Re: Ban it. Ban what?
MonkeyFedge wrote: I was under the impression that the vapour from ecigs was not just water vapour (and nicotine), but also propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, and whatever flavourings are present.
You are correct. It's actually an aerosol of liquid disassociating from the bulk in the wick and becoming suspended in air due to applied heat from a coil. The nicotine is almost all absorbed by the user immediately, thus there are only trace amounts of that in the exhale. There is flavouring, PG and/or VG, as you rightly point out. There's a "Goldilocks zone" temperature range for this aerosol process, above which the heat causes unwanted chemical reactions in the liquid and you get a few nasties (acrolein, aldehydes) in the aerosol. This only affects the user, though. Sidestream, even on a badly set up atomiser/power combo, is negligible, especially when compared to smoking.
I've often toyed with the idea of a piezoelectric system similar to that used in ink jet printers as a safer method of obtaining the aerosol. Few problems, not least of which is the variable composition of e-liquids.
I have heard that the origin of the 'water vapour' claim was someone saying that ecig vapour was no more harmful than water vapour, not that it /was/ water vapour.
There's actually very little water vapour at all, above what a human would normally exhale with a breath plus what is used to thin the VG. It was actually a misquote taken a bit further by critics and used to trick naïve supporters into making the false statement which can be easily knocked down with the facts - a straw man, if you will - which then makes anything factual that person quotes less likely to be accepted. I know that sounds a bit "conspiracy theory" and I'm sorry for that but there's billions in big pharma and big tobacco profits at stake here.
What would also help is if people supporting the right to vape would kindly get their facts straight before mounting the soap box, otherwise "please don't stick up for me any more, I don't think my nerves can take it" applies. I'd also add that the "right to vape" includes, as rights very often do, responsibilities to others, which probably includes not cloud-chasing at work, not vaping sickly or pungent flavours in an enclosed space and maybe even asking if it's okay to vape as we used to when we smoked before all the smoking ban nonsense came in and buggered up everyone's ability to interact courteously. A PG heavy flavourless mix will give you the same nic and throat hit (actually, PG heavy is more effective as VG mutes the hit) without fogging up the room or offending anyone's digestive system. Surely we can switch atties for half an hour when asked just to keep the peace?
And non-vapers, ask me politely to modify my behaviour if my vaping affects you in any way. You'll be pleasantly surprised at the result. Tell me and you'll get exactly what you deserve. Courtesy cuts both ways.