Another week, and more legislation, arguments about the risks and benefits of vaping, media stories about explosions and potential poisonings, new vaping gear and great blog posts from the community. So what’s been going on in the world of vaping?
Improving on our first “the Week in Vaping” post, we’ve revised our approach a little and decided to tone down the commentary and simply provide a jumping-point to the biggest vaping-related stories of the week. Since we missed last week, though, this week's version will cover some stories from then, as well as this week's news.
Additionally, we’ll be publishing on Sundays from now on, so check back each week for more!
Public Health England Controversy Continues
The declaration that e-cigarettes are 95 percent safer than smoking has attracted a great deal of controversy, in part due to the alleged conflicts of interest marring the estimate, but largely due to the vocal minority who (bafflingly) oppose evidence-based communication on e-cigarettes.
In my view McKee and Capewell fundamentally misunderstand the health potential of electronic cigarettes, which offer smokers, for the first time, a population-level consumer-led solution to an otherwise lethal dependence on tobacco smoking.
Much of this occurred last week, but this week, Dr. Farsalinos has offered a new blog post, calling attention to the damage done by the report with an email he received from a consumer, whose son was convinced to go back to smoking by the report.
The recent study which led to claims e-cigarettes are a gateway to cigarettes has also come under a great deal of criticism (largely last week), for the obvious reasons that it established neither regular vaping nor progression to regular smoking.
As always, research on e-cigarettes is ongoing, and some new studies have been released in the last couple of weeks.
Last week, a study dealt a big blow to the “passive vaping” concerns by showing that levels of volatile organic compounds in e-cigarette vapor compare very favorably with those of ordinary indoor air and exhaled breath – air and breath actually contain more of the chemicals than e-cig vapor.
Michael Siegel has criticized this decision for the apparent claim that some cigarettes are safer than others, while still refusing to acknowledge e-cigarettes as safer than cigarettes. He also gives quite a hilarious response to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids’ pride in their apparent achievement in getting these specific cigs off the market.
Manitoba, Winnipeg is also considering a bill that would prevent sales to minors, ban vaping in most indoor locations and put restrictions on advertising of e-cigarettes, which has also been amended to include a ban on flavored products.
Miscellaneous News: Toddler Vaping and an Explosion
There have also been a couple of examples of the media blowing the risks associated with vaping out of proportion. The risks of poisoning and explosions exist with many consumer products, but when that product is e-cigarettes, we hear about pretty much every incident.
And another has the odd headline: “Toddler unharmed after puffing from e-cigarette.” The child was awake at 3:30 AM, and was found vaping his father’s e-cigarette (while dad was in the kitchen), but – despite some vomiting – the child wasn’t poisoned and is absolutely fine. Careless parenting, but thankfully with no serious consequences.
Vaping Blog Posts and Other Relevant Stories
As always, there have been some great posts about vaping, from both vaping sites and more mainstream sources, some of which are gathered here.