Real quick before we get started. It’s me Dawn, the A Clean Cigarette blogger. Typically I blog on important information regarding electronic cigarettes that I personally gather from all over the web and other sources. That is not the case with this blog series I am doing on the E-Cigarette Summit. This series is meant to report on what happened at the E-Cigarette Summit. The information I have been reporting on is not necessarily the thoughts and the opinions of us here at A Clean Cigarette. It is important to me that our readers know that A Clean Cigarette brand electronic cigarettes DO contain nicotine and nicotine IS an addictive substance. If you are a non-smoker, never start. They are NOT intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness.
Now on to the good part!
Alright, first thank you for stopping in. When I was asked to do this blog almost 2 years ago I had no idea where this would take me.( I also had no idea how to blog! but that’s another issue altogether ) All I knew for sure is that there is a lot of information out here regarding electronic cigarettes and very few places for people to go to get that information in an easy to understand but still informative way. I never thought that this project would lead to me flying to Washington DC to attend the first (For the US anyway) annual E-Cigarette Summit that was organized in part by the Royal Society of England and was held on May 8th of this year. But it did and now we are about half way through going over each of the amazing speakers who took the time to attend this history writing.
In the last part of the series, we talked about Dr. Raymond Niaura, he went over information about nicotine’s potential harm and benefits and how the means of delivery for nicotine can change those potential harms and benefits. Our next speaker pretty much expands on that information as well as adds some more insight into the topic.
Professor Neal L. Benowitz is the Chief for the Division of public Pharmacology at the University of California. If that is not impressive enough, Prof. Benowitz has also helped develop surgeons general reports on tobacco and nicotine as well as serving as a member of the National Institutes of Health Pharmacology Study Section, the FDA Nonprescription Drug Advisory Committee, and the FDA Tobacco Products Science Advisory Committee. Prof Benowitz is also a member of multiple medical societies, including the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians.
You may remember that in past parts of this series I mentioned that the summit speakers were really divided into two separate categories, the skeptics, and the enthusiast. As soon as Prof. Neal stepped on to the stage he created a third category that he places himself firmly into the “optimistic observer” category. According to the professor, he is actively watching the evidence as it presents itself and is ever hopeful that e-cigarettes can be the life-saving products that the enthusiast argue that they are.
During his lecture, Prof. Benowitz hit on topics such as cardiovascular risks from nicotine, as well as the different constituents in burning tobacco vs. electronic cigarettes and vapor products. He says that although evidence does suggest nicotine has some health risks regardless of the delivery method it is important to understand that we are not comparing nicotine to air. Yes, without argument air would be safer. However, we are in fact comparing the nicotine delivered in burning tobacco to the nicotine delivered electronically and without combustion. To break it down Prof. Benowitz pointed out this fact:
Constituents from burning tobacco nicotine delivery systems: Including but not limited to, 1) oxidizing chemicals 2) particulates 3) Cadmium (Highly toxic compound found in industrial workplaces that are considered extremely dangerous even at very low levels.)4) Volatile Organic Compounds 5) Nicotine 6) Smoke
Constituents from electronic delivery systems: 1) Nicotine
Prof. Benowitz did say that one mitigating factor as to how harmful electronic cigarettes and vapor products are is the device used and the differences in those devices. According to the Professor, after reviewing the evidence he is sure that how these vapor devices get and at what voltage they are used can affect the risks of these products. Large units that get too high levels of temperature create additional constituents such as a number of known carcinogens like formaldehyde and other constituents from the “Hyde” family of toxins.
For My Part: completlyProf. Benowitz spoke like a man that is EXTREMELY educated. Unfortunately, a bit of what he had to say was just over my head completely. Honest one of the notes I wrote when listening to his lecture was ” Hard for me to follow, he is simply too smart for me!” The good news is that it appears this very smart man is really looking at the evidence and allowing the hard facts decide his opinion. I know I sure am glad that men as smart as this guy, are watching what’s going on, hopefully, if enough brains like his can get together on this issue we can come up with common sense regulations based on real evidence!
The next speaker at the conference is another speaker I had the chance to interview on my live stream that I posted on Facebook. However, it was a short interview as it did not appear he was very interested in talking to us. It’s unfortunate too since Professor Jonathan Foulds who is the Professor of Health Science and Psychiatry for the Peen State Tobacco Center for Regulatory Science made a few statements I would have loved for him to expand on.
Right off the bat, it was evident that Prof. Foulds falls into the skeptic side of the e-cig/vapor issue. If you have read our last few post then you know it is really important to myself and A Clean Cigarette that we report openly and fairly on every speaker, skeptic or enthusiast. The title of his lecture alone “Duel-Use: if E-cigarettes are so good, why are fo few exclusive users” was all the clue I needed. I listened intently to Prof. Foulds to really attempt to see things from his side. Prof. Foulds produced observational study information that shows a high level of dual usage (using both burning tobacco and electronic nicotine delivery systems.) amongst Americans. Whether the high levels of dual usage stem from a failure in the ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery system) devices to deliver enough nicotine OR a false belief by consumers that e-cigarettes are in fact more dangerous than burning tobacco is hard to say.
Dr. Foulds went on to point out that in one survey nearly 1/4th of e-cigarette users said that e-cigarettes are not as satisfying as the real thing. He did not point out that that means 3/4 of those smokers felt e-cigarettes are as satisfying as electronic cigarettes. The Professor went on to talk about how updating technology on these devices may help but proving, and maintaining a consistent nicotine dose is an absolute must for all ENDS units to be successful.
For his part, though Prof. Foulds did not appear to believe E-cigarettes are not as harmful as burning tobacco, he just does not believe that e-cigarettes help people to quit. He even went so far as to imply that no one has actually used e-cigarettes to quit smoking burning tobacco. Which of course sent the audience into a murmuring roar. Whispers of, well it worked for me and under the breath comments of, “I wish this guy could talk to our customers” could be heard from a number of e-cigarette enthusiast in the audience.
As for the why there are more dual users here in the US than across the pond in the UK, he acknowledged that the mass misleading propaganda and misinformation that takes place may be having a real impact on consumers ability to understand the actual risks of e-cigarettes vs the false ones. Prof. Foulds even went on to say “Somehow we believe that our e-cigarettes are at least as harmful as cigarettes and more likely to blow your head off, as opposed our cell phones, which use the same battery.”
For My Part: I actually really got a lot out of this lecture. I think that is why I was so crestfallen when I attempted to interview Dr. Foulds and was dismissed with a cold shoulder. Most of the experts at the Summit really wanted to get to the facts. Even if they were on the skeptic side of the issue they seemed reasonably open minded or at least interested in all of the evidence presented. Unfortunately, I can not say I feel the same way about Prof. Foulds. While at least admits that he believes e-cigarettes are less harmful than burning tobacco, he will not admit that e-cigarettes are anything more than another form of addiction. If you have quit smoking using ANY electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) or have a loved one who has, consider reaching out to Prof. Foulds I am including his contact information to the right to make it easy for you.
Alright, that brings this blog post to an end! Or it should be anyway since I am now well over 1600 words!! Check back for more Summit information and if you have any questions drop me a line to AccAnswers@gmail.com. If you would like more information about the A Clean Cigarette brand of electronic cigarettes visit http://www.acleancigarette.com or click the image below. Thank you for stopping in, you are very appreciated and have a great day!