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The Low Down on Vapor in the Lungs

Brandon Blalock


Once again we find ourselves listening to the same, tired, repetitive tripe vomiting violently out of the mouths of ANTZ (Anti-Nicotine and Tobacco Zealots).  It generally goes something like this, “There still haven’t been any serious studies on the health effects of electronic cigarettes.”  This statement has been repeated like a broken record, like a broken record, like a broken record, like a… ehem… for about seven years now.  The actual level of ignorance present in this asinine statement, backed by all of the intimidating power of ulterior motives and corrupt special interests, is tantamount to me telling everyone I come across, in a self-assured, arrogant tone of voice, that nobody really knows yet whether or not Penicillin is effective.  The actual, real truth behind this phenomenon is that there have been more scientific studies, laboratory analyses, surveys, and medical professional opinion journal writings than you can shake a stick at.  On the flip side, however, there was once a single study, of a single (disposable, gas-station-purchased) electronic cigarette that uncovered trace amounts of ethylene glycol which (in much larger amounts) is toxic to human beings.  These trace amounts of ethylene glycol were due to the usage of polyethylene glycol, which has since been replaced by the completely safe propylene glycol.

And now to answer those nay-sayers who are reading this saying, “Oh, yeah… Prove it!”  First, let’s discuss the CDC’s (Center for Disease Control) study from 1994 regarding the use of various glycols in theatrical fog, used repeatedly in productions on Broadway (and elsewhere of course) to the point where actors began to worry about the effects of the fog on their respiratory function.  Their fears, however, were put to rest when studies revealed that, outside of a mild drying of the mucus membranes, a constant exposure to theatrical fog (over many years) resulted in zero negative health effects.

Next, we have a recent (February of this year; 2013) study by FAME laboratories in Thessaly, Greece.  This particular study was designed to research the effects (if any) of e-cigarette vapor on human lung functioning.  The test was done with both smokers and non-smokers and studied the effects of first-hand and second-hand smoke and vapor.  The results of this test?  Vaping causes much smaller, or non-existent changes in lung functioning than does smoking.  Second-hand vaping is completely harmless, and also results in such a small intake of nicotine that it is barely worth mentioning.  Second-hand smoking, on the other hand, yielded the same results as all previous studies on second-hand smoking.

HSE Consulting and Sampling did a comprehensive study of the various glycols used in industry, entertainment services, and other technological usages.  Propylene glycol’s toxicity is extremely low, which leads to it’s prolific (FDA-approved) use in many foods and pharmaceuticals.  It is readily metabolised into lactic acid, then pyruvic acid, and eventually into carbon dioxide and dihydrogen monoxide… or water, to the layperson.  This report also relayed results of other tests done in the early 1970s, which concluded that the majority of inhaled PG (Propylene Glycol) became lodges in the nasal membranes and eventually found its way down into the stomach.  Animals exposed exclusively to PG-saturated air for periods up to a year and a half exhibited no adverse health effects, with the exception of a slight (completely reversible) dehydration of the nasal and ocular areas, which eventually produced a small amount of cracking and bleeding, mostly due to the fact that the animals were exposed to the PG-laden atmosphere 24/7, without moisturising relief.

Finally (at least for the purposes of this article) we have a study released by Health New Zealand four years ago which used for its test e-cigarettes from the Beijing company, Ruyan.  These cartomizer-based e-cigs presented an image of electronic cigarette technology which can’t be described in any way other than “life-saving.”  These E-cigs scored a zero in toxic emissions, an eight in “normal” puffs and nine in “intense” puffs (as opposed to Marlboro Reds’ 48 in “normal” puffs and a 103 in “intense” puffs) as far as nicotine intake is concerned.  That’s only 10% of the nicotine taken in through a puff of smoke off of a traditional (analog) tobacco cigarette.  Also, it’s interesting to note that the nicotine molecules suspended in PG/VG (vegetable glycerine) are two small to be deposited in any substantial amount onto the alveoli or bronchioles in your lungs.  Most of it will be exhaled with the rest of the vapor and dissipate in the atmosphere before ever having a chance to present any sort of “second-hand” vaping dangers.

So, next time you hear a parrot parroting the pre-canned response of the headline “scientists” out there, you can respond with something that will no doubt sound like Ancient Greek to them… the Truth!  Even the New York Post (you know, that same idyllic town that just recently decided in their infinite wisdom that e-cigarettes were to be legally treated with all of the same considerations of regular “analog” cigarettes) pointed out recently, through the writing abilities of author Jacob Sullum, that a win for the FDA equals a restriction of information and access to this monumental advancement in health and the fight against tobacco-related illnesses, diseases, cancers, and deaths, ironically, all in the name of health!  This “not-enough-serious-research” argument has long since been exhausted… and then some.  If they really wish to continue this line of propaganda with some modicum of solid backing, the ANTZ really need to go out there and do another study more recent than 2006/2007.  I believe, however, that they don’t want to do this because they already know that whatever scientific research they fund from this point on is going to reveal exactly what they don’t want the public to know… that E-cigs are not only safe, but are a potentially life-saving new technology that will more than likely bury the tobacco and smoking-cessation-drug industries in less than ten years time.  There is too much money involved for the ANTZ to admit defeat, tuck their tail, and sulk away.  Many powerful and “influential” people will lose their shirt through the collapse of these industries.  Then they will most likely be left with only four houses instead of ten, and reduced to the sad state of only having their BMW and Bentley left to drive.  So, since they are not going to do any of this of their own free will, we simply need to force their hand in this matter.

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