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Good morning, Gussacks!  Happy Saturday.  Up at 5 a.m. at the insistence of Emily (pootie) had my coffee, and now trying to come up with a relevant topic.

GUS (Gave Up Smoking) is a community support diary for Kossacks in the midst of quitting smoking.  Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated.  If you are quitting, or even thinking of quitting, please -- join us!

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While Emily enjoys her view


of the early morning


lets talk about those electronic cigarettes aka e-cigarettes some of you may be using.  

Smoking Everywhere Electronic Cigarette: It Looks like a cigarette, Feels like a cigarette, Taste like a cigarette, But it is not a cigarette. It is just so much more...

Smoking Everywhere (most annoying website I've found in months)

Yes, indeed, it is just so much more -- like a device that contains carcinogens and toxic substances.  Some contain low-levels of nicotine.  As you may have heard and/or commented about, the Food and Drug Administration released an analysis of 19 e-cigarettes

that said half contained nitrosamines (the same carcinogen found in real cigarettes) and many contained diethylene glycol, the poisonous ingredient in antifreeze. Some that claimed to have no nicotine were found to have low levels of the drug.

LA Times

FDA  News Release

It’s unclear whether the announcement will bring a broader crackdown against e-cigarette distributors, which have been selling the products to U.S. smokers for about four years. The FDA has intercepted 50 shipments of e-cigarettes and product components, 17 of them since March. Most of the products are made in China.


This article is well worth a full read as it gives better detail than the LA Times article.

I don't know about anyone else, but I would not use anything made in China which ends up in my lungs.

The FDA was handed more authority over regulating cigarettes, nicotine and tobacco products by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act which President Obama signed on June 22nd.  The FDA must determine if the e-cigarette is a delivery device for nicotine and, if so, it may be subject to the same type of clinical trials as medical devices.

The FDA has been examining and detaining shipments of e-cigarettes at the border and the products it has examined thus far meet the definition of a combination drug-device product under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The FDA has been challenged regarding its jurisdiction over certain e-cigarettes in a case currently pending in federal district court.

FDA Newsletter

While the FDA has been seizing shipments of e-cigarettes, running small clinical tests and determined them to be drug delivery devices, they have yet to give notice of proposed regulation in the Federal Register.

The distributors are complaining that they would be put out of business because of the expense of clinical trials required for FDA approval of drug-devices.  Currently there is precious little data on e-cigarettes and zero regulation of the toxic mix they contain even though individual substances are regulated under the EPA.  The FDA embargo is a start, but basically futile since e-cigarettes are sold in malls and can be bought on-line.

I know many folks depend on this aid, but there is little evidence that it is actually effective, and worse, it is unclear what dose of nicotine and other nasty stuff is ingested. In addition, certain brands come in flavors like chocolate, bubble gum or mint in order to appeal to young folks.  

Health advocates, however, say that e-cigarettes are being marketed to kids. By adding flavors such as bubble gum, e-cigarettes could get children hooked on nicotine and serve as a gateway to tobacco, says Jonathan Winickoff, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Tobacco Consortium, who spoke at the FDA's teleconference. He notes that the products are sold online and at shopping malls, where their marketing videos are seen by children and teens.

USA Today


Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has a very good statement which includes

[T]hese products risk deterring current smokers from quitting by providing an alternative source of nicotine in places where smoking is not allowed. They also provide an unproven and unapproved alternative to smoking cessation therapies that have been approved by the FDA as safe and effective. Smokers concerned about their health should utilize approved smoking cessation medications and counseling rather than unapproved products. As the World Health Organization has concluded, until electronic cigarette manufacturers have conducted the necessary scientific studies and gone through the appropriate regulatory process, "WHO does not consider it to be a legitimate therapy for smokers trying to quit."

life sciences world

The statement is quite good, not that long and worth a read.

I'm hoping the FDA stays on top of this issue and redeems itself as a credible agency.  It won't happen, but the FDA should ban tobacco altogether since it is a known carcinogen with zero health benefits.

If any of you are using e-cigarettes, please read the whole Star-Telegram article and the FDA Newsletter which has further links to report if you have any bad side effects.

I hope this wasn't already covered in another GUS diary!  I searched tags and found one diary written by ThatPoshGirl last August.  I'd be interested to know her experience.

Update: DemFromCT notes that e-cigarettes were noted in yesterday's Health Care Friday diary.  It contains a link to the Washington Post article.  

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Originally posted to gchaucer2 on Sat Jul 25, 2009 at 06:09 AM PDT.

Also republished by gussians.

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