Thursday, March 13, 2014

UC Researcher: Vaping May Be More Hazardous than Smoking

According to an article in the UC Riverside campus newspaper, a UC Riverside researcher has discovered that electronic cigarettes are more hazardous than tobacco cigarettes.

According to the article: "UCR professor of cell biology Dr. Prue Talbot and her team discovered the chemicals used to refill electronic vapor cigarettes (e-cigarettes) may be more harmful than tobacco cigarettes. Her team discovered that electronic vapor requires a consumer to take deeper breaths which may potentially draw in harmful chemicals to fragile parts of the lungs, as opposed to a tobacco cigarette that burns on the other end, allowing the consumer less inhalation. “Our earlier studies with electronic cigarette refill fluids showed that some of these products were toxic to both mouse neural stem cells, (and) human embryonic stem cells as well as to adult lung cells,” she said in a UC press release."

The Rest of the Story

You've got to be kidding me! Based on some non-human studies of the toxicity of electronic cigarette chemicals in cell culture and based on the fact that her researchers believe vapers may have to take deeper breaths when vaping than smoking, Professor Talbot has concluded that vaping may be more harmful than smoking?

This is what we call science in tobacco control today?

Even if e-cigarette vapor shows some toxicity in cell culture studies, how does that demonstrate that vaping is more harmful than smoking?

And even if vaping involved deeper inhalation than smoking, how would that demonstrate that vaping is more dangerous than smoking, especially since the vaper is inhaling far fewer carcinogenic chemicals - and at far lower levels - than the smoker?

Furthermore, it is well known that electronic cigarette users do not inhale more deeply than smokers. While smoke does enter the distal airways - which is why adenocarcinoma rates have increased so dramatically - vaping involves aerosol inhalation and the aerosol is mostly absorbed in the upper, not the lower airways. As with a nicotine inhaler, most of the nicotine absorption occurs in the upper airways.

So not only are these researchers lying by making false extrapolations, they are lying even in the assumptions they are making prior to making those extrapolations. Worst of all, they are trying to make determinations of risk based on only one small slice of the total information that is necessary to judge the relative safety of electronic cigarettes compared to tobacco cigarettes.

I don't understand why electronic cigarette researchers who oppose electronic cigarettes have to go to such extremes to deceive, mislead, and lie to the public. Why are we acting like the tobacco industry used to? Where is the error in simply being honest and truthful to American consumers?

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