There are dozens of ecig myths that have been perpetuated by critics and groups with a transparent agenda. Two of the biggest ecig myths are that Big Tobacco is using ecigs to target children with fruit and candy flavored electronic cigarettes and that ecigs are just as dangerous, if not more so, than ecigarettes.
Isn’t it about time that we told the truth about ecigarettes? It is way past time to expose two of the worst ecig myths. It’s about time that we allow smokers to make informed decisions based on facts and not scare them away from a smoking alternative. Smokers have been let down by the available, limited smoking cessation options and the idea of scaring smokers away from an option that they deserve access too is shameful.
Ecig myths have a purpose. The goal is to achieve stifling FDA ecig regulation. If that happens, independent American ecig companies would not have the financial resources to submit their products for review. Many amazing, innovative electronic cigarette brands employ quality control standards that would easily surpass any FDA standard, but they might never even have a chance to demonstrate that fact because simply submitting for evaluation will cost millions upon millions of dollars. These are small to mid-sized business, not mega-corporations with hundreds of highly paid lobbyists working K Street in Washington, DC.
Both of these ecig myths have been utilized to distort public perception about vaping and electronic cigarettes. There are many special interests that want to see these ecig myths lead to oppressive regulation that will essentially crush the majority of the electronic cigarette industry. This outcome will benefit the pharmaceutical industry’s lock on smoking cessation.
The CDPH and Tobacco Free.ca have both run TV ad campaigns that claim that the electronic cigarette industry is actually Big Tobacco. That is ridiculous. In fact, there is no greater champion of strict ecigarette regulation than Big Tobacco. Every taxpayer dollar that is spent on CDPH and TobaccoFree CA saves Big Tobacco a lot of trouble.
Ironically, in the war on ecigs critics and anti-vaping organizations have a very unlikely new best friend, Big Tobacco. If the FDA regulations end up coming down so hard that independent ecig companies are forced out, Big Tobacco will have a very smooth path to an ecigarette monopoly.
These are strange days indeed. The forces at work are many as are the agendas. All we can do is observe with a more critical, skeptical eye that encourages us to ignore the headlines and examine the details for ourselves.
Let’s kick it off by exposing two ecig myths that are particularly good at playing on the greatest fears of the public.
eCig Myths – Ecig Flavors Target Children
The notion that ecig flavors are targeted toward children and teens has become a focus of anti-vaping attacks. In the last few months organizations like the CDPH and TobaccoFree CA have spent millions of dollars of your money to spread this particular ecig myth. Of course their ads delve into all sorts of ecig myths but for now they really seem to be selectively targeting vaping for offering fruit and dessert flavored ecig flavors.
There are two huge red flags that debunk this fear-mongering claim right off the hop. First, and if you are an adult you will recognize this easily, adults like fruit and dessert flavors, too!
You know what, tobacco doesn’t taste that good. Once someone switched from smoking to vaping, they tend to move away from tobacco flavors and toward more universally appealing flavors. It is very common to start vaping on tobacco flavors as familiarity helps with the initial transition away from smoking. But the majority of adults who switch to vaping prefer fruit, dessert and candy flavors.
About a year and a half ago, a survey of New York vapers showed that more than half preferred fruit, dessert and candy ecig flavors. A more recent survey showed that now even more adult vapers are using fruit, dessert and candy ecig flavors. Here are the numbers:
Fruit Flavors – 31%
Dessert Flavors – 19%
Other Flavors (do it yourself blends, flavorless vapor) – 8%
Savory Spice Flavors – 6%
Candy Flavors – 4%
Drink Flavors – 3%
That’s 71% of the vaping market that has no interest in tobacco e-liquid flavors. If 71% of a market demands flavors other than tobacco the market responds. These are adult vapers who are choosing more appealing flavors that adults enjoy. Everybody likes fruit and candy flavors. American ecig companies are responding to adult consumer demand, period.
To say that they are targeting children and teens is a lie. While critics can and will continue to lie by spreading unfounded ecig myths, and spend your money doing it, the numbers, on the other hand, don’t lie. Unfortunately, the beauty of fear-mongering rhetoric is that it is designed to override facts in favor of an agenda. Don’t fall for it.
The survey shows that only 22% of vapers prefer tobacco flavors while 7% like menthol / peppermint flavors.
The second huge red flag is the very selective targeting of the critics. While they launch these attacks on ecigs based on the availability of fruit and candy flavors, they make no mention of other adult products that sell fruit and candy flavored options.
There are so many examples. Flavored medications is a prime example. Will these critics and health organizations go after their Big Pharma friends for selling fruit flavored cold medicines that contain enough medical ingredients to severely harm a child? Don’t hold your breath.
Did you know that you can buy fruit and dessert flavored alcohols? You can get blackberry brandy, peach schnapps, and cake flavored vodka. Are the critics spending your money running TV ads attacking the wine and spirits industries? That would be no.
By the way, when those industries package fruit and dessert flavored products they put images of the fruits and candies on the packaging in a crazy scheme to let consumers know about the product that they are buying. Sometimes, in another crazy scheme, they make the packaging attractive.
Why are they not attacking these other industries that sell fruit and dessert flavored adult products? The answer is because adults like fruit and dessert flavors.
eCig Myths – Vaping Is Just As Dangerous As Smoking
Of all the ecig myths this is perhaps the most dangerous. The idea that ecigs are as dangerous as cigarettes is absurd. Frankly, the promotion of this ecig myth is nothing shy of irresponsible.
Critics do have legitimate concerns about the lack of regulation in the ecig industry. There are a lot of shady ecig brands and ejuice vendors out there. That goes for any business category. ECCR works hard to help you identify the high quality, better and safer ecig products so you can avoid the trash. There are a lot of quality products available to you. Despite these concerns, even the worst ecig is better than burning tobacco.
By all means critics need to have their voices and concerns heard. The problem is that they are distorting the truth. They are doing so to fuel an agenda rather than seek real solutions and the victims are smokers who believe the scary headlines and keep smoking rather than exploring ecigs as a less harmful alternative.
Millions of smokers have switched to vaping already and are enjoying a new lease on life. A recent poll showed that if ecigs were unavailable, 60% would return to smoking cigarettes. Why? The obvious reason is the fact that so-called ‘approved’ smoking cessation methods have failed them.
In the US alone, 450,000 people will lose their lives this year because of smoking. Those numbers absolutely demand more options and alternatives, not less.
If you are a smoker and you see a scary headline such as “Ecigs Have 10 Times More Toxins Than Cigarettes” what are you going to think? That headline gives you permission to rule out a potential alternative and keep on smoking. That may not be the intent but let’s be honest, that is the result. It is dangerous. Ecig myths are dangerous.
That headline was real and it has spread like wildfire. We are talking about a particular myth that has been shared more than a million times in social media. That headline is wildly inaccurate.
The unfounded claims about toxins in ecigs are based studies that either don’t have the data to support the conclusions or misuse ecigs in order to generate unrealistic results.
One Japanese study claimed that ecigs had more toxins than cigarettes. When you actually dug in and read the study results, the fact was that 1 type of electronic cigarette out of 13 tested showed a formaldehyde level that was high, We don’t know what kind of ecig they used, they don’t mention that, nor do they go into detail about how they used it.
Though the level was high, it was still 6 times less than the amount of formaldehyde in cigarettes. How they could possibly interpret that result into a conclusion that determined that ecigs have 10 times as much is a mystery. It is ridiculous.
Similar studies that result in the reporting of toxins in vapor are a result of unrealistic testing. What they do is overheat the ecig and push them beyond reasonable limits.
You can misuse electronic cigarettes. If you are using a mechanical mod ecig device, that is an ecig with an unregulated battery, it is possible to generate such a high temperature that metallic particles of the heating coil can be vaporized and the eliquid can be burned. If that happens, the vapor will be disgusting and you will not vape it. It is simply unrealistic to assert that anyone would use an ecig in such a fashion.
You would not vape an ecig in this fashion anymore than you would breathe in the vapors of burning plastic. It is ludicrous to even consider it but this is how ecig myths get started.
To use an analogy, if automobile crash testing protocols were conducted in the same fashion that some researchers are testing ecigs, that would equate to testing car safety by pushing test vehicles into the grand canyon.
Vapor analysis that relies on the vapor output of decent quality electronic cigarettes that are used in a practical fashion show a dramatically different result that do studies that rely on improbable. No vapor analysis has ever shown that ecigs produce more toxins that tobacco. Still we are stuck with these ecig myths.
A few years ago, Dr. Murray Laugesen, New Zealand’s renowned tobacco researcher, conducted an independent study showing an average ecigarette’s contained 8.18ng of nitrosamines per 1 g of eliquid. That is eight parts per trillion, an extremely tiny amount. Ecigs are no more toxic than the nicotine patch according to analysis.
Nicotine gum tested at 2 ng, the nicotine patch tested at 8 ng and Marlborough cigarettes tested at a shocking 11,190 ng. That translates to electronic cigarettes containing 1,200 times less cancer‐ causing nitrosamines than traditional cigarettes.
A more recent vapor analysis that compared the vapor output of two well-known brands of good quality cigalikes to the toxins in Marlboro cigarette smoke showed that ecig vapor has 2000 times less toxins than tobacco smoke.
Today’s electronic cigarettes are more sophisticated than ever. The internal microprocessors manage the battery outputs to a precise level, which prevents overheating. Ecigs are a technology and technology is open to advancement and ever more precision control. That means safer and safer products with a potential that is limitless.
How can anyone who truly has the best interests of smokers at heart advocate turning our back on this technology?