back to article E-cigarettes help save lives, says Royal College of Physicians

The Royal College of Physicians has issued a report strongly critical of “public health” scolds, such as GPs and EU officials, who want the use of e-cigarettes of restricted. These anti-vaping crusaders are costing lives, the venerable institution warns, as encouraging e-cigarettes is the most effective tobacco control …

  1. Jimbo 6
    Coat

    A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

    Now that really is a breath of fresh air.

    1. Lusty

      Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

      I'm not convinced it is. Have they done a thorough long term health study on the effects of the various chemicals in the goop which goes through these things? As a non smoker who used to smoke, I'm just as worried about inhaling that crap as I am second hand smoke. What's more worrying is that most "vapers" think it's just water vapour they are breathing and when I tell them it's not they are quite often surprised.

      Yes, maybe I am overreacting but no, I don't think it's unreasonable of me to expect someone to actually test the new version of smoking after what happened with the old version of smoking which also used to be considered safe.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

        > Have they done a thorough long term health study on the effects of the various chemicals in the goop which goes through these things?

        Yes, the have. It's propylene glycol plus some flavourings. All of which are "food safe" and have been around for a very long time.

        1. Lusty

          Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

          "All of which are "food safe" and have been around for a very long time."

          Hotdogs are food safe, but breathing them in is not advisable. Eating and breathing are different things. I expect that raw tobacco leaves are safe to eat too, but setting fire to them and breathing in the smoke is apparently bad for us. Capsaicin is good to eat, but when vapourised and sprayed in your face is much less fun and actually used as a weapon. Use-case is everything...

          I was asking for a long term study into the specific safety of breathing in these chemicals when they have been rapidly heated in an e-cigarette and inhaled hot.

          I am not interested in a study saying that it would be safe if I crack open the device and drink the liquid within.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

            Hot dogs aren't safe though. They contain high levels of salt, fat, and sodium nitrate, which promotes colorectal cancer.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

            Lusty - Here's some light reading for you

            http://www.ecigalternative.com/ecigarette-studies-research.htm

          3. Richard 81

            Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

            "I expect that raw tobacco leaves are safe to eat too"

            You'd be wrong. Chewing tobacco gives you mouth cancer: http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/tobacco/smokeless-fact-sheet Tobacco is dangerous even if it isn't burned, since it contains nitrosamines which are powerful carcinogens. Nicotine is not the most dangerous chemical in tobacco. Not by a long shot.

            1. Lusty

              Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

              "Chewing tobacco gives you mouth cancer"

              Chewing tobacco is a very, very different thing to raw leaves.

              1. entropyk48

                Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

                As a boy living in Maryland (my father was in the Navy, we lived in a lot of different places), we resided on a still partially working farm where the main house was converted to a duplex for rent. The caretaker of the property still ran small, mostly subsistence crops for his family. One of these was tobacco for him self. He simply cured (aged) hanging it in a small barn, and simply tore some raw tobacco leaf off these for chewing, and possibly smoking, as he also smoked a pipe. Years later when in the Army I tried commercial chewing tobacco, as I recall it was simply tobacco leaf and sweet flavorings, mainly licorice and sugar. As a smoker for over 50 years who is partially bed-ridden (not because of smoking related), I am trying desperately to quit and have tried all the current replacement and drug cessation adjuncts to no avail. I am planning to this week try ecigs hoping that they will work, as I and my doc think that boredom of sitting around is mt biggest enemy and ecigs give me hope for a form of success, anyhow.

          4. Palpy

            Re: Effects of inhaling propylene glycol.

            Yes, my thoughts exactly. I love eating capsaicin (in proper dilutions, ie, hot sauce) but my lungs clench up if I breathe vapors whilst dicing hot peppers.

            That said, a quick Goggle on the Online reveals that at least some studies show inhaling PG to be harmless.

            Journal of Pharmacology abstract

            Here's the public health statement from the ATSDR:

            Linky

            Oddly enough, a very dated study suggests that PG may be a germicidal and inhaling the vapors may be protective against some infections. Use that information with proper mental protection in place, please.

            "Propylene glycol, the primary ingredient in the electronic cigarette cartridge, may be a powerful deterrent against pneumonia, influenza, and other respiratory diseases when vaporized and inhaled according to a study by Dr. Oswald Hope Robertson. Decades before the e cigarette was invented, a study was conducted by Dr. Robertson of the University of Chicago's Billings Hospital in 1942 on inhalation of vaporized propylene glycol in laboratory mice.... [Time magazine stated,] 'Dr. Robertson placed groups of mice in a chamber and sprayed its air first with propylene glycol, then with influenza virus. All the mice lived. Then he sprayed the chamber with virus alone. All the mice died.'"

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Effects of inhaling propylene glycol.

              I'm less concerned about the chemical goop than the heating element itself. The most obvious choice for a heating coil is nichrome. The rapid heating and cooling of the coil will cause the surface of the coil to slough off nano-particulates of nickel and chromium. Some coils I know are made of an aluminium alloy which is just as bad. A study into the contents of the vapour - and this stuff is sucked straight into your lungs with the aim of getting as deep in there as possible - showed that these metallic nano-particles were present in the vapour, especially from cheap Chinese elements. Another study (unrelated to the e-cig one) showed that nano-particulate nickel and chromium, when inhaled, can trigger neurone death and start the cascade of cell death that leads to Alzheimer's disease. These metallic nano-particles are already present in the atmosphere as the result of car exhaust, mainly aluminium, copper, iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, and vanadium - Nickel was found only in Marine Diesel fumes.

              Anyway, the whole business of getting campaigns together to lobby legislators or convince the masses that this is safe or this is dangerous etc etc smacks to me of the whole Ad Men thing, with the smoking during pregnancy is good for you and the asbestos - wonder material! cover up and the thalidomide cover-up. Rather than anyone getting any decisive empirical evidence together, people just throw money out to try and secure more money. Damn the health of people, damn the future, money money money NOW! It will come clear in time, and certainly traditional tobacco products are an evil burden, I just say more research, please.

              Of course, you could encapsulate the heating element in, say, glass.

              1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: Effects of inhaling propylene glycol.

                this stuff is sucked straight into your lungs with the aim of getting as deep in there as possible

                I do no such thing! The water particles are at least an order of magnitude larger than smoke particles and thus too big to enter the alveoli. Like many vapers, I don't inhale at all. The nicotine is absorbed via the mucosa in my mouth and sinuses.

                1. TRT Silver badge

                  Re: Effects of inhaling propylene glycol.

                  @Pompous git. The absorption is the crucial bit. It matters not where it gets in - if nano particulate (~5nM dia) nickel, aluminium or chromium gets into your body, into your cells, nucleic acids may wrap around them and if this happens in neurones, it may accelerate cell death by displacing linker histones which may disrupt mitochondrial function (neurones are very susceptible to mitochondrial failure). I'm saying may, it's all conjecture based on some studies and some as yet unpublished results from colleagues here where I work. I know down votes follow me whenever I point this out to people; I regard that as ostrich behaviour. Vaping is better than smoking, I *think*, because there is not sufficient research evidence one way or the other yet, but it is not risk free and there may be further effects - Alzheimer's is a very slow disease in general; a generational disease, and one with huge financial implications for society as it is structured today. If one wants an analogy, asbestos was hailed as a wonder substance, would save countless lives by slowing or containing a fire, looked harmless, far from it - I lost relatives due to that substance some 40 years after exposure.

                  So, I'm saying look carefully at the design you use - silver wire is probably better than nichrome or aluminium for elements, better still don't let the element come into contact with the vapour at all. Just to be on the safe (er) side.

                  1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                    Re: Effects of inhaling propylene glycol.

                    if nano particulate (~5nM dia) nickel, aluminium or chromium gets into your body, into your cells, nucleic acids may wrap around them and if this happens in neurones, it may accelerate cell death by displacing linker histones which may disrupt mitochondrial function (neurones are very susceptible to mitochondrial failure). I'm saying may, it's all conjecture based on some studies and some as yet unpublished results from colleagues here where I work. I know down votes follow me whenever I point this out to people

                    Well that should please the dentists! Having made a small fortune replacing mercury fillings with nichrome, they can replace nichrome with, oh I dunno, platinum say. And presumably some study will find platinum to be potentially unsafe...

                    No downvotes from me BTW. I tend to prefer upvoting.

                    Apropos asbestos, the first report to government on its dangers I read (back in 1969) was dated to the first decade of the 20th C. I suspect that governments are more of a health risk than the many things we are supposed to be alarmed by. Sorry about your relatives dying from mesothelioma -- nasty. Quite a few of mine died in Mr Hitler's Hoilday Camps. Also not particularly relevant to effective NRT.

          5. goldcd

            The point is the difference between smoking and vaping.

            Smoking burns the tobacco - what is in the cigarette is chemically altered by combustion (into a bazillion different things, plenty of which are harmful).

            Vaping just heats the 'gloop' to a vapour, that then condenses in your lungs.

            It's PG, VG, nicotine and flavouring.

            There are some concerns though. Diacetyl gives a butter flavour and was used to microwave popcorn. Some workers in the factory exposed to it, screwed their lungs - so when it was found in some gloop there was a minor panic.

            Main issue was that nobody has worked out how much is too much.

            I'm all for safety guidelines - but what we're clearly seeing now is a concerted effort to ban the greatest prevention of smoking we've ever seen. Not even subtle.

        2. 8Ace

          propylene glycol plus some flavourings ?

          Well yes but what happens to them when they are vaporised along with nicotine at the very high temps used here. Food additives have only been tested for safety in a cooking/food environment.

          What are the by-products for example. If it's safe fine, but let's find out by testing, not spouting "it's food stuff so it must be ok" nonsense. Vegetable oil is safe to eat and cook but at temperatures just beyond those used for normal cooking it produces aldehydes which are linked to cancer.

          1. Richard 81

            Re: propylene glycol plus some flavourings ?

            @8Ace: but we're not talking about very high temps. Unless the thing is faulty, the mixture should not be reacting in any way that might make it dangerous. To reiterate, the chemicals will have been tested for their behaviour at the temperatures used by an e-cigg.

            Honestly, people's fear of these things is as silly thinking WiFi signals will give you cancer.

            1. Fibbles

              Re: propylene glycol plus some flavourings ?

              I'm fine with vaping but the flavour additives definitely need to be regulated.

              There were stories last year of e-cig liquids containing Diacetyl. It's an artificial flavouring added to 'butter' popcorn and is safe to eat. Inhaling it however will seriously mess up your lungs.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: propylene glycol plus some flavourings ?

                « There were stories last year of e-cig liquids containing Diacetyl. It's an artificial flavouring added to 'butter' popcorn and is safe to eat. Inhaling it however will seriously mess up your lungs. »

                Smoking has never been associated, directly or indirectly, with diacetyl-induced pathologies. And yet tobacco smoke contains way more diacetyl than even the worst eliquids.

                So while I agree with you that eliquid flavourings should be regulated in order to avoid dangerous chemicals (including diacetyl), let's be honest and stop the paranoia: it's highly unlikely that the levels of diacetyl present in some shoddy eliquids have any measurable effect at all.

                1. TRT Silver badge

                  Re: propylene glycol plus some flavourings ?

                  @Pompous Git.

                  Metal and Silicate Particles Including Nanoparticles Are Present in Electronic Cigarette Cartomizer Fluid and Aerosol.

                  Monique Williams, Amanda Villarreal, Krassimir Bozhilov, Sabrina Lin, Prue Talbot. Plos One (2013). This was a somewhat controversial paper; caused quite a stir on the vaping forums at the time.

                  1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                    Re: propylene glycol plus some flavourings ?

                    Thanks TRT; interesting. Seems odd that nanoparticles of nickel are being investigated for anti-inflammatory use. So it goes...

          2. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: propylene glycol plus some flavourings ?

            Food additives have only been tested for safety in a cooking/food environment.

            No, they haven't. They are GRAS (generally regarded as safe) because they are substances that have been consumed by people for very long periods of time with no apparent ill-effects. As for the carrier, it's used for stage smoke and we don't hear of any moves to ban its use at rock concerts, stage plays, military displays, movie sets etc. Exposure is less than 1% of the safe industrial limit in workplaces.

            As for the "link to cancer", Bruce Ames work indicated that just about everything we consume is linked to cancer. You'll starve to death if you avoid eating anything!

        3. Alexander J. Martin
          Pint

          Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

          Cloud chasers, if you don't dislike the term, prefer your vegetable glycerine rather than PG as it's softer on the throat.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

          How many 'food safe' items have been breathed rather than consumed in the past? They have been tested for eating and drinking but not breathing so their long term effects on the lungs are not known.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

            How many 'food safe' items have been breathed rather than consumed in the past?

            All of them. Most of what we describe as flavour is detected by the olfactory nerves in our nasal cavity. It's also one of the reasons warm food is tastier than food that's very cold. The volatiles we are smelling when we eat are emitted in greater quantities at higher temperatures.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

              Nickel and Chromium per se are not dangerous. It's the particulate size as well. The study linking inhaled nickel nanoparticles and Alzheimer's was someone who worked in a car spray booth re-chroming classic American car parts. He got ill within 6 months of them changing the spray process - the new machinery made smaller particles.

              1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                @ TRT

                I haven't been able to find any evidence that nichrome wires generate nickel nanoparticles, but thanks for your heads up on the potential. I have put an immediate ban in place on the use of the toaster, electric sandwich press, washing machine, hair dryer and fan heater in my household. This will of course not eliminate the exposure due to the extensive use of integrated circuits in the TV, Hi-fi amp, computers etc, but will go some small way toward mitigating the risk.

                The doctors tell me I should be good to eat solid food again in about 6 weeks time, Mrs Git having taken somewhat unkindly to the new regime.

      2. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

        Have they done a thorough long term health study on the effects of the various chemicals in the goop which goes through these things?

        Glycerine and propylene glycol ('goop', as you put it) are both food additives with a long history of use.

        Now let's see how many people are scared of anything with an E number.

        1. Chemical Bob

          Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

          While propylene glycol is considerably less dangerous than ethylene glycol, the MSDS lists skin, liver and kidney damage as possible effects from exposure and it has been forbidden to use in cat food due to it causing Heinz Body Anemia. Some individuals are apparently bothered by propylene glycol vapors as well.

          So is it safe? Who knows. Wouldn't surprise me if the FDA does an about-face on this stuff in a few years, they spent over 5 decades telling us that chicken eggs would kill us only to finally realize they were shitheads.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

          Glycerine and propylene glycol...well Porp Glycol are used by Asthmatics in their inhalers.....so I would assume that inhaling it is safe...Just saying

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

        Goop. Crap. Yes I can tell you took post-GCSE chemistry.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

        "As a non smoker who used to smoke" - yep, you sound like an ex smoker

      5. streaky
        Flame

        Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

        Have they done a thorough long term health study on the effects of the various chemicals in the goop which goes through these things? As a non smoker who used to smoke, I'm just as worried about inhaling that crap as I am second hand smoke. What's more worrying is that most "vapers" think it's just water vapour they are breathing and when I tell them it's not they are quite often surprised

        <- Ex-smoker who now vapes.

        The simple answer to your question is yes.

        The base liquids like PG/VG/Nicotine are very well understood no issues there. The risk comes from flavourings that are varying degrees of well understood - why? Because most of them are used in industrial settings where they're heated and atomised into much higher concentrations than you'd ever see from vaping over longer periods you'd ever be exposed from vaping.

        Most of them are just plain safe to breathe in, some have varying degrees of issues - some could outright dangerous if you use enough. Thing is this information is available freely.

        Couple of things: even the worst stuff you could put in juice is orders of magnitude safer than smoking itself. Most people don't put these chemicals in their ejuice anyway and those that do tend to use them at levels where they're likely to be almost completely safe.

        You have to weigh these things on risk. If you're going to weigh this stuff up and say which is safer: smoking or vaping then the simple answer is it's going to be vaping every time. Once you find a flavour you like (which for most adults is going to be the fruity flavours that are *allegedly* aimed at children) and a tank that works for you you can just stop smoking - it's really like flipping a switch.

        If you're gonna make assumptions because you don't understand something that a lot of smart people have spent a lot of time researching (including many scientists and many in the medical profession) then you should just keep it to yourself - because you're not helping, you're impeding the fight against smoking and you're helping tobacco corps in doing what they're doing. You're actively supporting them because they're going around buying up all the ecig companies that are compliant with the EU regs but are also really terrible at getting people away from smoking - and many have said (and this is completely believable given the evidence) that they essentially wrote the new EU legislation.

        This stuff can be a global health panacea if it's allowed to be and people getting in the way should be fought wherever they show up (and they should be fought with evidence and facts because there's plenty of both).

        How do you keep millions on millions of people smoking when they don't have to? Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt. And bullshit regulations with no basis in reality.

        1. Lusty

          Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

          "You have to weigh these things on risk. If you're going to weigh this stuff up and say which is safer: smoking or vaping then the simple answer is it's going to be vaping every time.

          If you're gonna make assumptions because you don't understand something that a lot of smart people have spent a lot of time researching (including many scientists and many in the medical profession)"

          I agree, if YOU are going to choose between vaping and smoking you probably are better off vaping. If I am choosing between clean air and the shit you just breathed out in my face, I'll choose to be annoyed. I also choose to believe that it's a bad thing that young people are taking up this habit because they too believe it's safe. Most of the information available about this subject, along with most of the studies carried out are extremely biased at this point so just because you've read it somewhere doesn't make it so.

          On the second part....links please! This is all very very new so clever people have not been thoroughly testing for long enough to prove anything. In 5 years starting with completely healthy adults you couldn't even prove tobacco smoking isn't safe so I don't know why you believe someone has done long term testing of these devices and chemicals in these scenarios.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

            This is all very very new so ....

            ...somebody should have to walk in front of vaping pedestrians with a red flag. And pedestrians using phones. Or thinking..that's particularly dangerous - who knows what they might invent? And what about electric cars? The only long term evidence base is milk floats, so we'd better restrict Teslas (again, walking pace, man with red flag). Ebola drugs! They've not been tested, we'd better have twenty long term randomised large scale tests.....

            Lusty, man, GET A GRIP!

          2. Captain DaFt

            Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

            And now, a ray of sunshine, illuminating where people'd rather not look.

            If you're one of the 2% with lucky genes, you'll cruise through life fairly comfortably, barring accidents, to 90+ years, then drop dead overnight simply because your body says, "Game Over".

            About 15% will make it to 70+, with gradually increasing health problems, until your heart quits, cancer or your doctor* kills you.

            About 35% to 40% will make it to 70+ but will have started slipping into senescence somewhere from 40 to 60 years of age and require constant care for their final years**.

            About 25% will die anywhere from birth on due to accident, war, murder, or some other traumatic event.

            The remaining will die from diseases ranging from Ebola to measles.***

            Everybody dies, everybody suffers at some point in their life, and generally, the better you take care of yourself now, the longer you wind up suffering later.

            So chill, enjoy your family and friends while you can, help out others when they need help, and enjoy your life while you can.

            *Deaths by medical mistakes are the third leading cause of Death in America, and gaining.

            ** The percentage of people suffering senescence is uncertain, but it's generally acknowledged that the rate is increasing alarmingly.

            *** Since this is about mortality, I've omitted the bit about how many go through all or part of their life suffering and needing constant care due to accident, disease, or bad genes.

          3. streaky

            Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

            Most of the information available about this subject, along with most of the studies carried out are extremely biased at this point so just because you've read it somewhere doesn't make it so

            There's NO evidence young people who aren't already smoking are choosing to take up vaping. None at all. There's evidence that young people are vaping but if you pay attention they were smoking anyways so it's still positive.

            Also not for nothing I've stated why this information exists.

            As for you as a non-smoker taking up vaping: don't - it's not for you and the industry doesn't need you as a customer, there's plenty of smokers that will keep them in business for decades.

            Final note: vaping is an opportunity for a total ban on smoking because, simply, there's an alternative that fills the market that smoking currently sits in but people need to be able to buy the equipment that allows them to stop smoking comfortably so we can avoid massive backlash. The new EU regs make all the gear I own illegal to sell (and therefore buy) within the EU when they take effect and as somebody who doesn't want to smoke the situation with juices is frightening to me. There's people on the ejuice subreddits stockpiling litres of nicotine base (highly concentrated nicotine in PG or VG) from fear they won't be able to buy it any more. Situation is extremely unhealthy and the UK government needs to make it clear to the public that they will under no circumstances seek to or allow public bodies to enforce the EU regs.

            Main issue was that nobody has worked out how much is too much

            Yep, they have.

          4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

            "I also choose to believe that it's a bad thing that young people are taking up this habit because they too believe it's safe."

            All the evidence seems to point to the vast majority of vapers being people shifting from tobaco. Very very few people are *starting* vaping from being a non-smoker. There are many more young people starting on tobaco than are stating vaping.

            I'm pretty sure El Reg covered this with links in the past.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

      Or is it a breath of delicious menthol flavoured cloud?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

      Haters gotta hate

      Regulators gotta regulate

      and vapers wanna vape.

      whilst smokers gasp for oxygen

      and the tobacco pushers expand into new markets

      Apologies for the spontaneous doggerel, but the conflict of interests outlined by AO's article is nothing short of shocking. The Reg needs to give him extra brownie points for understatement.

      The merchants of death known as "Big Tobacco" struck a relative truce with state regulatory agencies by agreeing to levy big tax hikes whenever consumers buy their freely available poison. The theory is that smokers can pay for their own health care. In other words, f*k 'em. Government-sanctioned collusion to commit mass murder, of a sort.

      In a saner universe, tobacco would be considered a poisonous weed and completely banned from public consumption whereas heroin and marijuana would be legal.

      But meanwhile, back in the real world:

      - Big Tobacco continues to kill people (about 100,000 p.a in the UK) and serve as a tax collector (currently 2.6 billion quid p.a in the UK).

      That means that every dead smoker brings in 26,000 quid to the exchequer.

      - Big Pharma makes big money selling NPT solutions (like nicotine patches).

      - Public health services dispense their cut of the pusher's profit on NPT solutions.

      - Big Pharma win-win

      - Big Tobacco win-win

      - Health services and general public win-lose

      Whereas vaping is a relatively harmless, innocuous, and cost-effective way to eliminate the horrible effects of passive and active smoking.

      - Not to mention that it makes quitting easier.

      - Not to mention that it could reduce overall health care costs if widely adopted, etc.....

      So why would ANYONE want to prevent vaping from taking hold?

      Because it directly threatens 3 separate but complicit, well-funded interest groups (i.e. Big Tobacco, Big Pharma and Big Gov't) ?

      Surely not.

      I think GM had a similar dilemma when the Wankel engine was first conceived.

      If we follow their lobbying strategy, than millions more die of smoking related illnesses, before people get a clue.

      1. PNGuinn
        WTF?

        Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ? @ AC

        "In a saner universe, tobacco would be considered a poisonous weed and completely banned from public consumption whereas heroin and marijuana would be legal."

        One is tempted to equate your definition of sanity with significant consumption of heroin and marijuana.

        Both these substances have devastating effects on the user and are rightly controlled substances.

        The damaging effects on the brain of marijuana are well established, and I suggest to you that smoking weed rolled up in a bit of paper will have similar effects on the lungs and heart as tobacco rolled up in a bit of paper.

        Heroin isn't exactly benign either.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ? @ AC

          The damaging effects on the brain of marijuana are well established, and I suggest to you that smoking weed rolled up in a bit of paper will have similar effects on the lungs and heart as tobacco rolled up in a bit of paper.

          Er, some us vape our Mary Jane too. Of course anti-inflammatory drugs like Vioxx are much safer than high cannabinoid MJ. Where's that sarc tag when you need it!

        2. Bob Rocket

          Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ? @ AC

          'One is tempted to equate your definition of sanity with significant consumption of heroin and marijuana.

          Both these substances have devastating effects on the user and are rightly controlled substances.

          The damaging effects on the brain of marijuana are well established, and I suggest to you that smoking weed rolled up in a bit of paper will have similar effects on the lungs and heart as tobacco rolled up in a bit of paper.'

          Hold your horses there PNGuin.

          The 'damaging effects on the brain of marijuana' are not well established, I assume you refer to the Dunedin study, the effects are better correlized with lead poisoning.

          MJ has a reputed (not proven) mediation on myelin sheath damage (both lead poisoning and MS exhibit the same damage) it is not unlikely as the cannabinoids being imbibed are those that are missing from sufferers

          The effects on the lungs are probably the same or worse than tobacco (MJ burns hotter) however MJ has proven antiviral properties and that the lungs are a vector of large numbers of viral infection is not disputed (people who smoke large amounts of pot are less likely to suffer viral infection)

          'Heroin isn't exactly benign either.'

          As for the opiods in their pure forms they are non-toxic, they are of course narcotic in their effects which can depress the CNS so that autonomic functions shut down, they are of course highly addictive (a feature that has allowed the plant to propagate across the globe) but an 'addict' can be fully functional as long as easy access to the clean substance is allowed.

          Should these substances be regulated ? Hell yes, people will be ingesting them, they have a right to know exactly what is (and in what doseage) being supplied, that it has not been adulterated with 'other' substances. These benefits are afforded to almost all legal substances from foodstuffs to weedkillers, petrochemicals to paint.

          Almost all the harms from illegitimate substances arises from their legal status and not from the substances themselves.

          The same fuckwits that want 'vaping' outlawed are the same people that express moral outrage about anything that is done for pleasure. (as demonstrated by the National Socialist Party of Wales)

          These people have a disproportionate power over the general population as opposed to their actual numbers (it is all about control), they are over represented in the media due to their unmitigated belief that they are right despite any evidence in their favour or to the contrary.

          Vested interests leveraging small-mindedness (no matter how damaging in the long run) is nothing new but this day and age of easy access to evidence allows even the most uninterested of bystanders to call them out for what they are.

          WitchFinders, racists and xenophobes with personal gain being their overriding motivation.

          #JustStop

      2. maclochlainn

        Re: A report based on evidence instead of prejudice ?

        2014/2015 tobacco tax was 9.9 billion pounds.

  2. SolidSquid

    I'd like it if they showed the studies backing what they've said, but it does seem a fairly sensible stance for them to take. Primary risk with vaping seems to be contaminated nicotine vials, which I don't see any issue with regulating (random checks on batches for purity etc), but it shouldn't be difficult to set something like that up and certainly shouldn't involve a 6 month approval process

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      I'd like it if they showed the studies backing what they've said

      The references are listed on page 176 of the report.

      1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

        Re: The references are listed on page 176 of the report.

        Proper studies and papers tend to do that..

    2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      2nd hand vape...?

      Just wondering how much nicotine remains in the exhalation, which may be inhaled by those around the ... umm... vaper?

      It's another, different risk profile.

      Depending on concentration, seems at least possible others who've never smoked or vaped themselves could end up nicotine addicts too.

      Which the e-cig biz will just hate, of course.

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Re: 2nd hand vape...?

        Btw I am not making a statement one way or the other here. Just think it'd be good to know before assuming safe or not safe.

        Regardless it's still a much better alternative than smoking.

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: 2nd hand vape...?

        Depending on concentration, seems at least possible others who've never smoked or vaped themselves could end up nicotine addicts too.

        I take it you are already avoiding the danger of nicotine addiction by avoiding all those foods that contain nicotine compounds: tomatoes, capsicums, potatoes, chillies, egg plant, tomatillo, Cape gooseberry -- all, like tobacco, members of the solanaceae family.

        1. Steven Raith

          Re: 2nd hand vape...?

          There is some nicotine in second hand vapour, but it's an order of magnitude less than in lit tobacco, and has been described by those in tobacco control (who aren't fervently opposed to harm reduction) as being biologically insignificant - although typically I can't find a source/quote for that at the moment, but I'd not state that if I hadn't heard it from someone who was familiar with the science.

          In short, it's not something to worry about, and certainly not compared to lit tobacco - you don't see non-smokers sharing a car with smokers pining for a ciggie once they get out. Quite the opposite, normally!

          Of course, that doesn't mean you should pull out a series mod and hot box your non smoking, non vaping mates living room. Even with my little diddy devices, I always politely ask if someone minds if I have a wee tap on the device.

          Common courtesy, innit?

          Steven R

  3. James 51

    I do not doubt that these nicotine delivery systems are less harmful than tobacco products. However they are not harm free:

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/nicotine2.htm

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You could write the same about caffeine

      1. James 51

        Indeed but the study wasn't about caffeine but here you go:

        http://www.everydiet.org/994/coffee-caffeine-and-its-effects-in-the-human-body

    2. Efros

      not harm free:

      Just what is?

      "Life is a terminal disease, only alleviated by death."

      The argument is that this means of nicotine delivery is a helluva lot safer than the old "burn a tube of dried organic material and suck on it" method. If you want to live a life without risk then you'd better wait for the next turn of the wheel.

      1. James 51

        Re: not harm free:

        I agreed that it was safer, just not risk free. People who oppose it might just be trying to reach their goal with a single stride instead of taking smaller steps first.

        1. Richard 81

          Re: not harm free:

          Good for them, but that shouldn't stop anyone else from making full use of the single most effective technology ever developed for helping people quite. Seriously, if these things help people quit they have saved lives!

    3. Darryl

      Interestingly enough, when you remove all the other crap in cigarettes, nicotine itself is being found to have some pretty considerable health benefits:

      http://discovermagazine.com/2014/march/13-nicotine-fix

      http://themindunleashed.org/2015/09/the-secret-health-benefits-of-nicotine-they-dont-want-you-to-know.html

    4. kyza

      Bacon isn't harm free either, nor is beef and kale is psychologically damaging when used in any quantity*

      Balance of risks, moderation, whatever you want to call it, is the key to most things.

      *the last point may or may not be true, there are no studies beyond my own observations that it is both disgusting, and those who promote its use are afflicted by righteousenza stupidia.

      1. Steven Burn

        Nothing is harm free anymore it seems, it's why I say DILLIGAF ;)

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        kale is psychologically damaging when used in any quantity

        It also tastes pretty awful. If it was grown using water soluble N, it also contains nitrosamines and they are physically harmful.

  4. David Webb

    2 years

    It's been around 2 years since I last had a ciggie, I've been happily vaping away since then and haven't looked back. I had a heart attack you see, stopping smoking reduces the possibility of a heart attack by 50%, if vaping is less dangerous than having a fag then, yeah, I'm happy to not die because of an addiction I've had for most of my life.

    I only like menthol and mints btw, all the sweet ones are vomit inducing so should carry a health warning "danger, may induce vomiting"

    1. lurker

      Re: 2 years

      @David Webb

      I could have written almost exactly the same, except no heart attack (yet, touch wood). 2 years here also. My lungs feel much better for having switched from tobacco to the vaporiser, and my wallet is very happy about it too.

      Obviously, the healthy option is to not smoke at all, but as someone who smoked for 15 years (habit acquired in university) I found it very easy to switch, and am very glad that it was an option. Plus it doesn't stink like 'real' tobacco, so the other half is all in favour too.

      1. Richard Wharram

        Re: 2 years

        My wallet has not enjoyed my switch to vaping. I buy new gadgets every week and due to the safety I vape a lot more than I used to smoke :)

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: 2 years

          I vape a lot more than I used to smoke

          Quite a few of my friends have remarked upon how I vape a lot less than I used to smoke. I actually don't at all enjoy vaping. I vape to avoid the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.

      2. Triggerfish

        Re: 2 years

        Pretty much all the on the road techs at our place smoked and then took up vaping. None of them smoke cigs now, except occasionally if out for a beer and even then it's usually vaping. Likewise my father has quit a 40 odd year habit. After watching previous attempts by them all, I've never seen any other method of quitting that has been as effective.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: 2 years

          The trick with breaking the habit is to take the fun out of it. I gave up fags after 35 years before vaping came out by not smoking my favourite brand. I've recommended this to vaping friends who want to stop that too and its generally regarded as helpful. You dont vape the same thing all the time - try less flavoured varieties. Stop making it an habitual pleasure, just do it when you need to kill the hankering.

          The vape suppliers want you to be addicted to that. Fuckem.

          1. Steven Burn

            Re: 2 years

            "by not smoking my favourite brand"

            Errr yeah, if only, was a 20 a day Marlboro smoker, switched to Carlton - now 40-50 a day. That didn't work, did it .... (dammit, now I want a smoke!)

      3. Steven Burn

        Re: 2 years

        It still stinks (tastes horrid too, to me at least), just smells slightly better (tried a few of the vaper thingies, still longing for one that isn't fruity, minty or vanlilla/chocolate crap etc, then I may try it again - until then, I'll stick with real cigs, helps with stress)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 2 years

      I also became a vaper two years ago after a medical scare. I tried NRT, tablets, patches, gum and will power, but nothing satisfied the nicotine addiction as much as e-cigs have.

      The issue I have is finding decent tasting e-liquids. Most taste like chemicals and the ones I do like are not cheap but still cheaper than other NRT options or real tobacco.

      I know e-liquids aren't entirely safe but at least they are safer. It would be good to have some guarantee people are not vaping something truly dangerous but I would not like to see tobacco conglomerates hold a monopoly over e-liquids.

      The one thing I disagree with is advertising of e-cigarettes. That does seem to be encouraging people who have never smoked on the path to vaping and I do not believe that is a good thing.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: 2 years

        The issue I have is finding decent tasting e-liquids.

        Same here. I find that unflavoured isn't that flash either. I mix my own using about half the usual amount of "honey nut tobacco" for flavouring as a compromise. Non-smokers frequently remark that it "smells really nice". I also vape a high nicotine mix to reduce the amount of vaping to just 2-3 sucks. The approved equivalent from the pharmacy I tried needed 15 minutes of sucking to achieve the same result, tasted really foul and cost heaps more.

      2. markd74

        Re: 2 years

        Mixing your own juice is simple and will cost about 12p per 30ml

        1. Sean o' bhaile na gleann

          Re: 2 years

          Another ex-smoker-who-got-a-medical-scare here.

          I, too, have managed to hit the 2-year mark (or is it 3? I've honestly forgotten) using e-cigs.

          The only 'anti' thing I've noticed about e-cigs is the hygiene aspect.

          With a conventional fag, you take a few puffs, then throw the rest away.

          With an e-cig, you put it your pocket, roll it around in your hand, etc. etc - and THEN stick it back in your mouth.

          I get a lot more cold sores, mouth ulcers, etc these days.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 2 years

      I`ve been cigarette free for a year and a half now....do i miss smoking no do i yearn for a cigarette no... do i smell smokers now......yes. I no longer suffer from wheezy chest sore throats or coughs that i suffered from smoking. I have saved £7 a day, The GoVeRnMeNt will have to fund their fat cat salaries by stripping the NHS and other public services.

  5. JimmyPage
    Stop

    But do we *want* to save lives ???

    No one will ever admit it, but part of the creek we are up today is because successive decades of heath badgering about tobacco have managed to double-crimp the state of public finances in the UK.

    1) Less income from tobacco (I notice when the smoking ban was introduced, no one was asked how much *more* tax they were willing to pay to cover the lost revenue).

    2) People giving up not only drain the economy by drawing their pension for years, rather then considerately dying at 66. They also drain the NHS, as 80% of the NHS budget goes on the last 10-15 years of peoples lives (alzheimers, cancers, dementia etc).

  6. wolfetone Silver badge

    Hard to believe in an industry that, in the UK at least, is allowed to advertise their products as "stop smoking aids" even though every advert you see for the product makes absolutely no link to this.

    If it stops people smoking then fine, but they should be included in the indoor smoking ban. I don't want to breath in that crap, just for the reason it smells like I'm snorting a 20 year old Glade air freshener.

    1. Martin 47

      ......and how do you feel about the vapour given off from coffee, or tea, or food, or in other people's exhaled air?

      Perhaps we should ban everything that may emit vapour and make everyone live outside and stay more than 2 metres apart, just to be safe.

      1. Mike Dunderdale

        The problem is that I as a allergic rhinitis sufferer had a twat change his vape substance on the train in front of me, and I can assure you the bloody sinuses as a result weren't the same as a coffee fume.

        I agree with the idea of getting people to stop, but a vape should be treated with the same process as a cigarette - not indoors, in cars, or in public areas. Then you'll get the inconvenience of smoking and actually want to stop...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          And what about the twat in the seat across who's wearing too much cologne?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Allergic rhinitis

          Well, I sat next to some girl on the train and gave her an instant allergic reaction (yeah, yeah, I know what you're going to say). She did not, however, accuse me of being "some twat" because I had been inconsiderate enough to have visited the stables before work. She apologised for sniffling, I apologised for smelling of horses, and we went our separate ways.

          It is just not feasible to ban things that some people have allergic reactions to, sorry.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Allergic rhinitis

            I don't know, I think some of the common scents could easily be banned. It's not like they're actually _useful_ or anything.

            I see no reason why vaporizers couldn't work on the same principle as inhalers.

            1. Steven Raith

              Re: Allergic rhinitis

              Because then they're no fun, and no-one would use them.

              You know, like nicotine inhalers.

        3. tom dial Silver badge

          The point of e-cigs should not be taken as inducing tobacco smokers to stop, but as a much safer and less offensive way to deliver small amounts of nicotine to the many people who find it pleasurable. With some restrictions we allow people to consume alcohol and to smoke tobacco and in some places marijuana, and we (for some value of "we") promote extensive use of dangerous opioid pain medications. We certainly can live with e-cigs.

        4. Steven Burn

          Leave OUR cars out of it - we don't tell you want you can and can't do in yours.

          1. JoshOvki

            "Leave OUR cars out of it - we don't tell you want you can and can't do in yours."

            You might want to give this a read:

            https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They specifically *aren't* allowed to market them as smoking cessation aids, so they don't.

      We can ban e-cigs indoors at the same time that we ban perfume, aftershave, both wearing and not wearing deodorant and bad-breath.

    3. elaar

      I have a strong feeling that even if e-cigs were proven completely safe (inc passive inhaling), and were produced with no odour whatsoever, the prejudice towards them would still remain.

  7. Rol Silver badge

    I don't know.

    It's almost as if Westminster was worried too many people would stop smoking, and hence stop contributing barrow-loads of tobacco tax into their coffers.

    Because I can't see any logical reason in preventing e-cig take up, other than the financial hole in tax takings, oh and obviously the profit margins of big tobacco......ah! that'll be the people with a lobbying group so well funded, that if it had a mind to, it could get legislation passed to create an eight day week.

    Now we know. Now we know. Now we know.......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't know.

      I order my juice directly from China. Don't even pay VAT for small orders.

      1. David Webb

        Re: I don't know.

        Why would you order directly from China? We're talking about a country where baby milk had melamine put into it, as well as watered down milk, both of which has led to babies dying (or being hospitalised, 54,000 apparently). So a county where people will do that to stuff that is fed to babies, you'll buy vaping fluids to save a couple of quid? Now *that* would make vaping dangerous.

        I use vapemate btw, they always send a "15% off your next order if you write a review" email, so I save 15% every order...........

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I don't know.

          I lived in China so I don't have that irrational fear. Whereas everything you know about China came though the western media filter.

          I know the manufacturer. They're pretty big and have their own reputation to look after as a source for European and American retailers. Where does your retailer get their juice (or base materials)?

          Did you know that the CE mark is self-regulatory? Hope that doesn't keep you awake at night.

    2. Havin_it
      Joke

      Re: I don't know.

      >Now we know. Now we know. Now we know.......

      Uh... Are you making a porno while typing that post?

      /Mitchell&Webb

      1. Rol Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: I don't know.

        Havin_it. You get the star prize. I did wonder if anyone would pick up on it.

        1. Havin_it
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: I don't know.

          No nerdgasm has ever felt so shameful :(

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AC because, y'know

    If you sell A and A is harmful and your competition sells B and B is less harmful:

    1) Find studies that say that B is at least a little bit harmful. Make them up if you have to.

    2) Convince everyone that B is extremely harmful. Ideally, do it covertly so the link isn't too obvious. Bonus points if you find a way to say it hurts children, or finances terrorism, or is sexist.

    3) If someone says "but you sell A, that's like ten times worse!" and/or "well, okay, but it's still a lot better than A" and/or "wait, are those studies fake?", accuse them of being a supporter of B and generally evil.

    4) If there is a C that seems to do the same thing as A or B with no risk, but doesn't actually work, suggest that everyone should drop both A and B and do C instead. This will distract the ones who can tell that A and B are both harmful, and let you keep whaling on B undisturbed. E.g. "you shouldn't smoke cigs or e-cigs, you should just quit!". If you do it right, you can even get the C campaigners to focus exclusively on B and forget about A altogether.

    5) Keep profiting!

    I wish it was limited to tobacco. Medicine, agriculture, energy, politics, economics; it actually works for so many of today's "issues", it's not even funny any more.

    1. Jason Bloomberg
      Joke

      Re: AC because, y'know

      All e-cigs are anti-Semitic.

      That seems to be flavour of this week.

  9. WibbleMe

    A drug addict is a drug addict stop trying to convince your selves that your chemical dependency is not.. Ask yourself; can you stop at any time?

    1. Darryl

      I'm so glad you got that off your chest. Do you feel all superior now?

      I'm kind of wondering, though, what your post has to do with the article. I can't see anywhere in the article or the comments where it says that nicotine addiction is not an addiction.

      Or did you just need to imply what an amazing person you are compared to all the horrible addicts?

    2. grizewald

      I'm someone who finally managed to quit smoking over four years ago using e-cigs after all other approaches had failed. I still vape and have no intention of stopping either. I don't enjoy your condescension and it's typical of the arrogant busybodies who seem to believe that they have some kind of inherent right to criticise other people for the choices they make. The 'public health' industry seems to be full of such people who look down on others while lining their pockets at the taxpayer's expense.

      Yes, I'm a drug addict. I'm addicted to caffeine and nicotine. I find both of these drugs pleasant and enjoyable. My addictions do not harm others and any harm they may do to me is more than offset by the benefits.

      If your only contribution to the discussion is to belittle people by calling them drug addicts, I suggest that you take your intolerance elsewhere.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Devil

        Ah, but what about those of us who are addicted to being sanctimonious busybodies? What abour our rights?

    3. Triggerfish

      @ WibbleMe

      Well done, you do realise most people here are actually talking about it as an addiction and how hard it is to quit because of that don't you?

    4. tom dial Silver badge

      If I am happy in my addiction, and it does you no significant harm, my opinion, not yours, should be the controlling one.

      Full disclosure: I quit smoking (cigarettes) for about the fifteenth time 32 years, 11 months, and 26 days ago, and do not vape.

    5. Steven Burn

      I can stop, I choose not to. Can you sod off?

      /edit

      hmmm has the reply button gone wonky? Clicki reply to comment and it seems to end up wherever it damn well wants ....

  10. Caff

    not completely harmless

    I do not think ecigs or vaping shuld be banned but the additives should be regulated. Just because food aditives used for flavoring are safe when ingested doesn't mean they are safe when inhaled.

    An extreme example would be the caramel or butter flavour Diacetyl, this was known to be harmful since the famous popcorn lung case yet still ended up in vaping juice. Self regulation doesn't work, an independent body to test additives may be required or more such cases will emerge.

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: not completely harmless

      That'd be the diacetyl that caused problems in a handful of popcorn workers - all heavy smokers - when it was in powder form, yes?

      The diacetyl that's in lit tobacco cigarettes in amounts orders of magnitude higher than in e-cig vapour, but yet, mysteriously, no smoker has ever been diagnosed with popcorn lung, period, which presents differently from other smoking related illnesses like COPD so really shouldn't get missed by doctors?

      The diacetyl that only existed in liquid form in eliquids, not powder, and regardless, is now pretty much non-existent in retail liquids from good quality vendors anyway because the industry rooted this problem out two years before the stories hit the mainstream press, with many liquids proudly advertising they are acetyl free?

      Diacetyl is, in short, a non-issue, and has been a non-issue for some time.

      Steven R

  11. Esme

    On the nuisance to non-smokers issue

    I don't in the least mind what other people suck into their lungs, just so long as they don't insist that I do so as well. With that in mind, my pet peeve is those who walk along the street NOT smoking themselves, but making damned sure everyone withn 10-20 metres downwind does. Stand still and smoke the thing properly, y'ratbags, please! That way, at least I can hold my breath whilst I walk past you, but if you're the antisocial idiot ahead and upwind of me stinking the area out when I'm having to walk to the train station, it's flipping annoying.

    That aside - I'm really, really pleased to hear that e-cigarettes have had such a beneficial health impact. Whilst I've never understood why anyone born in the last 50 years would want to take up smoking, I sympathise with the difficulty of giving up such an adivtive activity, and if e-cigarettes are helping smokers not get such devastingly bad health side-effects, then that's excellent! Bet the UK government tries to tax e-smokers much as they did old-school smokers though, never mind the sense of it...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: On the nuisance to non-smokers issue

      "at least I can hold my breath whilst I walk past you"

      Are you really that concerned about the massively "diluted" exhaust fumes of a few smokers on the street and not worried at all about all the cars, buses, vans, lorries pumping 1000's of time more shit out into all that "fresh" air you are breathing?

      It might have been a concern in the past in a smoky crowded room where the majority were smoking but I think you might be overestimating the harm you might come to outside from ciggie smoke. I suspect it's more a matter of conditioned reflex to the smell.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: On the nuisance to non-smokers issue

        Are you really that concerned about the massively "diluted" exhaust fumes of a few smokers on the street and not worried at all about all the cars, buses, vans, lorries pumping 1000's of time more shit out into all that "fresh" air you are breathing?

        Reminded me of meeting with a couple of clinical ecologists from the USA many years ago when they were on holiday in Tasmania. They were busy measuring pollutants in the air and noted that indoor air pollution was far greater than outdoors in most places they tested. One remarked that a policeman on the beat in central London was exposed to the equivalent of a pack of 20 cigarettes just by breathing the London air during a typical work shift.

  12. Mike Moyle

    "E-cigarettes help save lives, says Royal College of Physicians"

    It's true. Every time that I started smoking again, it was because my aggravation level had gone into LEO and my options had narrowed to: A - Have a cigarette, or; B - Beat one of my co-workers to death for being an idiot/tool. A puff or two on an e-cig keeps me from buying a pack of cancerettes (which I *WILL* smoke all of, even after the immediate impetus is removed), and then another, and another(..) and allows my co-workers all to go home at the end of the day with their internal integuments intact.

    Counting just them, that's some thirty lives that have been saved on a regular basis by e-cigs!

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: "E-cigarettes help save lives, says Royal College of Physicians"

      In the past when I've said similar, I've had people say "you think the cig is calming you, but actually it's just satisfying the addiction, making the cravings go away"

      Because, you know, the twat who pushed untested changes to production clearly had nothing to do with the irritation in the first place..

  13. GX5000

    Money money money

    First the tobacco companies were paying outrageous amounts to people to trash talk Vaping and now that they are bringing out their own lines they're trying to save it ?

    Please, we already have Data showing how bad Vaping is and it's easy to find on the Net, for now....

    1. Darryl

      Re: Money money money

      Really? You mean real data, or "Data" - in which you Google articles that misrepresent scientific papers in search of shock headlines?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Pete4000uk

    Why the need

    to shove something in your mouth and suck on it? I really have no idea. But I am repulsed at the sight of people smoking, but I am currently watching my father kill himself by smoking. :(

    1. Triggerfish

      Re: Why the need

      If you drink, go find a teetotaler and explain why you think imbibing a substance that causes the various effects of alcohol and see if you can explain why it's actually fun. Not criticising you but I found doing that pretty hard, complete blank look on why it would be a good idea. People do, they fall into these things, marketing was more predatory, social norms things like that.

    2. Steven Burn

      Re: Why the need

      Why the need?

      Because we all have a choice perhaps? It (used to be) bugger all about a need.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why the need

      "to shove something in your mouth and suck on it?"

      For the love of god man, don't say that near my girlfriend!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We know where this is going ....

    ban ecigs in the name of health, and then spend the next 44 years wondering why it's attracting criminals.

  16. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Several issues here....

    The first is a biggie.. taxes. In most states (in the US), they can't be taxed like cigars, cigarettes because the tax laws specifically use the word "tobacco" and not "tobacco derivatives' or something similar. Government wants it's pound of flesh from us.

    Profits and big tobacco/big pharma... unless they can figure out how to monetize e-cigs, they're not going to give up their markets willingly. They can and will commission studies to prove how bad e-cigs are. There's no e-cig industry giant who can do this.

    Which brings us to the last point.. lobbying. There's no big manufacturer or supplier with the budget to lobby. So guess who gets the lawmaker's attention.

    Both myself and my lady have converted from cigs to e-cigs. We breathe and feel better. Anecdotal, but that's our position. And yes, we're drug addicts... nicotine and caffeine.

  17. strum

    Pro-vape

    I'm pro-vape, largely because vaping helped me kick a 45-year smoking habit. But the way in which it helped should give some pause to complete abandonment of controls.

    I had set myself up for gradual weaning off of nicotine, with progressively weaker e-fluids. However, one bottle of the 12mg stuff turned out to have a ridiculously-high level of nicotine in it - so much so that I was confined to bed for a day. At times, I was in fear of my life, so fast was my heart pumping.

    I survived (obviously) and when I was up and about again, I couldn't face the slightest hint of nicotine. So, all's well that end's well. Except that someone with a dicky heart (dickier than mine) might not have made it.

    Of course, no-one meant to make that dodgy-dose bottle - but there are no quality controls on these things - none whatsoever. They may not need to be tested to pharmaceutical standards, but they need to be tested to some standards.

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: Pro-vape

      There are quality controls, namely trading standards, although as you state, there are no guidelines on reporting quantities etc as it stands. To be honest, I don't think most manufacturers would mind provided that they didn't have to divulge specific flavouring amounts to the public.

      Although given that we know that the contents of almost every e-cig are really quite benign, I think we could probably draw the line ahead of emissions testing on every single flavour and nicotine strength (As is proposed); just a test with the manufacturers specific PG/VG/Nicotine mix (As each of those is available from different vendors) would probably suffice in terms of gauging harm/contents given that most flavouring additives are tested to cooking temperatures already, and vaping doesn't go high enough to cause them to burn/oxidise/etc in normal use. And anytihng outside of normal use tastes utterly fucking foul.

      Incidentally, the history of the LD50 of nicotine is hilariously sketchy; a chap looked into it and found out that it goes back to a guy who experimented on himself and ignored evidence that didn't match up with his, but because he was a famous pharmacologist, no-one quesitoned it.

      The translated notes on the effects suggest that you got off lightly!

      Steven "3mg for me, thanks" R

  18. raving angry loony

    Freedom

    Far as I'm concerned folks should be able to smoke what they want. What I object to is the stink. I've walked through a couple of clouds of the vaping by-product and my GHODS it was foul. And it stank up my clothing such that I had to change and wash. Almost as bad as one of those "light" cigarettes that were popular a few years back.

    Here's the deal:

    They vape or smoke. I drink beer. They produce noxious smoke or vapour as a by-product. I produce rather foul urine. If the self-absorbed arrogant selfish little turds insist on putting the by-product of their hobby in my nose, clothes, and hair, then I'm going to start spraying my piss on them. See how they like it.

    1. Steven Burn

      Re: Freedom

      Upvote sir!

      I'm a smoker, have been for half my life and hate the smell of it, even the smell from my own smoking, but as you mentioned, we should be able to smoke what we want.

      I don't smoke around my kids, I don't smoke around those that don't themselves smoke, and where possible, try keeping out of the way of others on the street when smoking, just in case (though, now drive almost everywhere, so that's not as much of an issue anymore)

    2. 9Rune5

      Re: Freedom

      Your experience is completely the opposite of mine.

      My dad, an avid smoker for as long as I can remember, adopted e-cigs a few years ago. He had to, because he once promised me that he would stop smoking as soon as I became a father. And two years ago, that is exactly what happened.

      I am very sensitive to cigarette smoke. Last time I visited a smoking friend my lungs felt bad for several days after and the stench would not leave my clothes.

      I have had no such reaction when sitting next to my dad. Sharing a car for a whole day? No problem! It used to be a living hell on Earth riding in the same car as my dad, but now it is a bliss. The e-cigarettes have completely transformed our relationship.

      One possible exception. His spouse objects to the "turkish coffee" vape that my dad will load up from time to time. She thinks it stinks to high heaven. But I have yet to detect any hint of such odors in articles of clothing or similar.

      Most of the time it smells blueberries or just wet air. Rather pleasant actually. And the best part is that my dad (as well as his spouse) now detests normal cigarettes. Normal tobacco apparently taste like ass now.

      Big improvement healthwise as well. It is easy to see the difference in skin tone and stamina that two years of no smoking has brought about.

  19. MR J

    Ever seen a old person give one to a kid to play with?... I have..

    "Just puff on this part, and this neat blue light comes on at the end, no no it is not harmless, it is just vapor"...

    All it is at the moment is legal drug delivery. On top of that, the legal drug getting used really doesn't do that much too us older folk... It's like drinking 1% alk with the hopes of getting drunk in under an hour.

    I personally don't like them, but if people are using them to stop smoking then I think that's great. What I see more of is people using them in places they cant smoke just so they can cope until they get to a doorway to light up. All we are doing is keeping people who are addicted to something, addicted to something, but if health can benefit globally then we shouldn't frown upon it.

    1. Triggerfish

      @Mr J

      What I see more of is people using them in places they cant smoke just so they can cope until they get to a doorway to light up.

      There seems to be a transition period, when you first start vaping even though you know it's better a cig still has a hold and vaping doesn't seem enough, perisiting with it seems to lead to less cigarette use, and then stopping and finding cigs start to taste foul. At least thats what I have observed in various smokers, me included.

  20. Colin Tree

    just stop it, right now

    Fecking idiots.

    Stopping smoking saves lives.

    1. Steven Burn

      Re: just stop it, right now

      See this, it's your choices - mind I take them all away? (you know, just in case I disagree with one of them and figure feck it - easier than resorting to stupidlly childish insults)

      1. hplasm
        Headmaster

        Re: just stop it, right now

        TBH, I think C Tree might be on the pro-vaping side, and the EU the idiots...

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: just stop it, right now

          If thats the case, then apologies.

    2. Triggerfish

      Re: just stop it, right now @Colin Tree

      Please tell me you are teetotal otherwise you do not have much of a leg to stand on.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are they actually trying to BAN e-cigarettes?

    If they want to save people's health, ban the real ones! I can see banning their use in public places as part of banning other tobacco products in public places, but banning them entirely seems ridiculous. What's their reasoning for this?

    Where I live there's a ban on smoking in public places like bars, restaurants, etc. but you can still smoke in public parks or outside of bars/restaurants. The local university is completely tobacco free, you have to go to a public sidewalk to smoke. There has been talk in the state of adding e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco to the cigarette ban (i.e. not allowed in bars/restaurs, etc.) but it hasn't made the cut. Only a matter of time I think/hope.

  22. The Mighty Spang

    addiction central

    Nobody I know who vapes has ever quit. In fact, they are more addicted than ever. Because it's 'healthy' compared to fags its like a green light to become a nicotine monster. Middle of a meeting thats going a bit boring? Pull out a vape stick! standing around in a queue and a bit bored? why not try that honey salted caramel minty cream drug inhaler?

    and sorry, when you buy cheap crap off of ebay who in turn has bought it off some dodgy dealer in china, you can't say anything is safe. This is country that adulterated milk to their own population FFS. I've seen enough small businesses cut corners in safety to realise most of them don't care about your health, just a tidy profit. Should be regulated like a medicine.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: addiction central

      "Nobody I know who vapes has ever quit. In fact, they are more addicted than ever."

      Same here and I know I am as addicted as I ever was, possibly more so. But better to be living with an addiction than dead because of it.

    2. silver darling
      Windows

      Re: addiction central

      yeh me too . stopped smoking = v good , nicotine consumption through the roof != good

      We now have an industry advertising extremely addictive (> opiates) products with twenty-something fit folk cooly vaping in swimsuits. My local gloop dealer dedicated to increasing my nicotine consumption with stronger batteries and stronger fluids. People on the streets sucking on gloop exhaust pipes fitted to car batteries. Last time the chinese profited this much from our addictions we had to pay for our tea fix by fixing them up with an opium fix.

      And Big Baccy doesn't have shares in all these gloop sellers? Heroin, alcohol, nicotine, sugar; big bread heads want to keep us hooked. I'm glad i can breathe again but there's something not right about legal drugs businesses profiting from our weaknesses. 2 headlines away the commentards are whingeing about win10 lock in , where will it all stop?

  23. bep

    First paragraph

    The key term here is 'harm minimisation'. Doctors know everyone is going to die eventually, they bury a lot of their patients one way or another, so this gives them a particular perspective. They tend to look at person who is already an addict and ask "How can I make his/her health better?" Meanwhile rates of smoking in most Western countries have declined as restrictions on use, anti-smoking campaigns and heavy taxation have had their effect. I'm personally opposed to anything that might tend to reverse this trend, so I'm definitely opposed to 'vaping' being treated as somehow different from smoking. Sorry folks, it still stinks to me, and I don't want you to do it in a restaurant, a train, a bar or an office. I think that allowing that tends to discourage people from quitting completely or, just as important, never becoming an addict in the first place.

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: First paragraph

      Yeah, well if you actually gave a toss you'd look at the stats and see that smoking rates are falling in near record numbers (similar to that seen when public bans get implemented), while vaping rates are rising. Now, that's correlation, not causation, but as there's been no massive anti-smoking ordnance introduced with these drops, only the introduction of e-cigs...well, you do the math.

      In fact, in the US, youth smoking has dropped by a full third in the last eight years. It's been replaced by vaping, it seems. Of course, when the CDC reported this, they reported that 'overall tobacco use has remained static'. Despite the fact that the actual harmful use of tobacco has dropped like a goddamned stone.

      Oh, and all heavy taxation has done is drive the lower classes - who have significantly higher smoking prevelance - further into poverty, and lets not even start on the mentally ill, who are often poor as a result of said mental illness too.

      Regressive taxes on a legally available addictive drug don't stop people from buying it, oddly enough.

      Having a cheaper, more pleasant alternative seems to be working just fine though.

      1. TwistUrCapBack

        Re: First paragraph

        Re: First paragraph

        Yeah, well if you actually gave a toss you'd look at the stats and see that smoking rates are falling in near record numbers (similar to that seen when public bans get implemented), while vaping rates are rising. Now, that's correlation, not causation, but as there's been no massive anti-smoking ordnance introduced with these drops, only the introduction of e-cigs...well, you do the math.

        mathS

        FFS

        1. Steven Raith

          Re: First paragraph

          Congratulations on catching a typo caused by me posting at 1am.

          You're a real hero. And also technically wrong as neither use is incorrect - it's just societal preference. Incidentally, I quite happen to like the singular form for the way it rolls of the tongue when used in that phrase. I might use it in future just to annoy you.

          Nice to see that you really expanded the argument and added to the debate - about a device that could seriously dent the effects of something that kills 100,000 a year in the UK in some of the most unbearable ways imaginable, and in London alone causes half of all accidental deaths through fire, and three house fires a day.

          Your contribution was immeasurably valuable.

          Steven "That was sarcasm. Yes, all of it, you fox eared asshole" R

      2. Adrian Midgley 1

        Your statistics are faulty

        The number to watch is number of people (smoking or vaping).

        So if you were able to show that fewer people are calling than stopped smoking that would suggest an effect, if you can show an inflection in the declining rate with time from before vaping started.

        If not, not so much.

  24. John Robson Silver badge

    The vapours from these things still smell...

    ..., well most of them do. Not quite all.

    I suspect it's the nicotine in them that makes me nauseous - because I can be quite fine, then feel badly nauseous very quickly and turn around to find someone with one of these devices...

    One of the few things they all seem to have in common is the nicotine, and the few nicotine free ones I've smelt have been fine (and I've not known in advance for some of them).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The vapours from these things still smell...

      Do you feel sick when you walk by buildings with WiFi or when you walk under electrical transmission lines, or past a CFL light bulb? Because your description sounds a lot like what happens to those people

    2. Steven Raith

      Re: The vapours from these things still smell...

      If you feel nauseous from exposure to e-cig vapour, then you need to immediately go to an emergency room and get checked out for sensitivity to nicotine. And never eat a potato again.

      But as one assumes you don't get nauseous when walking past smokers, who's exhaled smoking contains 10 times more nicotine (as well as hundreds of other rather more toxic components), nor when eating potatoes, tomatoes or avacados which would have relatively similar exposure levels to being in a room with a vaper (if not higher) then I'd strongly suggest that your reaction is psychosomatic.

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: The vapours from these things still smell...

        Yes, I do get nauseous near smokers - even some minutes after they have come back inside (nowhere near as bad by then of course)

        No I'm not affected by WiFi/CFL (except that they allow me to communicate and see).

        Potatoes don't affect me either - but I would suggest that the intake method is slightly different. Maybe it's not the nicotine, I did only say that I suspected it was, but there is something in both sets of gases that affect me, and affect me even when I am not aware of their presence.

  25. shaunhw

    What outrage would be felt if they banned or heavily restricted these things, and all the young people started smoking real ciggies, to satisfy their addiction to nicotine ?

    People who want to control and regulate us are generally the wrong ones to do it. Clearly that applies here.

  26. DaveB

    Safety

    I love the long discussions of safety of e-liquids, to people like me that have been smoking for 30 years. I gave up completely with e-cigs.

    I now consider the fumes from vaping safer than the fumes from my VW golf that I spend two hours a day driving to work.

  27. Yesnomaybe

    Vaping saves lives

    Vaping saves lives, through reducing the harm from tobacco products. But costs vested interests a significant amount. So seeing the new regulations imposed on vaping and vaping products should at the very least let everyone see who is really in control, and who's interests our glorious leaders really protect. I am utterly disgusted.

  28. Adrian Midgley 1

    Your exhaled and sidestream drug

    is not something I want to breath, so leaving vaping for the same places you can smoke seems entirely sensible.

    And adding flavourings to the air where I'm eating or drinking is no doubt convenient to whoever breathes it out, but again, no thanks.

    I think the GP argument is mainly that you don't need a prescription for these things any more than smouldering agrochemical weed sticks, and there are many things more useful to spend time on.

    I'm fairly sure the vapes are less harmful than smoking.

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: Your exhaled and sidestream drug

      The reason that cigarettes are banned in some places is because there is demonstrable harm from second hand smoke. The amount of harm is disputed in some corners, but it is there.

      There is no demonstrable harm from second hand e-cig vapour, and there is no evidence that it normalises smoking (if anything, it normalises not smoking as the two different exhaled components are so different in appearance and smell, etc), nor is there any evidence that anyone who wasn't already smoking is taking them up. Youth view e-cigarettes and smoking with similar disdain.

      One day we'll legislate based on evidence, not ideology and rhetoric, but based on attitudes like yours - which are very prevalent high up in the public health world - it seems that day is not here yet.

      Steven R

      PS: One assumes you never fry any food - that can be as bad for you as having a smoker standing in the room puffing away if you like your steak seared on the outside...

  29. Pompous Git Silver badge

    One thing most ignore...

    When Wayne Swan was the Australian treasurer, he pointed out that the tax each smoker pays covers the cost of two hospital beds, their own and somebody else's. I have the feeling that those who are complaining about smokers/vapers would complain even more loudly if they had to pay for their hospitalisation expenses out of their own pockets instead of somebody else's.

  30. JLV

    What do you expect?

    There's a whole industry of folks whose job it is to be outraged and nagging others for all sorts of real and imagined transgressions. They range from government nannies to the social justice warriors to deep greens. For example, the BBC was recently quoting someone negative on large-scale Sahara solar energybecause she felt it was just continuing our addiction to energy use - http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34987467 - check out her specious argument re smokestacks.

    Those people, who so like to criticize others, also deserve to be held accountable when they provide harmful advice.

    Cigarettes have historically been a huge health disaster. And since the only way to avoid the health risks was to quit, it made sense to have had a very strong you need to quit message. The lack of efficacy of the various quitting procedures did not lessen the need for that message.

    However, if e-cigarettes are indeed a largely positive health outcome (compared not to quitting but to the effect of quitting combined with the likelihood of being able to do it) then it makes no sense to stand in the way of their adoption by existing smokers. And anyone who does that, in a public-advice capacity, from a feeling of self-righteousness needs to be shamed and ridiculed.

    The other core message, of not starting to smoke, even e-cigs, in the first place? I am good with keeping it.

    I wish we had something like the RCP in Canada to bring us back to science-based actual outcomes rather than emotional responses. Vancouver is doing its nagging best to regulate e-cigs at this moment.

  31. Catweazle666

    No surprise there.

    "Health officials who should have known better are also to blame."

    Yes, it's amazing what a few strategically placed fat brown envelopes can do, isn't it?

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: No surprise there.

      The really tragic thing is that it's probably not bribery or (genuine, hardcore) conflict of interest; it's ideology.

      These people are in their own little echo chamber of 'quit or die' and anyone who suggests otherwise, no matter how politely, is obstructed, blocked, or verbally abused. Yes, there are some who just fling abuse around in the vaping world, but does that justify the head of the Faculty Of Public Health calling a vaper a cunt?

      More on this incident here from the former executive director of ASH no less, who left ASH when they refused to accept harm reduction as a strategy. They've softened lately...

      So no, it's unlikely to be brown bags of cash. It's pure ideology, and near religious, fervoured hatred for smoking and anything that looks like it.

      Those same people have been screaming over the last couple of days as they can happily claim that David Nutt (one of the lead authors of the similarly pro-vaping PHE report) is a shill, biased, etc because he's arguably a 'shamed former public health professional' (following his booting from the government after that rather eye opening study on hard drugs and their comparative harm compared to fags and booze) but realistically, if they try a similar attack on RCP, one of the most august, respected and fervently anti-smoking public health bodies there is, they'd be utterly, massively ridiculed as the cranks they are.

      So yeah, it's all a bit sad really. The worst part? These cranks have massive pull in public health.

      Steven R

  32. John Tserkezis

    Anyone's opinion on vaping is largely dependant on one thing...

    The size of the dump-truck that reversed onto their front yard depositing a load of cash.

    Check the delivery invoice, if it says "Tobacco Industry" your opinion has just been altered.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Anyone's opinion on vaping is largely dependant on one thing...

      Check the delivery invoice, if it says "Tobacco Industry" your opinion has just been altered.

      Given that I am now a vaper and no longer consuming Big Tobacco's product, I'd be surprised to find a "dump-truck" from them "depositing a load of cash" into my non-existent front yard. Whatever it is you are smoking might be entertaining. Care to share?

  33. Noahoscar986

    Really its true?

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