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Ban e-cigs from workplaces

Published: 7/26/14 @ 12:00

Appleton (Wisc.) Post-Crescent: There’s a lot we don’t know about electronic cigarettes. There’s even a lot the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t know about them.

The FDA has proposed regulations that would set an age limit for buying them and require them to have a warning label about nicotine addiction. The agency also has done a study that found half of the e-cigarettes tested contained cancer-causing substances.

Here in Wisconsin, we have a ban on selling them to minors, enacted in 2012. The state also has an indoor workplace ban on tobacco cigarettes — and a question about whether it should include e-cigarettes.

Based on what we know about them — and more on what we don’t know about them — the ban should be expanded to include e-cigarettes.

Billed as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes, especially for those trying to quit smoking, e-cigarettes are devices that have a battery and an atomizer. They heat liquid that’s infused with nicotine and users inhale the vapors.

What’s in them varies — and ingredients aren’t required on their labels. So, whether those ingredients are harmful to users is a mystery.

That’s a problem for users but — like using tobacco or many other harmful but legal substances — it’s the user’s choice.

Second-hand vapor

But what kinds of vapors are released into the air around users — call it second-hand vapor — is a public problem. And that’s just as much of a mystery.

As Wendy Vander Zanden, executive director of Community Action for Healthy Living, told Post-Crescent Media, “We don’t know what people are being exposed to. It’s probably cleaner (than cigarette smoke), but when we compare it to clean air, there’s a huge difference.”


Posted by frparis (anonymous) on July 26, 2014 at 6:05 p.m.

The reality is that at this point nobody really knows how e-cigs can affect health. There is no real knowledge about how bad e-cigs are. All we know for sure is that they are far from being as bad as combustion cigarettes. Researchers are working on the matter but studies are often controversial depending on who is financing them. It reminds me about the Wi-Fi issue.

On a behavioural point of view, there is no evidence that e-cigs are more or less addictive than cigarettes, and even less evidence that when you start vaping you end up smoking. All studies so far are biased because they are based on vapers' declarations, nothing is actually measured. This is why applying Quantified Self techniques to vaping would definitely give us objective and unbiased data to analyse and affect policy making in a knowledgeable way, independently from lobbies.

Three French startups are working on connecting vapers to their smartphone to collect data. Smokio (http://us.smokio.com/)) and Kosmo (http://getkosmo.com/?lang=en)) are the first companies to provide connected e-cigs. The problems they are facing though are the price and the rapidly evolving e-cig technology. The third player, MyVaps (http://igg.me/at/myvaps/x)) has taken a different path by developing a module that fits between the atomizer and the battery, and connects any e-cig to a smartphone.

It might take a while before these companies collect enough information on vapers' behaviour but when they do, it will be very interesting to know when, where, how long and how much people vape.

Posted by 76Ytown (anonymous) on July 26, 2014 at 6:33 p.m.

Put this into perspective.

For years, the tobacco industry promoted cigarettes, at one time even saying the were healthy! As any long term smoker will tell you, it is VERY difficult to quit. Many smokers try everything - cold turkey, programs, nicotine patch, wellbutrin, hypnosis with a 92% failure rate. Smokers are finding the e-cigs are an INSTANT cure for their habit, often giving up cigarettes on the very day they start using e-cigs. They can vape with or without nicotine, or slowly reduce the amount of nicotine down to zero when they're ready.

The giant tobacco industry and pharma aren't interested in your health, they are only interested in your wallet. They and the FDA are trying to put a stop to the e-cig business. Well, actually tobacco industry is now venturing into that market. but they continue to try to say that e-cigs will harm children because they contain nicotine which is highly addictive - no duh! Or they say they have contain chemicals. So does most of the food we consume. Who's using e-cigs? The vast majority are those that were already addicted to regular cigarettes.

According to the American Lung Association, There are approximately 600 ingredients in cigarettes. When burned, they create more than 7,000 chemicals. At least 69 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, and many are poisonous. http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/abou...

E-liquid typically consists of four main ingredients: propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine and flavoring. Some without nicotine.

Again...follow the money.