E-Cig Snapshot

Vaper’s Vortex

May 22, 2015

“I would be delighted if every cigarette smoker switched to e-cigarettes. We know that tobacco smoke kills. There is no debate about that.”


The amount of information regarding e-cigarettes that is published on a daily basis is remarkable. “E-Cig Snapshot” is a periodic overview of events, research, editorials, blogs, stories, reports or anything else e-cig related that caught my eye. Ideas presented are offered as “talking points” for the e-cig discussion. Comments are always welcome in the Vortex.

The following are comments and ideas presented at the February annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science held in San Jose, CA.

Wilson Compton, MD, MPE, Deputy Director of the NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse

  • “Electronic nicotine delivery systems have both promise and concern. But since cigarette smoking causes one in five deaths in the US every year, every approach to reducing cigarette smoking should be considered, and e-cigarette use by smokers attempting to quit is promising.”
  • Compton is one of the principal investigators in the FDA/NIH sponsored PATH study. A longitudinal cohort study started in 2011 studying tobacco exposure, risk factors and health outcomes for more than 45,000 people ages 12 and up.
  • When asked if he would advocate people replacing cigarettes with e-cigarettes in spite of the fact that we still don’t have answers to a lot of questions, Compton responded – “I would be delighted if every cigarette smoker switched to e-cigarettes. We know that tobacco smoke kills. There is no debate about that.”

Kevin Bridgman, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Compliance at Nicoventures (a subsidiary of British American Tobacco)

  • “There is growing consensus among public health professionals that e-cigarettes are significantly less risky than conventional cigarettes. We believe that, in order to realize their full potential, e-cigarettes should be regulated to ensure appropriate quality and safety standards, whilst also allowing sufficiently wide retail availability, appropriate lifestyle positioning and flexibility for the rapid introduction of product innovation.”
  • Bridgman cited a study of toxicity of cigarette smoke vs. e-cigarette vapor on cells. The study found that cigarette smoke reduced cell viability to 12 percent at six hours, while a standard e-cig showed no such decrease and displayed results similar to untreated air controls.

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive,  Action on Smoking and Health  (A British-based charity established by the Royal College of Physicians and dedicated to eliminating the harm caused by tobacco.)

  • “Over one thousand people will die worldwide from tobacco during this 90 minute session alone, E-cigarettes have the potential to dramatically reduce this deadly toll.”
  • “There is no evidence from the UK that the growth in e-cigarette use is leading to an increase in smoking, particularly among young people,” she said. “In fact smoking rates continue to fall.”
  • “There is a danger that the precautionary principle is being used to deny smokers access to products which can save their lives.”

Dr. Thomas Hartung, Chair of Evidence-Based Toxicology at Johns Hopkins University

  • Safety testing is key less we stamp out “a tremendous public health opportunity.”
  • “E-cigarettes are a tremendous public health opportunity, which we can easily block by applying traditional toxicity testing. If you insist on this, you are essentially killing off the sector. Flavors added to some e-cigarette brands such as popcorn or bubblegum or even gin and tonic are a big issue, and one wonders why they are there. What is safe in food is not safe if inhaled. We need data fast, but we must re-think how to go about it, as traditional toxicology is not fit for this purpose.”

Thomas Glynn, PhD, former Director of Cancer Science and Trends at the American Cancer Society

  • “If we do not step forward and consider bold actions such as embracing the potential of e-cigarettes and other harm reduction agents then we, and the next generations, may have to confront the challenge laid down by former World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland when she said: “If we do not act decisively today, 100 years from now our grandchildren and their children will look back and seriously question how people claiming to be committed to public health and social justice allowed the tobacco epidemic to unfold unchecked.”

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Dave Coggin has a Master’s Degree in business and spent 35 years in corporate America. He is a co-founder and partner in DIYELS. He has spent the last five years actively researching and following the evolution of the e-cigarette industry. He is a strong proponent of e-cigarettes as the most promising option currently known for tobacco harm reduction. He may be contacted directly at dave@diyels.com .

The opinions presented here are exclusively those of the author. Vaper’s Vortex is offered as a service to our customers and followers. Anyone considering e-cigarettes as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes should seek qualified advice from a medical professional.

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