With the increasing publicity the electronic cigarette is receiving, many people are out there stating some misconceptions regarding the electronic cigarette. Today, we would like to address those common misconceptions, and hopefully, put an end to these wild tall tales.

1. “Electronic Cigarettes are being Sold to Kids” – While there may be some unscrupulous sellers out there who are not checking age, most suppliers are treating the sale of electronic cigarettes, just as they would a tobacco product. Many of the reputable companies selling electronic cigarettes were created by smokers who know how hard smoking is on the human body, how hard it is to get the habit out of the system once it has started, and just don’t think that the electronic cigarette is a product for children. INSTEAD has a very strict policy on who we feel are reasonable customers and if you have any questions regarding this, please feel free to read up on our Electronic Cigarette Smoker Qualifications.

2. “Candy Flavors are Marketed to Children Specifically” – Guess what? Adults like candy flavors too. Why else would they have had to add flavors like Fruit Chill to the nicotine gum? One could argue that this is a way to market nicotine to children, but we certainly don’t hear that coming from any anti-smoking campaigns.

This has always been an interesting debate because many discuss that flavors target market children specifically. They always seem to leap to this idea that only kids like flavor. While we currently do not stock any flavors but menthol and tobacco flavor, in the future if we ever did offer flavors, it would be because we market our product to adults, not to children. If adults didn’t like flavors, there wouldn’t be 12 current flavors of vodka available from one manufacturer.

3. “The Electronic Cigarette is Banned” – No. The electronic cigarette is not banned. What is happening right now is there are some hard core anti-smoking groups who honestly believe that the only philosophy available is the “Quit or Die Smoking” philosophy. In having this philosophy, they feel the only products that should be on the market are either tobacco cigarettes or FDA approved quit smoking devices.

They also feel that all nicotine products should be regulated by the FDA so that they can become harder and more expensive to obtain. Currently, there are two US suppliers of the electronic cigarette who have sued the FDA, noting that the electronic cigarette shipments that were stopped from importation into the United States were done so unjustly.

How could the FDA have done this? Well, the FDA has every right to stop any product that makes any specific health claims. For example, stating that the e-cig is a healthier way to smoke is a health claim. Also, stating that the e-cig will help you quit smoking is a promise of results which is also a claim. These types of marketing claims are in fact the jurisdiction of the FDA. INSTEAD has noted several times that we agree with this philosophy. However, several shipments were stopped against companies who weren’t making these claims and therefor, the FDA did not have the right to stop said shipments.

When the media and the anti-smoking groups heard that the electronic cigarette was taking the United States by storm, they decided to latch onto this idea that they are a banned product and it is illegal to import them. The philosophy was if we make people think they are illegal, then maybe they won’t buy them. Our argument is that if they were in fact banned, there would be mention on the FDA website somewhere of this and in fact, there is not. No official statement has been made by the FDA, other than they are looking at the electronic cigarette on a case by case basis.

4. “We Have No Idea What Is In the Electronic Cigarette”. All of our eliquid comes with proper labeling that identifies the ingredients. Every bottle we sell tells you exactly what is being offered. We only purchase from trusted manufacturers that we have spent years with. They have provided us with lab reports to include a list of ingredients. Currently, we are offering two types of eliquid: That manufactured here in the US and that manufactured overseas in China.

5. “These are made in China!” – Yes. The hardware is made in China. And currently, as we noted just above, we have two different types of liquid of which one, is manufactured right here in the United States. What we find extremely interesting is that many “American Made” products are actually manufactured in China and do no harm to consumers. Likewise, there are also many products made right here in the United States that do hurt consumers. We need not revisit the Peanut Butter fiasco that has occurred over the past several years. A problem that was well documented and completely ignored.

So what we all have to remember is that it isn’t countries that do bad things and it isn’t companies that do bad things. It is bad people doing bad things.

6. “The Electronic Cigarette will help you Quit Smoking” – This is an interesting one. While you may eventually exchange your tobacco cigarette or a whole pack of tobacco cigarettes for your electronic cigarette, are you really quitting smoking? The definition of smoking varies and in the past, has included the burning of something or the combustion, for our purposes we will stick to tobacco as the example as there are many things that are actually referred to as “smoking”. But definitions have changed over time to include more meaning and “smoking” may have included combustion in the past, but in the future, it should also include “vaporization”.

As many smokers know, smoking as a habit includes more than just the burning of the tobacco, it includes the hand to mouth, the inhalation, the exhalation. It is a process. Now, the FDA approved nicotine replacement therapies like the nicotine gum, the nicotine patch, even Chantix, those help you quit smoking as they do not include any of the other portion of the smoking activity. You are given the nicotine and that is it. The electronic cigarette on the other hand does only one thing: It removes the burning of the tobacco. You still receive nicotine (or not if you choose to go with the no-nicotine liquids). You still bring your hand to your mouth, over and over. You still take a drag to inhale and exhale. You are still participating heavily in the action of smoking.

Finally, those who find the electronic cigarette and go in with the mindset to quit smoking, will be greatly upset when they find out that they enjoy their electronic cigarette just like they enjoy their tobacco cigarettes. God forbid anything happens to your e-cig like you forget they are in your pocket and go jump into the lake with your friends. ESmokers find that they can easily go from tobacco cigarettes to electronic cigarettes and back to tobacco cigarettes. Now, most e-cigarette users we have talked with find that their tobacco cigarettes no longer taste good and they prefer their e-cig. However in a pinch, they will switch back. How in the world is that quitting? It simply isn’t.

7. “We Have No Idea What Is In the Vapor!” – Yes we do. And we know what isn’t in the vapor. We know that since there is no combustion, many of the toxins produced from combustion are not present. A recent study was done by Dr. Murray Laugesen of Health New Zealand on the vapor and his results were very positive. Considering that the base of the vapor is made up of what goes into a fog machine or these particularly interesting vapor toys, if “vaporization toys” can be sold safely to children, then they should be legal for sale to adults.

Now, many refuse to acknowledge that such testing has in fact been done. Why? Because it wasn’t done here in the United States. Furthermore, they are now arguing that these tests are not valid as they were funded by the manufacturers. Our question back would be who funded the testing for all of the FDA approved products? It certainly wasn’t some advocacy group who wanted to make sure that men with ED could continue to perform. It was the manufacturer.

So there are some common misconceptions regarding the electronic cigarette. Whether this is the product for you is up to you to decide. Most people love it and there are some who would rather stick with tobacco. But either way, no matter what you choose, you should have that right to choose.

If you are interested in further information regarding the electronic cigarette, please feel free to paroose our blog.

4 thoughts on “Common Misconceptions Regarding the Electronic Cigarette

  1. Well, what you’re saying is true in some ways, and not true in other ways.

    1. & 2. E-cig companies may not be marketing to children right now, but there’s no reason they CAN’T market to children at any point. Since there’s no tobacco, and since you can buy flavored models that don’t even have nicotine in them, there’s no legal reason why they can’t be sold to kids. And, as much as the companies claim to “care” about kids, they’re not pushing for legislation to ban selling e-cigs to kids either. They make it out like big tobacco companies are greedy corporations who are nothing but PR and lies, but anyone with a brain knows that e-cig companies out in it to make money, just like tobacco corps. Their top priority is profits, not what’s best for Americans, and will always be. Not selling to kids YET is a PR move, not a genuine concern for our children. I promise you that.

    4. & 5. & 7. You know what’s in each e-cig? No, you don’t. You know what SHOULD be in each e-cig, but since they are being manufactured in China, and there are no FDA regulations/inspections, you have no idea what’s ACTUALLY in them. Remember the Heparin recall a couple years ago? Chinese companies were using cheaper substitute ingredients in the product, and lying about it, which ended up killing people. There’s no way to know if Chinese companies are doing the same thing with the chemicals in e-cigs because it’s not regulated or inspected.

    Finally, although there are many harmful things in cigarettes that e-cigs don’t have, there’s is absolutely no way to know if inhaling the vapor of e-cigs has any health risks, some that regular cigs possibly DON’T have. There are absolutely ZERO studies about the long-term, chronic inhalation of this kind of vapor. True, it’s the same basic vapor chemicals used in inhalers (and fog machines!), but no one takes drags off inhalers hundreds of times a day over the course of years. It could be lethal, it could be safe. There’s no way to know, cause no one has done it before and there’s no studies.

    1. Mike –

      Thank you for your well thought response. You are right. There is always the possibility that the ecig could be sold to children. There are people who will do anything to make a quick buck. There are unscrupulous manufacturers who will cut corners and use components of lesser quality to create cheaper overhead and then, cheaper products. It is also correct that the long term affects of smoking the vapor haven’t been studied as the product has only been available for about 5 or 6 years. Inhalation studies on PG have been done though, as PG has been used in vapors since the early 30’s. The eliquid is really no different than the liquid used in fog machines, except it contains a higher grade of PG than your typical fog. What is also interesting is that on the market right now, is a vapor toy that is sold to children and uses the exact same formulation as the non-nicotine liquid.

      However, these are all concerns that lead us to believe an organization like the ECA (Electronic Cigarette Association) is necessary. It is necessary that all suppliers and manufacturers uphold some sense of responsibility for not only the smokers who smoke an ecig, but also to not encourage new smokers to become smokers. It is important that there be manufacturing regulations to eliminate any issues to consumer health on the manufacturing end, so that true studies can be done.

      The intent of the ECA is to remove the burden of necessary policy from the FDA and work in conjunction with the already over worked agency. The FDA already has manufacturing standards process in which the ECA will use and even add to if necessary to ensure a safer industry.

      But what this post really comes down to with the misconceptions is the need for a group of people to push propaganda that is not backed by any real truth. It has always been interesting to us, and understandable, that as suppliers, we cannot make any health, safety, better for you, claims whatsoever. However, groups against the electronic cigarette can state any information they so choose without any kind of data to back up such claims. Days of this type of brainwashing needs to be over.

      As ex-tobacco users, as parents of the next generation, we do not agree with selling to children, encouraging children, or promoting to children that the nicotine habit, whether it is in combustionable form, chewable form, suckable form, drinkable form or even vaporized form is good. But we also don’t believe in giving caffeine to children either. These are adult drugs and should be regarded as such.

      Again, thank you for your well thought out response and please feel free to continue the discussion if you would like :0)

  2. Thank You so much for writing this article in outlining the Pros and Cons to this new form of people getting their fix of nicotine. I know its been since 2009 that anyone has posted but here we go!

    I would also like to thank Mike for his two thoughts on the subject which I don’t agree the marketing to kids will be any different due to flavors and what not. I believe mostly it depends on what kind of environment you grow up in and if your parents are the type to advocate in smoking at all. My parents never did and I tried a cigarette once in high school and knew it wasn’t for me and I’m now 25 and haven’t touched one since then.

    With the thought of consuming daily amounts of USP grade PG(Propylene Glycol) could have long-term health effects. The reason why I found this article was searching for the differences in between a fog machine vapor and the vapor that is used in e-cigarettes. Using it with kids toys is one thing but putting your mouth up to something and having direct inhalation is another. I found this on the wiki for PG(Propylene Glycol) that was quite interesting…

    “The acute oral toxicity of propylene glycol is very low, and large quantities are required to cause perceptible health damage in humans; propylene glycol is metabolized in the human body into pyruvic acid (a normal part of the glucose-metabolism process, readily converted to energy), acetic acid (handled by ethanol-metabolism), lactic acid (a normal acid generally abundant during digestion),[9] and propionaldehyde.[10][11] Serious toxicity generally occurs only at plasma concentrations over 1 g/L, which requires extremely high intake over a relatively short period of time.[12] It would be nearly impossible to reach toxic levels by consuming foods or supplements, which contain at most 1 g/kg of PG. Cases of propylene glycol poisoning are usually related to either inappropriate intravenous administration or accidental ingestion of large quantities by children.[13] The potential for long-term oral toxicity is also low. In one study, rats were provided with feed containing as much as 5% PG in feed over a period of 104 weeks and they showed no apparent ill effects.[14] Because of its low chronic oral toxicity, propylene glycol was classified by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) for use as a direct food additive.”

    Maybe the admin could help in determining how much PG(Propylene Glycol) consumed upon loading one cartridge and if a consumer decided to smoke 25 cartridges in a row what it would do. I’m assuming you would get sick from the nicotine before the PG(Propylene Glycol) would do anything.

    I’m not a scientist or chemical engineer and I’m pretty sure people can add what they want to wiki. More research would have to be done to conclude anything. I found the previous paragraph quite interesting in the advocation for the benefits of e-cigarettes.

    Giving people an alternative is a way for us to grow and simply saying oh well and not trying to research new and innovative ways is ridiculous. I feel as if most of the federal government has quite a bit of outside influence from heavy hitters such as the tobacco and alcohol industries when it comes to new ways of being under the influence. Any challenge to those industries on a major level such as the e-cigarette would make them put pressures with their unlimited amount of income on getting a new idea slowed or even banned.

    Since I don’t smoke the only concern I have is second hand smoke from cigarettes which I can’t stand the smell of them or thinking that I’m being poisoned by someone else’s habit. At least the vapor wouldn’t have an effect on me from second hand inhalation which I would compare to being in close proximity of a fog machine.

  3. Well I read a little bit further and also found this towards Mikes opinion…

    Prolonged contact with propylene glycol is essentially non-irritating to the skin. Undiluted propylene glycol is minimally irritating to the eye, and can produce slight transient conjunctivitis (the eye recovers after the exposure is removed). Exposure to mists may cause eye irritation, as well as upper respiratory tract irritation. Inhalation of the propylene glycol vapors appears to present no significant hazard in ordinary applications. However, limited human experience indicates that inhalation of propylene glycol mists could be irritating to some individuals. Therefore inhalation exposure to mists of these materials should be avoided. Some research has suggested that propylene glycol not be used in applications where inhalation exposure or human eye contact with the spray mists of these materials is likely, such as fogs for theatrical productions or antifreeze solutions for emergency eye wash stations.[15]

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