Friday, August 07, 2009

Experiences of Electronic Cigarette Users Suggest that These Could Be Life-Saving Devices and that They are Effective for Smoking Cessation

While I agree that there is a need for research into the relative safety and effectiveness of electronic cigarettes, there is also a need for anti-smoking groups and the FDA to study the experience of electronic cigarette users with this product. The passionate testimonials of hundreds of electronic cigarette users suggest that these devices are effective in helping smokers to quit and stay off cigarettes.

I challenge the anti-smoking groups and the FDA to read all of these comments and then to reiterate their position that electronic cigarettes must be taken off the market.

These are all the comments from electronic cigarette users in response to Dr. Whelan's Washington Times op-ed piece. They are taken from the Washington Times site as well as the Digg site for this article. I have not omitted any comments from electronic cigarette users, which is remarkable because there is not a single comment from a user who has not found these devices to be effective in smoking cessation.

The Rest of the Story

"I smoked traditional cigarettes for 27 years.... 2+ packs a day. On June 11th, my first e-cigarette starter kit arrived in the mail. I opened it up and started using it. I have not had a traditional cigarette since that day!! Even if there are some risks associated with these products, it can NEVER be as dangerous as traditional cigarettes so WHY would the FDA (or anyone else) want to stop me and other smokers from using them??? THANK YOU Dr. Whelan for putting this in proper perspective!!"

"Do not allow this product to be taken off the market. It saved my life (my smoker's morning cough disappeared in 3 days after switching to an e-cig) and many thousands more. The FDA is being unbelievably hypocritical in this matter and it shows how politics and money, rather then genuine concern for public health, is behind everything they do. And this is coing from a registered Pharmacist."

"E-cigarettes (also known as Personal Vaporizers) got me off smoking after 20 + years. They're a miracle IMO. The deeply flawed FDA study is being used as a propaganda tool to mislead people about these devices. Their implication that e-cigarettes are just as dangerous as traditional smoking is absolutely incorrect. E-cigarettes save lives."

"E-Cigarette got me off 2 pack a day habit."

"I was a 30+ yr. smoker. None of the other stop smoking aids ever helped me. My blood pressure was out of control. After 8 days of use I was able to stop smoking entirely and my blood pressure has come down substantially. I've been smoke free for 3 months now. I think it would be a travesty to take these away from thousands of people and tell them to go back to smoking."

"I still have a pack of Marlboro cigarettes unsmoked since I took a first puff of these 2 weeks ago. To take them off the market would be a horrible idea and drive many smokers back. Of course tobacco companies and governments stand to lose billions in revenues if these catch on... and they will... so expect to see everything thrown at these new e-cigarette startups to stop this trend."

"I have smoked for nearly 20 years and NEVER went a day without smoking at least a full pack of smokes. Ever since I got my E-cig (3 weeks ago), I never had another reg cig since... I feel better, breathe better, sleep better and thats just to name a few. These are choices we made, please don't take these life changing choices from us!"

"I haven't smoked a tobacco cigarette in over 20 days thanks to the e-cigarette. Nothing else worked before. If this device becomes illegal, it will cause me to go back to using tobacco products or get a prescription to aid in my addiction which has more harmful side effects. Spread the word, this device is helping people lead healthier lives."

"Many of us, e_smokers, would have to go back to smoking regular cigarettes and harm not only yourself but non-smokers too with second hand smoke, increase health insurance cost and so on..."

"I use electronic cigarettes and have cut my consumption of tobacco cigs from a pack a day for 40 years to 1-5 cigarettes a day. I actually now prefer electronic cigarettes, and in the process have gone from thousands of chemicals in smoked tobacco to about 4 in e cigs. Do the math."

"I was smoking the traditional cigarettes for 20 years until I heard about the electronic cigarette. I have not touched a traditional CANCER stick in over 4 months, and I have slowly reduced my nicotine down to the lowest strength. I believe the FDA is working hard on this situation, my main question is, who are they working for. It makes no sense to stop an obvious safer alternative, for the ones they are trying to push us back on that kills over 450,000 people a year."

"I too smoked cigs for 25 years. I bought myself a kit, started "vaping" and haven't looked back."

"Almost 45 years a smoker at better than two packs a day. In less than two days I got rid of the wheezing, coughing and my tobacco cigarette intake dropped to less than five a day and falling. Someone in the FDA needs to see that there is a difference between trace elements of a carcinogen found in the e liquid (the vaporized liquid wasn't even tested by them) and the 60 some know heavy dosages of carcinogens found in cigarettes."

"I was a smoker for 10 years, tried to quit dozens of times. This product is the only thing that has made it possible for me to quit. Please don't ban e-cigs."

"I don't use e-cigs as a smoking cessation device. They are not for smoking cessation, although, many have quit smoking because they have this alternative. It is a much safer alternative, than inhaling 4000 chemicals the tobacco companies only recently admitted to. This is an alternative. I quit smoking over 3 months ago, prior to using an e-cig. I found that I missed the ritual, much like I'd miss having a cup of coffee in the morning. If for some reason I couldn't drink coffee anymore, I might have a cup of tea, or perhaps some other warm drink in my cup. Why on Earth couldn't I have an alternative to a deadly cigarette? Now I have come to know, after talking and listening to many people who have been using e-cigs, that they are very concerned over the safety of what is being inhaled, so much so, that they'd rather use this, than buy what they know is infinitely more harmful, tobacco cigarettes. Many are also not "vaping" nicotine at all!

When I smoked about 2 pack of cigarettes a day, I was wheezing, out of breath, and feeling horrible. The one room I smoked in was covered with tar, and smelled terrible. Since using the e-cig, there is no smell, I have no wheezing, I don't feel sick. There is no second hand smoke to keep from my family."

"I smoked for 25 years, and tried to quit (and failed) at least 5 times. My e-cig made it so easy. It took between 1 and 2 weeks, but the desire for a regular cigarette just melted away. You have to actually want to quit--but if you do, these things make it SO EASY!!! I haven't had a real one in 8 months and I don't miss them at all."

"I started smoking at age 19. From there, I smoked for 9 years until I was 28. I considered myself a casual / light smoker. A pack of lights or ultra-lights would last me about a week/week and a half. It was easy to switch over to e-cigs. Haven't touched a cigarette since. I love my e-cig."

"Massive Harm Reduction! 30 years of smoking cigarettes and now an alternative that works."

"I'll throw my 2 cents in to say e-cigs enabled me to quit after many many years of smoking. I thought I'd never be able to quit. These things are fantastic as a cigarette replacement. Still addicted to nicotine but nothing like the addiction I had when the delivery system was a cigarette."

"Great to read something positive about E-Cigarettes. I've been using this product for about 6 months and I have completely quit smoking cigarettes. I didn't even purchase this product for that- I was just curious. I found that the urge to smoke disappeared completely within a week of using this product. It makes me sick to think that the FDA could be so negative about a product that could potentially save millions of Americans from death."

"My wife and (Me 30yr smoker her 6yr smoker) have tried everything patches gums pills cold turkey and nothing has worked until now. We plan to quit within 3 months not long term."

"We are no longer smoking ANY tobacco cigarettes and feel great. We have already dropped from 24mg to 18mg and plan to keep going until finished with nicotine. we then may choose to use 0mg for as long as it takes to loose the psychological addiction. That is the real tough nut. I quit for a year once and went back. If I had the e-cig I would have used them and not gone back to the real cigarettes resulting in an additional 10 years of smoking."

"Thank you Dr Whelan. As corny as it sounds I almost cried when I read this. We as a people have been bombarded with the false claims of the FDA on this device, however, I truly feel it can save my life. I have tried every cessation method out there with no success until the ecig. I am a former two pack a day smoker and have not even looked back."

"I’ve been a life long cigarette smoker (35 years) whom has unsuccessfully attempted to quit many times. After the failure of the patch, nicotine gum, prescription drugs and cold turkey attempts; I have the e-cigarette to thank for my success."

"I have smoked for 20 years and have been 5 months now tobacco free because of e cigarettes. I have not touched a real cigarette since the day I received my electronic cigarette. Before that, NOTHING could get me off the tobacco cigarettes. I am taking in very low doses of nicotine and have reduced my nicotine immensely. The e cigarette has changed my life and I will never go back to smoking again. This is a crime to try and take this away from me. Without a doubt I know that what I am doing is WAY safer than smoking real cigarettes. SHAME on the FDA for what they are trying to do to us while they sit there and allow real tobacco known and proven cancer causing cancer sticks."

"These devices are a miracle. I tried everything to quit. Nothing worked. I quit cigarettes on the first day with ecigs. I am an adult. This is my choice and no one elses. Why would you force someone to go back to cigarettes?"

"After using an e-cigarette for 4months and 5 days, the only side effect I can report is I have been tobacco free all that time. I didn't buy it to quit smoking; I bought it to cut back my usage a little. NEVER would I have expected this to take the place of my tabacco cigarettes! And yes; I've used the patch, gum, drugs, candy sticks - all those APPROVED methods. I've 'suffered' with smoking for over 25 years. Is this the same as smoking? Well, when I asked my Dr, he said "*ell no! Congrats! you are now a NON SMOKER!""

"After 25 yrs of smoking, I have finally found something to get me off of the tobacco, tar, carcinogens and fire."

"I was an analog cigarette addict for 40 years. Forty Years. for Forty years, I was degraded and looked down upon by co-workers, even fired from one job by a boss who swore I 'smelled like cigarettes'. I've been subjected to restriction to designated smoking areas which are unsafe, poorly maintained, inconvenient and invariably exposed to the elements. I've been penalized by health insurance companies with higher premiums, even tho I've never been sick. I've been taxed exorbitantly by a government who capitalizes on my addiction. I've been lied to by Big Tobacco about what's in their product. I've been ripped off by Big Pharm with their snake-oil cessation products with alarming side-effects that invariably do more harm than good. And then I found the e-cigarette. And ended my days of paying up to $3/day/pack in taxes. For Forty Years. Ended my days of being analog cigarette dependent. My self-esteem is back. I haven't picked up a Big Tobacco cigarette in a month. for the first time in Fourty years. I may still die from 40 years of smoking, but at least I won't be surrounded by cigarette butts and ashtrays and I will have finally kicked my addiction. e-cigarettes save lives."

"I smoked for 25 years. Last year April I found out about the e-cigarette, started using them and I had my last real cigarette July 20th. of last year. So thankfully I am a nonsmoker now for over a year. I will never go back to smoking, will stick around for vaping. I feel better, I don't have a smokers cough anymore, I have more energy. Most people who quit smoking will gain weight. I have not even gained one pound. Also I have been saving a lot of money by not having to spend $ 4.00 on a pack of cigarettes. All in all it's a winner."

"I use a device called the electronic cigarette as a part of a personal harm reduction strategy, and it has helped me to break my 30+ year addiction to tobacco cigarettes. This device contains absolutely no tobacco and creates no smoke, yet provides some of the chemical, physical and psychological aspects of smoking without the deadly effects of a tobacco cigarette. I wish I had never made the foolish decision to smoke as a youngster. My wife of twenty years has never seen me without a cigarette in my hand. I can find very few family photographs that do not show me with a cigarette in my hand. I was completely addicted to tobacco. Two days after I chose to begin using an electronic cigarette with a fluid containing propylene glycol, water, flavorings and nicotine (optional component), I stopped smoking tobacco. I breathe easier, my sense of taste and smell has greatly improved and I no longer reek like an ashtray! Am I now addicted to another device, perhaps; but I am damn comfortable with my decision to inhale nicotine (think nicotine inhalers from drug companies) and propylene glycol (think theater fog). I can control my nicotine intake, I have the option to gradually reduce my nicotine intake and will trust my body to tell me if I am doing something wrong or harmful. My other recourse was to continue to burn thousands of chemicals in tobacco while I wheezed and coughed my way to death. I chose to make a change and the electronic cigarette has improved my life."

"I smoked for 45 years, tried to quit several times only to fail again. I discovered ecigs and within 14 days I quit, I have not touched a cigarette now for six months. I have no desire to smoke tobacco, in fact find it utterly repulsive now. This option could improve the lives of a lot of people not to mention health related cost savings."

"I have been perfectly content since stopping all analogs from day one after my e-cig arrived. A little on the jittery side for the first couple months, and after I switched away from PG to VG, I am now really content, no more jitters, if fact, so content that almost 3 weeks ago now I dropped the nicotine density of my juice from 24mg/ml down to 18mg/ml, with no side effects whatsoever! I find that fascinating, how can that happen when it never happened that way with analogs...if I cut down, I was a physical and mental MESS!!! So what is the secret? It's just a bad system? Tell that to the Doc that just published that article in the Wash Times! She seems to think it's a great idea. AND, that is why these tests have been valuable to me. I wanted to know the truth about what I was actually pulling into my body. And oh yes I was pulling nicotine into my body, and true to the testing done by Ruyan group, it is exponentially lower than when compared to a tobacco cigarette! That was the whole idea! And, if it quenches the god-awful withdrawal side effects of conventional and FDA approved NRT's (nicotine replacement therapy) PLUS gives the person using the options each individual needs to be able to stop smoking cigarettes, Lo and Behold, it has proven itself to be the very BEST kind of NRT. We're happy, this bunch, for some it may be just something new to do, but for me it was for quality of Life and removal of toxins and poisons that I knew and have known for a long time would eventually cause my death! That's pretty powerful, to me. I am now feeling more alive than I have at any time during my 44 years of smoking tobacco cigarettes."

"I have been using the e-cigarette for two months now with no side-effects and with almost no nicotine. I was almost a pack a day smoker and have no desire to go back to cancer sticks. Actually I take that back - I have had side effects, like being able to run without getting winded, more energy, and a better sense of taste/smell. I find the FDA's objections to the e-cigarette to be highly questionable."

"I smoked for 45 years one and half packs a day. Tried to quit numerous times and failed. I discovered ecigs and within 14 days I quit completely and have not had a desire to go back. This could improve the lives of many not to mention health related cost savings."

"I was a 1 1/2 to 2 pack a day smoker for over 40 years. When I first tried e-cigs it was to try to slow down on my tobacco cigarette smoking. My smokers cough was out of control. I coughed and hacked all the time, night and day. After about a week on e-cigs the cough was GONE!! I didn't start out to stop smoking, but it happened. I feel so much better! I can breath again. My sense of smell and taste have returned an I don't smell like cigarettes anymore. I don't need a lighter on me all the time and I don't need ashtrays either."

"I have been a smoker for 25 years and with the e-cigs I have been able to quit smoking real cigarettes. I am so grateful for this story I could really tear up."

"In this decade it's been nearly impossible to find honesty coming from a news source. Now that I can finally breath again since switching to e-cigs 5 months ago, I can truly appreciate a breath of fresh air."

"After 25 years of smoking, and at least 5 failed attempts to quit, I finally did it with my electric cigarette. And it was so incredibly easy, I didn't realize I was doing it--the urge to smoke real cigarettes just fell away over the first week or two I had it. Patches, gum, willpower, and Alan Carr all failed me, but this actually worked."

"I, too, smoked those "nasty stinkies" (tobacco cigarettes) for 40 years, tried all of the "smoking cessation" rip-offs, to no avail, until 9 months ago, when I bought my first E-Cig...2 1/2 weeks later, I had smoked my last tobacco cigarette! Now, 9 months later, I never would have imagined I would feel this good & healthy at the age of 60. I thank God for the invention of the electronic cigarette. Please, God, don't let them take THIS away from us. We want to live."

"I have not had a cigarette for 7 months. I detest the smell of them. I can't believe I smoked for so long. I started out with medium strength, then went to low, and I am now at extra low. I have not coughed in months. I no longer hear myself wheezing in bed. If the ecig has done all this for me, how can it be bad?"

"I have used e-cigarettes for over a year and have experienced health benefit from using them personally. I have had major health problems and the NRT's currently available, did not help and caused side effects. I hope more Doctors, join in this fight for harm reduction in using e-cigarettes."

"After 37 yrs of cigarette addiction, and many unsuccessful attempts to quit; it was only e-cigs that actually enabled me to give up smoking. This product has saved my life. It gets even better. Within a few weeks of using this product, I was down to level ZERO with the nicotine. There were no side effects. That suggests to me that my addiction was more in the mechanics of smoking."

"I smoked for 25 years, and tried to quit (and failed) at least 5 times. My e-cig made it so easy. It took between 1 and 2 weeks, but the desire for a regular cigarette just melted away. You have to actually want to quit--but if you do, these things make it SO EASY!!! I haven't had a real one in 8 months and I don't miss them at all."

"I smoked for 32 years and have been using the E-Cig for 2 months. I really needed to quit because I have Diabetes and other health problems. The Doctor said I was "a ticking time bomb" for stroke or heart attack. NOW? My blood pressure is back to where it was 32 YEARS AGO!! And my lungs were described by my Doc as "wonderful" I feel so much better. Thanks to a PV I have not polluted the air around me for almost 3 months. I did not buy this devise with the intention of quitting tobacco cigarettes, I was tired of being forced outdoors in all weather to feed my addiction. Within 2 weeks I was tobacco free by accident."

"I bought my first ecig last Friday. One week without a cigarette! I breathe better, I smell better, and I am excited and hopeful for a better future!"

"I quit smoking real cigarettes from the very first day after being a pack a day smoker. I can breathe again. I can smell again, I'm not as tired either."

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