California e-cigarette regulations may be headed into dark territory. The California Department of Public Health has declared electronic cigarettes to be a public health hazard. The Department has issued a report saying that e-cigarettes produce cancer causing chemicals and hook users on nicotine.
There is a history of e-cig opponents creating their own facts, manipulating data or only disclosing the data that would seem to support the alarmist conclusion bellowed out in scary headlines. To put it bluntly, most anti-electronic cigarette positions are based on lies. Seldom do the headlines hold up under any scrutiny.
Norman Mailer once said “Prevarication, like honesty, is reflexive, and soon becomes a sturdy habit, as reliable as truth.” The strategy of ecig opponents has been and remains to keep repeating the same tired arguments with the hope that they become accepted without question.
Health Officer Ron Chapman argued that new generations will become nicotine addicts because of e-cigs. This talking point seems to be gaining momentum despite the fact that actual survey data does not justify the alarmism.
The report went on to say “Without action, it is likely that California’s more than two decades of progress to prevent and reduce traditional tobacco use will erode as e-cigarettes re-normalize smoking behavior.” Again, the data shows that non-smokers are not vaping.
Ron Chapman also said “As we have done with other important outbreaks or epidemics, we are taking this formal step of warning Californians about the health risks of e-cigarettes,” said Dr. Ron Chapman, State Health Officer and director of the California Department of Public Health.
So, the urgent, pressing problem and threat is coming from e-cigarettes? How can this position be justified given current, real world realities affecting the lives of people right now?
What about the people dying from smoking today? Smoking will take 40,000 Californians away from their families this year. Imagine any other possible California health issue that claimed 40,000 lives per year. A state of emergency would be declared and health officials would be looking for immediate solutions. Why do they behave as though the fight to reduce tobacco harm has been won? It makes no sense whatsoever.
Seeing e-cigarettes as the problem defies reason. Those 40,000 people need something now and they take no solace in the fact that if we simply limit the options of smokers and force them further to the fringe then California Department of Public Health may reduce smoking stats even further in the future. That is the targeted goal according to the scathing, misleading report on e-cigarettes.
Reduction targets are excellent but the true stats that California Public Health should be concerned about is the number of people that are being damaged by tobacco in the present tense.
California has reduced smoking rates to somewhere in the neighborhood of 12%. That is amazing and worthy of applause. The last thing anyone wants is to glorify or encourage smoking. The damage and loss has been profound and we need to work together toward a healthier society.
Finding solutions to a problem that currently claims a shocking mortality rate demands that we explore every option. Limiting options is not an answer.
The Surgeon General, the Cancer Society, Heart Association and major publications like Forbes were all once e-cig opponents. As time has progressed, more and more opponents have come around to recognize electronic cigarettes as an ally in the fight against tobacco. Lies catch fire quickly and spread with ease. The truth often endures slow progress but eventually wins out.
The truth seems to be evading public officials in California and we hope that in time, the sooner the better, truth and clarity will be realized. One can only hope that Ron Chapman and the CDPH will achieve clarity and abandon a sad need to be right at all costs because that cost is way too high. The propaganda and lies should be remain in the realm of political games. The health and future of people addicted to cigarettes is not a game.
Ron Chapman And The CDPH
The bias of CDPH has been evident for some time. Previously, the agency has released a frightening warning intended to scare people away from e-cigarettes. The warning is long and loud in propaganda and very short in fact. Let’s take a look at some of the claims.
Dangers Of Nicotine
The following sentence is the exact, word for word California Department of Public Health claim about the dangers of e-cigarettes:
E-cigarettes contain nicotine and chemicals that can cause cancer, birth defects or other health problems.
The obvious end game is to include nicotine as equally perilous to cancer causing agents. This is irresponsible and misleading. Want some real hypocrisy? In the same document, the CDPH recommends “approved” smoking cessation methods including OTC nicotine replacement therapies.
So, on one hand, nicotine in e-cigarettes is portrayed as a serious danger and a threat yet mere sentences later Chapman and the CDPH are telling you to go get a nicotine patch! Well, the patch is a pharmaceutical product. Want to know how much the pharmaceutical industry spends on lobbying? In the past 15 years – more than 3 billion dollars. More than any other industry. I guess they expect results for their investment and public officials seem to be doing their best to accommodate.
So, on one hand, nicotine in e-cigarettes is portrayed as a serious danger and a threat yet mere sentences later Chapman and the CDPH are telling you to go get an approved nicotine replacement therapy! Boggles the mind don’t it?
The truth about nicotine is that it all comes from the same source. The nicotine in the patch or chewing gum is the same as the nicotine in your e-cigarette vapor. It all comes from the same plant family.
Nicotine is also used in many medical capacities including the treatment of serious illness.
Nicotine in high quantities is not good and it is addictive, but so are all stimulants including caffeine. Cherry picking data and manipulating facts serve an agenda, never the truth.
CDPH wants To Limit Your Rights Because E-Cig Batteries Are Poisonous
The CDPH is apparently very concerned about electronic cigarette batteries. They want you to know that they are poisonous if swallowed. CDPH we have a newsflash for you- all lithium ion batteries pose health risks if swallowed.
Most batteries these days are lithium ion. Here’s an interesting tidbit for those of us who are interested in facts, e-cig batteries are encased in housings. Most lithium ion batteries are not and are a lot more dangerous than e-cigarette batteries.
In the last three months, there have been 74,000,000 iPhones sold. That is 74 million lithium ion cell phone batteries currently threatening the planet with dire consequences should they be swallowed. Oh no! I am sure that Ron Chapman’s next assault will be on the Apple corporation and the health hazard caused by the 4″ x 2″ x 0.3″ batteries that a child is liable to chew on if left unattended. That, by the way, was sarcasm. Ron Chapman is not about to go after all lithium ion batteries, just e-cig batteries.
Currently, the greatest threat arising from lithium ion batteries is posed by button batteries, which are found in toys, remote controls and a variety of electronics. Button batteries are not encased in any type of housing. They are small and easily ingestible. Once they enter a body they can send electrical currents into nearby tissues causing the production of a powerful acid, similar to acids in drain cleaners. The result can be devastating, especially to children.
Button batteries are responsible for 35,000 calls to poison control every year. There have been 13 deaths attributed to button batteries. I searched the entire CDPH website and the word “button battery” does not appear anywhere. Not once. Ron Chapman has never commented on button batteries despite the dire statistics. His vitriol is aimed exclusively at e-cigarette batteries.
Funny how the boundaries of what is a public health concern and what is not seems to be very blurry at the CDPH. Agenda, anyone?
What Is In E-cigarette Liquid
According to Dr. Chapman and the CDPH, e-cigarette liquid contains harmful chemicals that get trapped in the lungs. The liquid in e-cigarettes is also used by dastardly roadies to create stage fog for concerts and other live entertainment performances. Rock concerts must also be a public health danger.
Is Dr. Chapman going to go after the Rolling Stones, Nicki Minaj, and Bruno Mars? Probably not. Though he should seriously consider something to stop Bieber.
The same chemicals that are in e-liquid are found in asthma inhalers. Somehow I think Big Pharma will not be hearing from CDPH anytime soon. The double standard against e-cigarettes has reached a level about ten notches past ridiculous.
E-cigarette liquid contains food grade ingredients and pharmaceutical nicotine. The liquid is heated, not burned. As long as you are using the best e-cig liquids and not some questionably sourced junk and as long as you are not vaping at very high voltages with too much heat you are not creating toxic byproducts.
CDPH also makes a point of saying that e-cig liquid is poisonous if swallowed. Like anything, ingesting an excessive amount of nicotine can be poisonous. The same applies to caffeine. It takes a lot of caffeine, but it can happen.
In fact, there have been deaths due to caffeine toxicity. Where are the calls to action to stop Starbucks? Common sense dictates that Starbucks is safe and so is coffee s long as you don’t drink six gallons when you get up in the morning. Water can be toxic if you drink too much. Perhaps we should have rations for every person to ensure that no one ever does anything to excess.
What about alcohol? 6 Americans die every day from alcohol poisoning. Is Dr. Chapman going to lead the charge to stop the Budweiser Clydesdales from making any more deliveries? Somehow I don’t think so. There is an acceptance that people have choices and responsibilities and if they consume too much alcohol they do so at their own peril. Well, I guess that acceptance has limitations and officials allow certain health issues to go unchecked while cherry picking certain products to attack.
There has been one tragic case of a toddler that died in connection with e-liquid. That is beyond tragic and it absolutely highlights the need for people to be cautious with e-liquids and e-liquid safety. It is best to treat e-liquid the same way you would treat a medication. Keep it out of reach of children. E-liquid toxicity is incredibly rare but that is no excuse not to be careful.
That one instance has been used to demonize electronic cigarettes. One instance is too many but it is impossible to prevent all accidental exposure to potential danger. According to WHO data 45,000 children die each year from poisoning. The main culprits are household cleaners and pesticides.
Vaping may not be a perfect solution but if perfection or else were the standard then insulin would have long ago been rejected as an alternative to the consequences of diabetes because it does not heal the pancreas. Almost 5 million California smokers do not have the time and luxury to wait for a smoking alternative that meets Dr. Chapman’s standards.
What Is An Electronic Cigarette?
The CDPH has posted its own definition of ‘what is an electronic cigarette’. It is a slanted view as they are quick to discuss the misuses of e-cigarettes rather than talking about what they really do. You deserve a more complete picture.
The modern e-cigarette is an electronic device regulated by a microprocessor that is designed to mimic smoking without exposing the user to the 7000 chemical byproducts of burning tobacco.
There are different kinds of e-cigs. The most familiar models are the ones that look like tobacco cigarettes, these are most often referred to as cigalikes. They do not typically heat the liquid beyond their 4.2 volt capacity and the liquid that they vaporize contains water, food flavoring, vaporizing fluid (either propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin, both of which are FDA approved food additives) and water.
E-cigarette tank systems use a bigger battery and a larger reservoir of e-liquid. The e-liquid is typically refilled manually. They are capable or producing more vapor and lasting for a longer period of time. Most e-cig tanks are regulated and will not overheat the e-liquid.
Some e-cigarettes do burn at higher temperatures and expose e-liquid directly to a heat source. These go by many names including mech mods and RDAs. These are not typical e-cigarettes and tend to be favored by vaping hobbyists.
The selective persecution of e-cigarettes is very misguided and unfortunate.
The Truth About The Chemicals In Vapor
The CDPH website warns against the “chemicals” in e-liquid. They mention it several times. They say, “E-liquid contains nicotine and other chemicals.” You read that and the response is, oh no, chemicals … it must be bad.
That’s what they want, your fear of the unknown is the greatest ally in the war to demonize electronic cigarettes. The less you know and the less you question, the easier it is for them to limit your freedoms and options.
The chemicals that they want you to be afraid of are the same chemicals that they say are okay for you food, toothpaste, shampoos, medications etc.
Next thing you know they will be telling you that they have discovered that e-liquid contains dihydrogen monoxide, a chemical that is connected to a variety of toxic substances, corrosion and severe burns. It can even be fatal if ingested to excess. I have to admit, all of that is true. Perhaps dihydrogen monoxide should be banned. It sure sounds scary. Of course, dihydrogen monoxide has another more familiar name with most of us calling it “water”.
This is a game of fear mongering that they are playing. It is so sad because while they have set their sights on the e-cigarette the real culprit, smoking, is still wreaking havoc. Dr. Chapman, many doctors and other public health agencies have comes to see electronic cigarettes as an ally that can help save lives now and not some bogeyman that you fear will undermine the smoking reduction stats that you are so proud of.
You can be proud of those numbers but that should not come at the not at the expense of smokers who need help right now. I urge you not to limit the rights and options of people looking for alternatives to the devastating consequences of smoking.
If you would like to fight for controls on e-cigarettes that would make sense, caution is not a bad thing. But when you scare people away from an option that might help them, when you want to control their options, what are you really accomplishing?
Vaping Rights And Your Personal Freedom
At ECCR, we are staunch advocates of rights. Not just smoker’s rights or vapers rights but basic, fundamental human rights for people to make their own choices. This is about people in a free society having access to the options and alternatives that they deserve.
The e-cigarette is a technological marvel that was invented and developed by entrepreneurs looking to fill a massive void. The existing products designed to help smokers have a terrible success rate. CPDH claims that approved smoking cessation methods work very well. Tell that to the 85% or more of people that are back on cigarettes within 12 months of using the approved methods. Mr.Chapman, in the real world, achieving 15% is not a very successful result.
Approved methods do aid a smokers chance of quitting, this is true, but when the overwhelming majority end up going back to smoking cigarettes then the current options are not good enough. More options are needed.
CDPH, you claim e-cigs do not help but your data conflicts with the majority of studies as well as the genuine experiences of actual human beings that have found an answer with e-cigarettes. Why you ignore them is baffling.
ECCR And Common Sense Advocacy For Your Rights
We work hard to give you facts and real data that you can use to make the best choice for you as an individual. That why our e-cigarette reviews are so in depth and detailed. You deserve to know your options.
Any impingement of rights should be regarded with concern. A free society should embrace options and solutions.
If Chantix, patches and gums were the only solution needed, there would be nobody smoking right now. That is not the case. While these therapies have worked for many people, they have failed so many others.
As the fight against tobacco rages on, millions of people worldwide lose their lives to smoking related causes each year. We need as many solutions and alternatives as possible and we need them now. E-cigs have been an option chosen by many and given the growth of e-cigarettes it is clear that people are finding success.
In a free society, if a product fails to deliver as promised, by and large the market will speak. If e-cigs are a threat and not effective as an alternative then why are they succeeding?
As someone that has been involved in the industry since the very beginning, I am also wary and do not blindly promote a nicotine delivery product without caution. The main idea of the electronic cigarette is to provide smokers an alternative to smoking that is less harmful. Do e-cigs deliver on that count? Well, compare heating 3 non-toxic, food grade compounds to burning tobacco and the 7000 chemicals that result.
The math is pretty easy. Given the success of electronic cigarettes it also seems that the marketplace has done the math and is speaking in no uncertain terms. More than that, you cannot help but be encouraged by the human stories of success coming from people that have found an answer to smoking.
We have concerns about overheating e-liquid and about the safety of dripping. There are legitimate questions that we need answers to and you deserve answers to so you can make the best decision for yourself, a person who should be free to make your own choice. CDPH should be helping you understand your options, not defining them on your behalf and then limiting your choices.
Unfortunately, these efforts to mislead the public are delaying the factual information that is truly needed.
One of the best things that you can do for your health and vitality is quitting smoking. The benefits begin almost immediately. Most smokers want to quit and there are few goals more worthy of pursuit. If you choose to quit smoking, you deserve all of the options and help available.
The established bureaucratic and regulatory channels want to limit choices to those methods that they approve of. Let’s look at some of those and compare them to the same critique that those same channels so eagerly apply to electronic cigarettes.
Chantix is an approved pharmaceutical solution designed to address nicotine addiction. Although Chantix has a limited success rate it has worked for many people and that is great news. You absolutely deserve access to Chantix if you wish.
There is a downside. Chantix has several side effects that are, frankly, a bit scary. The adverse effect that most catches the eye are the drastic behavioral changes experienced by Chantix users.
Aside from those effects Chantix has a long list of additional potential side effects:
- Chest pain or pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body
- Easy bruising or unusual bleeding
- Rash, blistering and peeling skin
- Problems with vision, speech or balance
- Stomach pain
- Sleep issues
By no means are we telling you not to use Chantix. If it can help you quit smoking it is well worth it. We are just pointing out the double standard that is being applied in critiquing e-cigarettes. No health officials or headlines seem to be concerned about Chantix side effects.
Nictine gums and patches are also approved options. Do these approved smoking cessation methods address the nicotine addiction? No, they reduce exposure to the chemicals produced by burning tobacco, much the same as e-cigarettes, yet they are immune to attack.
Think about that, e-cigs are apparently bad because they do not address the base issue of nicotine addiction but other approved nicotine replacement therapies, or NRTs, are okay. If you are struggling with the logic of that argument don’t bother, logic is not part of the mix.
Using patches and gums to quit is an excellent idea. It might work for you. For many others, however, they have not worked. People are trying very hard to quit. If they exhaust approved smoking cessation options should they be forced to the fringe with no alternatives?
E-cigarette opponents attack fruit and other sweet e-cig flavors daily. They claim that flavors attract children. Well, nicotine gum also comes in a variety of flavors and, last time I checked, children like gum. Yet the critics exclusively attack e-cigs. Logic is not a part of this equation either.
Is any organization in more dire need of perspective and fact than the California Department of Public Health? Smoking will claim the lives of more than 40,000 Californians this year, by any other standard that is an epidemic that warrants the declaration of a state of emergency. But we are talking about smoking where we all too often accept such horror as status quo.
Has the California Department of Public Health has become so immune, so desensitized to the loss of 40,000 people each year that their current concern is that the “epidemic” (yes, they use the word epidemic to describe e-cigs) of e-cigarettes may pose a public health danger. This seems right out of the pages of a Faustian horror where some bizarre deal has been made with the devil, but it is the current reality. California state officials look at this equation and have named e-cigarettes the enemy.
I challenge the California Department of Health to share their decision making process and support their reasoning. I also challenge them to consider all available information. Cherry picking points to support a position makes for compelling political theater but it does nothing to solve problems or promote the truth.
The California Department of Public Health has a stated mission, “The California Department of Public Health is dedicated to optimizing the health and well-being of the people in California.”
How is the department optimizing health by operating as a nanny governing you as though children and decreeing e-cigs as an unsafe option thereby potentially turning smokers away from a device that might otherwise change their lives for the better?
If that judgment is to be made it must be done so with reason and backing, not fearful conjecture and assumption. If you are going to limit someone’s ability to address their own personal smoking addiction, you need to be sure.
If one smoker out there today hears that California Public Health has declared e-cigs to be a health threat and decides to keep smoking cigarettes because he or she comes under the impression that e-cigs are just as bad as tobacco, that person has just been condemned to a life of potentially increased health risks.
These people are not pawns in a war of smoking statistics that public officials want to have as a legacy. These are human beings. Human beings who deserve the free choice to make their own decisions based on real data, offered without fear or bias.
It is unfortunate that this fact was not part of California Public Health’s equation. They have so badly prioritized what is needed. In their mind the epidemic is not the fate of millions of California smokers it is the e-cigarette and the compromise of possibly saving lives now vs not 100% solving nicotine addiction perfectly and for eternity. They need to give much more consideration to the people who need an answer to smoking as soon as possible.
Waiting until smokers reduce themselves in number to satisfy the statistical success of tobacco control initiatives is lacking in vision, reason and common sense.
California needs leadership and common sense, not a nanny. Smokers need options and choices, not limitations on what is available to help them because of misleading information and decrees.
We are not going to get rid of guns, batteries, bleach, trans fats or microwave ovens. We can’t lock the kids in the basement and live our lives in a bubble under the parenthood of our public servants. What we can do is work together, recognize the value in considering the big picture and learn to compromise for the greater good. This is not the time for pride or to serve a need to be right at all costs.
Many medical professionals were once opposed to e-cigs. In time, they have come to see the immense value in offering an alternative to smoking. Dr. Chapman, I implore you to find out why other officials have adopted this position. Speak to health officials who have a different viewpoint than your own.
There are other perspectives that deserve your true attention and not you automatic dismissal. Communicate with people that have experienced a life changing event thanks to e-cigs. They have something very valuable to add to the equation. There is a lot more to e-cigs than talking points memos. Expand your knowledge base beyond cherry picked, manipulated facts and lies. For the sake of millions of Californians, I urge you to broaden your perspective.
Dr. Chapman, my door is always open for you if you ever want to have a conversation.