Wednesday, March 2, 2011

E-Cigarettes: Dialog on Flavors and Poisoning Issues

During the Public Hearings on a bill that would have banned flavored liquid for electronic cigarettes, one health advocate testified:
The problem is that a lethal dose of nicotine for children is 10 mg and one of those cartridges contains 500 to over 1000 mg.

In our follow-up thank you to the committee members who had voted against the measure we endeavored to correct the misinformation that came out during the hearing. Regarding this particular statement we wrote:
This is false. Cartridges contain nicotine that has been purified (pharmaceutical grade), not “pure nicotine.” A cartridge contains no more than one gram (1000 mg) of a liquid solution of water, propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin, flavoring, and (optionally) nicotine. The “high dose” cartridges typically contain less than 2% nicotine (20 mg.)

We received a response:
In that statement I was referring to the refill containers that are used to refill the cartridges in the e-cigarettes. The information I gave in the committee hearing is correct for the refill containers. The containers do not have child-proof caps and come in candy flavors. This bill would ban those.

The text below is the reply from one of the CASAA Board Members.

I thank you for opening a dialog on these issues.

We are in agreement that nicotine is poisonous and should be kept out of reach of small children.

The information you gave the committee is not necessarily correct for containers of refill liquid. The total quantity of nicotine in a refill bottle depends on two factors: 1) what percent of the solution is nicotine and 2) the size of the bottle. Given the 2% figure that I mentioned in my email, you would need a 50 ml bottle of refill liquid to reach a total of 1,000 mg of nicotine (1000 divided by 20). That’s well above average size for a refill bottle. If the bottle contains zero-nicotine liquid, there would be zero mg of nicotine, regardless of how large the bottle is.

However, a discussion of how much of a toxic chemical is in a container is beside the point. Most households contain many different products that are poisonous – bleach, nail polish remover, aspirin, drain cleaner, children’s cough medicine, mouthwash – to name a few. Should legislation be passed to ban all poisonous substances? Or should parents be expected to keep all poisons out of reach of children and pets?

Most toddlers can’t read, therefore catchy flavor names would be lost on them. Many of the substances that poison children are rather unpleasant tasting.

As my colleague Kristin pointed out, many smokers who switched to electronic cigarettes have lost their taste for tobacco smoke. It is very likely that the more pleasant flavors assist in the process of extinguishing a taste for smoke. Many smokers who quit by using other methods report that they still have cravings to smoke, even years later. We who quit smoking by switching to a reduced-harm product are experiencing no cravings to smoke. This is an important point, so I am going to repeat it: We have no cravings to smoke! Thus, when a famous Pediatrician announces that kids will begin using e-cigarettes and then “graduate” to smoking, we find the idea ludicrous.

There is zero evidence that pleasant flavors are enticing young people to take up nicotine use via e-cigarettes. If pleasant flavors are what they are after, they can get those without nicotine in an e-cigarette. Better yet, they can buy real candy, real cookies, real bubble-gum or some other food source of pleasant flavors. Those products will cost a lot less than an electronic cigarette.

There is zero evidence that—for whatever reason—any significant number of young people are buying these products. I’m attaching a copy of the CASAA Position Statement on Electronic Cigarettes. It contains some statistics on the age and smoking experience of consumers, substantiated by references. I’m also attaching a copy of the CASAA document, “8 Biggest Electronic Cigarette Myths”. It provides a more detailed explanation of some of the points discussed here.

These products are working for people who had lost all hope of ever being able to quit smoking. I’m 65. I smoked for 45 of those years and tried the patch, gum, lozenges, prescription nicotine inhaler, counseling, hypnosis, Nicotine Anonymous, and prescription smoking cessation drugs. When treatment stopped, relapse began. I didn’t just try these products once. I tried over and over, even using different combinations. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result, then I must have been insane.

On March 27, I will have been smoke-free for two years. To me, that’s the answer to a prayer—quite literally.

There are now hundreds of thousands of former smokers like me who did everything we were told to do and could not quit. We have finally found something that works. Then along come the groups that are supposed to be in favor of smoking cessation—health departments across the country, US Health and Human Services agencies, American Lung Association, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, WHO, and the AMA—and all of them want to ban outright the product that finally, at long last, worked for us. And when that doesn’t work, they want to make the products less effective by such actions as banning pleasant-tasting flavors. It boggles our minds.

What we really find insulting is when these organizations tell us that we should try the “safe and effective” smoking cessation methods. What they seem to be saying is “We want you to go back to beating your head against the wall.”

Again, I greatly appreciate that you are willing to discuss these issues. If you have additional questions or would like to discuss anything related to improving smoking cessation rates, I am including my mobile phone number.

The two documents mentioned above can be downloaded from the CASAA web site:

CASAA Position Statement on Electronic Cigarettes
8 Biggest Electronic Cigarette Myths


  1. i have to agree, it would be good to "regulate" how much nic is in each liquid and get it from one company, but isnt that a monopoly?? maybe if the FDA made sure that vendors were actually putting out the product that they say they were..

    i have been vaping for a year on march 25th this year. the day of philly vapefest. i have to say, after smoking for 9 years this is THE COOLEST and FUTURISTIC way of stopping people from smoking, i vape alot every day, but if i didnt have my v3 or at least some type of vaping device, i would be back to cigarettes,

    dont force us people to go back to cigs man, it's just wrong... after finding out this is so clean and it actualy works... they try to burn it to the ground... it's wrong...


    it may not be perfect, but it's a step into the right direction. let us get the bugs out and fix everything.. i'm sure in a few years there will be more than double the ammount of vapers this year.. and about 90 percent of them will quit analog cigarettes completely... i'm not saying this isn't harmful. i'm saying this is a LOT better than smoking cigarettes and i feel way more in control of myself and the addiction.

    DONT TAKE THAT AWAY FROM US... PLEASE.. lives ARE on the line!

  2. Judge Richard J. Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted the request of plaintiffs Smoking Everywhere and Sottera, Inc. (dba NJOY) for an injunction against FDA product seizures. In his Opinion document, Judge Leon told the FDA that unless vendors claimed their product was intended to treat a disease, the agency could not regulate them as drugs under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act. However, if the products are derived from tobacco (i.e., they contain nicotine extracted from tobacco) the FDA could protect public health by regulating electronic cigarettes under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act ("Tobacco Act.")

    FDA apparently thought it would be better for the public health to leave the products totally unregulated and appealed the injunction. Several months later, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's injunction and gave the FDA the same advice: Regulate E-cigarettes under the Tobacco Act.

    The FDA's next move is unknown. It could appeal to the Supreme Court, but most folks with legal knowledge believe that the Supreme Court would not agree to hear the case. Meanwhile, the FDA has not removed electronic cigarettes from the import ban list, which means that the Agency's executives could find themselves facing Contempt of Court charges.

  3. I smoked 2 packs a day for 20 yrs. With help from a ecigarette I in fact did quit, going on a year now. The funny thing is I only find myself puffing on it when I'm bored, there is no craving for nicotine. That tells me the biggest part of my dependency was NOT the nicotine but some of the 4000 others present in a real cigarette. No one can tell me this isn't a solution because it WORKED. Oh btw, I also used to use an inhaler several times a day. I use NOTHING now. So you tell me which is best...

  4. Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association (CASAA) a consumer group that was created and is currently funded by ECF and your friendly, neighborhood U.S. Electronic Cigarette Suppliers to do direct lobbying on their behalf.

    So how can anyone believe anything said by them? Not to mention that some of the members of casaa have financial reasons to keep people addicted to ecig

  5. Dear Anonymous: It is true that CASAA was created by consumers and for consumers on the We formed the organization in self-defense. We struggled for years to stop smoking. We finally, at long last, found something that worked, and the government wanted to ban it!

    We decided to form a grass-roots organization to fight the bans. In addition, as we worked through the proposed mission statement and organizational goals, we learned that there were other non-smoked products that people were successfully using as an alternative to inhaling smoke. We also learned that government organizations and trusted non-profit health organizations have been lying to the public for years regarding the relative risks of various sources of nicotine. They continue to do so to this very day.

    All CASAA board members are unpaid volunteers. CASAA is funded totally by donations, and these donations do not buy any special favors. When and where ever there is a proposed law that would threaten the health of consumers by prohibiting sales to adults or use of less hazardous alternatives--whether those alternatives be e-cigarettes, snus, dissolvable tobacco products, or pharmaceutical nicotine products--CASAA is willing to step up to provide truthful scientific information to the voters, public health officials, and politicians.

    We oppose the inclusion of e-cigarettes in smoking bans because the devices do not produce smoke. All research to date shows them to be no more harmful than a Nicotrol inhaler.

    I have been smoke-free since March 27, 2009 and I intend to stay that way.

    Try reading some of the success stories posted here:
    and here:

  6. I think it is funny that someone would make bold statements against the e cigs, but then turn around and remain anonymous, gutless, and that is because they know they are wrong, and have nothing to back there statements up, can we say corporate lackey sent in to talk crap, and they picked the wrong one, LOL.