Los Angeles, CA – The World Health Organization has staked out harsh territory from which it has rendered an evaluation of vaping that can only be described as mystifying. The war on vapor rages on. E-cigarettes are the target of the WHO’s recent report that demands tougher regulations.
The same, stale arguments are being recycled in an effort to discourage people from buying e-cigs. For example the argument that e-cigs do not address nicotine addiction. It is not the nicotine that kills millions of people every year and WHO knows that. It would be wonderful if there were a perfect answer to tobacco harm that addresses every single aspect of the matter but it does not exist.
Waiting for perfection is a sure recipe for continued mortality rates that are simply staggering. WHO’s attack on electronic cigarettes does nothing to address the current state of tobacco harm. While this is good news for tobacco sales and manufacturers of chemotherapy drugs, it is terrible news for smokers that are seeking a less harmful alternative.
The World Health Organization logo features the Rod of Asclepius. In Greek Mythology, it is a symbol of the healing arts. From certain perspectives, it also looks like a question mark. In this case, the question mark is a perfect emblem of WHO given their narrowly envisioned stance toward e-cigs.
The WHO is calling for bans on advertising and indoor use. “In a nutshell, the WHO report shows that e-cigarettes and similar devices pose threats to public health,” explained Douglas Bettcher, the director of the WHO’s department on non-communicable diseases.
Banning indoor use flies in the face of a study conducted by Drexel University that shows that indoor vaping does not impact the air quality of even a small, 200 square foot room. Other studies show that vaping does not influence heart function and even the FDA e-cigs proposal has admitted, grudgingly of course, that vaping may assist with smoking cessation. WHO, on the other hand, is not acknowledging any contrary studies.
The WHO Believes That E-Cigarettes Pose A Risk To Public
Health And Calls For A Ban On Ads And Indoor Vaping
The hard line stance is surprising given the fact that the Cancer Society and the American Heart Association have softened their views and have begun to recognize the value of electronic cigarettes in the fight to reduce tobacco related premature deaths.
Many medical doctors and health practitioners who actually see real patients on a daily basis have evolved on the issue of e-cigarettes. In fact, in a recent survey more than two thirds of doctors indicated that e-cigarettes may be able to help people quit smoking. More than a third actually recommend electronic cigarettes to their patients.
There is a definite division in the medical field. Those who work with patients have a much more positive view of electronic cigarettes while those who work from an office and deal in the world of theory are unyielding in their contempt for e-cigs. One can only wonder how the viewpoint would change had electronic cigarettes been an innovation of individuals in lab coats and multiple letters behind their names rather than innovative people looking for a real solution.
The World Health Organization would be well advised to consider the fact that we lose millions of people to smoking every year and denying a less harmful option creates mass confusion for smokers trying to find something to escape the horrific dangers of tobacco. Many people are flat out saying that the WHO is putting smokers lives at risk.
The WHO has long been a foe of e-cigarettes. The story dates back to the earliest days of the e-cigarette industry. In fact, the first man to import e-cigarettes to the United States, Jon Deak, once took out a full-page ad in the New York Times on behalf of the company he founded, The Safe Cig.
Since the earliest days of the industry, the leading voices have been trying to capture the attention of the WHO and attempt to get them to see how millions of lives could be changed forever thanks to ecigs.
No one is saying that e-cigarettes are the answer to addiction. Addiction is another question entirely. Addiction is more than identifying a single chemical that has addictive properties.
Addiction is a ritual, a habit, a routine that becomes part of the fabric of a being. Mastering addiction, successfully, requires a vast number of factors falling into place.
Perhaps one day there will be a magical answer to addiction that will satisfy the impossible standards of every possible critic. Keep in mind that such a solution would be the first of its kind in human history but you never know, it could happen. All would welcome it.
Until we live in a time of perfect solutions, can we afford to turn our back on a device that has the potential to impact the millions of lives that are being lost to tobacco right now?
Apparently, WHO insists that we wait for perfection or stick with alternatives that have been previously approved by the the expert industry.
Despite the lack of acceptance on the part of WHO, Jon Deak still has a great deal of respect for the organization and what is has accomplished and the positive impact on human health that has resulted from WHO policies and lobbying efforts. He is, of course, disappointed by “the failure to back an invention that could potentially save millions of lives.”
The invention of the e-cigarette has been widely credited to Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist. Lik indeed holds the patent in several countries and he was the first to marry modern lithium ion battery technology to a means of storing and heating a nicotine based liquid that had the capacity to satisfy cravings experienced by smokers.
There is no question that a large part of the success of e-cigarettes is the fact that this invention allows smokers to mimic the entire smoking ritual with a device that actually looks like a cigarette. This serves the impulses of addiction on multiple levels, as opposed to simply replacing nicotine through drugs, patches, gums or what have you.
While technology has enabled the e-cig, the concept actually can be traced back to an idea born in 1963 with a successful patent filed in the name of Herbert Gilbert.
Jon Deak and Herbert Gilbert, the Inventor of the E-Cigarette
US Patent 3200819, a smokeless, non-tobacco cigarette was filed in Gilbert’s name in 1963. The technology of the time was limited and the original version really never got off the ground. After a few years, the idea more or less disappeared.
It was not until the new evolution of e-cigs that Gilbert finally achieved some of the recognition that he deserved long ago.
Like Mr. Gilbert, Jon Deak has picked up the torch to fight for a smoking alternative that may potentially save countless lives. The Safe Cig was founded to achieve that precise purpose.
Jon and his brother, Rob Deak, joined forces with Hollywood powerhouses James Cameron and John Cameron to grow not just the Safe Cig e-cigarette brand but the smoking alternatives industry as a whole.
With John Cameron as CEO, Safe Cig steered e-cigarettes into the mainstream consciousness and an entirely new industry was thrown into incredible growth. It was reminiscent of early times in the United States economy when new innovations became overnight success stories.
The difference was that this invention and innovation occurred outside the corridors of established big business. This was something new, a new cast of innovators and outside the box thinkers. And from the very beginning, the industry knew that the World Health Organization would play a role in the acceptance of this new technology.
Although Safe Cig has closed its doors, Jon Deak, Rob Deak and John Cameron are still working feverishly on behalf of smokers. People deserve access to options that can help. People deserve access to e-cigarettes.
It is the unfortunate result of negative media reports and staunch opposition from organizations like WHO that the public will be deceived into equating vaping with smoking. It is little wonder that there is so much confusion.
The e-cigarette is a new aspect of our society. It is widely misunderstood. Those who have found an oasis in vaping are the best resources of information about the possibilities offered by e-cigarettes. Ultimately, it is the successes experienced by those people, the lives that are being saved right now, that will be the legacy of this debate.
WHO And Electronic Cigarettes
The World Health Organization report calls for smokers to exclusively use approved methods of smoking cessation. Limiting the options of smokers seeking to reduce harm seems to defy logic. It is not as though the “approved methods” are helping everyone.
The success rates of nicotine replacement therapies and medications such as Chantix are not doing very well. For the smokers that they have helped, it is great news. The problem is that after 1 year, 85% or more of people that have tried nicotine replacement therapies or medications are still smokers.
The Pharmaceutical lobby spends billions and has friends in high places. They have also played a hand in developing the “expert industry” that provides the opinions and punditry that most of the public is exposed to. While e-cigs are lambasted for not addressing nicotine addiction, they never address the problems associated with the approved therapies.
For example, lets look at Chantix. It has worked for many people and that is great news. Anyone who wants to try it should. If it helps you stop smoking, it is well worth it. It might work for you, again the more options you have as a smoker, the better.
Chantix is an approved therapy. Approved therapies, however, also come with their own list of problems. The most alarming of which may be the fact the some people taking Chantix have experienced drastic behavioral changes. Hostility, agitation and suicidal thoughts have affected many unsuspecting individuals and families.
If you or a loved one is taking Chantix and you notice any of these behavioral changes, it is imperative that you consult a doctor immediately.
Aside from have a relatively low success rate Chantix has a long list of additional possible side effects:
Chest pain or pressure
Shortness of breath
Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body
Easy bruising or unusual bleeding
Rash, blistering and peeling skin
Problems with vision, speech or balance
There are more side effects and if you experience any you need to consult your doctor right away.
Medications of any type carry risks yet WHO and other health organizations are not calling for a ban. There is undoubtedly a double standard that is being applied and being applied with zeal.
One of the most popular weapons used to promote e-cigarette regulation is the argument that e-cigs will hook a new generation on nicotine. The WHO report states that there are 466 brands of ecigs, which represent a threat to tobacco control. This idea is built on a false premise.
Any health issue that kills 480,000 Americans each year and
6 million people worldwide is not under control.
The idea that smoking is now under control is dangerous and destructive. The expert industry seems to begin its arguments from a position that smoking is no longer the issue that it used to be and e-cigs will cause resurgence. Any health issue that kills 480,000 Americans each year and 6 million people worldwide is not under control.
As noble as the mission of WHO is, their public health campaign against tobacco is only a decade old. In that time the smoking and death rates have not been impacted nearly enough to declare any type of victory. In fact, improvements have been far too small. You cannot look at those mortality numbers and say that more options will make things worse.
E-cigarette Industry Carries On
When the e-cig industry began to come into its own it faced down a litany of enemies. Through all of the opposition and red tape, industry pioneers founds ways and means to fight back and overcome obstacles. Their victories have led to victories for smokers everywhere.
The industry’s pioneers are still hard at work trying to inform the public and make sure that a less harmful option is available to smokers. John Cameron is a strong, high-profile advocate for e-cigs. Rob Deak is very active in the industry pushing for the development of high quality products. Jon Deak has joined Paul Rucci at ECCR to work toward assisting consumers choose a quality e-cig.
It should be noted that over the years as more and more business interests have entered the industry, quality has not been the driving force. Rather exploitation and mass distribution have determined the fact that when a smoker walks into a store he usually sees Logic Ecigs, Blu or Vuse.
The problem is that all of these are toward the lower end of the spectrum in terms of quality. Blu Cigs is actually a solid product but is geared more toward lighter smokers. Logic is basically a generic brand with mass distribution.
Vuse represents the brainchild and vision of Big Tobacco’s role in the e-cig industry. Specifically, developing a super high nicotine content ecig that is cheaply made and shoved in front of customers everywhere.
The e-cigarette industry is far from perfect but the best electronic cigarette brands are designed to provide a real alternative for smokers. The best brands put the consumer first.
Vaping has changed lives for millions of people. There are still so many millions upon millions more that could likewise potentially experience the success of escaping tobacco. The World Health Organization is to be commended for their efforts to protect human health around the world. One can only hope that in time that they will realize that they have potentially one of the most powerful allies they could imagine in e-cigarettes.