David Kirkpatrick

December 4, 2010

Electronic cigarettes are bad for you?

Don’t smoke ’em myself and have no plans to ever start, but these alternatives to actually burning tobacco have the anti-tobacco forces up in arms. Just check out the “results” of this University of California, Riverside, study that declares them possibly dangerous. Of course this non-study will get lots of ink about how bad electronic cigarettes are, even though the actual results say nothing of the sort.

Typical move from anti-tobacco forces. Long on overwrought hype and short on non-statistically skewed clinical results. It really is amazing how many citizens in the “land of the free” want to have control over what their fellow citizens consume, who they marry and where they worship (for those with that inclination.)

From the link:

Talbot, a professor of cell biology and neuroscience, was joined in the study by Anna Trtchounian, the first author of the research paper. Together, they examined the design, accuracy and clarity of labeling, nicotine content, leakiness, defective parts, disposal, errors in filling orders, instruction manual quality and advertizing for the following brands of e-cigarettes: NJOY, Liberty Stix, Crown Seven (Hydro), Smoking Everywhere (Gold and Platinum) and VapCigs.

Their main observations are that:

  • Batteries, atomizers, cartridges, cartridge wrappers, packs and instruction manuals lack important information regarding e-cigarette content, use and essential warnings;
  • E-cigarette cartridges leak, which could expose nicotine, an addictive and dangerous chemical, to children, adults, pets and the environment;
  • Currently, there are no methods for proper disposal of e-cigarettes products and accessories, including cartridges, which could result in contamination from discarded cartridges entering water sources and soil, and adversely impacting the environment; and
  • The manufacture, quality control, sales, and advertisement of e-cigarettes are unregulated.

“More research on e-cigarettes is crucially needed to protect the health of e-cigarette users and even those who do not use e-cigarettes,” said Kamlesh Asotra, a research administrator at UC TRDRP. “Contrary to the claims of the manufacturers and marketers of e-cigarettes being ‘safe,’ in fact, virtually nothing is known about the toxicity of the vapors generated by these e-cigarettes. Until we know any thing about the potential health risks of the toxins generated upon heating the nicotine-containing content of the e-cigarette cartridges, the ‘safety’ claims of the manufactureres are dubious at best.

Okay, doesn’t sound too convincing there. And I encourage more research because if electronic cigarettes pose specific health risks, consumers of the product should know about them to make informed decisions on what they are putting into their bodies.

Now here’s the title from the linked PhysOrg piece, “Electronic cigarettes are unsafe and pose health risks, new study finds.” Does that match the studies results to your mind. Certainly not mine. Note the first observation — the products lack package labeling. Stop the presses!

Who funded this bit of research, “The study was funded by a grant to Talbot from the University of California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP).”

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March 27, 2009

This is one …

Filed under: et.al., Politics, Science — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:27 pm

… offensive science project! (And probably fake, I might add.)

(Hat tip: caseywright)

February 7, 2009

SCHIP and tobacco taxes

Filed under: Politics, Science — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:44 am

Master blender of pipe tobacco, G.L. Pease, makes a great point on the increase in tobacco taxes and the recently passed SCHIP. One, it’s absurd on so many levels; and two, major cigarette companies were allowed to basically tax their competition (roll-your-own tobacco) out of existance.

Bad politics, bad policy and it’s based on faulty research. If you’re curious about the last bit there, do some background — the research, I think from the 60s, that all tobacco stats are based on is terminally flawed. When the government didn’t get the desired result, the stats were altered mid-stream to ensure the research was sufficiantly negative. Bad, bad science and bullshit politics. Don’t get me wrong. Tobacco is not a healthy item in large quantities, but it is not the evil it’s somehow been made out to be.

From the link:

This following mercilessly swiped table indicates the new Federal excise tax on tobacco products, along with the current taxes we all know and despise, and the proposed taxes vetoed twice by ex-prez G.W. The new rates go into effect 1st April, 2009. Fortunately, for most of us, pipe tobacco isn’t hit as badly as it could have been, resulting in a price increase of only about 20¢ per ounce. Nor have cigars, taken a serious beating, but it may herald the death of many RYO tobaccos currently on the market. Is it any wonder that Big Tobacco supported this? Nothing like taxing your competition into oblivion in the spirit of free trade.

Tobacco Product Current Tax SCHIP 2007
(Vetoed)
SCHIP 2009
(New Tax)
Tax Increase
(April 2009)
% Increase
(April 2009)
Cigarettes $0.39/pack $1.00/pack $1.01/pack $0.62/pack 158%
RYO Tobacco 1 $1.10/lb $8.89/lb $24.78/lb $23.68/lb 2,159%
Pipe Tobacco $1.10/lb $2.81/lb $2.83/lb $1.73/lb 158%
Large Cigars $0.05 ea (Max) $3.00 ea (Max) $0.40 ea (Max) $0.35 ea (Max) 722%
Small Cigars $0.04/pack $1.00/pack $1.01/pack $0.97 2,653%
Chewing Tobacco $0.195/lb $0.50/lb $0.50/lb $0.31/lb 158%
Snuff $0.59/lb $1.50/lb $1.51/lb %0.93/lb 158%

What truly amazes me about this is that the fools who author this sort of nonsense don’t seem to be able to comprehend that building social programs based on revenues derived from taxing something they’re hoping to extinguish is the worst sort of fiscal folly imaginable.