The Truth About E-Cigarettes: Safe, Effective, and…Fun?


Electronic cigarettes are a safe, effective, and fun way to
prevent cancer among smokers of tobacco prodcuts – or people who
want to suck down flavored water vapor that often doesn’t even
include nicotine.

So why are so many people – including folks at the FDA – so
hell-bent on banning or heavily regulating e-cigarettes?

Reason TV’s Tracy Oppenheimer cuts through the fog with the
video documentary, originally released on Tuesday, October 29.

Here’s the original write-up:

Electronic cigarettes are creating a frenzy among politicians,
health experts, and the media. Local bans on
using e-cigarettes indoors are popping up all over the country,
andmany interest
groups are clamoring for top-down FDA regulations, which are
expected to be released in the coming weeks.

“E-Cigarettes currently exist in a complete no-man’s land,” says
Heather Wipfli, associate director for the USC Institute for Global Health.
Skeptics such as Wipfli worry about the lack of long-term data
available because the product is so new.

But according to the Consumer
Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association
’s Greg
Conley, calls for regulation are “a perverse interpretation of the
precautionary principle.” The precautionary principle holds that
until all possible risks are assessed, new technologies shouldn’t
be allowed to move forward.

Conley points to preliminary studies, like this one from
Drexel University, which confirm these smokeless, tobacco-less,
tar-less products are not a cause for concern – or at least not a
cause for the same concerns that accompany traditional cigarettes
and second-hand smoke.

“That [Drexel University] professor concluded that there was
absolutely no worry about risks to bystanders from e-cigarette
vapor,” says Conley.

The ingredients of e-cigarettes certainly have very little in
common with tobacco cigarettes. Nicotine, the only ingredient found
in both products, is mainly used to wean smokers off traditional
cigarettes and is not one of the harm-inducing ingredients
associated with lung cancer in smokers. The other ingredients in
the “e-juice” at the core of e-cigarettes are propylene glycol,
vegetable glycerin, and food flavorings— all of which are used in
other food products.

“All we are doing is steaming up food ingredients to create a
vapor,” says Ed Refuerzo, co-owner of The Vape Studio in West Los
Angeles. The Vape Studio is one of the many boutique
e-cigarette shops popping up that might be significantly affected
or even shut down by both local legislation and FDA

Conley says it’s the currently unregulated customizability of
the e-juice that allows these small businesses to thrive. “The
availability of liquids is what is allowing a lot of these small
stores to open and prosper because they are able to mix their own
liquid and sell it to consumers without having to go through a big
manufacturing process,” says Conley.

The higher costs of complying with regulations would most likely
be passed on to consumers, which would impact people who are
looking towards e-cigarettes as an effective way to quit

“We’re using technology, and that’s what we do in America, we
use technology to solve really complicated problems,” says Craig
Weiss, president and CEO of NJOY. NJOY
is a leading manufacturer of electronic cigarettes  - and a
donor to Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes Reason TV.
Weiss says that despite regulations, the potential of the industry
is only just starting to be realized.  

“The electronic industry is growing at quite a dramatic pace.
It’s more than doubled each of the last four or five years,” says
Weiss. “This piece of technology could have such an potential
impact on the world.”  

For more on the industry and NJOY, watch this
ReasonTV interview with


from Hit & Run

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