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The Today Show Attacks E-Cigarettes With Misconceptions, Contradictions, and Lies

NBC’s “The Today Show” ran a piece on the new phenomenon known as e-cigarettes on May 9th, 2009, but the fact is that their facts seem to be either wrong or at best, skewed. Watch Video Here.


The statement that e-cigarettes contain only “pure nicotine” is untrue. No known e-cigarette liquid at this time contains only pure nicotine, as most are a combination of nicotine, water, and propylene glycol. One e-cigarette smoker near the beginning of the video states that the ’smoke’ is indeed mostly water vapor and yet, the announcer states that they contain only pure nicotine.



An unnamed man who in context appears to be a spokesman for the FDA seems to be having trouble with his facts, as well, stating that “no one has proven that nicotine itself is safe… remember, there was a time when people thought that cigarettes were safe.” Whoever he is, he has forgotten that the FDA has approved numerous smoking cessation products that contain nicotine, including lozenges, nasal sprays, patches, gums, and little-known nicotine inhalers that have been on the market since the mid-1990’s.



Dr. Lori Mosca of the New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center states that youth may be attracted to e-cigarettes because they look at them almost like “candy cigarettes”, even though e-cigarette starter kits can cost anywhere from $80 to $150 or even more and in most cases, are only available online. Since online vendors typically require a credit, debit card, or bank account to complete purchases, buyers online must be automatically be at least 18.



She also states that there is “some potential because of less carcinogens”, but the truth is that there are NO known carcinogens in e-cigarette liquids.  No known carcinogens have been found in the ingredients through research that has been done internationally concerning certain brands.



Cheryl Healton, President and CEO of the American Legacy Foundation, also smugly slammed e-cigarette products because of the different flavors that they are available in. She incorrectly makes the connection that because children’s candy comes in many different flavors that, by default, anything marketed as having flavors must also be intended for children.  Unfortunately for her, this is a logical fallacy known as “hasty generalization” and doesn’t have any truth to it whatsoever as the rule she is trying to persuade us that it is.



She also states that the difference between other products containing nicotine and e-cigarettes is the fact that e-cigarettes are not under FDA regulation. The question many are asking is why this is important as a safety factor, because the FDA continually approves products that are stated in their commercials to have all manner of side effects, up to and including death. The smoking cessation drug Chantix has not been removed from the market yet, even though there are documented cases of death and suicidal behavior in those who use it. Even the manufacturer of Chantix, Pfizer, warns:



“Patients who are attempting to quit smoking with Chantix should be observed for serious neuropsychiatric symptoms, including changes in behavior, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior.”



Why is the FDA attacking e-cigarettes, which have no known side effects, while it has made no effort to remove Chantix from the market?



Cheryl Healton also makes the comment that e-cigarettes have the potential to make smoking cigarettes look “more cool again”, but one would think that a population that has been bombarded with the Surgeon General’s Warning for years already understands that smoking tobacco cigarettes is very dangerous for your health in the long run.  People aren’t stupid, Mrs. Healton, some people smoke for the pleasure of the activity, not because they care about what others think about them and it is those people who will not stop smoking, health risks be damned.  Tobacco cigarettes are in no danger of being outlawed, so why not give these people a safer alternative?



Complaints about the product not being marketed as a complete step down process for smokers also litter the conversation, as if they would rather smokers continue to use traditional cigarettes (which are in no danger of being made illegal). Dr. Mosca seems to be of the opinion that smoking an e-cigarette, which contains mostly water, nicotine, and propylene glycol, is not safer than inhaling formaldehyde, arsenic, benzene, radioactive Polonium-210, cadmium, carbon monoxide, ammonia, and thousands of other toxic chemicals.



Another fact overlooked by both women and the interviewer is that e-cigarettes are not being marketed as a smoking cessation device specifically because the FDA has prohibited them from making any form of health claims. Some say that this is merely hypocritical politics at work because making health claims brings heat from the FDA upon retailers and manufacturers, while not making health claims isn’t acceptable, either, because of the risk that it could make smoking “cool” again or cause smokers who have already quit to start using e-cigarettes.



Dr. Mosca states that e-cigarettes could lead to people ceasing to smoke less, but she ignores the fact that using an e-cigarette is not ’smoking’ in the traditional sense, because e-cigarettes emit absolutely no smoke. She deliberately places a stigma upon e-cigarette users by putting them in the same category as those who still smoke tobacco, as if there is no difference between the combustion of tobacco and the vaporizing of liquid.



Toward the end of the piece, Dr. Mosca calls for “more data”, but given some light digging online, data is available in the form of medical studies performed in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Both studies give the e-cigarette brands they reviewed a clean bill of health in comparison to tobacco cigarettes.



“Saying e-cigarettes aren’t safer than traditional cigarettes is like saying a tank isn’t safer than a motorcycle in combat,” says Teresa Peach, an e-cigarette user from Tennessee. “If Dr. Mosca hasn’t seen any research, it’s because she hasn’t looked. She should learn to use ‘the Google’.”



Still, for e-cigarette retailers, The Today Show’s piece was a rousing success, since revenues from sales jumped skyward by 100%. Whether the publicity is good or bad, retailers look forward to hearing more from the likes of Dr. Mosca and Cheryl Healton, because no matter what they say, the people are intelligent enough to realize the truth.

The post The Today Show Attacks E-Cigarettes With Misconceptions, Contradictions, and Lies appeared first on E Cig Wars.

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