Re: Good for regulation!
"First off, nicotine is a lethal poison in high percentage form. We've had a handful of deaths from high purity e-juice in the US already."
Now look at the number of deaths caused by laundry pods and detergents. Hint - it's a little bit bigger.
There is very little danger to health from the concentrations found in e-cigs, and the LD50 of nicotine is pretty highly contested. It appears that it should be far higher than that which is currently accepted (That is, it's not as toxic as people think)
"Second, what are the health effects of breathing the oils and glycols used in e-juice? We don't want to replace a carcinogen with something that might cause cancer or lipid pneumonia."
There are no oils in e-liquid. Glycols used are OK'd by the CDC and EPA for inhalation. The RCP report and PHE reports covered this in detail.
It'd not be surprising to find out that e-cigs increase the risks of some airway issues over a never-smoker or never vaper, but absolutely nowhere near the levels that lit tobacco does, and that is the only comparator that is required as that kills over 600,000 people a year in the UK and US alone.
"Finally, howinhell do I know just what is in that e-juice? It could actually be what is advertised, it might also be anything from ricin to plutonium.
OK, maybe not that extreme, but let's face it, a lot's made in China, which is a proper warning label."
Like the laptop you're using. Better chuck that out!
90% of the liquids on vape shop shelves are made in the US or UK using ISO certified clean room facilities, with batches, tracking, etc. They use USP grade bases and food grade flavourings. Flavourings are the only real concern, but most of them are OK'd to be heated up to the same range as foods as they cook and not be terribly dangerous, and again, still nowhere near as dangerous as lit tobacco. There are risks, but they are minutia compared to lit tobacco.
"But then, I remember my own nation's history, when it was a good idea to drink water with either radium or thorium in it - right until some rich family lost a family member to jaw cancer, then we began regulating things touted as health bringing, medicines, etc."
Don't disagree; it's a case of whether the regulations being applied are accurate, backed by science, and applicable to the risk involved that matter. The TPD and FDA Deeming Regs are, patently, not.
That's a problem. A big one, given that the products they are regulating have a staggering potential to reduce the existing harm that is happening right now from lit tobacco.
"I'll give full disclosure, I am a cigarette smoker, smoking worse yet, unfiltered cigarettes. I've yet to meet an e-juice that is strong enough to begin tapering down, they've all, save one lethal percentage I didn't dare toy about with, been too weak and I'm not about to touch that 80% nicotine crap without a proper chemical lab to ensure it's 80%, protect myself from that toxic strength (nicotine is trivially absorbed by the skin) and ensure I can survive even a dose at a properly diluted dosage."
None of the doses available (typically up to 54mg/ml) are even remotely lethal, and would barely be described as harmful to human health. I'll make some suggestions for you at the end regarding this as from the rest of your comment you may well be a good candidate for these things, but obviously, I am not a doctor, etc. If abrupt changes are dodgy, then consult a good doctor, preferably two, who are familiar with these devices and how they operate first.
"And not inhale a brew that clogs my lungs with something even worse than my Luckies already are providing."
There is no way for an e-cigarette of any kind to be able to deliver the same level of toxins as lit tobacco does, because there is no combustion involved, and it's the combustion that delivers - almost without exception - every piece of harm from smoking.
The Royal College of Physicians report on e-cigarettes. I'd strongly suggest downloading the full report from the link, and reading at least the chapter summaries, then going back and checking anything you think is a bit woofly, chasing citations etc.
It is specifically aimed at people like you who have misconceptions about vapour products, misconceptions, ironically, gleefully doled out by the press and some quarters of public health who go for the 'quit or die' method of smoking harm reduction. The RCP are pissed that people are misinterpreting this stuff, which is why, as one of the most august, respected health bodies on the planet, they analysed all the relevant data on e-cigs, and after that, recommended their use to smokers as a lit tobacco substitute.
Bear in mind the RCP are the ones who blew the whistle on lit tobacco harm in the first place - if anyone was going to shit on e-cigs, it'd be them. The RCP are what made the Surgeon Generals warning happen.
Having questions is a good thing. There's lots of data out there. Just be wary of shitty press reports. Read the literature.
A great example is the report that e-cig vapour causes DNA breaks in cells, in pitri dishes after eight weeks exposure. OK, not exactly human applicable, but worth nothing. This was bandied about the press as 'e-cigs are as bad as smoking'. Thing is, something that the press release for the paper didn't mention, and the news outlets repeating the press release didn't check. Because they also exposed the cells to cigarette smoke. Which killed all the cells in 24 hours every time.
Which actually shows that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful than lit tobacco in this situation - exactly the opposite of what was reported.
There's a good breakdown of this study here on it's own Pubmed page by Clive Bates - this study was being used by the anti-harm-reduction cabal. Now every time they link to it, there's a nice breakdown showing why they are wrong to link to it.
As for your history with vaping, if you've used a smaller device that utilises the 'mouth to lung' method (suck into mouth, inhale that back afterwards) then as a smoker of unfiltered smokes, you'd want at least 18mg/ml normally, in a liquid that is 50PG/50VG - the PG content and nicotine together give the throat hit you're probably looking for. if you were on greater than that, then you might want to look at direct lung devices, which you simply 'breathe in' without holding it in your mouth beforehand - kinda like carbing/sidestreaming your smoke. So if you found 36mg was getting you there in a mouth to lung device, 18mg would probably give similar satisfaction in a direct lung device.
Typically you use these with liquids that have a higher VG content, so you get less throat hit, but because they develop a *lot* more vapour, more quickly, you can use a lower nicotine level - as more is delivered to your lungs in one hit. It also tends to be smoother on the inhale, too.
But speak to your specialists, and ideally, speak to a specialist who is not anti-ecig. Or give them a copy of the RCP report to consult before your next meeting with them.
I, like you, was skeptical that e-cigs could be 'that good' (IE there must still be some major problem with them, there must be a reason for the medical community to not be behind them, etc) but I didn't smell of fags and my lung capacity came back so I was fairly 'meh' about it. Since that time (four years ago) I've been following the literature and - as you can probably tell from my posts - I'm agog that they haven't been grabbed with both hands and presented to smokers as just a good way to avoid the lit tobacco part, because there is so little evidence of harm, and what evidence there is, compared to lit tobacco, is genuinely very small.
Obviously with your current health....situation, shall we say ;-) then I'd say that being careful would be wise, but as a lot of your conditions can be linked to lit tobacco, I'd strongly suggest not ruling them out of a possible harm reduction/reversal strategy. I will say that they aren't for everyone, but do keep them in the sphere of possibilities.
Also, do watch this - it's a cheeky rip of a UK documentary that was shown last night, showing a bit more abut e-cigs, and their effects. They checked the volunteers health before and after. I think that's more likely to change your viewpoint than any dry public health report ;-)
Best of luck, regardless.