Sunday, May 2, 2010

Lung Association Recommends Smoking

"Until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determines that e-cigarettes are safe for consumers, the American Lung Association urges consumers not to use these products." -- Letter from Charles D. Connor, President and CEO, American Lung Associatioon

Why is the head of the organization that is dedicated to lung health urging me to stop using the tool that has kept me smoke-free for over a year?

Does the American Lung Association (ALA) have any evidence that it is safer to inhale tobacco smoke?

It can’t be the carcinogen levels. A day’s supply (about 1 ml) of the 16 mg liquid contains 8 ng/g of TSNAs—about equal to the amount in an FDA-approved nicotine patch. Compare that to the whopping 11,190 ng/g of TSNAs in the most popular brand, Marlboro cigarettes.

It can’t be the number of toxins. In addition to the “chemical found in antifreeze,” conventional tobacco cigarettes contain arsenic used in rat poison, hydrogen cyanide used in gas chambers, formaldehyde used to embalm dead bodies, polonium radiation dosage equal to 300 chest X-rays in one year, and many more harmful substances that you will not find in the liquid or the vapor.

It can’t be the tar, carbon monoxide, and particulates. These are only found in smoke. If I go back to inhaling these substances along with my nicotine, I’m fairly certain that the wheezing that kept me awake at night and the productive morning cough will return. I also suspect that my recently regained ability to laugh out loud without triggering a coughing fit will disappear

I could understand the ALA taking the stance, “Until more is known, the American Lung Association cannot recommend the products.” However, in view of the known negative health consequences of inhaling smoke, it seems unethical to urge consumers not to use the products.

The ALA cannot ignore the fact that hundreds of thousands of users report that they are using the products as a complete replacement for their tobacco cigarettes. It also cannot ignore the fact that the health effects reported by users have been overwhelmingly positive. Not one serious adverse event has been reported. Meanwhile, 440,000 Americans per year die of smoking-related diseases.

We know that the FDA is not quick to pronounce any product “safe.” During those years, how much damage will be done to the lungs of the continuing smokers who heed the ALA advice?


  1. As always Elaine you tell it like it really is. Thanks once again.

  2. I guess I can't say I'm surprised...they must get money from big pharma and big tobacco.

  3. Harry pointed out to me that the ALA actions are even worse than described in this letter. I should have added "Actively campaigning to outlaw the products is beyond Justification."

  4. You unfortunately are a victim of many years of creative writing by our trusted medico institutions. When you compare the contents of a cigarette directly, you are using the numbers they gave you, which have nothing to do with what a smoker inhales or what portion originates from the tobacco and what originates from the ambient air which comprises the majority of what they refer to as tobacco smoke.

    You don't receive information on a cigarette package which would improve safety by market demand through comparative shopping. Some cigarettes are definitely more dangerous than others in spite of the "no safe cigarette" nonsense they promote which in and of itself says nothing. I would agree that vaping does limit what is inhaled from a strict product evaluation, however what is included in the ambient air is identical to the many toxins they highlight for emotional appeal when attacking smokers. The same toxins they will claim you are inhaling when attacking your choice of product. The contents of tobacco are one thing, however after a cigarette burns they are entirely different. Nicotine for one could never survive the process of burning because it's flash point is well below the temperature of the idle cigarette ash. What they do inhale is a transformed chemical known as nicotinic acid you might know this as niacin or vitamin B3. The additive they put in your daily bread and the one chemical that fits the receptor [nicotinic or aceto-chlorine receptor]which releases endorphins and promote a feeling of being well and confidence. Just like the smell of baked bread, which is the closest thing anyone has ever found which describes what a smoker craves.

    The nicotine in the form you find in the vapor and the smoking patch may well satisfy an increased heart rate and flushing, however it is no real substitute for smoking, from a satisfaction standpoint, which explains why the so called treatments the ALA is selling don't work in more than 95% of cases. when you compare that to cold turkey, which is responsible for more than 95% of successful quit attempts. From this we see the proof of another lie promoted and endorsed by the ALA."doubles your chances of quitting"

    The bottom line here is that the medico; for profit, partnerships want you to believe what they promote; that you are immature or ignorant and not worthy of making your own choices. Don't accept the nanny state, do what you feel comfortable with, because reliable information originating from the many press releases we are being downgraded with, hold no measure of confidence or scientific foundation.

    It is all sales hype and all about the money.

  5. It is really unfortunate that your selling points for the E-Cig, compliments their own methods of eliminating your choices and the value of your common sense as the norm. You are playing their game on their field.
    They are attacking your greatest weapon against their trash-talk. The instinctive knowledge which tells us smoking bans and cigarette taxes are a crime you can't quite put your finger on. Common sense grown and respected in self confident communities over thousands of years of trial and error.

    The ALA promotes only that you are immature or ignorant and should rely solely on their parental guidance. An industry of con men which relies heavily on emotional blackmail, augmented with your feel good donations, which are in turn used to insult your intelligence as the only product delivered in return. Al Capone would have been proud of what he inspired with his own version of protection rackets.

    "Do as you are told and respect the all knowing medioco parental authority or suffer your inevitable doom", in spite of the many inconvenient truths attached to their self-servient prophesies.

    From your post we see the 44,000 causal lies, the toxin lies and the smokers are all from another planet or species lies.

    Yet you hope to draw confidence and collaborations from the same old Quaker state songs?

    Your own form of Bigotry is no improvement, it is still Bigotry and stereotypical trash.

    It will draw little support among those who are already sick of listening to it.

  6. To Anonymous who left the comment May 9th at 5:32 -- You make some good points about not knowing any more what is truth and which are lies when we have caught not just ALA, but all of the 3-letter health organizations, in several lies. However, this is the first I have heard that nicotine is transformed into niacin in cigarette smoke. I've been taking two doses of 500 mg. Niacin for several years as treatment for high cholesterol. If nicotine in my smoke was turning into niacin all along, how did my cholesterol get elevated? And why doesn't taking niacin as a vitamin mitigate any of the nicotine abstinence symptoms?

  7. To Anonymous who left the comment May 9th at 6:25 -- I'm sorry. I'm not following your train of thought. Exactly who is it that you believe I am bigoted against?

  8. FDA approved chantix (latest smoking cessation pill) leads you to Smoking free healthy life. The Best possible way to quit smoking for clean and healthy world.

  9. John: Your comment includes a link to your blog singing the praises of Chantix. To provide some balance to that information, here is a link discussing the serious (and sometimes deadly) side effects.

  10. Hi Vocal EK; no offense, but the fact that you hadn't heard that nicotine is transformed into niacin, really has nothing to do with the facts. If you look into it, you'll find that is how your medicinal niacin is actually made. Don't guess; check. Don't ask a doctor, ask an industrial chemist. And anybody who is living in a modern city, breathing mostly car exhausts, eating mostly processed foods, and getting essentially no exercise, has a lot more to worry about than cigarette smoke. Fix up those other things first. You might even find that when your health returns, you don't need to smoke anymore.

  11. On May 3 2010 Anonymous said "Nicotine for one could never survive the process of burning because it's flash point is well below the temperature of the idle cigarette ash. What they do inhale is a transformed chemical known as nicotinic acid you might know this as niacin or vitamin B3."

    It is correct that nicotine cannot survive the temperature at the burning point of a lit cigarette. Nonetheless a large number of studies (at least in the hundreds) have measured nicotine absorbed from cigarette smoke by testing blood plasma during and soon after smoking. Just one example is at Methods for detecting and measuring nicotine in cigarette smoke are well understood and the results are indisputable. For example here's how Health Canada measures it:

    Roughly 10% of the nicotine in cigarette tobacco survives the burning of a cigarette and is transported to the user with the smoke. This nicotine escapes as the cigarette's burning point approaches due to evaporation and due to attachment to ash and vapor droplets as they move past the liquified nicotine.

    On May 3 2010 Anonymous said "What they do inhale is a transformed chemical known as nicotinic acid you might know this as niacin or vitamin B3."

    It is not true that any significant amount of nicotinic acid (niacin) is present in cigarette smoke. Nicotine does not oxidize to niacin without other elements being involved in the reaction. An example is an old method of producing niacin which uses nicotine and nitric acid, see Another method involves the use of potassium dichromate. But these are not reactions of any significance in smoking.

    On September 9 2010 Anonymous said "no offense, but the fact that you hadn't heard that nicotine is transformed into niacin, really has nothing to do with the facts. If you look into it, you'll find that is how your medicinal niacin is actually made."

    This is incorrect. See for a detailed description of recent and current methods of producing niacin. None of them involve nicotine. The article describes the methods used by the four producers of niacin who collectively produced 98% of the world's niacin in 1998. (See for a breakdown of the top producers in 1998. That's the latest data I can find, I doubt it has changed much - if it had there would be an easy to find article about a shakeup.)

  12. Your arguments are all compelling and quite sensible, but you shot your credibility in the foot when you fabricated the topic "Lung Association Recommends Smoking".
    The ALA does not, nor will they ever, recommend smoking, because they know it is extremely harmful. They also are not recommending e-cigarrettes, because they simply will not recommend anything that does not have FDA approval (yet).
    To misconstrue this as an endorsement for cigarette smoking is (emotional) insanity. You must have enough intelligence to know that your topic statement is an outright lie, yet you have chosen to rant on it anyway. If you HAD a valid point to start with, it would have been an intelligent discussion, but there was none, which paints you as a lunatic.

  13. Many e-cigarette consumers wrote to the ALA to relate how, after years of failed attempts uning any and all of the approved treatments, they had finally stopped smoking by switching to an e-cigarette. Many let him know that nicotine abstinence is unworkable for them, so they continue to rely on the product to remain smoke-free. In repsonse to all of these letters, Conner wrote: "The American Lung Association urges consumers not to use these products."

    Mr. Connor isn't just saying, "I don't recommend that any smoker start using this product." He is urging former smokers to stop using the product that is keeping them smoke free.

    I doubt that Mr. Conner got to be head of the ALA by being stupid. He must understand that a goodly percentage of e-cigarette users would relapse to smoking real cigarettes if they followed his advice. Therefore he must have some reason to believe that smoking is somehow less hazardous than using a product that has not been approved by the FDA.