more harmful it could potentially become. ;)

Joe Aguilar
Joe Aguilar

@Ben Daines "...Beyond that, nothing else about them matters.."

"...not meant for inhalation specifically, but these should be no reason for them to cause any harm..."

See, these air quotes from YOUR OWN words can also doom you, mister. Your faulty defense as to why electronic cigarettes are beneficial really falls on deaf ears (especially much more so when as you have said it yourself...THERE IS NO LONG TERM DATA about them because they are being rushed and pushed to the market.  And to who are they being marketed?  Impressionable teens.  THAT is the crux of the article.  

It's not scare tactics.  It's facts.  

Robert Strahlendorf
Robert Strahlendorf

@Sam Clemens The logic of your last sentence is faulty. Here is a better one. If one promotes forcing people to get a prescription, then one is a fascist.

Robert Strahlendorf
Robert Strahlendorf

@Dan Miller Please, stick with the topic of e-cigs. Your going to make us look bad if you go off in a tangent. By us I mean those who want to keep the e-cig market free for adults.

Aaron Stark
Aaron Stark

@jackie williams

And yet, other reputable sources, such as  the CIR Expert Panel echo those conclusions.  You know, I don't smoke cigarettes nor have I ever tried an e-cig, but the more and more I read from the detractors, the more I sense they are grasping at straws and their arguments are, pardon the pun, just smoke and mirrors.

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