6 Misleading Pro-Vaping Arguments We Should Stop Using

By Lee Johnson Posted March 27, 2016

Common Pro E-Cig Myths


The e-cigarette debate is pretty heated. On one side, there are legions of anti-smokers turned anti-vapers warning the smokers of the world away from harm reduction because of the potential for comparably miniscule levels of harm, and on the other you have us vapers, fervent in our support of the devices that helped us quit smoking and eager to jump down the throats of anybody repeating unsupported or downright false statements about e-cigarettes. We’ve spent plenty of time tackling anti-vaping myths since the site got started, but it isn’t just those opposed to vaping that often spout mistruths or plain misleading statements. In fact, there are quite a few pro-vaping myths and misleading arguments that we should stop repeating if we want to be taken seriously. (Don’t worry, “it’s just water vapor” isn’t one of them, because nobody says that.)


1 – “E-Liquid Only Has Four Ingredients”


E-Liquid Ingredients


We’ve all heard it. “Cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals with about 70 carcinogens, whereas e-cigs just contain four: PG, VG, nicotine and flavorings.” In essence, the core point is true – e-cig vapor does contain vastly fewer chemicals than tobacco smoke, and especially less toxic ones – but the specific formulation (“four ingredients/chemicals”) is blatantly incorrect.


The main problem is that “flavorings” does not, in any way whatsoever, class as a single ingredient. Among others, “flavorings” refers to ethyl maltol, vanillin, ethyl vanillin, benzaldehyde, ethyl butyrate, menthol and ethyl acetate. There are also trace levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamines in e-liquids (and vapor). Of course, I’m not alleging that this is something to be concerned about – although there is uncertainty about the risks of inhaling flavorings, the levels are low and it’s still undeniably safer than smoking.


And that isn’t even the whole problem with such statements. The cigarette figure – 7,000, 5,000, 4,000 or whichever number people settle on – is invariably from smoke rather than un-combusted cigarettes. If the same logic is applied to e-cigarettes, we’d also have to acknowledge the presence of all the chemicals in the vapor, including very low levels of formaldehyde, acrolein and various metals. The point can still be made honestly, but simply saying e-cigs contain “four ingredients” is clearly misleading.


What We Can Say Instead


Note: In response to feedback, this post has been updated to include these suggestions for making the same arguments without relying on myths or misinformation. See Carl V. Phillips’ comment below about these updates, which offers valuable commentary on their validity and how well they replace the original claims. 


E-cigarette vapor contains vastly fewer chemicals than cigarette smoke, and any toxic ones present are in quantities not expected to cause harm. Levels of toxic chemicals in vapor have been consistently shown to be anything from tens to hundreds and right up to thousands of times lower than in smoke.


2 – “All of the Ingredients in E-Cigs Are Generally Recognized as Safe”


E-Liquid Ingredients Generally Recognized as Safe


This is technically true (just like saying “e-cigs contain carcinogens” is technically true), but it’s pretty misleading. The “generally recognized as safe” label, particularly when considering food-safe flavorings, does not apply to inhaling those chemicals, only ingesting them.


The perfect example for this is diacetyl, which is generally recognized as safe, but is not safe for inhalation, and a study by Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos brought this to the attention of the vaping industry after finding it in several tested e-liquids. The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association has addressed the issues with such claims, and although they take it a little far – claiming, for some unknown reason, that established safety limits for workplace inhalation don’t apply to inhalation through e-cigs – there is a genuine point in there.


Inhaling flavorings probably isn’t going to kill you, but it’s one area where we really do lack information about the risks, and saying they’re “generally recognized as safe” is undoubtedly misleading.


What We Can Say Instead


Something else. Previously, I’d included a (weak) alternative here, but Carl V. Phillips’ comment below is spot on: this argument should just be ditched entirely.


3 – “PG is Used in Asthma Inhalers”


PG in Asthma Inhalers - Pro Vaping Myth


This is an interesting one. I’ve seen the argument made in many places, but whenever I made the decision to try to actually find an asthma inhaler or a nebulizer which uses PG, I’ve been completely unable to.


A poster on reddit even asked outright if anybody could prove this statement, and the result was basically that nobody could. There is one study looking at the potential to use PG as a carrier for an inhaled medicine and another which mentions that PG or ethanol may be used as a cosolvent in nebulizers, but no evidence presented of an asthma inhaler or nebulizer that is actually used today containing PG.


It’s very hard to prove it isn’t used – since there could always be something we didn’t find – but a little research shows that Ventolin (albuterol), Airomir (salbutamol), Salamol (salbutamol) and the Maxair Autohaler (pirbuterol) definitely do not contain PG, and I’m sure you could go on to check out other options too.


We’d love to be proven wrong on this one (and will update/remove this as needed), but it seems like this argument – especially for inhalers – is total bullshit.


For nebulizers, it could be that it’s occasionally used (though, again, we can’t find a concrete example), but studies have shown that – as many vapers will know – some people find PG very irritating to the throat, so inhaled medicines using less of it are generally better tolerated.


Additionally, it wouldn’t even be a very good argument if an inhaler or nebulizer was found to contain PG. There’s a big, big difference between inhaling a few puffs of an asthma inhaler and chain-vaping several hundred puffs per day. And you hardly see asthmatics blowing out clouds, so we’re clearly consuming larger quantities of PG with each puff too.


It’s absurd to be concerned about small quantities of things like nitrosamines in e-cig vapor because the dose makes the poison, but it’s just as ridiculous (if not more so) to assume that just because a small amount of something is safe then a much larger amount is nothing to worry about either. In short, asthma inhalers and vaping are not comparable, even if inhalers did contain PG (which they don’t).


As for why this argument has gained so much traction, my only guess is for the same reason I want it to be true: it’s so powerful to be able to say, “well, even asthmatics can inhale PG without problems, so worrying about it in e-cig vapor is silly.” But when you really want something to be true, you don’t have much motivation to go and check out whether or not it’s really the case. Much like those who repeat anti-vaping arguments without fact-checking, this one in particular shows that we vapers can do exactly the same thing.


What We Can Say Instead


Propylene glycol has been well-studied, and is used in theatrical fog machines, some air disinfectants and a multitude of other consumer products. While it may not be entirely safe to inhale directly, any risks it poses pale in comparison to those of smoking.


4 – “Nobody Has Died from Vaping”


No Deaths From Vaping


Another claim you often see is “nobody dies from vaping!” or even comparisons of the statistics for smoking deaths and the lack of deaths from vaping.


To see the problem, you can just imagine cigarettes had only been on the market for 10 years or so. Would we be seeing any deaths from smoking? Well, probably not, no.


For one, smoking generally reduces your lifespan by about 10 years, and the risks overall increase the longer you’ve been smoking, so even on that simple basis you probably wouldn’t see deaths from smoking a decade after cigarettes were introduced. The concept of “pack-years” is used, where one pack-year is the equivalent of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for a year, and generally (as you’d expect) the risk of various conditions increases with pack-years. There are increased risks after 10 pack-years, but it really starts getting serious quite a bit further down the line.


On top of this, the average age of diagnosis with lung cancer is 70, the average age of a first heart attack is 66, and COPD is normally diagnosed in people aged 40 or older. In general, smoking-related illnesses strike quite late in life. That’s why the figure is 10 years of lost life, rather than 40 or so.


In short, after 10 years of smoking, chances are you’ll still be alive, so the lack of deaths from vaping at present means pretty much nothing. And that’s before you get onto the whole issue of establishing that vaping rather than something else (e.g. the vaper’s smoking history) is to blame for the deaths and thereby being able to say “vaping kills n people per year.” We might be able to do so in 20 or 30 years, but right now we’re far from being able to honestly compare death rates.


What We Can Say Instead


After almost a decade of vaping, no related health problems have been documented in vapers, and the evidence to date shows that vaping is substantially safer than smoking.


5 – “Cigarettes Have 750 Times More Diacetyl Than E-Liquids”


Diacetyl Cigarettes vs E-Cigs Comparison


Whenever the issue of diacetyl in e-juice is brought up, you’ll see several vapers commenting that “But cigarettes contain 750 times more diacetyl than e-liquids!”


While the general message – that cigarettes contain more diacetyl than e-liquids – is true, the actual figure is complete bullshit. The origin of the figure is Michael Siegel’s blog post in response to the most recent diacetyl study, where he calculated the average diacetyl levels in the e-liquids tested (including those with no diacetyl) as 9 μg per ml (technically per cartridge, which is a little less but close enough). He then pulled up some comparative figures for cigarettes.


Then, undoubtedly because he isn’t too familiar with vapers’ habits (or the limited evidence looking at how much people consume – one example here), he made the comparison based on consumption of 1 ml of e-liquid per day vs. a pack of cigarettes. If you can remember a day recently when you only consumed 1 ml of e-liquid, it’s safe to say you were either also smoking or you forgot your e-cig when you went to work. Virtually no full time vapers, in this age of 150 W mods and sub-ohm tanks, is consuming just 1 ml per day.


This wouldn’t have been much of an issue, because Siegel made it clear – in the original blog post – that this was a comparison between daily intakes for smokers and vapers. However, in Guy Bentley’s Daily Caller story about Siegel’s blog post, even though he did clarify in the post, the headline was “‘Popcorn lung’ chemical 750 times greater in tobacco cigarettes.” This was made even worse by Siegel explicitly claiming “The levels of diacetyl are about 750 times lower than in cigarettes” in a more recent blog post, without qualifying the claim. It seems even if you turn against tobacco control – as Siegel admirably did in response to the more nonsensical claims about second-hand smoke – ridding yourself of the truth-stretching habits isn’t so easy.


To be clear, a figure somewhere in the region of 100 and 200 times lower is completely accurate. So why make such a misleading claim? The answer appears to be because 750 times sounds like such an extreme difference that it makes the inevitable follow-up point seem even stronger.


What We Can Say Instead


Cigarette smoke has hundreds of times more diacetyl than e-cigarette vapor. A day of vaping instead of smoking reduces your diacetyl intake by up to 240 times.


6 – “Smokers Don’t Get Popcorn Lung from the Diacetyl in Cigarettes”


E-Cigs Diacetyl Popcorn Lung


So after laying the groundwork by exaggerating the gulf between diacetyl level in e-liquids and cigarettes, the follow-up point is that “smokers don’t even get popcorn lung!”


Put together, these points make the concern about diacetyl seem almost laughable. So cigarettes contain way more diacetyl than e-cigs and smokers don’t even get this nightmarish “popcorn lung disease” we hear so much about.


But, as Dr. Farsalinos pointed out in his paper looking at diacetyl in e-juice, the claim that smokers don’t get popcorn lung isn’t as reliable as it may seem. It’s true that not many smokers are diagnosed with popcorn lung, but you can’t read too much into that.


Firstly, popcorn lung is fairly rare, even in those exposed to diacetyl in industrial settings; the most common consequence is simply impaired lung functioning and general respiratory issues. Secondly, diagnosing popcorn lung is pretty difficult, and misdiagnosis is very common.


So smokers might not be diagnosed with popcorn lung very often, but they are regularly diagnosed with COPD, a more general obstructive lung condition, and this happens a lot more than you’d expect even heavily diacetyl-exposed people to be diagnosed with popcorn lung. Of course, smoke contains tons of bad chemicals, but it’s not exactly easy to say that diacetyl doesn’t contribute to the problems smokers have. Plus, when presented with a smoker with lung problems, is a doctor going to jump to popcorn lung as a diagnosis, or just assume it’s COPD?


None of this means that diacetyl in e-cigarettes is anything to worry about – you can learn more about what we know here – but brushing it aside with “smokers don’t get popcorn lung” is a severely flawed argument.


What We Can Say Instead


While diacetyl may contribute to the lung problems from smoking, there is no solid evidence of risk from inhaling it in quantities like those seen in e-juice, although it is possible. If risks are uncovered, diacetyl can easily be removed from e-juice or otherwise avoided by vapers.


Conclusion – Scoring An Own Goal?


Inevitably, this may seem like a vaping advocate scoring an “own goal,” to borrow a phrase originally used in a different context. Am I just being a jerk and bashing e-cigs, when they get unfairly criticized way too much already? I don’t think so. For one, I am not blindly pro-vaping. My main aim is to give smokers and vapers accurate information from which they can make decisions about whether they want to vape. If it turns out vaping has serious risks, I will happily explain them as best I can.


But more importantly, since I am still ultimately pro-vaping (just not blindly so), when is it appropriate to score goals against your own team? In training. Pointing out weaknesses in your own side’s defense and drawing attention to glaring mistakes helps us avoid those mistakes in the future. It makes it less likely opponents will be able to score an easy goal past us.


To ditch the analogy: if we make flawed, misleading arguments to support vaping, anybody sufficiently knowledgeable will be able to pick them apart and make us look like we’re either being purposefully deceptive or dumb. The only way to make sure your position is strong – and more importantly, accurate – is to subject it to just as much scrutiny as you would arguments from those who disagree with you.


So am I scoring an own goal? Yes, but that’s a good thing if we don’t want a weak defense.

  • Rojeans

    Thanks for debunking some of the myths and putting other areas into perspective, Own goal? No. Stealing the ANTZ thunder perhaps? Oh yes.

    • Sho2daPan

      But with this What are we Left with? If we Agree that all the Facts Above are Riddled with Holes then How Can we Say the ANTZ are Wrong?

      • Attila Danko

        It’s simply perspective. Of course there are far higher levels of toxic chemicals in smoke. Not just a few times higher, but 100-400 times higher in most cases. And many toxins in cigarettes that are completely absent in vaping. But we cannot say vaping is entirely safe. We can say though that it is far, far safer, like snus. It’s probably 99% safer than smoking. But by making a generous estimate of all the unknowns, we can confidently say at least 95% safer, as the PHE report says.

        • Sho2daPan

          Agsin, Safer is Not going to stop them from pushing us away like Smokers this article points out all thd reasons Why…So in essence why switch if I have to freeze and be subjected to smokers anyway?
          I might not go back but the fact is why switch when the benefits are only a safer alternative.
          The points made in this Put that in perspective for me and sadly I admit I cannot advocate with the zeal I had, not knowing that Safe is not good enough for them Now it is not going to get better in the future, as the ingredients are still the same…

          • «Why quit when it only benefits my health?»…

            It’s a good thing you want to stop advocating with zeal. Zeal is not what we need. It only makes you less convincing anyway.

            Have you ever heard the “nobody has ever died from smoking cannabis”-argument? How would any serious person ever be able to make such a claim when we know as an absolute fact that this could never be proved? All educated people knows this cannot be a truthful statement and must either be based on ignorance or deception. The empty grave argument is always going to support the sceptics and will therefore always be an argument _against_ legalization. Exaggeration simply isn’t convincing.

          • Sho2daPan

            I never have Exaggerated in my points, but this article tears every point we lay people use to engage thoses with letters after their names to take us seriously. As to my Zeal I am heartbroken that this was writen from a vapers perspective and am Surprised theblikevof Famous ANTZ have not jumped on this:Yet.
            Will I still jumpnin on certain threads sure but am carefulnnit to usecany of thevabove as it is not worthy of factual debate.

        • Rok Klobucar

          I am a vaper for 4 months and I am still afraid that vaping will kill me sonner than smoking… I assume that this fear comes from all the fear-mongering through media and ANTZ…

      • Why would you want to say they’re wrong? Stick to what you can prove and demand them same from your opponent. The truth is that we can’t know everything about this. It would be more comfortable to have absolute evidence that vaping was absolutely safe, but we don’t have that. We do, however, have lots and lots of good data indicating vaping is dramatically safer than smoking. That’s more than enough.

  • Sho2daPan

    Fantastic points,all Valid, but…Where are the Solutions to those problems? Indeed the points are Flawed by all those holes you have pointed out but What do we use to fill them is My Question.
    I Am at a Loss as to what leg we have to stand on Now? Since all of our arguments are as Flawed as Cheery picking a Study.
    In essence you have Done a fabulous job For the ANTZ but presented No clear way to defend against what we are trying for….

    • Lee Johnson

      I see what you mean, but I think we still have plenty to go with – I probably didn’t stress that enough in the post.

      For #1, it’s still true that there are much fewer chemicals (and definitely a lot less of the harmful ones) in the e-juice and vapor, which is the core point of the argument anyway.

      #2 is a little harder, but the generally recognized as safe thing still means the chemical itself isn’t known to be harmful. In the future, we might identify some others, like diacetyl, that are risky to inhale, but I assume they would be the exception rather than the rule.

      #3 – Despite not being in asthma inhalers, PG still doesn’t appear massively risky to inhale, based on the existing evidence, as far as I can tell, at least: http://www.ecigarettedirect.co.uk/ashtray-blog/2016/02/propylene-glycol-e-cigarettes.html – although it’s not completely safe.

      #4 – This point just isn’t needed – as the PHE report said, vaping is almost certainly substantially safer than smoking. Death counts aren’t needed to say that.

      #5 – Still much less diacetyl, even if you make the comparison more accurate.

      #6 – Lung problems from vaping diacetyl will obviously pale in comparison to those from smoking (if they end up being found at all), because there’s less diacetyl and there are many more chemicals that harm your lungs in cigarette smoke.

      Sorry for the long comment, but I really do think all of these points could still be made without being misleading. It’s harder, but possible.

      • Sho2daPan

        No, I appreciate it. Facts are Facts and we Now have little to stand against with this all bring true, so the ANTZ are essentially right, sadly.
        They now have all the reason and Evidence to treat us like smoking…Why fight the inevitable when you have shown we Cannot say vaping is anything But a safer way to ingest nicotine;there are still risk to users and Bystanders.

        • jude

          Thank you for your comment, I’m reading this and thinking the same thing. What’s the point anymore, spending all this time advocating, It’s difficult enough with the barrage of lies and junk science coming from ANTZ on a daily basis, little of it true in any real sense, just twisted language and slurs, as well as outright lies, yet vapers are supposed to stick to the letter of truth, and use the language the ANTZ have, lest we make ANY claim about the safety of vaping, even if it is absolutely true for us.

          ANTZ have lied, exaggerated, vilified, discriminated, and hated smokers, now its vapers turn. They have framed the argument, and vapers are supposed to just toe the ANTZ line. ANTZ have set the agenda, and vapers are supposed to stick to it. Nit picking every tiny little discrepancy in any language used, or term defined, by ANTZ.

          I actually agree that vapers should be honest, and we are as far as the majority of us have experienced huge heath benefits, huge financial benefits, and we argue our case from a personal perspective. For most of us this is all we have. Most of us aren’t scientists, we aren’t lawyers, we are just ordinary people who have found a safer alternative to smoking. Sadly one that the ANTZ will likely destroy in their quest to keep people smoking, so the money keeps flowing in, and they keep their position of power.

          • Myk

            I’m thinking the same way. Don’t vape like that because it annoys some blogger. Another blogger wants us to treat ecigs just like cigarettes. Come to council meetings…but not dressed like that you dregs. Oh here’s a good science report…uh no, one of our own is going to nit-pick it to death. We need to counter ANTZ on social media…but not with that meme, someone might take it wrong, we can only use memes approved by Big Ecig.
            Meanwhile the rules of the game the ANTZ are playing is anything goes. If we’re trying to play liars poker without lying we may as well not play. And if we’re going to get chastised as much by fellow vaping advocates as we do by ANTZ I’m thinking we just let them play their game alone. Us proles aren’t worthy to advocate so let’s see how the high and mighty do on their own.
            But then I see advocacy topics who are actually successful that don’t have all this infighting BS of everyone telling everyone else that they’re doing it wrong and it makes me think it’s not us proles who are at fault but rather some other proles got their head inflated.

        • Jenny

          “we Cannot say vaping is anything But a safer way to ingest nicotine”
          Saying that vaping is a far safer way to ingest nicotine is an evidence based statement and more than enough to support a passionate stance for advocating vaping! What this fact means is that countless lives could be saved if public health encouraged smokers to switch to vaping by creating supportive policy and regulations. What more could you ask for as an advocate? We have enough unquestionable evidence to support our stance without resorting to ‘truth stretching’ and inaccurate memes, so don’t despair! 🙂

          • jude

            What “unquestionable evidence”, I have seen none that hasn’t been questioned by ANTZ, often with a big fat lying media headline to go with their “questions”. Truth stretching? How are advocates doing this? You are speaking about people who are not scientists, not lawyers etc, they believe what they are saying is true, and for the most part it is, even if only on a personal level. Inaccurate memes? Do we need a legal departments, as well as a science department, just to make sure we don’t use a slightly different wording or word definition than the ANTZ do? Do we let ANTZ decide the definitions of SAFE, SAFER, ADDICTION, QUITTING etc now? I’m sure they’ll be thrilled to know that they now have vapers scared of saying anything that doesn’t fit their agenda. I despair, I have never knowingly lied to anyone about vaping, but now it seems that advocates are being told they need a disclaimer tacked onto everything they say, just in case they fall foul of the vaping truth police. No wonder smokers are not listening.

          • Jenny

            Hi Jude! You are right, we are just ordinary people and shouldn’t be expected to behave like scientists and lawyers. Many experts in public health are open to the idea of vaping but are getting too much of their info from those who are vehemently opposed to it (your ANTZ?). I just think we have a better chance of influencing the ones who are open if we deal in accurate, non-inflated information. I’d rather engage with the experts who are prepared to listen, than with the ANTZ. By definition the ANTZ are irrational, so why bother? If some of us non-scientist ordinary vapers want to be involved in advocacy then we are going to be dealing with the experts and in my opinion will have better luck if we restrain our own zealousness enough to be accurate and factual. We should be better than the ANTZ, which let’s face it, isn’t that hard to do!

          • jude

            Why should us ordinary ppl, have to deal with the self appointed “experts”? I am always accurate and factual, I just don’t believe we should be nitpicking arguments to death. I say there are 4 ingredients in ejuice, because there are, its true, it is not a lie or even inaccurate. I’m a normal person, not some ANTZ fanatic that talks in terms of “chemicals”, so why should I have to change my speech to suit their terminology and agenda?

            I advocate to help encourage smokers to switch to far safer vaping, not to engage in wibble sessions with ANTZ or those that push junk science, or lies. If there are those in PH that are interested in the truth, and the actual science, (not exaggerations of harm, or wibble and lies about “de cheeldren”), than they will support vaping and other forms of THR like snus. So we don’t need to engage with them, they are already on the side of truth. The rest of them can go take a flying leap for all I care.

          • jude

            BTW what is this “unquestionable evidence” you mentioned?

          • Jenny

            Just what many others have stated; it’s orders of magnitude safer than smoking. Even people like Glantz and Chapman concede to this because it’s basically irrefutable.

            By the way, I loved your post above.

          • jude

            Yeah, you’d think that would be unquestionable, but how often have we seen the lie in the media headlines, coming from doctors or those in the tobacco control industry, saying that vaping is no safer than smoking? There was a prominent one just last week. So regardless of whether the fact is irrefutable, these liars are getting their toxic messages out very easily, and with support from government, and those that rely on people continuing to smoke.

            Then we have the narcissists like Chapman and Glantz, (and quite a few others in the tobacco control industry), who don’t even bother with facts now, (while we all worry about being perfectly correct in every detail), they just spout a lot of psycho babble, and fake “concerns” about children, puppies and those perfect non-smokers who are being “harmed” by vapour being blown in their collective faces unrelentingly by horrible selfish vapers). Or they just lie because they can.

            Its a mad world, and vapers are trying to play by rules that hinder us, and all others simply ignore. Yes its important to be honest, and accurate, and I’ve never met a vaper who is deliberately anything else, but , and its a big but, this world is not a place where honesty, accuracy, or even honour, mean much anymore, and this is the world we live in.

      • Karyyl

        I found that when I made the 4 ingredients argument on Huff Post, to a layperson terrified of inhaling our unknown chemicals, it was not the numbers but the fact that NOT ONE OF OUR INGREDIENTS IS NEW that was the surprise to the audience. People are getting terrified of all the brand-new compounds being introduced into our food, air, water, etc by chemical companies. The FDA has approved nicotine and pg for inhalation in NRT inhalers. The other 2 ingredients don’t have scary names and people are comfortable breathing in the shower when using soap containing glycerine, or putting food flavoring in their cookie batter and inhaling the scent while they bake. That does NOT mean it’s OK to huff food flavorings, but it means it’s safe to stand NEXT to someone who is doing so.

  • Hugely important, and has been pointed out repeatedly for quite some years. The lower harm as measured when deducting from known issues, should/could be paired with older and well used and tolerated Harm Reduction products that function as alternatives to cigarettes, for example snus. Snus has a minimum of 75 million user years calculated in a small population, Sweden. Snus has so far been scored as not good for you in several rounds of petri dish experiments, but not generated a single report of serious adverse effects so far. Not in primary, geriatrics or pathology. To extrapolate from Carl Phillips: Too low to measure but definitely higher than zero. I think all in THR would do well to know a bit more about the different kinds of THR products, not just their own pet product. So, with 150 years of snus experience and only 10 years of vaping the below picture shows the current situation pretty well. Happy Easter all!

  • Myk

    With the no deaths from ecigs you fail to recognize the continuum of harm or lack of. A 35 year smoker who switches to vaping for 5 years would be the same as a 40 year smoker if there was a continuum of harm. If ecigs were actually worse than smoking as some claim those who switch would be worse off. So yes that one is valid, if vaping was equal to or worse than smoking where are the ecig deaths? Beyond that even with your rationalization if ecigs take 30-60 years to die from like smoking does, where are the ecig deaths? If we go by the ANTZ desire everything is banned and nothing is proven to be harmful because “we just don’t know” and will never know. “Where are the deaths from ecigs” because they want to claim they are just as dangerous. It is not an assertions by vapers but an answer to the assertions of danger by ANTZ. Only after they have those deaths will their claims be proven.

    • You’re assuming the the theoretical harm of vapor is the same harm as is caused by smoking, so that they would be accumulated. What are you basing that assumption on?

      • Myk

        Lung damage + more lung damage. If you have COPD you are susceptible to additional lung damage even if it’s different lung damage. Fact is the opposite is being experience by many anecdotes and they are seeing harm reversal. It’s not the anecdotes’ fault if science wants to ignore them for the most part. If ecigs caused something else like liver damage from filtering out the PG “show me the bodies” still applies. The claim that ecigs cause equal or worse harm than smoking is ridiculous. That is the problem with this blog, it ignores the ANTZ claims these are in answer to.

  • castello

    We have also heard that popcorn lung can’t be diagnosed without a very expensive autopsy. Is this true? Supposedly over 400,000 smokers in the US die each year from smoke related diseases. How do they come up with these numbers?

    • Myk

      I’d found a PDF that BOS (bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome) is a problem in lung transplants. The PDF says to diagnose use CT scans, bronchoscopy and biopsy. There’s a study on using breath tests that are 96%-100% accurate in diagnosing BOS. There is also surgical biopsy. I have no idea why who came up with it thought it would only be diagnosed with autopsy. If nothing else, “OMG, you’re dying and we can’t figure out why, you need a lung transplant” at which point the damaged lungs are as good as looked at in an autopsy. An active smoker may not get a lung transplant but a reformed smoker would. The thought that 400,000 people per year are dying and not one of them had something that would diagnose BOS yet many smokers actually have it is far fetched.

  • Rojeans

    I’d like to add.
    I’m in contact with many vapers (due to being a vendor) Of note, harm reversal does NOT appear to be a myth. I have COPD and emphysema customers, who, have noticed an improvement in their conditions. Whether this is a result of tobacco abstinence or contents of vaping liquids OR BOTH I don’ know, but either way, it’s positive, a positive that denies BP their custom. (Therein lies an issue for BP £$££$£$£$)

  • Thank you–much obliged for laying these out so thoughtfully. Now I don’t have to joust on twitter about these–much better to be able to refer folks here.

    And totally agree with your closing point: making easily debunked arguments only makes the people who are already convinced feel better.

    • Lee Johnson

      Thanks very much Joe 🙂 Exactly – we can be pretty confident any arguments we make will be treated very skeptically, so we should make sure what we say is solid and evidence-based.

  • Rok Klobucar

    I think I will go back to smoking tobacco cigarettes… Why? Because we don’t know long-term health effects… What if vaping is worse than smoking? We can’t say that isn’t… We don’t have long-term health effects from it…

    • Gavin Jones

      This is the beauty of free will. You are perfectly free to make this choice.

      • Fergus Mason

        Well no. It MIGHT kill you.

        • Rok Klobucar

          Vaping MIGHT kill me to… We don’t know…

    • Missy

      You are free to that opinion but we no that smoking some day will kill you!!!

    • There are many things we _do_ know. It’s not like we don’t know anything at all just because we don’t know everything. A doctor put it very easily to me; I’m about as certain that you can safely use e-cigarette that I am that you should not smoke, but I recommend that you don’t do either.

    • Martin smith

      You cannot be serious !

      • Rok Klobucar

        Why not?

  • Excellent, well-reasoned and well-written article. Kudos!!!

  • charlie

    Vaping is lower risk than smoking. The word safe is a value judgement, it can’t be quantified. Comarative risk can be quantified. The argument I make is, where are the reports of doctors treating illnesses caused by using ecigs? Regardless of all that I would vape instead of smoke even if I thought the risks of vaping were higher than they appear to be because vaping is a superior experience, it doesn’t make me feel ill and I’m SAVING $3,000 A YEAR so wouldl all the public health busibodies shut up until they are not funded by tobacco taxes. They are liars. I don’t trust them, don’t want to hear anything they have to say. If Dr Farsilino, the only medical researcher I trust on this subject, says pay attention, I will. Until then the rest of them can go to hell.

  • Just for the record, the “own goal” I referred to was not at all similar to acknowledging the truth. It was vaper advocates turning what we know about diacetyl (to wit: it is certainly plausible that it causes some risk, though it is difficult to imagine it is large, and we are far from knowing it is a problem at all) into “Danger! Danger!” and “this is What Needs To Be Done to make e-cigarettes safe”.

    To reiterate what I said on Twitter: very well done. I see some signs that people are paying attention to this presentation who have not paid attention to these points when they have been presented differently. That is a valuable accomplishment.

    On the question of “died yet”, you might check out what I have written on the topic of what we would be saying about cigarettes if they had become a popular produce only a few years ago. I really don’t have anything to add to any of the other points.

    • Lee Johnson

      Yeah, I was just borrowing the “own goal” terminology on that one really – you’re right that what you were saying was actually very different.

      And thanks very much for the compliment – I really appreciate it 🙂

      I was actually looking for that exact post when I was putting the article together, but I read it quite a while ago and couldn’t seem to find it again. I remember the post covered the same ground just from a slightly different angle – I’ll have another look for it, but if you wouldn’t mind send the link I’ll add it to the post.

      Thanks again for the comment!

  • skoony

    This reads like the official why we should completely cave in to the FDA and the ANTZ bible.
    Very interesting.
    Point 1. Technically true. Perhaps saying hardly any compared to smoke
    would be better. Saying 4 main ingredients however with flavors being plural
    would be factual.
    Point 2. Another technicality. Even though one can say that some elements
    of e-juice are not certified or recognized as safe for inhalation none have
    shown any tendency to cause harm when suspended and dispersed in a viscous
    liquid as opposed to inhaled in raw form in ambient air. Even diacetyl.
    Point 3.May be technically correct,modern day. It has been posted on ECF the ingredients of a nicotine inhaler that contained PG.PG was approved for use in inhalers. It may not be used now but, why would someone go through the trouble of approving it just not to use it? Asthma nebulizers do use PG. Technically different but,still your inhaling it. To a layman the difference is meaningless.
    As far as increased health risks I believe the use of increasing amounts of VG
    is causing some issues of a minor nature but certainly correctable by dialing back on the percentage. The we don’t know is starting to lose it’s luster.
    Point 4.Total meaningless mumble jumble. Various studies comparing toxicity of smoke to vapor have shown smoke to be extremely toxic compared to vapor. Using the writers comparison, time smoking to actual illness, I would conjecture one
    would have to heavily vape for well over 100 years And still not get lung cancer.
    Point 5.Nice try.People are using more as people are opting for higher end gear
    from the start completely by passing cigalikes and standard ego style batts and carto’s. The problem is when you start comparing averages to averages.
    Cigarettes are not,have not and, as of today still not considered a risk factor in smoking. Not even for 5-6 PAD(or more) smokers. Comparing high end juice
    consumption with average cigarette consumption is the problem. Compare high end juice
    consumption to high end cigarette consumption.
    Point 6. The old all of our Doctors and lab technicians are complete mindless
    and evidently lazy automatons letting the proper diagnosis slip by because,
    what the heck, COPD sounds good too. This ignores the fact that over the course of time sufficient biopsies that are normally doen to determine the type,and severity of illness to determine the proper course of treatment that someone,somewhere,somehow might have used a little personal initiative or
    accidentally have stumbled on a case or two.
    I am not saying that harm from vaping is totally out of the realm of possibility. My point is this FUD is all based on ‘possible” unknown and unknowable
    things that “might” happen not, “will happen”. It’s just as possible an realistic
    to assume that vaping is completely safe for otherwise healthy individuals.

  • Greg Dj-g

    I’ve been thinking about point 1 for a bit now.
    Technically, I’m going to stand by that. It’s four ingredients.
    I can add BBQ Sauce as an “ingredient” to my cooking. It’s one ingredient, made up of tomatoes, spices, sugar, etc. etc.
    So, yes, it is four “ingredients”, the last ingredient being a compound.

    • Hot dogs only have one ingredient; food.

    • JustJunkMail

      If you sold the dish for mass consumption, would you have to break down the bbq sauce ingredients on the nutritional label?

      • Greg Dj-g

        McDonald’s just says “Special sauce” for a big mac. So, no.

      • Greg Dj-g

        KFC just says “7 herbs and spices”. It has never clarified which ones.
        Not required for nutrition label; nutrition label just has to say how many calories, carbs, fat, etc.

    • Edward Newman

      I really think the vape industries worst enemy is the vaper. Look at this comment and ask yourself, “would this sound stupid to someone who hasn’t made up their mind about vaping?” If the answer is yes then its probably not a safe argument.

    • JP

      Maybe use “components” rather than “ingredients”. Technically each flavouring should be a separate ingredient. For example, a long island ice tea might have 3 components (alcohol, cola and juice) but 8 ingredients (where each type of alcohol is listed separately).

  • Eric E

    I’m a vaper, and I’m pro vaping, but I’m worried that we are (as a community) trying to create this self licking ice cream cone of propaganda. Your points are all salient and give some great science to back them up. I’m not worried (mostly) about the health dangers of vaping. I am pretty sure it’s safer than cigarettes (by what measure is still being determined). What I’m worried about is the government jamming themselves into the industry as a knee jerk response to the tobacco industry’s uproar (which is also based on shoddy science).

  • Liam Bryan

    Great article and nicely balanced arguments – I’m quite failing to see why it is proving unpopular in some quarters! Nothing as written says ecigs are as dangerous as lit tobacco, it just urges accuracy.

    • Lee Johnson

      Thanks Liam! Yeah, I’m a little baffled by that too. But one good point raised by many was that I tore the arguments down without providing something to go in their place, so I’ve created a new little section for each with a suggested alternative now. They might not be as pithy, but at least they’re (hopefully) more accurate,

    • Juan Rulfo

      Lots non-vapers I know think vaping is as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than smoking cigarettes. They don’t know, for example, that e-juice has only three ingredients plus flavorings (plural). So that’s just counter-productive nit-picking about the latter.

  • Re the “What we can say instead” updates:

    A. For numerous reasons, you should really make a clear note in the text that each of these is updates rather than relying on people being able to figure out the endnote.

    B. It is truly sad that you felt so much political pressure against simply telling some truths that you needed to change this. It is not as if people cannot find the good arguments in other writings by you and others.

    C. I think the changes, unfortunately, weaken the post. Why not just state “there are may good arguments to be made, which are extensively recounted elsewhere”? The urge to offer a close analogy to each claim may calm some critics of telling the truth, but it is not usually a good way to go about it. The good arguments are not necessarily similar to the bad arguments. Specifically (with your numbering):

    1) To point about lower quantities of side-by-side chemicals is a good idea. But he concession to the “count the chemicals” game is not: Pure HCN has only one ingredient, but it is not a good idea to huff it.

    2) This clearly does not deserve any “instead”. There is no salvaging it and, worse, any reference to GRAS is falsely reassuring. People should just move on to something else.

    3) This is a good use of the “instead” approach, since the exact point that is intended is valid and only the specific claim is false.

    4) This “instead” is also good, though it is really the “instead” for every bad health argument. That is my point about just making the good arguments rather than feeling pressured to try to salvage the bad ones.

    5) Great care is needed with this one. Everyone is oversimplifying it. The oversimplified comparison to cigarettes is an effective retort to utter junk about diacetyl but it should be reserved for that specific deployment (and there are better retorts).

    6) Since that one is exactly what I say, no complaints. 🙂 Note that this is the better retort to diacetyl junk claims (including those coming from some vaping advocates).

    A bit more on point 4): This seems to be the one you are getting the most crap for debunking. One thing that you do not note is that the claim is almost certainly wrong. That is, given the number of person-years of vaping, it is almost certainly the case that at least one person has indeed “died from” vaping. (The meaning of “died from” — whether applied to smoking or anything else — is subtle. I wrote a series of posts about it a few months ago. I suspect that those who are making the “empty grave” claim cannot actually explain what they are actually claiming.)

    • Myk

      I like the changes. Pointing out faults without offering solutions is a pet peeve of mine. Sometimes people can only see the faults and have no solutions but too often people don’t even try and do nothing but complain. The solutions may or may not be as wrong as the fault finding but this is just an opinion piece.

      • In defense of LJ, no this is not just an opinion piece. There is a thesis statement of opinion, but the content is science — better science than in 99% of what is written on this topic. Tacking “solutions” onto an analysis that demonstrates problems is more than a pet peeve of mine. It is what is wrong with every “public health” paper you ever read. Not only is it unnecessary, but it is almost always lousy work, tacking seat-of-the-pants random personal thoughts, unanalyzed, onto what might be (is, in this case) a solid substantive analysis.

        • Myk

          Take popcorn lung for example. “It’s true that not many smokers are diagnosed with popcorn lung”, end of factual statement. Enter opinion, “but you can’t read too much into that”.
          Are we supposed to believe all smokers go to a Dr with shortness of breath and are diagnosed with COPD with no bronchoscopy/biopsy, no chest CT, both of which can dx BOS? I’ve had 2 chest xrays with no lung complaints just to have minor sedation. The CT I had at the ER picked up enough of my chest to diagnose pneumonia even though I had no lung complaints. CTE picked up a problem with my aorta resulting in a slew of additional testing. I’m sure my MRI had a good look at part of my lungs. Anyone with experience going to Dr’s recently knows if BOS was a problem with smoking it would be accidentally found, not hidden under a COPD dx. If anything medicine over tests not under tests. The fact that not many smokers are dx’d with BOS is huge.

  • Charles Peach

    Regarding quickmist, heres the ingredients:

    NICORETTE® QuickMist in addition to the active contains: propylene glycol, anhydrous ethanol, trometamol, poloxamer 407, glycerol, sodium hydrogen carbonate, levomenthol, mint flavour, cooling flavour, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, hydrochloric acid and purified water.

  • Regarding 5):

    > Virtually no full time vapers, in this age of 150 W mods and sub-ohm tanks,
    > is consuming just 1 ml per day.

    While this is probably very true, there are still quite a lot of vapers who did not and will not participate in the wattage race. Most mouth-to-lung style vapers don’t need 50+ watts, hell, we don’t even need 25 most of the time.

    But even with low-power, high-ohm MTL vaping, 1ml is not enough. I consume about 3ml per day in my favorite flavor tanks, a bit more on weekends or other non-working days.

    I have no idea what a typical sub-ohmer / cloud chaser consumes, but I’m pretty sure it can easily be more than 10ml a day.

    • Ben

      Doing some sub ohm squonking for about the past two weeks. So far, it seems I use ~ 3ml daily. Using evods & MTL I use ~ 1.5ml daily. Can feasibly see a heavy sub ohm user using two to three times more than my moderate use. So, yes agree that sub ohming could use ~10ml+ daily.

    • Vladimir Poutine

      Correct ! I’m running a 0.5 ohm coil. This ends up being about 35 watts. There is a competing to see who can make the most ‘smoke'(vapour) , which is stupid. I was driving behind a Buick the other day and every 30 seconds or so a BIG PUFF of vapour would come out the window.

    • cigarbabe

      I use a number of devices everyday typically{6-10} each with 4-6 ml tanks. I’m not a sub ohm vaper typically but I do refill my tanks at least 3 times a day and I use 18-24mg even if I sub ohm. I’m pretty sure that adds up to way over Michael Siegal’s “1 ml per day”. Most sub ohm vapers I know blaze through 15+ mls in a few hours/day dripping.

  • Stevan

    I have a problem with nr.1. – E-Liquid Only Has Four Ingredients. Using the same analogy, cigarettes have only two ingredients:Paper and tobacco. The point is that when you heat liquid a lot more chemicals appear, just like they do when you burn tobacco leaves.

    • Mad Dragon

      Actually you are wrong. Tobacco cigarettes have tons of added chemicals laced into the product. Since 1994 the industry has added a brine of chemicals to increase the effectiveness of the product, and in such has reduced the amount of actual tobacco in a cigarette. You are smoking roughly 20% tobacco now, and the rest is filler.

    • AlanStrangis

      Cigarettes have hundreds of added ingredients from preservatives to flavors.

    • JP

      It’s fair to say they contain glycol, glycerol, flavourings and optionally nicotine. It’s important to force detractors to specify the component rather than the system, when they say “e-cigarettes cause XYZ”. As for what appears when you heat the liquid, well no consumable on the market has to state that on the packaging. Too many variables.

  • jude

    My vaping advocacy is mainly directed at smokers I know personally, or meet in real life. This is what advocacy is about for me, not arguing with ANTZ nutters or liars on the internet, (which is pointless as these people are not about learning, they are about prohibition and punishing those who do not fit their ideological aims, or they are so blinded by fear of losing their positions and money that they have no conscience about lying even if those lies kill people).

    The ordinary people and smokers that I speak to aren’t interested in whether something is called an ingredient or a “chemical”, in fact for many as soon as the word “chemical” is used to explain what makes up vape liquids, they immediately fear it. This is because ANTZ and PH have used the word “chemical” as a propaganda word to put fear into the population. Same with the word “drug” or “addict”, both are used in a negative sense to cause fear or to denigrate smokers/vapers, or anyone else that doesn’t fit their eugenics driven ideal.

    So, I use language that doesn’t involve scary ANTZ propaganda words, when explaining vaping. I use language appropriate to my audience. For example, when my 70 year old neighbour asked what was in the vape liquid I make, I told her it has 4 ingredients, and what those ingredients were, and whether there was any worries with using any of these 4 ingredients. What I told her was accurate, (as far as I know), and there was no intention to mislead. When she asked if anyone had any health problems from vaping, I told her that no one had ever died from vaping, and it caused no diseases that I was aware of, both of these statements were accurate and true. She has since given up her 57 year smoking habit and has been vaping without any problems at all for the last 2 years. This is what advocacy is for me. Advocacy for me is not about nitpicking, its not about arguing with ANTZ over their lies, its not about being best buddies with those in PH who may support vaping, (on their terms), its about helping ordinary people, like myself, find a safer alternative to smoking tobacco.

    I will continue to use the language I think appropriate in my advocacy, I will continue to use whatever memes, information, whatever, that I think is appropriate to my advocacy. I will continue to be accurate and factual, but not to the point of turning people away, or kowtowing to the ANTZ highjacking of the language or arguments about vaping. ANTZ lie with seeming impunity, and I will not allow them to set the agenda or language around vaping.

    • Fergus Mason

      Well said. There’s far too much concern these days with what PH think. This baffles me. Yes, we can use their influence on occasion – but they should never be allowed to forget that vaping does not belong to them, that most of us don’t give a shit about their authoritarian obsessions, and that their claim to be “stakeholders” is dishonest, arrogant and revolting.

      • jude

        Absolutely correct. We need to remember that what smokers and vapers want bears no relation to what ANTZ liars want. I don’t want to see smokers more hated, vilified and discriminated against, and certainly don’t want to see this happen to vapers. However, this is what ANTZ want, and are pushing for, prohibition, punishment, and yet more hatred and vilification, and many in PH want the same.

        Given the reliance on tobacco taxes worldwide, it is not surprising that those that rely on these funds for their existence, (so rely on people continuing to smoke), is it any wonder that their lies about vaping are screamed from every platform they can take over. The one platform they cannot touch is the one provided by word of mouth, from vapers to smokers. This is the platform I work with, and keeping the big mouthed liars in PH, and their toxic eugenics ideology, out of this space, is my aim.

  • I don’t know who’s claiming e-liquid has only 4 “chemicals”, I’ve seen
    lots of claims about 4 “ingredients”. That is a very different thing. Ingredients are often complex chemical compounds. Heck the list of chemicals in a banana would blow your mind (there are 70 chemical compounds)!

    There is no current manufacturer of “asthma inhalers” using PG. However
    Ventolin brand albuterol inhalers did use PG as the excipient until the
    regulations changed regarding the propellant use (to save the ozone
    layer). When that change happened about 10-12 years ago the inhalers
    were reformulated with a different excipient/propellant and PG was
    eliminated. So the claim *was* true about products used over 10 years
    ago, it is *not* true since vaping was introduced to the US.

    [N.B.: The same goes for the claim of PG being used in hospital air handlers.
    With the advent of HEPA filters PG can no longer be used and is not
    necessary as the HEPA class filters we use are able to stop virus
    particles whic h PG couldn’t do efficiently. There hasn’t been a PG
    misting in hospitals in a very long time (decades).}

    The popcorn lung bit is best countered with:
    “There are orders of magnitude less diacetyl in e-cigs than in combustibles. To
    date not one case of popcorn lung has been noted in a smoker who was
    not also exposed to the chemical in an industrial setting.”
    This conforms to the research and investigative reports NIOSH published regarding Diacetyl. It is also worth understanding that the presence in e-liquid of an amount does not equate to a dose in the user. Much of what is vaporized is exhaled and further diluted before bystanders are exposed. Thus the actual dose is likely less than what would be in the bottle as tested. That is why it is very important to get further testing on the actual dose exposure. There are techniques emerging that replicate what the exposure would be but they are not well developed yet.

    #JustSaying #ScienceMatters

  • “Plus, when presented with a smoker with lung problems, is a doctor going to jump to popcorn lung as a diagnosis, or just assume it’s COPD?”

    This is a stupid claim. If they’re real doctors, they at least do tests. “There are a number of differences between bronchiolitis obliterans and other more common obstructive lung diseases such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). For example, in asthma, the degree of airway obstruction expressed by the FEV1/FVC ratio is not long lasting and alters from day to day. Furthermore, FEV1 values return to normal when treating asthma with short-term bronchiole dilators. Moreover, COPD nearly always results in decreased diffusion capacity of the lungs for carbon dioxide (CO2) together with excessive reactivity of respiratory tract. These described symptoms are not characteristic features of bronchiolitis obliterans. This condition can be distinguished from fibrotic changes of the lung, such as those in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis or asbestosis by means of impairment of air flow but not FVC value. Notwithstanding, during the early disease stage, the TLC value is raised however, when fibrotic lung changes occur, this indicator becomes lowered.” pubmed/25272573

    If there were large numbers of popcorn lung patients among COPD patients, this would have been noted. They would have loved to find another phony “smoking-related” disease, and they would have been all over it! Furthermore, they falsely blame smoking for COPD that’s really caused by CMV.

    • Lee Johnson

      Fair enough, that was a stupid claim. I didn’t mean to suggest doctors wouldn’t do tests, or that they would just offer a hand-waving “ah it’s probably COPD” and not look into it any further, but I can see why it came across that way. My apologies!

      My point was based on Dr. Farsalinos’ argument in his diacetyl study, which was that diacetyl may contribute to the lung problems that smokers do get, and so saying smokers don’t get popcorn lung – and in the process implying that diacetyl isn’t a particular concern in cigarettes – is a little misleading.

      His full paper is behind a paywall, but he mentions it in this post: https://www.blacknote.com/the-diacetyl-debate-what-top-researchers-have-to-say/

      “We should not forget that cigarette smoke contains not only diacetyl (at
      high levels) but also many more respiratory toxins. The combined
      exposure to these toxins can lead to a different form of respiratory
      disease, Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. Also, it is important to stress that Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease is
      much more common in smokers compared to popcorn lung disease in those
      exposed to diacetyl in the occupational setting.”

      • Well, Farsalinos is just parroting the Establishment line.He is after all just another one of the same old chemistry crowd that doesn’t know jack about infections and sees no need to do so.

  • #1 can still be better defined…
    In the creation of an e-juice, there’s between 4-10 (ish) ingredients. (PG, VG, nic, and one or more flavours). In cigarettes, there are hundreds of ingredients, in some cases over 500 various additives beyond the tobacco itself.

    We don’t KNOW the exact number but “about 5” vs >400 is fair.

    When a cigarette is burnt, the chemical reaction creates new, dangerous chemicals like aldehydes and other carcinogens, all a common byproduct to combustion. They can contain 4000 or more different chemicals. In some studies that number has been recorded as over 5000.

    When an ecigarette is vaped (properly), there should be little to no chemical reaction, so what actually hits our lungs is the PG, VG, nicotine and the chemicals that make up the flavours, and little more.
    Depending on the flavour complexity, there can be an additional 7-30 chemicals, and saying “roughly 20” like in the third image would be fair.

    For example, look at TPAs MSDS chemical listings, publically available on their website.

    Their Apple Pie has 6 chemicals, counting the PG, and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream has 4, counting the PG. The two flavours also share the vanillin compound.

    A flavour that used PG, VG, nic, Apple Pie, and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, plus a sweetener, would have 11 chemicals if vaped without excessive heat.

    That would put the numerical results at 4000 for cigarettes, and it would be pretty much accurate.
    See the below graphics, which I think are pretty accurate, and still paint a pretty stark picture with a clear message.

    • Lee Johnson

      This is excellent, and exactly my intention for the post! 🙂

      The third one is my favourite: it makes the point clearly, powerfully and transparently. I don’t see how it would hurt the message to say that instead, at all.

  • Karyyl

    The trouble is, you are saying we have to counter ANTZ sound-bites with mouthfuls if qualified science-speak. That means we lose, period. The wrong catchy phrases have to be replaced with right catchy phrases.

  • Helen Damnation ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    One correction, for accuracy and clarity; inhalation is another form of consumption, ingestion is another one. Ingestion commonly refers to “by mouth”, which can also be included in inhalation methods.

  • red

    Just wanted to comment about the part saying “And you hardly see asthmatics blowing out clouds, so we’re clearly consuming larger quantities of PG with each puff too”. My girlfriend is actually an asthmatic that used to rely on inhalators on a daily basis. She was never a smoker. She claimed that being indoors where I vaped helped her breath better and hasn’t used an inhaler for over a year now apart from few times when she had the flu. She also vapes about 10ml of liquid / month herself just for recreative purposes and says her asthma isn’t worse for it.

    So purely empiric evidence, but seems like passive vaping/vaping actually has some sort of benefits for asthmatics, at least, in our case. Could be a complete coincidence too, but we’ve found it pretty interesting.

  • JP

    Frankly, when I see anti vaper statements like “e-cigarettes are touted as safe alternatives to regular cigarettes”, I wonder whether what we say really matters, because it’s all just being made up anyway.

  • Vladimir Poutine

    Royal College of Physicians say: It’s safe, go ahead and use them instead of Smoking. NHS might even make them Available for FREE to patients that want to quit smoking.

    This is the latest news, from Canada.

    • Jenny

      They are already free on the NHS since early January this year. A device made by British American Tobacco I think.

      • Vladimir Poutine

        Thats good , but I don’t like a ‘tobacco company’ involvement !

  • StormFinch

    A little late here, but since this piece is making the rounds again…

    It seems RJR is now taking a page from our playbook and giving the “commonly found in foods” spiel. We are once again getting a list of ingredients however, and frankly I’m sitting here cringing at what I used to inhale. Anyone have a clue what setting any essential oil, of which there are quite a few, on fire and breathing it does? And of course there’s the other garbage as well. http://www.rjrt.com/commercial-integrity/ingredients/cigarette-ingredients/

    As to the diacetyl argument, it’s a summation of a quote by Jennifer S. Pierce et al. in ‘Diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione exposures associated with cigarette smoking: implications for risk assessment of food and flavoring workers’ and it goes like this: “Further, because smoking has not been shown to be a risk factor for bronchiolitis obliterans, our findings are inconsistent with claims that diacetyl and/or 2,3-pentanedione exposure are risk factors for this disease.”

  • Chipotle illness totals 2016 = 157 – Vaping = 0 … Enjoy your lunch and leave me alone 🙂

  • Superb post i have found ever. Every vaper should have deep look at this.

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