Tag Archives: tobacco

Canadian Lung Association: Are You Kidding Me?

In a press release put out by the Canadian Lung Association named “Don’t Be Fooled By E-Cigarettes!”, they make arguments against smokers in Canada trying electronic cigarettes.  Here is a look at what claims they make:

1. “People who use e-cigarettes inhale unknown, unregulated and potentially harmful substances into their lungs,”

First, let’s point out that tobacco smokers inhale known cancer causing agents.  It can be argued that since tobacco cigarettes can legally be sold in Canada that they are regulated.  Does that make them any safer?  But the biggest issue I have with this statement is that we do know what is in e-cigarettes.  There have been multiple studies done on the contents of e-cigs.  The ingredients in the e-cigarette vapor include propylene glycol, glycerin, water, and flavoring.  Some also come with nicotine in them.

2. “E-cigarettes may contain ingredients that are known to be toxic to humans including carcinogens and diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical used in antifreeze.”

This is a reference to a FDA test done in 2009.  This report was put out by the FDA in response to them being sued at the time by nJoy who claimed the FDA was unjustly seizing their stock.  nJoy was victorious in this battle.  Here is a thorough rebuttal of the FDA report.  Also, in Canada e-cigarettes do not contain nicotine so they do not have the TSNAs present as those with nicotine may.  As a side note, at the time the FDA knew so little about e-cigarettes that this was the picture they used when they released their “findings”:

fda e-cigarette testing

For those what don’t vape, here is the issue:  For the model of e-cigarette they show, you must take off the mouthpiece / cartridge before you plug it into the charger.  They way they show it, the e-cigarette would not ever charge.

3. E-cigarettes have candy-like flavours that appeal to kids

Kids and adults alike enjoy flavors.  As an example, vodka can be purchase with many, many flavors.  Should be ban it?

4. There are many proven ways to quit smoking

That statement is true provided you buy into Health Canada’s definition of “proven”.    Their list of ways to quit smoking includes Nicotine Replacement Therapies and prescription drugs.  Find out just how successful smokers are in quitting smoking using these methods.  They also fail to mention that NRTs do contain cancer cause substances known as TSNAs.

 

We only ask that smokers think for themselves, dig a little deeper into what they read, and make their own decisions about what is best for their health.

Will The FDA Rules For E-Cigarette Effect Canada?

If you follow the new in the electronic cigarette world, you know that the FDA has been hesitant, to put it nicely, about the e-cigarette. They have attempted to block it’s market categorization of a tobacco product, unsuccessfully.  They have attempted to deter smokers from using it using their own brand of science….with partial success.  But with the court cases over and their mandate handed down from Congress, they will soon be enacting rules and regulations regarding the use and sale of electronic cigarettes.  The specifics of these rules are not yet clear including the means by which they are available for sale, whether the regulations will encompass all parts of the e-cigarette (batteries, atomizers, cartomizers, e-liquid, bottles of e-liquid, etc), or even if they will be taxed similar to other tobacco products.  Some industry experts are skeptical about how the FDA will proceed.  As Bill Godshall of SmokeFree Pennsylvania states:

FDA issues notice of intent to propose “deeming” regulation by April of 2013 (to apply Chapter IX of FSPTCA to e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, shisha/hookah and other tobacco products not currently subject to Chapter IX regulations) “and to specifiy additional restrictions.”
The question for Canadian vapers and current smokers looking for a change should be, “will this change the current situation  and stance of Health Canada regarding e-cigarettes in Canada?”  If history is a factor, then yes, it will.  US law often affects Canadian laws.  Our border is long and trade is free.  This creates a situation where adopting US laws is often easier and cheaper than creating our own from scratch.  Another factor are the companies involved is such products.  Since the e-cigarette will be officially a tobacco product in the US, US tobacco companies will be taking advantage of the situation (Lorillard and Reynolds already are).  These companies may push for entry into the Canadian market under the same regulations they operate under south of the border.
And our thoughts?  It is likely in the future Canada will classify and allow e-cigarettes with nicotine as a tobacco product.  We do hope they consider the science behind different tobacco products to allow the greatest possible exposure of electronic cigarettes to current smokers in Canada.  And remember, we’re all in this together. (Red Green)

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.

 

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.