Inquisitr: 7 Reasons E-Cigarettes Are Bad

By Dieter Holger
E-cigarettes, also known as electronic cigarettes, have become a popular alternative to smoking the real deal, but the pros and cons of turning to this futuristic alternative are still under debate. Are e-cigarettes really any better than smoking a cigarette? Here are seven reasons e-cigarettes pose dangers to our health.
The effects of e-cigarettes are nowhere near as well-documented as cigarettes.
The e-cigarette industry is already worth billions of dollars, but there is nowhere near as much information on e-cigarettes as tobacco products. This should raise alarms, as the tobacco industry lived under a veil of scientific obscurity for decades until the detrimental health effects of cigarettes became well-known. Many people think e-cigarettes are a safer alternative, but that belief remains scientifically unproven, and evidence continues to come out saying e-cigarettes have toxic effects.
E-cigarettes contain plenty of cancerous chemicals.

By smoking e-cigarette vapor, people hope to avoid the cancerous chemicals inhaled from burning tobacco. Yet, e-cigarettes carry their fair share of toxic chemicals, too. Here’s a summary from the American Lung Association.

“In 2009, the FDA conducted lab tests and found detectable levels of toxic cancer-causing chemicals, including an ingredient used in antifreeze, in two leading brands of e-cigarettes and 18 various cartridges. A 2014 study found that e-cigarettes with a higher voltage level have higher amounts of formaldehyde, a carcinogen. It is urgent for FDA to begin its regulatory oversight of e-cigarettes, which would require ingredient disclosure to FDA, warning labels and youth access restrictions.”

Also, a 2013 study from the German Cancer Institute detected 8 different toxic chemicals in various e-cigarette liquids. And because the e-cigarette industry remains largely unregulated, the chemicals found in e-cigarettes aren’t uniform across the market. Some products may be less toxic than others, but without enough research or regulation it’s hard to know.
E-cigarettes are just as addictive as smoking tobacco.
E-cigarettes and tobacco products have the same highly addictive drug: nicotine. E-cigarettes derive nicotine from traditional cigarettes, delivering the same drug in a smokeless (vapor) form. In July, Daily Mail reported on a study by the American University of Beirut and the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products which demonstrated e-cigarettes contained highly addictive forms of nicotine. E-cigarettes might not have the same carcinogenic materials as cigarettes (like tar), but its nicotine still fosters addiction.
E-cigarettes have negative effects on lungs.
A supposed benefit of e-cigarettes is inhaling vapor instead of smoke. However, e-cigarette vapor is turning out to have a destructive effect on lungs. A recent July analysis by the University of Athens claimed that “using an e-cigarette caused an instant increase in airway resistance that lasted for 10 minutes.” Put simply, smoking e-cigarettes unhealthily constrains your airways.
Additionally, a study published in May by Indiana University showed that even nicotine-free e-cigarette vapor had damaging effects on the endothelial cells of the lungs. Endothelial cells protect the lungs from infections, so damaging them can’t be good for your immune system.
E-cigarettes won’t help you quit.
A lot of people vape e-cigarettes because they think it will help them kick their addiction. But recent research, including a comprehensive study by UC San Francisco, show that e-cigarettes don’t provide any extra help in quitting smoking. After surveying 849 smokers, the researchers found that users of e-cigarettes weren’t more likely to quit smoking.
“We found that there was no difference in the rate of quitting between smokers who used an e-cigarette and those who did not,” said head researcher Dr. Pamela Ling, a professor at the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at UC San Francisco.
E-cigarettes might create the equivalent of secondhand smoke.
Even if you don’t smoke, avoiding smokers is good for your health. But the American Lung Association point out e-cigarettes can also create the equivalent of toxic secondhand smoke, secondhand vapor.

“Also unknown is what the potential harm may be to people exposed to secondhand emissions from e-cigarettes. Two initial studies have found formaldehyde, benzene and tobacco-specific nitrosamines (all carcinogens) coming from those secondhand emissions. Other studies have shown that chemicals exhaled by users also contain formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and other potential irritants. While there is a great deal more to learn about these products, it is clear that there is much to be concerned about, especially in the absence of FDA oversight.”

E-cigarettes could be a gateway into tobacco products for youth.
The tobacco industry spends millions of dollars advertising to youth, and it turns out e-cigarettes might be helping convince young people to smoke nicotine. Here’s a summary of studies from the American Lung Association.

“The American Lung Association is concerned about e-cigarettes becoming a gateway to regular cigarettes, especially in light of the aggressive industry marketing tactics targeted at youth—including the use of candy flavors and the glamorization of e-cigarette use. Studies are showing a dramatic increase in usage of e-cigarettes, especially among youth. For the first time ever, a national study released in December 2014 found e-cigarette use among teens exceeds traditional cigarette smoking. The study also found that e-cigarette use among 8th and 10th graders was double that of traditional cigarette smoking. CDC studies have also shown e-cigarette use among high school students increased by 61 percent from 2012 to 2013.”

Another study, conducted this August by the University of Southern California, found that teenagers who try e-cigarettes are more likely to smoke tobacco. The researchers sampled 2,500 9th graders who had never had smoked a cigarette, finding those who tried vaping e-cigarettes were 23 percent more likely to smoke a tobacco cigarette over those who had never tried an e-cig. On top of that, one-fourth of the surveyed youth who tried e-cigarettes admitted to smoking tobacco cigarettes within the last 6 months.

FDA issues warning letters to 3 tobacco companies over "additive-free" claims

Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to the makers of Winston, Natural Spirit and Nat Sherman cigarettes over their “additive-free” and “natural” label claims.
The agency issued the warnings to ITG Brands LLC, Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company Inc. and Sherman’s 1400 Broadway N.Y.C. Ltd. The issue over the claims is that they may lead consumers to believe the products pose a lower risk. That claim has to be scientifically proven.
In a statement, the FDA said it has determined that the products under the warning letter need what is called a “modified risk tobacco product order” before they can be marketed in that way. It has not issued any orders for modified-risk products to the market and this is the first time it is using its authority to take action against “natural” or “additive-free” claims.
The companies have 15 days to respond with a plan or dispute the warnings.
There was no immediate response from the companies.
Imperial Tobacco Group Plc. owns ITG Brands, which also makes Kool cigarettes and USA Gold. Reynolds American Inc. owns Santa Fe Natural Tobacco.
The warning comes several days after a large group of anti-tobacco organizations sent the FDA a letter urging the agency to enforce regulations against Santa Fe Natural Tobacco over marketing claims. That letter, sent on Monday, was signed by 29 groups including the American Heart Association, American Legacy Foundation and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
The anti-tobacco group’s letter alleged that Natural American Spirit’s advertising in magazines such as Sports Illustrated and Vanity Fair violated the Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.
“The potential for irreparable damage to public health from the marketing of tobacco products with modified risk claims is well illustrated by the industry’s years of deceptive advertising of ‘light’ and ‘low-tar’ cigarettes,” the letter stated.

LA Times: $2 more for cigarettes? California tobacco tax proposal revived in special session

A proposal to raise the tobacco tax by $2 per pack of cigarettes in California was given new life Wednesday when legislation was announced as part of a special session on healthcare.
Supporters say the new bill has a better chance of passing than one that stalled in the regular session because the $1.5 billion raised by such a tax could help the state pay for healthcare costs for low-income residents, a key goal of the special session.
Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) said he will introduce the tobacco tax, noting that California’s current 87-cent-per-pack tobacco tax makes the state 33rd in the nation, far below New York, which charges a tax of $4.35 a pack. There is also a $1.01 federal tax on cigarettes.
A rally for the proposal was held Wednesday next to the Capitol by the Save Lives California coalition, made up of groups including the California Medical Assn., the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Assn. and the Service Employees International Union.
The coalition said that if the Legislature fails to muster the two-thirds vote to pass the tax, it will put the tax proposal on the 2016 ballot.
“We know raising the tobacco tax has been proven to prevent and reduce smoking, especially among young people,” Pan told the nearly 100 people at the rally. He said 40,000 people die each year in California from tobacco-related diseases, and treating such illnesses costs taxpayers $18.1 billion annually.
A Field Poll released Wednesday indicates a $2 tobacco tax to pay for healthcare costs is supported by 67% of Californians.
The tax is one of several anti-tobacco bills being considered during the special session, including one raising the smoking age to 21 and another restricting the use of electronic cigarettes in public.
“The special session is an opportunity for lawmakers to take long-overdue action to prevent young people from falling prey to the No. 1 cause of preventable death in California: tobacco addiction,” said Claudia Alvarez, an SEIU delegate and family medicine resident at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
Those in the audience at the rally included Jennifer Kent, the governor’s appointee as director of the California Department of Health Care Services.
“To the extent we have an ongoing need for revenues we’re obviously willing to consider both this tax and any other revenue sources,” Kent said in an interview afterward. “We’re here and interested and willing and able to partner” with the coalition.
She said there is a strong link between tobacco use and illnesses covered by Medi-Cal.
The regular-session tobacco tax bill was opposed by groups including the Cigar Assn. of America and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., which argued it creates a regressive tax on a declining revenue source.
“At a time when state revenue has recovered and the governor says there is even a surplus, there is no reason for a tax increase,” said Jon Coupal, president of the taxpayers group.
Proponents of the bill estimate 295,000 smokers will kick the habit the first year if the tax goes up $2 per pack, and many others will not start smoking to begin with.

Reminder: Smoking Hookah For An Hour Is Like Smoking 100 Cigarettes

Opinion: Chamber's tobacco tax stance flawed

I used to believe smoking was just a part of life. My parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, neighbors, doctors, nurses, teachers, etc. all smoked around me as I was growing up.
For years, I worked in bars and restaurants where people smoked. The more they smoked, the more they drank. The more they drank, the more they spent. The more they spent, the more I made. Simple.
I even participated in a public service announcement urging people to vote against banning smoking in bars in restaurants many years ago. I would be a hypocrite if I did not disclose that information.
I was dead wrong.
State Chamber executive Andy Peterson’s opinion piece in The Forum (Sunday, July 12) offering a rationale that it’s “free enterprise” for the Greater ND Chamber of Commerce’s stance on lobbying against a cigarette tax increase prompted me to research what this stance may be costing his members.
North Dakota has the sixth-lowest cigarette tax per pack in the United States, $0.44 per pack. Montana, $1.70 per pack. South Dakota, $1.53 per pack. Minnesota, $2.90 per pack. Canada, $2.80 per pack.
Statistically, there are more than 440,000 workers in North Dakota (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor).
I couldn’t find exact numbers but let’s say, conservatively, half of those workers, 220,000, work for the 1,037 member businesses listed on the Chamber’s website. Four of the top five largest employers in the state are also members of the Greater ND Chamber of Commerce. The fifth employer was not disclosed.
The average cost to a business per employee who smokes is $5,816 a year, per a 2013 Ohio State University study. A Gallup poll from 2013, “estimates that 19 percent of workers still smoke and that workers who smoke cost the U.S. economy $278 billion annually in lost productivity due to absenteeism and extra health care costs. This figure is based on an analysis of the cost of extra missed workdays due to poor health, partial absenteeism due to smoke breaks, and additional health care costs compared with workers who do not smoke.”
So let’s say, conservatively, 41,800 workers (220,000 x 19 percent) employed by the Greater ND Chamber businesses still smoke. That is potentially costing these member businesses $243,108,800 ($5,816 x 41,800).
The most recent revenue numbers I could find from cigarette sales in North Dakota was $68,951,521 for 2009.
Now I’m just beginning my graduate studies in business, but it appears it would be in the Greater ND Chamber’s best interest to encourage a cigarette tax increase.
Not only would an increase in the cigarette tax raise revenue for some of Peterson’s members, it would decrease the amount of money most if not all of his member businesses are losing out on paying for smoking- related costs.

Opinion: Does the ND State Chamber side with the U.S. Chamber on Opposing Tobacco Prevention?

By: Dr. Eric Johnson, Grand Forks
President, Tobacco Free North Dakota
If you have not read the June 30, 2015 New York Times article titled, “U.S. Chamber of Commerce Works Globally to Fight Antismoking Measures”, please do so. While we acknowledge there is, at times, a disconnect between national, state and local organizations such as the Chambers of Commerce organizations, I couldn’t help but recognize some similarities between Chamber international efforts as detailed in the article referenced above and the actions of the Greater North Dakota Chamber here in our state.
Even as an active member of the Healthy North Dakota Summit, a public health initiative established by then-Governor John Hoeven and whose statewide plan identifies strategies to “support North Dakotans who make healthy choices – in schools, workplaces, senior centers, homes and anywhere people live, learn, work and play,” the GNDC has not only been absent in supporting tobacco prevention efforts in our state, it has actively opposed them.
With the goal to “reduce tobacco use in North Dakota” on paper in their statewide plan and in mind, we are troubled to see efforts of the Chambers of Commerce – whether internationally or here at the state level – combat proven prevention strategies that save both lives and money.
We call on North Dakotans to demand better and challenge the GNDC to accept what the numbers have long confirmed – that comprehensive tobacco prevention practices are fiscally responsible to taxpayers, health care systems, and ultimately, our workforce and employers in the business community.
Click here to read Mr. Andy Peterson’s letter to the editor in response.
And click here to read Dr. Eric Johnson’s corrections to the inaccuracies of Mr. Peterson’s letter.

AARC Times: Cigarette Smoke Makes MRSA Stronger

From the AARC Times, July Issue, Pg. 49

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is already an aggressive bacteria.  Now researchers from the University of California San Diego find that cigarette smoke just ups the ante.  MRSA bacteria exposed to cigarette smoke in their study were more resistant to reactive oxygen species and antimicrobial peptides, as well as better at sticking to and invading human cells grown in the lab.  In a mouse modes, MRSA bacteria exposed to cigarette smoke were more likely to survive, and they also led to pneumonias with a higher mortality rate.

The investigators believe cigarette smoke strengthens MRSA bacteria by altering their cell walls in such a way that they are better able to repel antimicrobial peptides and other charged particles.  “Cigarette smokers are known to be more susceptible to infectious diseases.  Now we have evidence that cigarette smoke-induced resistance in MRSA may be an additional contributing factor, “ study author Laura E Crotty Alexander, MD was quoted as saying.

Reuters: FDA seeks data on e-cigarettes after surge in poisoning cases

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it is seeking additional data and comments on liquid nicotine as it considers warning the public about the dangers of its exposure amid a rise in electronic cigarette use.

The agency has evaluated data and science on the risks, especially to infants and children, from accidental exposure to nicotine and liquid nicotine that is used in e-cigarettes. (

More Americans are using e-cigarettes and other vaporizing devices than a year ago, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed in June.


The surge in e-cigarette use comes as conventional cigarette smoking has declined in the United States to about 19 percent of adults, prompting tobacco companies such as Altria Group Inc, Philip Morris International Inc and Reynolds American Inc to rush into the e-cigarette market.

(Graphic on global market:

Recent increases in calls and visits to poison control centers and emergency rooms involving liquid nicotine poisoning have raised public health concerns, FDA said.

The health regulator is now considering if it should warn the public about the dangers of nicotine exposure and require that some tobacco products be sold in child-resistant packaging.

Among high school students, e-cigarette use jumped to 13.4 percent in 2014 from 4.5 percent in 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cigarette use over the same period fell to 9.2 percent from 12.7 percent, the largest year-over-year decline in more than a decade.

(Reporting By Samantha Kareen Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)

The Sacremento Bee: California cigarette tax backers commit $2 million


Hoping to influence a special health care budget session, a coalition of labor and medical groups has put $2 million into an initiative to raise California’s tobacco tax and use the revenue to fund health care for low-income Californians.

The money flowed from a coalition of groups that include SEIU California State Council – a union umbrella group whose members include thousands of health care workers – the California Medical Association, the California Dental Association, the American Cancer Society and groups promoting heart and lung health.

Their twin ballot initiatives would impose a $2-per-pack tax on cigarettes to fund health programs that include smoking prevention and Medi-Cal, California’s health insurance program for low-income residents.

The money is another move in an ongoing political fight over Medi-Cal reimbursement rates.

A similar coalition of medical and labor groups has pushed to have California increase how much it pays doctors and other providers, saying existing rates are making it hard to obtain health care. Some of the cigarette tax revenue would flow into a new fund that could be used to augment Medi-Cal provider rates.

“We are serious about increasing these rates and improving access and keeping California healthy,” said Laphonza Butler, president of SEIU California.

Proponents have yet to decide which ballot measure they would pursue – one of the two would tax electronic cigarettes – but they will be able to begin collecting signatures soon.

A Senate bill to boost the tax cleared committees but still awaits a floor vote, a dubious proposition given that it would need votes from Republicans unlikely to back a new tax. Outside groups often float ballot initiatives as a way to pressure legislators: pass the bill or we will go directly to voters.

“We strongly support securing a legislative remedy that’s in the best interest of Californians, but we are ready and willing to go to the ballot if necessary,” said Mike Roth, a spokesman for the campaign.

The $2 million announcement coincides with Gov. Jerry Brown convening lawmakers for a special budget session to deal with Medi-Cal’s finances. It is “yet to be determined” if an agreement to raise reimbursement rates would lead the coalition to drop the tobacco tax initiatives, Roth said.

Advocates have lost the tax fight at the ballot before, in 2006 and most recently in 2012, after being vastly outspent by a tobacco industry intent on defeating Proposition 29.

Tobacco companies donated tens of thousands of dollars directly to lawmakers last election cycle. The Legislature is considering a number of tobacco-related bills this year: one would raise the age to purchase tobacco to 21; one would treat e-cigarettes like conventional cigarettes; and another would ban major-league baseball players from chewing tobacco at California ballparks.

MINNPOST: Proposed Minneapolis tobacco licensing changes will help curb youth smoking

By Jan Malcolm | 06/19/15

Imagine a future when tobacco is no longer the leading cause of preventable death and disease. To make this vision a reality, we must prevent more young people from getting hooked by deadly tobacco products. The Minneapolis City Council is poised to do just that by considering changes to the licensing ordinance to restrict the sale of all flavored tobacco (other than menthol) to adult-only tobacco stores and set minimum price limits for cigars. These measures strike at the heart of the tobacco industry’s strategy to sell their products to kids: flavoring and price.

While Big Tobacco is supposed to be prohibited from marketing to kids, it finds many ways around that ban. Tobacco executives know that unless they get to kids before they reach their 20s they’ve lost a customer. Documents released during the tobacco trials of the 1990s reveal how deliberately tobacco companies target young people. On the witness stand, the chairman of the Liggett & Myers Tobacco Co. said, “If you are really and truly not going to sell to children, you are going to be out of business in 30 years.” A Lorillard executive wrote that he wanted to exchange research data with Life Savers to figure out what tastes kids want. And a marketing plan from U.S. Smokeless Tobacco showed a deliberate strategy to start users on sweet flavors, then “graduate” them to plain tobacco.

Candy and fruit flavors

The appeal of flavoring to young people is the reason the FDA banned cigarettes in flavors other than menthol in 2009. Unfortunately, products such as little cigars, cigarillos, chew, e-cigarettes and others are still widely available in candy and fruit flavors such as bubble gum, grape and gummy bear – flavors that clearly appeal to youth. These flavored products are for sale in more than 250 stores throughout Minneapolis alone, and they are easy for children to purchase. One-third of Minneapolis boys under 18 report buying tobacco from a convenience store or gas station.

Research shows that young people mistakenly believe that flavored tobacco products are less dangerous than other tobacco products. In fact, they are just as dangerous, with the same health risks of cancer, heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Candy and fruit flavored tobacco products just mask the harsh taste and feel of tobacco.

Nearly 20 percent of Minnesota high school students have tried a water pipe or hookah, and almost all shisha (hookah tobacco) is flavored. More than 25 percent of Minnesota high school students have used an e-cigarette, and most e-cigarette liquid is flavored. More than 35 percent of Minnesota high school students report that they have tried flavored cigars, cigarillos or little cigars at some point in their lives. In fact, kids are now twice as likely as older people to be cigar smokers. Almost 20 percent of Minneapolis 12th-graders say they smoke cigar products like cigarillos regularly.

Young people known to be price sensitive

Nearly 75 percent of Minneapolis tobacco retailers currently sell cigars and cigarillos, many for less than a dollar. The proposed changes to our city’s tobacco licensing ordinance would set a minimum price of $2.60 for each cigar. Research shows that young people are very sensitive to price increases and are more likely to just quit using a product they can’t afford than adults are.

Flavored tobacco restrictions and price minimum requirements have been successfully implemented in other communities around the country – and right here in Minnesota. No one wants our young people to face a lifetime of addiction and other health problems. We know that policies that restrict access to flavored tobacco and raise tobacco prices keep kids from starting to smoke and help them to quit.

Support the proposed changes to the Minneapolis tobacco licensing ordinance. Stand up for our kids against Big Tobacco.

Jan Malcolm is the vice president of public affairs for Allina Health. She served as Minnesota state health commissioner from 1999 to 2003. Malcolm lives in Minneapolis.