Category Archives: Electronic Cigarettes Canada

Can Electronic Cigarettes Save All Canadians Money?

The debate over tobacco use, tobacco taxation, and the health care costs associated with tobacco use in Canada has always been heated.  Smokers generally take the position that it is a private activity and they should have the freedom to partake.  They also argue that the money they spend on cigarettes, which about 63% to 80% is taxes, pays to offset the costs of future health care for smokers.  Non-smokers are generally adamant that the revenue from tobacco sales is a far cry from covering all the associated health costs.

So lets look at the numbers.  This is from a CBC article last updated in 2007 using statistics from 1993.  Although these numbers have changed over time, this will give us a relative comparison between tobacco tax revenue and associated health care cost:

They estimate that, in Canada, the societal costs attributable to smoking for 1993 were approximately $11 billion, of which $3 billion was spent on direct health care costs such as hospitalization and physician time. The remaining $8 billion was due to lost productivity. In comparison, it is estimated that in 1993/94, revenue from taxes on cigarettes totalled $2.6 billion. – from The Cost of Smoking on CBC.

As you can see, it is fairly straight forward.  The tobacco tax revenue generated was approximately $400,000,000 less than the money spent directly on health care costs.  This doesn’t include the additional $8 billion estimated on lost productivity due to smoking.  So how can electronic cigarettes help?

Let’s just say that every smoker switches to e-cigarettes.  Let’s say, hypothetically that e-cigarettes, like other smokeless tobacco, carry a harm rate of 5% of tobacco smoking, as estimated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. That equates to a cost of %5 of $3 billion or $150 million.  There is no lost productivity for smoke breaks with e-cigarettes (provided Canada doesn’t get pseudo-scientific and ban indoor use) and only 5% of the lost productivity due to hospital stays.  So on the high end it would be 5% of the lost productivity associated with smoking, or $400 million.

With no extra taxation on electronic cigarettes, the total monetary loss is at $550 million.

The net monetary cost of tobacco cigarettes is around $8.4 billion.  This does not take into consideration the cost of human suffering and death associated with smoking cigarettes.

Based on these rough numbers, electronic cigarette use has the potential to save the Canadian government $7.85 BILLION.  No matter how you do the numbers, e-cigarettes will cost the Canadian government, and hense the people, less money than smoking.

If you just argued that all smokers should just quit altogether, that has been tried and has failed.  Replacing tobacco smoking with vaping is a reasonable and achievable goal with the help of regulatory agencies and public health advocates.

 

Are Canadian Pharmaceutical Companies Involved?

In the United States the pharmaceutical companies are closely tied to public health organizations.  In fact a lot of the funding for many public health organizations comes from big pharma.  Not to mention that the FDA gets a lot of it’s funding from licensing, fees, and fines from the major players in the legal drug trade.  In the US these public health groups have been strictly against the electronic cigarette.  Consider this: in the last year and a half Pfizer alone gave groups such as the American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Legacy Foundation, and the Action on Smoking and Health (among others) a collective 2.8 million dollars. So it is not hard to see why these groups would be against the e-cigarette, which is in direct competition with many of the nicotine based products pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer sell.  But that doesn’t mean it is in the best interest of public health.

The question is, do pharmaceutical companies in Canada have this same amount of pull over public health organizations in Canada?  To try and answer this question, we did a search on google for health organizations in Canada.  We immediately came across the Canadian Public Health Association or CPHA.  We first looked into their policy regarding electronic cigarettes and reduced harm tobacco products.  Here is what we found:

Although the evidence suggests that the overall health risk of smokeless tobacco is roughly 5% of that of cigarettes, the International Agency for Research on Cancer continues to classify smokeless tobacco products as Group 1 carcinogens; these products cause cancers of the oral cavity and pancreas in humans. Moreover, they deliver nicotine in quantities and at rates that cause psychoactive effects, which eventually lead to tolerance and addiction. Several new products and delivery agents are being produced and marketed as smoking substitutes. These include the electronic cigarette, which is promoted as a non-tobacco alternative nicotinedelivery device. – CPHA Source

We couldn’t find exactly how much money they received from the private sector, but we did come across this statement from the CPHA’s annual report:

In September 2006, CPHA’s Board of Directors approved a “Corporate Relations / Corporate Sponsorship Policy” to guide CPHA’s collaboration with the private sector.

And their list of those companies the collaborated with:

Presenting Partners
* AstraZeneca Canada Inc. ****
* Parmalat
* Maple Leaf Foods

Public Health Champions
* Pfizer Canada Inc. ****
* Amgen Canada Inc. ****

Legacy Benefactor
* Lysol (Reckitt Benckiser (Canada) Inc.)

Public Health Pathfinder
* University of Waterloo

Public Health Supporters
* Dalla Lana School of Public Health,
University of Toronto
* Merck Frosst Canada ****

The companies with **** are pharmaceuticals.

So smokeless tobacco is 5% as dangerous as tobacco cigarettes, but they are still against them.  And what CPHA doesn’t tell you is that there are risks with using pharmaceutical nicotine products.  Drilling down to the heart of this: Is it bias to recommend one group of products (nicotine gum, patches, sprays, and whatever else big pharma brings out) and not another such e-cigarettes?  Wouldn’t it be in the best interest of health to recommend a product that is 95% more healthy than tobacco cigarettes?  Nothing is 100% safe so why is the CPHA against reduced harm tobacco products?  And if your argument is that they still cause cancer (albeit at a rate 95% lower than cigarettes) then why are they against e-cigarettes which have never been shown to cause cancer?  I’ll let you be the judge.

Agree, End The Ban On Nicotine E-Cigarettes In Canada

In a comment article printed in the National Post at the end of last year, Jesse Kline makes the argument for ending the ban in Canada on electronic cigarettes that contain nicotine.  While I fully agree the ban is not in the best interest of the health of Canadians, there are a few issues with some of the facts and speculation made in the article.  I thought it important to set the record straight.

First, some praise.  It was good to see that people are realizing the ban on e-cigarettes in Canada is only for those products that contain nicotine.  For some time many thought it was a general ban, but without nicotine or health claims Health Canada has little say over a product made up of electronics and containing no drugs.  Jesse did fail to mention that health claims such as “quit smoking” or “healthy alternative” do bring Health Canada into the picture, but all-in-all he had it right.

Where he failed to do some research was the sentence: “The devices contain a heating element that turns a liquid made of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine (two common food additives) and nicotine into a water vapour,”  In truth, the liquid or e-liquid as it is often called, is made up of propylene glycol, glycerin, water, flavorings, and potentially nicotine.  But the big issue I have is “water vapour”.  This is a common misconception.  The vapour from an e-cigarette has been shown to contain the same ingredients as the liquid, although not in the exact same percentages, since the vaporization process does not effect each substance in the same way.  This can be shown with some testing of e-liquid.

Jesse also claims there are no carcinogens in e-cigarette vapor.  This is only partially true.  Without nicotine, yes, there are no carcinogens.  However with nicotine there are trace amounts.  This is not a big deal when you consider BBQ’d meat has trace amounts of carcinogens, but none-the-less it was not completely accurate.

The last and most serious falsity with the article is from this quote:

A number of studies have shown that the illusion of smoking created by the device helps to satisfy cravings, but without nicotine, it cannot help smokers get over the physiological dependence that is created by the drug.

True, studies have shown e-cigarettes help smokers, but I have always found it curious that experts and users alike believe that it is important to keep using nicotine to get over the addiction to nicotine.  Although in rare cases such as heroin addiction, other drugs are used to ween the addicted off the drug, it seems counter intuitive to keep using nicotine to get over an addiction to nicotine. What I would recommend to people is to quit smoking cold turkey and if they like, use and e-cigarette with no nicotine to get the action of smoking, if they still want it.

Overall we applaud Jesse Kline for speaking his mind and bringing more light to the issue of electronic cigarettes in Canada.

Canadians Are Concerned Over Vaping?

In a recent article by CBC, they claim parents are concerned over vaping i.e. the usage of electronic cigarettes by children.  The full article can be found here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/09/11/electronic-cigarettes-quebec.html

The article doesn’t cite any evidence that children are using electronic cigarettes.  It doesn’t discuss if children who already smoke where potentially the ones using them.  It doesn’t have any credible facts at all.  This type of “journalism” simply spreads fear about a product that is marketed directly to of age smokers across the world.    And in Canada, users can’t even get an e-cigarette with nicotine, which eliminates the danger of a child actually drinking the e-liquid, since without the nicotine there are no poisons in e-liquid which is made up of propylene glycol, glycerin, water, and food flavorings all of which are approved for use in food.

So to dismiss one product, with no known serious health effects (although the product is too young to comment on long term exposure) and yet not mention that the product is designed to replace a product (tobacco cigarettes) that kills about 50% of the users, is irresponsible at best.  Come on CBC, do some digging before you try to scare the Canadian public.

Reasons to Vape

An innovation within tiny measured technologies, the actual E-cig is really a contemporary question which allows individuals to have the sensation as well as a result of cigarette smoking, however in contrast to the conventional equal, the actual E-cig North america will not produce the lethal beverage associated with chemical substances. The e-cigarette rather produces the drinking water dependent water vapor which imitates the flavour and appear associated with actual cigarette tobacco smoke, however does not have any smell and can not really trouble all those with you. Actually the actual electronic cigarette is not really presently impacted by numerous cigarette smoking by-laws since it will not really burn off anything at all just like a actual smoke.

Think about taking pleasure in your own E-cig North america in the pub together with your preferred beverage, in a eating place following a sacrifice of fowl.|leaving the|a|using} excellent dinner, or even within other areas wherever cigarette smoking is actually prohibited. Which is on the list of advantages of the actual E-cig North america. Additionally simply because they usually do not really burn off anything at all, there is absolutely no untidy smoke butts, ashes, pure nicotine staining and so on through making use of your E-cig North america, which is an excellent point. When are you currently told exactly how low cigarette smoking is actually when you are able odor this on the clothing, view the staining in your mouth through pure nicotine, which clutter associated with collected, more than packed lung burning ash racks within your house?

No must be handled any longer when utilizing an electric Smoke North america. Forget about ashes as well as butts, stinky towels, pure nicotine staining. The actual E cigarette may be the better as well as environmentally friendly strategy to use. If you use your own E-cig, about to catch burning up anything at all, therefore that is much better for your air flow and also the atmosphere (not to say the body as well as lungs). As absolutely no butts to cope with, which is much less poisonous trash moving in landfills.

The actual 510 Cartomizer E cigarette
An electric Smoke is really a gadget which includes three primary elements into it, abattery, a good atomizing as well as some type of the container or even textbox maintain e-liquid for your e-cig. The actual electric battery is really a top quality lithium-ion electric battery which is charged up again by using a refresh cable connection or even device that is included with the actual beginner package. The actual electric battery offers the capacity to the actual atomizing gadget from the E-cig North america, which gadget may be the “heart” from the device, currently exactly what changes the actual fluid utilized in to the water vapor that this device generates and it is inhaled through the consumer. The final component is actually some type of the container or even Slot provided maintain fluid (often known as E-Liquid or even E-Juice)

E-liquid (or E-Liquid) is really a blend or even one of these simple 2 primary components: Veggie Glycerine as well as Propylene Glycol, both these styles that are Authorized meals artificial additives utilized in a large number of foods available on the market. Together with possibly VG or even PG (or the variety of both) all of those other components utilized in an electric Smoke North america consists of genuine drinking water, as well as flavor real estate agents to provide numerous tastes for example tobacco’s, appear, sparkling wine, lotion, chocolates and so on A few include a few focus associated with fluid pure nicotine within the e-liquid, based on the nation associated with purchase as well as legitimacy to incorporate this.

E-Cigarette Controversy

European Society of Cardiology: Electronic cigarettes do not damage the heart
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poOP9skjaxM (5/17/12 interview/presentation by Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos)
Hayden McRobbie presents on e-cigarettes at the 2012 UK National Smoking Cessation Conference
Gizmodo: The Best E-Cigarette
Brad Rodu: E-Cigarettes Awareness and Use
Mike Siegel: Electronic Cigarette Opponents Now Making Up, Not Just Lying About Evidence
University of Kentucky College of Nursing lies about e-cigarettes on website and signs posted at campus
Mike Siegel: Tobacco Free UK declares that electronic cigarettes cause cancer
Mike Siegel: Author of article attacking e-cigarettes appears to have failed to disclose significant financial conflict of interest
Health Canada’s actions against one E-Cigarette company.

Joyetech eGo-T and eGo-C

Joyetech is a leading manufacturer of electronic cigarettes.  They have many popular models including the Joyetech 510; which was there big entrance into the market and then the Joye eGo-T,  eGo-C and the eCab.  Each model can be customized in color, battery size and in some cases manual vs automatic.  Below is some info about each:

Joyetech 510

Pros: Smaller like a tobacco cigarette, easy to hold, carry, and use. Good for those who want to buy cartridges rather than refilling.Good vapour production.

Cons: Doesn’t have a lot of battery life (half to one full day of use), cartridges need to be refilled more often.

Joyetech eGo-T and eGo-C (difference: eGo-C uses a changeable atomizer system)

Pros: Long battery life, massive vapour production. The tank holds lots of e-liquid.

Cons: Bigger than a normal cigarette, only comes in manual push button)*

*Most vapers find a push button e-cigarette means more vapour.

Joyetech Website

Online retailer of Joyetech eGo-T in Canada

Prefilled Cartridges or Use E-Liquid?

Other than the many models, styles, and sizes of electronic cigarettes, there is also the question of whether to use already filled e-cig cartridges or to use e-liquid and fill your own cartridges.  Here are some pros and cons of both options:

Prefilled Cartridges:

Pros: convenient to use, less mess than filling with e-liquid, ensures cartridges are completely full

Cons: more expensive than filling your own cartridges

Using E-liquid to Fill Cartridges:

Pros: cheaper than buying new cartridges every time they run out, can try different e-liquids easily

Cons: can be messy until you have experience filling cartridges, chance of over/under filling which can damage your electronic cigarette

Both options for vaping your e-cigarette work much better than smoking tobacco cigarettes 😉 Make your decision and start using an electronic cigarette today! And remember, you can always start with prefilled cartridges to make life easier and move to filling your own cartridges at your leisure.

Are Electronic Cigarettes Harmful?

Good question.  The answer is; there is nothing that is harm free.  Cars are not safe for instance, but they are safer with seat belts and air bags.  Eating fast food can be harmful if you eat it often enough, but it is better if you don’t “super size it”.  So the question of harm with electronic cigarettes comes down to degrees.  And it should not be compared to absolute safety, but rather in comparison to it’s counterpart; tobacco cigarettes.

Burning tobacco creates over 4000 chemicals which are then inhaled into the lungs.  Electronic cigarette vapour consists of propylene glycol, glycerin, water, and flavoring.  If you google propylene glycol you will see various opinions about it’s harmfulness, but the truth is that it is approved for use in food, cosmetics, and prescription and over the counter drugs.  It seems unlikely that Health Canada or the FDA would approve the chemicals found in tobacco smoke for use in food.  Can you imagine if carbon monoxide was approved for use in your toothpaste?

So when deciding what is best for you, do the research and make an informed decision.  And remember, smoking kills about half of it’s users prematurely.  Electronic cigarettes have not killed anyone to date.  This is not a claim to it’s safety or efficacy, but it is a fact.

Lorillard Tobacco Purchases Blu ECigs

It may be the first of many big deals in the e-cigarette world.  Lorillard has acquired Blu ECigs for $135 million.  Tobacco companies are flocking to the e-cigarette in the United States, ever since the FDA lost their court battle with NJoy and the e-cigarette was categorized as a tobacco product (rather than a pharmaceutical which was what the FDA was fighting for). It is a natural fit for already established tobacco companies who will now hopefully entice their customers to the better option; electronic cigarettes.

In Canada, the electronic cigarette is not considered a tobacco product, but rather falls under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of Canada provided it contains nicotine.  And as such, must be sold in pharmacies as other drugs in it’s category are sold.  To date no company has submitted the necessary paperwork and testing to market any electronic cigarettes in Canada that contain nicotine.

Even though Canadians can not get their nicotine via an electronic cigarette, they can still use them.  Many companies, such as this Canadian electronic cigarette company  market their products to smokers.  The vapour production and feeling of smoking does not diminish without nicotine.  And for those smokers bent on the continued use of nicotine, there are many nicotine products available in Canada such as nicotine gum, the patch, and smokeless tobacco.