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E-Cigs' Inconvenient Truth: It's Much Safer to Vape


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I quit smoking, and drinking beer and other alcohol five years ago. Alcohol wasn't a problem but if I had a couple beers I would have to have a smoke. I was drinking every day anyway so good both ways. But my 3 pack a day habit was making me cough and very susceptible to allergies, which went away since I quit completely, despite second hand smoke from my friends outside, and over at my smoking in laws house.Despite gaining a few pounds I am very much completely done with smoking. Actually I never smoked. The cigarette smoked, I was just the sucker. :o;)


So why would I want to read the attached article? Nooo, not because I want to now use nicotine - I will never smoke, or use nicotine again. But my wife has been unable to quit, and since I was a hard case, and took a year of patches and effort to quit, I know that no one can help another quit. But my significant harassment of 43 years, who is also the love of my life, has to go outside in all kinds of weather. So when I saw that one of my techie buy sources direct from China, GearBest, that sells great gadgets very cheap, also sells what they call mods and atomizers and all the paraphernalia needed to "Vape."


I never got into vaping, but since it is always hard to buy the perfect small gift every year I decided to research it. Now don't get me wrong, I do not avoid smokers outside or do the fake cough to a smoker outside. I have friends who smoke around me outdoors or in their home and I tell them to go ahead, when I quit I had been smoking for 51 years and 1-2 packs for much of it and three packs a day in the 2000-2010 years. I had so much first hand smoke I am not worried or bothered by second hand smoke outside or in the home of a friend. But we don't smoke inside our house nor allow others to smoke inside it. My wife relegated us both to the outside, just before I quit.


First off I do not suggest these as a way to go back for any others who quit. I love not paying for what 3 packs a day would cost me today. She smokes a pack every couple of days, but still bad for her. She has a cheap vaping pen and I found that the smoke does not stink or intrude for me, but I was a heavy smoker since age 12 to age 58. I went to the local shop and had them blow the smoke in my face. No stink!


So I did a couple of weeks research and found the perfect gift for her. A full Mod kit, two rechargeable batteries and a charger for it. I won't go into detail here, it is in the article, but between the folks that want to quit and use them to stop inhaling the actual harmful tar, these are great. And they don't stink or mess up the house. So I can get her indoors in rain and winter without me or our electronics suffering for it. I am not suggesting that to anyone else. But then today I find this article so just for my friends who still smoke and haven't been able to kick it, these will give you your sense of smell back and not stink up your clothes and hair for us non-smokers to notice. I never realized how much a non smoker could smell the tobacco lingering. I spent about $65.00 on her gift hoping it would be better than smoking as I'd only heard the typical anecdotal opinions. I learned just enough to find the right gift.


Then I read the article and though long, for those of us with loved ones who are still addicted to nicotine, it may be as interesting to you as me. I am sure that I am not the only one with a spouse who smokes.




"The quixotic promise that have made e-cigs the subject of endless controversy — that smoking cessation and smoking as recreation can coexist — resonated with Walsh. After successfully making the switch, he was so enamored by the product that he left his job developing artificial intelligence in San Francisco, decamped to Michigan and launched Purebacco, a manufacturer of the flavored, nicotine-laced liquid that are battery-heated into an inhalable vapor inside e-cigs. With over 30 employees, satellite offices in San Francisco and London, and plans to expand into a 40,000-square-foot headquarters, Purebacco's growth is a microcosm of the industry as a whole, which is estimated to do $3.5 billion in sales this year. "There is so much anecdotal evidence out there supporting the idea that people like me have helped hundreds of thousands of smokers quit," says Walsh, who is known to colleagues as the High Priest of Vaping, a fitting nickname for an enigmatic scientist with a mane of blond dreadlocks who works long hours in his sleek laboratory. "Yet as an e-cig CEO, I'm not really supposed to say that, since current rules prohibit us from marketing our products as anything but another vice."


In August, when British health officials released what was billed as a "landmark review" of electronic cigarettes, Walsh savored a moment of vindication. Describing the devices in headline-grabbing language — "around 95 percent safer than smoking" — the study encouraged e-cigs to be labeled as an effective means of helping smokers curb and kick the deadly habit: a nicotine delivery system with the "potential to make a significant contribution to the endgame for tobacco," as the report boldly stated, that should be embraced as a public health breakthrough rather than shunned as a novel evil undermining the crusade against smoking. "It was what I've been preaching for years!" says Walsh. "Maybe we're seeing a shift where people like me don't sound so fringe and crazy."


In England, perhaps. In America, the dominant message regarding e-cigs is that they are a menace. They have been placed under similar restrictions as tobacco products in the U.S., despite the fact that they contain no tobacco, long understood to be the source of the carcinogens that make smoking the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. Campaigns by anti-smoking groups have successfully fostered the perception that the risks of e-cigs are interchangeable from ordinary cigarettes, and the mainstream media has largely followed in step, with much of the reporting on e-cigs focused on the sensational (exploding devices!) and the apocalyptic (worse than tobacco!). What makes this all particularly confounding is that most American public health officials agree with the core claim of the British report: namely, that puffing an e-cig is significantly less harmful than a tobacco cigarette. Maybe not a provocative 95 percent safer — the research remains spotty, open to interpretation, and e-cigs are too new to be the subject of any longitudinal studies — but at the very least free of the most pernicious toxins released when tobacco is burned. So why the reluctance to make this clear, when 480,000 Americans die from smoking each year?


Whatever the opinion it is an interesting read from Rolling Stone Magazine. (And no we don't smoke cannabis nor do valiums or other narcotics for pain or recreation, and never will until we find ourselves in Hospice, as we just went through with mom in August) The whole article is here: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/e-cigs-inconvenient-truth-its-much-safer-to-vape-20151221


It will be 78° here Christmas day!


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Derek, I salute you for having made it stick, and also for your concern for the health of your spouse! I smoked for 27 years and had about a 2 pack a day habit and while it has now been 28 years since we quit, it isn't a thing that anyone addicted to tobacco ever forgets. We quit together and so were able to lean on each-other,so it must have been more difficult with your spouse still smoking. Well done!


I do hope that the vape system helps your partner as it has been a good aid for our son. It may not be the perfect answer, but it clearly is less harmful than tobacco so I wish her all the best!

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i been trying for yrs to quit, come pretty close with vapor. after 2 1/2 months with/no butts the company changed the flavor i was doing good with, after that it was down hill. nowadays they say e-cigs are not as safe as they are thought to be. but still better than smoke.

i have cut down to just under a pk a day, approx 14/day, an yes beer or anything like that triggers it. then goes to a full pk a day.

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I too was a heavy smoker for many many years. I got to the point I could not take a shower with out smoking a cigarette. I have quit, started back up several times. Last time I went with the E Cig and I would go to sleep on the sofa with it in my mouth. Finally, I sid no more. It has been about a year now and so far so good.


I read an article the other day that stated the E- Cigs were giving people what is called popcorn lungs. It showed a picture and it wasn't pretty.

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i been trying for yrs to quit, come pretty close with vapor. ......................................

i have cut down to just under a pk a day, approx 14/day, an yes beer or anything like that triggers it. then goes to a full pk a day.

I know that for anyone to help you stop is of very limited value, but do want to tell you that I'm doing the best I can to support you. I really don't think that there is any one thing which helps everyone. For us, it was a group, stop smoking clinic that we discovered when we joined a gym because we had read that regular exercise would help us. About a month in we were ready to quit when the hospital run gym announced a stop smoking workshop, so we signed up. The gym manager had looked for the program with the highest success record and it was one called "Breathe Free" and run by the Seventh Day Adventist Church. We joined even though not members of the Adventists and found that this time it worked. That was in the fall of 1987, in the second year of their program. It is not a religious program in any way and they do not attempt to convert anyone to anything other than non-smokers. Since that was probably our 5th or 6th attempt, we now recommend it to others as worth a try. The current program is called Breathe Free 2. You may want to check it out.

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Wildman, and Ron, the popcorn lung scare was covered in the very in depth article. Some excerpts:


From early in the article:


"Whereas 84 percent of smokers believed e-cigs to be safer than ordinary cigarettes in 2010, by 2013 that figure had dropped to 63 percent. A study last year found that a third of people who had abandoned e-cigs and resumed smoking tobacco did so out of concern for the health effects of vaping.


The crux of the British report is that such misconceptions represent a public health failure, one that could be reversed by highlighting the comparative safety of e-cigs for current smokers, while making it clear that nonsmokers should steer clear of vaping. But the biggest hurdle for e-cigs in the U.S. is the very thing that makes them so appealing: by mimicking the hand-to-mouth ritual of smoking and delivering the same drug — nicotine — found in tobacco, they look and feel a whole lot like smoking. As a result, concerns about e-cigs center on whether encouraging people with a deadly habit to switch will rollback a decades-long trend of historically low smoking rates. Are e-cigs used by smokers to augment their habit rather than abstain? Could they prove to be a gateway toward "re-normalizing" tobacco smoking, especially among impressionable teens? Legitimate as such questions are, at this point they may be eclipsing the most pressing one of all: Is the United States, in applying the same tactics used to demonize smoking on a safer substitute, missing out on a chance to save the lives of millions of its citizens?"


But buried in the middle they mythbust the erroneous popcorn lung scare:


"Earlier this month, Harvard released a study suggesting at least one aspect of vaping might be as detrimental as traditional smoking. Researchers at the university found that 75 percent of flavored e-cigs contained a chemical called diacetyl, commonly used in artificial butter flavorings. While safe to eat, the dangers of inhaling diacetyl were revealed in the early 2000s, when workers at several popcorn factories came down with a condition that became known as "popcorn lung," an irreversible scarring of the lungs that causes shortness of breath and fits of coughing. The Harvard study led to the inevitable haunting headlines, some of which were testament to how little many in the media actually understand about the perils of tobacco smoking. "Flavored E-cigarettes May Be Worse For You Than Nicotine" declared Mother Jones, reinforcing the misguided notion that nicotine, present in all forms of vaping and tobacco smoking, is the leading scourge. While studies like Harvard's are critical to fully understanding e-cigs, they too often have the opposite effect. Tobacco cigarettes, for instance, have also long been known to contain diacetyl — at levels over 100 times those found in electronic cigarettes — yet earlier tobacco studies found that even these levels were not enough to cause popcorn lung in smokers.


"The Harvard study is a perfect example of something that happens over and over," says Michael Siegel, a physician and professor at Boston University. "It creates a scare by omitting a key piece of information, undermining the public's appreciation of the severe hazards of tobacco smoking and leading to perverse public health outcomes." Siegel, who studied under Glantz in San Francisco, has spent much of his career fighting tobacco companies: testifying against them in court, pushing for smoking bans in bars and restaurants, advocating for policies making it illegal to market cigarettes to youth. When e-cigs first started gaining popularity, he was skeptical, believing them to be little more than a product designed to mask the dangers of smoking. Today, however, he has become one of the most outspoken supporters of the idea that e-cigs can succeed where the crusade against smoking has come up short. Given that the current e-cig market is dominated by habitual smokers, Siegel calls the U.S. government's reluctance to allow them to be pitched as a safer alternative "irresponsible." "Even the worst case scenario — that a current pack a day smoker replaces a single cigarette with an e-cig — is better than where we are right now," he says. "All conclusive evidence shows that these are safer, so why aren't we encouraging smokers to make the shift? If we did, we'd be saving millions of lives and talking about the greatest public health moment of our generation."


As you can see from the above you'd be as susceptible to popcorn lung by breathing while eating buttered popcorn too if the levels were as dangerous as the concentrated exposure of the factory workers. Clearly not dangerous to breathe while eating popcorn or vaping at the same levels. Again they found that regular cigarettes had 100 times the levels of diacetyl found in E-Cig juices while vaping. Smokers don't get popcorn lung.


That is why I posted the article. I found it, with my medical Lab biochemistry background, very enlightening and gratifying to read right after I ordered the gift vape mod and thingamajig atomizer kit.


So armed with that info MC reread the article and you might find it helpful to counter the erroneous previous speculation about diacetyl and popcorn lung when put in perspective. Cigarettes have 100 times more diacetyl than vaping, yet popcorn lung isn't typically associated with smoking unless the smokers also work with much higher concentrations of diacetyl than can be found in normal cigarettes at 100 times higher concentrations than ape smoke. Those higher concentrations can only be found in places and activities like in the popcorn butter factory before they knew the cause.


MC I find the pats on the back only work for the folks smoking as a confrontational device and barrier. Not me. Reformed smokers be they supportive or smoking Nazis trying to "help" with carrots and/or sticks only irritated me. As a counselor I know that no one can instill the will, nor could help me find the will to quit. No one who quits for another, be they family they want to be there for, or to get away from the preachy patronizing type, especially the drama kings and queens, who offer help not asked for. They served to neither help nor delay my actual quit for good day. They were impotent, and I think those types know it. My approach is to leave smokers alone. My wife wouldn't have dared to try to manipulate me with support or harassment to quit because he smoked too. And I questioned the agenda of reformed smokers who patronized me. Just like I am not their daddy they aren't mine. When asked I will just tell how I quit if asked only, and then not in a patronizing way.


If the concept of quitting for others/patronization was any help at all then we would all relapse once no one noticed. Few ask, and when another is asked I don't try to barge in and gang up on the smoker. My quitting has no bearing on them quitting. Just like my quitting does nothing to help you quit.


I am one of the strong ones with little that can get me upset or cause me stress. Life is too easy for most of us. I make decisions and stick to them. I quit once while active duty for 18 months with Nicorette and relapsed when the Doc was rotating back to the states and pulled my one year scrip. I was down to one a day. He was wrong to pull it and I was wrong to think I could not make it without my little friend, Nicorette. I never hid my smoking. If someone came in my house we would usually smoke outside, and a few times under the kitchen vent hood which I later found out when I quit was no good. (Sorry anyone I did that to) I learned two things from that. One that regardless of how long I am quit, one cigarette for old times sake or curiosity will lead me back to my then level of two packs a day within a week. Two, that since it took me another 15 years to work up a permanent quit, that if I manage to get detoxed for a week or two from the inhalation and habit part, that no matter how long it took, to stay the course with the full knowledge I would wean off eventually. I used patches this time because the habit is the tough part for me. I hate patches. They come off in the shower and they cause some skin irritation and the adhesive can be a pain too. Instead of doing 18 months as before with Nicorette this time I quit the patches from detesting them as the PITA they are.


I think they, whoever "they" are today, who think they have the right to impose restrictions on the freedoms of others because they believe differently need to wake up. I didn't quit for or because of others. I quit for me.


So unless my wife quits for her, which I doubt because her mom just died of cancer and smoked right to the end, and she is still smoking, I won't be her tormentor. Gawd I would have divorced her if she had done that to me! But she likes the idea of the Vape kit as the one she bought years ago was a little one with no temp control, and this one in the videos showed it was a completely different deal. I doubt she will quit because of the present, or even use it only and still smoke cigarettes. Since I have been there, I make the gift with no strings attached or unrealistic expectations. See, what good for the Goose is good for the Gander in my life. I think it's uncomfortable smoking outside and we talk less. So the vape is a good solution if she likes it. If not, no heat from me. We talk everything through, and respect each other. We've been happy spoiling each other for 43 years, why stop now?


And trust me. The vape smoke would not be dangerous as second hand smoke to a non-smoker. And as a first hand sucker of toxic smoke, laden with contaminants, it sure isn't going to hurt me after decades of first hand smoke.


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Been smoke free for 8+ years. Did the Chantix deal. Let me tell you, in the Chantix commercial when they say you may have "Vivid" dreams and confused reality THEY MEAN IT!

But it worked. I'm grateful for it. It worked when nothing else would. I could chew nicotine gum or wear patches and be fine, but had to have something to break the physical addiction. Lungs didn't care if they got smoked or not as long as the brain got its boost.

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