cOur last blog featured the first part of the infographic “Reveal the Truth” that compared electronic cigarettes with traditional tobacco cigarettes. It should be noted the graphic was put together by XEO, an electronic cigarette company. This second part of the graphic deals with what they call “quick facts.” A statement from the American Association of Public Health Physicians included in the graphic is shown down below.
Yes, the graphic is correct about tobacco cigarette smoking – it kills people, no one will argue that fact. The graphic above lists approximately 443,000 deaths per year, however, the CDC has put that number at 480,000 annually. New data states the number may be higher still. The statement does not say in the U.S. only, so worldwide tobacco causes more than 5 million deaths per year. The same CDC document linked above listed the number of deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke at nearly 42,000.
On the electronic cigarette side of the graphic it states that studies proved e-cigarettes are “100% safe” but there is no documentation to back up this statement. It also states that it is a “better alternative to cigarette smoking.” While it is true electronic cigarettes do not contain the thousands of chemicals found in tobacco cigarettes, which would make it better than tobacco smoking, to say e-cigs are 100% safe is false. Even the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association says “any substance containing nicotine is not 100% safe.” The graphic also states it has the ability to regular the smoking habit, but does not state how.
The graphic states “no harmful chemicals,” yet documentation is emerging identifying the chemicals found in e-cigarettes. A “Chemical Evaluation of Electronic Cigarettes,” from The BMJ (British Medical Journal) from 2014 using literature searches found ingredients and “environmental emissions vary considerably” between devices, as do levels of compounds. Substances such as nicotine, aldehydes, tobacco-specific nitrosamines, metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and volatile organic compounds were found. Nicotine itself is a toxic compound and can be lethal if ingested. The “Harmful Chemicals in Electronic Cigarettes” lists 42 chemicals identified in e-cigarettes, some of those are found in side stream smoke, and/or mainstream smoke. Ten of the chemicals found are on California’s Proposition 65 and are known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.
True, e-cigarettes produce no tar or ash and you don’t need a lighter to use them. If you use a rechargeable model, you do need to keep it charged if you want to vape. But be careful as there have been reports of the charger or device exploding, even while using it. Refillable devices need liquid nicotine, and the concentrated nicotine is highly toxic and can cause irritation to the skin. Most e-liquid bottles are not yet child-proof and this has proven deadly to one young child, and sent hundreds of others to the emergency room with nicotine poisoning. If something is that deadly, it is not 100% safe.
The graphic states that “higher stamina, productivity and efficiency have been seem (sic) among people who switched to E-cigarettes.” Once again, no links to scientific studies are provided. E-cigarette users have reported they are able to breath better because they are no longer breathing in tar and other chemicals, but beware. A study released in January 2015 linked the liquid used in e-cigarettes to a considerably higher risk of respiratory viral infections, whether or not it contained nicotine. As for productivity, “no smoking” includes no vaping in many places of business. Since you can’t smoke or vape, you may be more productive and use your time more efficiently.
The infograph also includes a Statement from the American Association of Public Health Physicians and we looked on the web to find this quote published under AAPHP. We found an “AAPHP Statement re: State Regulation of E-Cigarettes” with the exact quote in what looks like a letter from the quote’s originator, written April 2, 2010 but it was posted on an electronic cigarette company website, not on the AAPHP official website.
The AAPHP site gives options for quitting smoking such as quitting cold turkey, using nicotine replacements, and other medications. They also suggest using smokeless tobacco products to replace cigarettes. They go on to say “E-cigarettes and dissolvable tobacco products (sticks, strips and orbs) promise even larger reductions in risk, but they are too new on the market for research to have documented such benefits.” AAPHP provides links for their “Principles to Guide AAPHP Tobacco Policy,” “For Smokers Only” that favors harm reduction by using smokeless products, and an E-Cigarette Forum.
Two statements in their “Principals to Guide” from above says the healthiest option is to never initiate tobacco/nicotine use, and the best option is to quit. The 70% of smokers who want to quit would probably agree with those statements.
Check back with this blog to read the third and final installment of Reveal the Truth.
Check HERE to see the infographic in its entirety.