Pro/Con | From the CEO of E+E
PREFACE: Vaporizers and Vaping Concentrates have not been approved by the FDA and are currently unregulated by the Federal Government. Legally Eco+Eny cannot – nor is making any health claims – in regards to the safety or the efficacy of Vaporizing in general and in particular the use of Vape products as a smoking cessation aides. The following editorial is based solely on personal experiences and opinions and should be considered as such.
Dear Smokers, X Smokers and Vapers:
As 30 year plus smoker I know you are as skeptical about the long-term health effects of vaporizing (any substance) as I am. That said, after careful consideration and my own research, and the input of other smokers, I believe that – in the absence of clear government regulations and standards – both logic and common sense dictate that for now Vaping clearly lands on the lesser of two evils side of this debate. To be clear, I don't believe that ingesting anything into the lungs other than oxygen is good for you, but it seems apparent to me that anyone that digs into this topic will conclude that Vaping is a far better short-term choice than continuing to smoke cigarettes.
Here's why I believe this: If it looks like a Duck, walks like a Duck, and quacks like a Duck it must be a Duck? No. Not Necessarily. Vaping is not smoking. And Vaporizers are not cigarettes. By any definition vaporizing (any substance) is not the same as smoking or combustion. And contrary to the way that many opponents craft their arguments against vaping and eCigs – the fact remains that vapor is not the same thing as smoke. I also believe that it's important to note that both the Pharma and Tobacco industries have a lot to lose if the vaporizing industry continues to grow at current rates. And it's unfortunate for all consumers and taxpayers that this burgeoning industry is in the midst’s of aggressive lobbying efforts and factually questionable, well-crafted advertising and social media campaigns – primarily funded by both the previously mentioned industries – which aim to undermine the potential wide-spread health and financial benefits of this emerging science. This is both troubling for tobacco smokers who want to quit and in particular for the users of very expensive Nicotine based tobacco cessation products (patches, gums, etc.) as these products continue to have very low smoking cessation success rates (as they only address the Nicotine aspect of the equation) while generating large profits for their manufacturers.
The products that most responsible Vape manufactures use, in particular Nicotine, are FDA approved for human ingestion. Obviously there needs to be additional research done on the long-term health effects of Vaporizing food grade products (as the chemical composition changes are currently unknown when they are vaped). But what we do know about the chemicals used in concentrates – is that according to the FDA – most are considered reasonably safe for human ingestion. Nicotine has been approved by the FDA for over the counter use for decades and the research on Nicotine and its health risks are both comprehensive and thorough. The problem with Nicotine is that it is an addictive substance – which sounds very scary (and it is very scary for a cigarette smoker) – but so is caffeine (which is not so scary for a coffee drinker). The reality with Nicotine is that outside of withdrawal symptoms the adverse effects of Nicotine on the body are not much different than those of coffee or energy drinks. Another key issue with Nicotine is that many people believe that it causes cancers (because of it's association with cigarettes, no doubt) but there is no compelling evidence that I have seen that supports this – and the FDA apparently agrees or it would not be available over the counter. It is the byproducts of tobacco combustion that causes cancers. Not the Nicotine. And the same holds true for the other products that are used in producing most Vape concentrates – it stands to reason that If producers only uses FDA approved bases and flavorings – that that's a very good starting point given where we are at in terms of Vaping research. As a side note many FDA approved Asthma inhalers use the same base ingredient as most eCig producers use in their vaporizing concentrate bases. The only difference being that inhalers atomize the solutions and Vaporizers turn the solutions into a gas (smaller particles).
Vaporizers are a gateway device and will lead to increased cigarette smoking by Teens. I'm going to write more on this interesting and critically important subject in the future. But for now I'll just say that responsible businesses self regulate and if it's against the law for teenagers to Vape – as it clearly should be – that Vaping products need to be regulated just like all adult products including; alcohol, tobacco and firearms are. Again, Federal regulators need to get involved, but in a reasonable and not a reactive or political way.
To Summarize. As a 30-year+ cigarette smoker who has quit for five years (once) and five minutes (more times than I can count) I believe it's important to state again that I understand that the Jury is still out on the long-term health effects of 'vaporizing' the combined Glycerin, Flavorings and Nicotine, (or THC and/or Cannabinoids for Cannabis users) in any medium or form – be it liquid, wax or dried or cured plant matter. But when an industry is moving this fast and the potential health benefits for anyone who currently smokes cigarettes or other combustionable substance are so apparent – the logic remains impossible to ignore. As a relatively intelligent smoker (an oxymoron for sure – smile) I'm well aware of the health risks and expense of cigarettes. Furthermore, I have also struggled with quitting for decades and at this point knowing what I know and don't know I'd rather 'vape' any day – and I look forward to Nationwide standards that do not favor, or monopolize through lobbyist created regulations, the Tobacco and Pharma industries at the expense of personal choice, public health, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Ps. Your feedback and comments (both pro and con) are appreciated. Please vote and let our Representatives know your opinions on eCigs and Vaping.