Cotton Candy and Atomic Fireball flavored electronic cigarettes are forging a new pathway to addiction, death and disease
Oct 17, 2013 | 3452 views | 11 11 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print

By:  Ross P. Lanzafame, American Lung Association National Board Chair

Harold Wimmer, American Lung Association National President and CEO

 

E-cigarette use among middle school children has doubled in just one year.  Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that e-cigarette use also doubled among high school students in one year, and that 1 in 10 high school students have used an e-cigarette.  Altogether, 1.78 million middle and high school students nationwide use e-cigarettes.  Yet, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still is not regulating e-cigarettes.  The absence of regulatory oversight means the tobacco industry is free to promote Atomic Fireball or cotton candy-flavored e-cigarettes to our children.  Clearly, the aggressive marketing and promotion of e-cigarettes is reaching our children with alarming success.

It is well known that nicotine is a highly addictive substance, whether delivered in a conventional cigarette or an e-cigarette.  The use of sweet flavors is an old tobacco industry trick to entice and addict young children to tobacco products, and the entrance of the nation’s largest tobacco companies into this market clearly is having an impact.   Why does Big Tobacco care about e-cigarettes?  Tobacco use kills more than 400,000 people each year and thousands more successfully quit.  To maintain its consumer ranks and enormous profits, the tobacco industry needs to attract and addict thousands of children each day, as well as keep adults dependent.   Big Tobacco is happy to hook children with a gummy bear-flavored e-cigarette, a grape flavored cigar or a Marlboro, so long as they become addicted.  We share the CDC’s concern that children who begin by using e-cigarettes may be condemned to a lifelong addiction to nicotine and cigarettes.

In addition, the American Lung Association is very concerned about the potential safety and health consequences of electronic cigarettes, as well as claims that they can be used to help smokers quit.  With no government oversight of these products, there is no way for the public health and medical community or consumers to know what chemicals are contained in an e-cigarette or what the short and long term health implications might be.   That’s why the American Lung Association is calling on the FDA to propose meaningful regulation of these products to protect to the public health.

The FDA has not approved e-cigarettes as a safe or effective method to help smokers quit. When smokers are ready to quit, they should call 1-800-QUIT NOW or talk with their doctors about using one of the seven FDA-approved medications proven to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit.

According to recent estimates, there are 250 different e-cigarette brands for sale in the U.S. today. With that many brands, there is likely to be wide variation in the chemicals that each contain.  In initial lab tests conducted by the FDA in 2009, detectable levels of toxic cancer-causing chemicals were found -- including an ingredient used in anti-freeze -- in two leading brands of e-cigarettes and 18 various e-cigarette cartridges. That is why it is so urgent for FDA to begin its regulatory oversight of e-cigarettes, which must include ingredient disclosure by e-cigarette manufacturers to the FDA.

Also unknown is what the potential harm may be to people exposed to secondhand emissions from e-cigarettes. Two initial studies have found formaldehyde, benzene and tobacco-specific nitrosamines (a well-known carcinogen) coming from those secondhand emissions. While there is a great deal more to learn about these products, it is clear that there is much to be concerned about, especially in the absence of FDA oversight.

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Mark S
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November 09, 2013
When I first saw this article I thought it was a satire because of how ridiculous this professional liar Wimmer is. The American Lung Association is a bigger threat to public health than Philip Morris because at least Big Tobacco invests in e cigs and other harm reduction products. The ALA is the driving force behind trying to pull safe alternatives from the market, sending millions to disease and death. Indeed, the American Lung Associations is more dangerous to more people than alquaeda because they cause more premature death. Have you ever seen Harold Wimmers pic? He physically resembles a space alien.
Vaper Chris
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October 25, 2013
Perhaps because myself and my wife are over 40, I should send all partially consumed sweets in our house (including alcohol) to these two organizations, since they are so kind to point out that these flavor profiles ONLY appeal to children.

The American Heart, and Lung Associations are nothing but lobbying groups for the pharmaceutical industry. These two groups successfully lobbied against a bill in Rhode Island earlier this year, that would have simply banned the sales of electronic cigarette products to minors, and imposed a $500 penalty on those who did sell to minors.

The sickest part of the anti-ecig activities by these two groups is that they are staffed by scientists who are aware of the results of all the studies that came out this year showing ecigs safe. They are willing to pursue a course of action to attempt to ban ecigs that save hundreds of thousands of lives a year in the US, for some pharmaceutical industry cash. Shame.
Brewlady
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October 22, 2013
The American Lie Association may be comfortable endorsing FDA-approved pharmaceutical products, but the truth is that these products just don't work. Chantix is attributed to hundreds of COMPLETED suicides, and thousands of attempted suicides, but not to worry, Pfizer is ready, willing and all too able to settle with the families of the victims.

People smoke tobacco cigarettes because they ENJOY smoking. I smoked for 36 years, and tried the FDA-approved methods. If I had known how dismal the actual success rates are with these products, I wouldn't have wasted my money. Electronic cigarettes were designed to allow adults to use nicotine in a safer manner without the known harm of inhaling burning tobacco. They work as intended.

I started vaping over 3 years ago, and started off using a flavor that was similar to the cigarettes I had smoked for 36 years. My senses of smell and taste improved dramatically, and I no longer wanted to use an e-cig that tasted like crap. So I switched my flavor to ATOMIC FIREBALL. Imagine, a 49 year old woman who enjoys pleasant flavors!! This product contains propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin, food flavorings, and nicotine (which is optional). It may not be 100% safe, but neither is water if too much is ingested.

The ALA insists on referring to FDA testing done in 2009, testing on products that are no longer even on the market! Since that time, many scientists have studied this product. The results are promising for adult smokers who want to replace their tobacco cigarettes with a safer alternative. More testing needs to be done, but we already know from a recent study by Dr. Igor Byrstyn that the vapor poses NO HARM to bystanders.

If you or a loved one smoke, I urge you to visit the website of the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association. You'll find information there, including the study I mentioned above. All the studies the ALA doesn't want you to know about. This isn't about enticing children. It's about helping the millions of adult smokers that have only heard the lies that groups like the ALA put out, in order to protect their own benefactors. It is time to stop the lies.
epiphany123
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October 21, 2013
Obviously, the ALA is just upset that e cigarette flavors compete with their buds at Big P who have flavors like Cinnamon Surge and Fruit Chill to market to the kiddies who love their nicotine gum. A profit for e cig=loss of profits to the drug companies and therefore to organizations like the ALA and ACA who rely on that money to sponsor trips and bonuses and other such goodies for their grossly overpaid staff.
Kevin Fxr
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October 21, 2013
This line just has to make you laugh;

"While there is a great deal more to learn about these products, it is clear that there is much to be concerned about, especially in the absence of FDA oversight."

Considering the identity of who sits on that FDA board, and the financial conflicts of interest that extend directly to the manufacturers of ALA endorsed products and their well funded ""charity foundation". The same Robert Wood Johnson Foundation who supplied the start-up capitol, with the invention of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. Who incidentally, are not Kids at all.

It would be laughable, if it were not so surreal, while being ignored deliberately, by the very authorities and regulators who should be calling for firings, investigations and arrests.

Kevin Fxr
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October 21, 2013
Not much in the way of Anti-smoker comments left out of this article. Although each and every one of them has been debunked as outright lying or convenient half truth lies by omission.

Take this line for instance. Although tested no doubt, for dramatic and emotional appeal by the ad agencies who wrote it, prior to use. Hardly worthy of a right of full disclosure, when providing medical advice;

"Two initial studies have found formaldehyde, benzene and tobacco-specific nitrosamines (a well-known carcinogen) coming from those secondhand emissions."

Formaldehyde is a reality in human breath regardless of smoking, every time every human being exhales, they release formaldehyde produced by the human body. Benzine and tobacco-specific nitrosamines originate from Nicotine and because the anti-smoker advocates fought against reductions by flu curing that would have reduced more than 955 OF Nitrosamines and Histamines found in tobacco. Those "tobacco specific carcinogens" remain part of the common sourced nicotine as much by ALA design as any other factor. They challenged endorsement of making cigarettes safer, perhaps saving millions of lives in process, because as they stated at the time; "We can't have smokers believing some cigarettes are safer than others" This would kind of ad a whole new spin on the "Quit or die" they do endorse. Taking these old shoes out of the ALA closet is really rich, when you consider the products with their name and logo adorning the packages, also contain equal measured amounts of the identical carcinogens and toxins.

All in measures so low they are hardly worthy of mention. Begging the question; why would they?

Kevin Fxr
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October 21, 2013
Making a difference with social marketing

by Nedra Kline Weinreich

http://blog.social-marketing.com/2006/06/making-fear-based-campaigns-work.html

Public Health endorsed fear as their advertising model. The argument that likely sold most of them, was a little short of the full quote found here;

http://www.rohitbhargava.com/2005/09/fear_marketing.html

"Fear marketers paint the picture of what your life might be like if you don’t get their product. They play into already existing fears, or paint new ones that consumers may never have considered. The end result is the consumer perception that the advertised product or service is a necessity to keep their family safe, make their life less dangerous, or avoid a situation they dread. But should we do it? Doesn’t this type of marketing just add to the plague of society, fostering fear and making us a weaker people as a result? Probably – but the problem with fear marketing is that it often works. And for many marketers, it’s tough to leave behind a morally questionable strategy when it ends up working.

>>Especially when you can’t get sued for it<<."

Guess again.

Kevin Fxr
|
October 21, 2013
Lifetime anti-smoking advocate Dr. Michael Siegal has made a pretty strong statement in relation to this story on his Blog.

"The rest of the story is quite simple. The American Lung Association's claim is fraudulent. The ALA is lying in order to create an alarming story that simply doesn't exist. "

Although he make a half hearted attempt to reveal the reasoning, for the ALA's claims. One would best describe that reasoning as financial bias and indeed corruption. The Big Pharma "Alternatives" market they do support, with some pretty enticing "child friendly flavors" of it's own, has been financing the ALA quite generously over the years in order to rent their name and reputation. To sell what according to a July Gallop poll, proves to be snake oil in medical trappings. Products advertised to "double your chances of quitting" Can only claim 1% of the successfully quit, while quitting cold turkey accounted for 85% of those who successfully quit. It would appear for the majority who try these products, the result, contrary to their claims, keep people smoking who are trying to quit. No doubt the ALA has grown quite comfortable receiving payments from the companies they shill for. However outright misleading the public in this way, smacks of payola and demands further investigation.

Jeremy Salter
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October 18, 2013
Your mention of "formaldehyde, benzene and tobacco-specific nitrosamines" coming from the emissions of e-cigarettes is scary at first, until you look at the details of those studies showing they were virtually untraceable, far below occupational safety standards. The fact is, you're exposed to more of those chemicals in a BIG CITY than you are from electronic cigarette vapor.

For anyone interested in the facts, here's a list of over 20 studies (both positive and negative) about electronic cigarettes:

http://www.cigbuyer.com/studies/

There has been NO PROOF that e-cigs are a "pathway" to anything, other than a pathway to helping smokers quit and reducing their exposure to hundreds of cancer-causing carcinogens found in tobacco...
Daniel Eaton
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October 19, 2013
And they conveniently fail to mention the studies that showed that NON-SMOKING kids were showing zero interest in these devices. It is the SMOKING kids that are trying them and, in some cases, switching to a much safer alternative to their regular cigarettes.
Kevin Fxr
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October 21, 2013
There are not, nor have there ever been, "Hundreds of cancer causing carcinogens" found in tobacco.

The truth of the situation relies on factual information. Don't allow your enthusiasm to outweigh truth and credibility.

Selling second hand smoke relied heavily on fear mongering. Discrediting people by ad hominid attacks [or pointing the finger of "shill to big tobacco" in place of discussing their short comings] who argue in favor of the truth, is their stock and trade.

Don't give them a platform, by replicating their ad agency defined deceits.

The truth stands as all you will ever need.

They chose hatred and lies. Don't allow then to lead by example. Tobacco Control is a nanny state disease, that we can cure together.

Public Health is formed today as a cult religion. A false dichotomy, no different contextually than radical Islam, as terrorists that profit, largely by promoting fears to serve their agenda.

From their own public discussions;

"Fear marketers paint the picture of what your life might be like if you don't get their product. They play into already existing fears, or paint new ones that consumers may never have considered. The end result is the consumer perception that the advertised product or service is a necessity to keep their family safe, make their life less dangerous, or avoid a situation they dread. But should we do it? Doesn't this type of marketing just add to the plague of society, fostering fear and making us a weaker people as a result? Probably - but the problem with fear marketing is that it often works."

http://blog.social-marketing.com/2006/06/making-fear-based-campaigns-work.html