E-Cigs Cause Poisoning

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Source: Photobucket

You’ve gotta hand it to big tobacco.

They’re consistent.

They never seem to come up with a product that doesn’t addict people, won’t make them sick, and that the manufacturers won’t lie about.

I encounter the lying part from my personal experiences with the debate over e-cigs in the Oklahoma legislature. We’ve had a two-year battle over attempts by big tobacco and their army of unbelievably highly-paid lobbyists to ram through a bill that would define e-cigs as a non-smoking product, thus enhancing e-cig profits.

During the course of this, I’ve been lied to repeatedly and flat-out insulted; all because I won’t give up my little vote to enhance the $$$ power of big tobacco.

This particular vote is just one among many for me. I know what I’m going to do, and I am going to do it. Then I will let it go. That’s how I deal with these things.

What made me sit up and take notice is a news story that’s making the rounds of the major news outlets under headlines like Electronic cigarettes can be dangerous, even if you don’t smoke them (Los Angeles Times), E-cigarette poisoning on the rise (CBS News), E-Cigarette Nicotine a Growing Health Threat: CDC (WebMD) and E-cigs’ liquid nicotine causing poisonings (CNN)

This particular poisoning is most dangerous when it hits children under the age of 5. Evidently, the liquid nicotine found in E-Cigs can be absorbed in a variety of ways, and not just through the lungs.

The moral? If you use them, keep them away from kids.

The other moral? Don’t use them long term. If they make kids this sick, presumably because of their smaller body size, they aren’t going to do you a lot of good, either.

As for the big tobacco folks who are pummeling Oklahoma legislators to pass this thing, they never had my vote, anyway. It will be interesting to see if this CDC report causes any of the others to take a second look at the legislation.

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    The government of Wales intends to extend to e-cigs the restrictions already in place for normal cigarettes. Britain’s other authorities are watching with interest.

    As you know, my dearest and oldest friend was killed by lung cancer caused by a packet-a-day habit. More power to your campaigning elbow, Representative.

    • hamiltonr

      Thanks Fabio.

  • AnneG

    Rebecca, you almost lost me on your reference links, but I looked the study up. I had not considered the dangers of liquid nicotine used in the e-cigs. Not having the burning tobacco is a plus, but nicotine is very addictive and, with the e-cigs, I bet the amount of use increases. Makes total sense and the resultant vascular and cardiac effects are going to shoot up.
    Did you know that nicotine is an excellent, organic pesticide? And, in nature with sun, it breaks down and is non-toxic, eventually, in a short time.

    • hamiltonr

      I knew it was a pesticide. I also learned in high school biology that our bodies can’t break it down completely (not enough sunlight, I guess) and that smokers end up excreting it in their urine.

  • Matthew Bade

    Electronic cigarettes engender ambivalence, because they are both a boon and a bane. In a lesser-of-two-evils kind of way, they beat cigarettes six ways to Sunday. Both deliver nicotine, but e-cigarettes do it without the tar, carbon monoxide, and the thousand-odd other chemicals and sundry carcinogens that are part and parcel of the modern-day cigarette. For smokers who are unable to abandon nicotine, these little plastic gizmos just might spare them the scourge of an otherwise impending cancer. As smoking cessation (or, as is often the case, replacement) tools, they work where other methods have failed. The patch and nicotine gums don’t address the ancillary oral fixation attendant upon a smoker’s addiction; e-cigs, by contrast, offer an overarching solution and a real alternative to tobacco dependence. On the other hand, when used by non-smokers, they cut whole swaths of new nicotine addicts out of a heretofore unaddicted segment of the population; some of these people will find electronic cigarettes to be a gateway to tobacco use, and the aggregate of smokers might actually increase. This is a real threat. The issue is very complex, but at the end of the day, I believe that however deleterious e-cigarettes might be, real ones are that much worse—and half as much again. (As a twenty-five-year smoker desperate to quit, my spectacles might be colored by the hope of saving my lungs without the sheer torture of nicotine withdrawals. But even still, I think electronic cigarettes offer a way to make the best of a bad situation.)

  • Ryan Rji Rji

    You’ve got it totally backward. The vaping industry is largely composed of small businesses that make their own eLiquid. It is a threat to big tobacco, and if you were really opposed to big tobacco, you would advocate their use. The more difficult you make it for people to switch to vaping, the more cigarettes get sold. You need to think realistically about this.

    • hamiltonr

      I know who is at the capitol lobbying for this bill. It’s RJ Reynolds.

  • pagansister

    If these continue to be sold, and unfortunately they probably will, I hope all cities,or states put the same restrictions as that for cigarettes—no sale to minors etc.


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