I’ve heard about the blind following of main stream media for sometime, but until now I didn’t realize how deep it ran. It runs deep.

Here are a few of the media head lines after the FDA press release on electronic cigarettes yesterday:
* Electronic cigarettes unsafe, linked to cancer – NOT TRUE – no cases or examples of electronic cigarettes causing cancer exist
* Health officials in the nation have said that the testing of two leading e-cigarette brands has shown that they contain cancer causing chemicals and other toxins, including a major compound used in antifreeze. – NOT TRUE – one cartridge from one company had diethylene glycol (DEG) in it, which is found in antifreeze
* FDA: E-cigarettes are as dangerous as tobacco cigarettes – NOT TRUE – this is crazy

Here is what they actually found:
* Out of 18 cartridges, 1 had diethylene glycol (DEG) in it at less than 1%. One.
* Tobacco specific nitrosamines (TSNA) and tobacco specific impurities were detected in both products at very low levels (taken from the FDA Electronic Cigarette Evaluation conclusion). Makes sense if the nicotine was taken from tobacco. Many FDA approved NRTs have Tobacco specific nitrosamines in them. Also, not all the samples contained TSNA.
* Since 100% of tobacco cigarettes contain multiple carcinogens and only 50% of the electronic cigarette cartridges tested contained detectable levels of carcinogens (and even then it was at “very low levels” according to the report), what is the FDA saying about it’s relative safety compared to tobacco cigarettes.

Here is what they did:
* They received the electronic cigarette test results back on May 4th, 2009.
* They postponed a scheduled press conference from May 5th, 2009 to July 23rd, 2009 at which time they released their findings.
* They tested 14 cartridges from Smoking Everywhere (including zero nicotine) and 4 from Njoy, but didn’t test zero nicotine from Njoy. The FDA has been sued by both these companies.
* They used the Nicotrol Inhaler as a “control” but didn’t test it for anything except nicotine.

For all you “journalists” here are some good questions to ask the FDA:
* Why was the report not released until now?
* Did you test any cartridges other than the 18 you published?
* Why didn’t you test the Nicotrol Inhaler for diethylene glycol or tobacco specific nitrosamines?
* Why didn’t you test the zero nicotine from Njoy?
* How many reported illness from electronic cigarettes have there been?
* How many reported deaths from electronic cigarettes have there been?
* Based on your testing, are electronic cigarettes safer and healthier than tobacco cigarettes to the user and the surrounding public? Or alternatively, are e-cigarette more dangerous or as dangerous as burning tobacco?
* Why was no American made e-liquid tested?

It is important to note for anyone who doesn’t know much about the electronic cigarettes, is that the e-liquid is a separate thing from the device. The e-liquid ingredient list can be reworked to make sure there are no cancer causing substances or even impurities. We need time and support to do this, not misleading press conferences. As an example, rather than propylene glycol (which is where many suspect the DEG came from), you can use food grade vegetable glycerin (VG) as the base. Another good question…..why didn’t the FDA test e-liquid with a VG base. This is a distinct advantage over tobacco cigarettes where it has been proven very difficult to make a combustible product safer or healthier.

Responsible suppliers and manufacturers in the industry are very concerned about the quality of the product and the safety of the users. But calling for a ban on electronic cigarettes because of this limited testing is like pulling all beer off the market because 1 bottle had a mouse in it.

So how did 1 sample with DEG and 5 samples with tobacco specific nitrosamines turn into “electronic cigarettes contain cancer causing antifreeze”? Presentation. Oh yeah….and lack of questions.

But why would the FDA want to skew public perception over the e-cigarette? Well, considering the very large $$$$ involved in NRTs (Nicotine Replacement Therapies) sold by the pharmaceutical and the fact that the FDA receives a lot of it’s funding through pharmaceutical companies, one could speculate that those selling competing products want total control over the market. Conspiracy theory? Maybe. But follow the money trail.

What the FDA wants to do is compare the electronic cigarette to nothing. Therefore, any issues with it are worse than nothing. They need to be compared to tobacco cigarettes. E-Cigarettes are used in the same fashion by the same group of people; tobacco smokers.

The FDA has told anyone with any adverse effects to report them by:
* Regular Mail: use postage-paid FDA form 3500 available at: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/HowToReport/DownloadForms/default.htm and mail to MedWatch, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787
* Fax: (800) FDA-0178
* Phone: (800) FDA-1088

I agree. Those with adverse effects should report them. But the method by which they ask for feedback (the mock scientific data in press release form) makes it appear like the FDA wants issues to give them a reason to pull the e-cigarette off the market. For the sake of the thousands and thousands of e-smokers who find it a suitable alternative to burning tobacco, I hope this is not the case.

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11 Responses to How and Why The FDA Misled The Public

  1. tomsebastiani says:

    I love it when people use their brains and do not just believe everything. Very well written!!

  2. Raven says:

    Simply awesome.This is the most well written piece I have seen all day.
    Did you foward this to the ECA?
    If you didn’t,you should.The ECA should have this posted on their front page for all to see.

  3. Technosmoke says:

    Well presented. I am glad to see someone taking a strong active stance on the electronic cigarette market. I personally think the product is a wonderful idea and am a happy consumer myself. Keep fighting for us and I will do the same. Thanks

  4. […] first had the FDA report that made sweeping generalizations that the electronic cigarette may contain toxins – based on a very unscientific test…of the liquid, not the […]

  5. […] Posted March 16, 2010 at 8:17 am As we mention in an earlier post, the American Association of Public Health Physicians has submitted two petitions to the FDA. The first asks the FDA to classify electronic cigarettes as reduced harm tobacco products. The second asks the FDA to hold a follow-up press conference to amend statements made at their July 22nd, 2009 press conference in which they potentially misled the public about the potential dangers of electronic cigarettes. […]

  6. […] How and why the FDA batched their testing on electronic cigarettes – July 24, 2009 Read: The technical review of the FDA Report: “Evaluation of […]

  7. Marlo Larson says:

    Is anyone concerned or have any tests been performed on the new chemicals in the tobacco cigs that have been added by law? This is the FSC, in the name of preventing fires–it has definitely changed the taste and I am starting to equate this off and on sick feeling I’ve been having to smoking them. Which is why I’m investigating ECigs…. how can they possibly be any worse or even comparable to the poison we are receiving from regular cigs? Seems the FDA has their concerns very misdirected.

  8. […] what are they focused on? Their main arguments generally falls back onto the FDA testing of 2 brands of electronic cigarette. But they never mention any other e-cigarette testing or the fact that the FDA testing was never […]

  9. elflaunch says:

    THE FDA IS A MONEY EATING PIGLET SUCKING ON BIG TOBACCOS RIGHT CRUSTY TIT. PERIOD.

  10. […] Tests in early 2009 by the FDA found trace amounts of toxic and carcinogenic ingredients in samples of e-cigarettes. At that same time government representatives believed that e-cigarettes were actually drug delivery devices; they were alarmed and felt this is another reason eCigs should be banned. […]

  11. Michael Troman says:

    After multiple attempts to quit smoking, only the e-cig succeeded for over 6-months. That was at least 6-years ago. It was also a year after having had a heart attack, and then having two-stints installed. My lungs are clear during a full breath, and my BP is 120/80/60. After reading many research pages on the Web, particularly the one done for the country of Denmark, nicotine was found to be food for the brain. The act of burning is the killer. If cancer would be in my fiture, none yet at age -62, we will have to forget about the many-years working with asbestos, paints, and many toxic chemicals while smoking 40-cigarettes per day, to blame it on electronic nicotine device. If a skull and bones are to be its’ label, than everything from aspirin on-out would also qualify, probably-first.

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