If you thought that you knew all the facts about smoking, and all about the health risks of smoking, wait until you read this.
The fact is that cigarettes have become increasingly more dangerous over the years as Big Tobacco has used a variety of dangerous chemical additives to make all types of cigarettes even more addictive and more toxic.
At the end of the 1950s, officials at the United States Public Health Service became aware of unequivocal evidence that connected smoking all types of cigarettes to diseases like lung cancer, laryngeal cancer and chronic bronchitis.
On January 11, 1964 Surgeon General Luther L. Terry released the first report of the Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health.
Prior to the report being released, more than 7,000 documents were examined. It took the evidence of thousands upon thousands of studies before the powers that be were finally moved to act in the best interests of the people as opposed to the interests of Big Tobacco.
In the aftermath of the health risks of smoking becoming publicly accepted, Congress enacted the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act as well as the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act. These laws required:
- Health warnings on cigarette packs.
- Banned cigarette advertising in broadcast media.
- Called for an annual report regarding the health impact of smoking.
Big Tobacco had a response to these restrictions. Their response was not one of contrition; they certainly did not express any concern for the fate of their customers. No, they decided that what they need to do was to sell more types of cigarettes.
And more types of cigarettes they made! With names like “Mild” or “Light”, suddenly the risks of smoking did not seem so great. Consumers could not help but conclude that cigarette products with milder labels must not be as dangerous.
Of course these labels were deceptive. There is certainly no such thing as cancer light or mild emphysema. The Surgeon General had given the public powerful reasons to quit smoking and Big Tobacco responded with a product line that essentially gave permission for smokers to continue without concern for their health because they were taking the precaution of smoking “light” cigarettes. Could Big Tobacco sink lower? Yes they could.
Facts About Smoking
In fact, as recently as 1994 Big Tobacco was still claiming that cigarettes were not addictive.
As frankly underhanded as this tactic was, Big Tobacco was not about to reach the bottom floor of the depths that they were capable of sinking to.
In the past 50 years, tobacco companies have worked hard to make all types of cigarettes more addictive. The consequence, cigarettes have become more and more dangerous over the years.
One would think a response from a reasonable organization would be to lower the risks of your customers, to see customer welfare as linked to your success. This was not the case with tobacco.
The business model has become driven became seeking product ‘advancement’ that has made cigarettes even more addictive and much more dangerous. Chemical compounds have been added, designs have been modified and the end result is that in 2014 you a smoking a much more deadly cigarette than the ones your parents smoked.
In addition, the result is that you are smoking a more dangerous cigarette than the folks are smoking in Canada or Australia. The reason is a massive increase in TSNAs that have been added to tobacco cigarettes over the last half century. Yes, these more dangerous chemicals have been purposely added to tobacco in order to increase the addictive properties. It is hard to believe but it is nonetheless true.
TSNAs (tobacco specific nitrosamines) are chemicals that are known to cause cancer. The increase in NTSAs can be traced to chemicals designed to increase a variety of smoking characteristics:
- Ammonia compounds have been added because they increase the nicotine absorption rate. These chemicals are dangerous and cause cancer but they also get the nicotine to your brain faster.
- Chemically treated, blended tobaccos increasingly produced with more TSNAs.
- Big Tobacco companies control the amount of nicotine. Nicotine levels are higher to increase addiction.
- Levulinic Acid designed to reduce the harshness of increased nicotine levels so that smokers do not experience irritation.
- Menthols have been introduced because the cooling sensation numbs the throat to the harshness to create the faux sensation of smoothness.
- Acetaldehyde makes tobacco easier to inhale so that more nicotine is delivered.
- Bronchodilator chemicals so that the lungs expand to accept larger inhalations of smoke.
On top of these chemical additives, tobacco companies have also change the mechanics of the cigarette with the advent of ventilated filters. These ventilation holes allow smokers to inhale faster and more deeply.
One benefactor of more dangerous and addictive cigarette has been Big Pharma. They have developed a product line that they have had exclusivity on for decades, the effort to create drugs that reportedly help with smoking cessation.
Big Pharma wants you to quit smoking, but only with their products. Of course their products have terrible success rates. Bog Tobacco wants you to keep on smoking. They both benefit. This is kind of like the Wall Street collapse where the bankers invested your money and then bet against your investments. They win either way.
Enough Is Enough, Quit Smoking Using E-cigs
The e-cigarette is the foil to both of the Machiavellian business operations we have been discussing. The e-cigarette is a smoking alternative that mimics smoking but does not expose people to the thousands of chemicals and TSNAs in tobacco.
This is accomplished by using a liquid rather than tobacco and by removing combustion, aka fire, from the equation.
An e-cig vaporizes the e-liquid by exposing it to a heated element. Basically it works something like the hot water heater in your basement. The heat converts the liquid in a vapor that the user can inhale.
The e-liquid itself contains propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin, flavor and nicotine. No ammonia, NTSAs, acetaldehyde etc. By now you know all of this but this is the e-cig in a nutshell.
The e-cigarette has been perhaps the best weapon thus far to combat the strangle hold that tobacco has on the lives of so many people. Many people have been able to quit smoking using e-cigs and switching from tobacco to vaping. When you consider the fact that tobacco cigarettes are becoming ever more toxic and ever more dangerous, there is a sense of urgency for something drastic to change in our society.
We can’t continue to lose more than 400,000 people per year needlessly. The e-cigarette has its critics, and these critics own the headlines daily. The majority of these criticisms of electronic cigarettes rely on created or manipulated facts, which of course makes them not facts at all.
E-Cigarette Health Risks
E-cigarette health risks have been far overblown. The assumptions that have been made on scant data are irresponsible to say the list. It may be irresponsible for e-cig companies to make the claim that e-cigarette will help you quit, but it is equally irresponsible to malign an alternative that may be able to help people get away from cigarettes.
E-cig health risks are much less harmful than any tobacco cigarette. The evidence is mounting daily. Critics always refer to these studies as “anecdotal”, which is their way of being dismissive.
Cigarettes have 5,000 to 7,000 toxic ingredients. Ecig liquid has 3 ingredients, none of which are carcinogenic. Instead of talking about studies being anecdotal, how about we use some common sense?
The claim that there is an e-cigarette health risk is based on 5 year old testing on a few unnamed brands of e-cigs. In one sample a trace was detected at a level that would not have influence on human health. There is more formaldehyde in the soap in a truck stop restroom.
If you are a smoker who is considering e-cigs but you have been turned off by all of these alarmist claims regarding the safety of electronic cigarettes or second-hand vapor, do yourself a favor and dig a little deeper. Look beyond the headlines.
That is not to say that e-cigarette consumers should not be careful. You can minimize your exposure to any e-cigarette health risk by being choosy when it comes to which brand to buy. Stick with the best e-cig brands.
The e-cigarette business is not all rainbows and flowers. Some brands do use second-rate materials that are not as pure as others. For example, you want to limit yourself to companies that use only pharmaceutical grade nicotine and propylene glycol. Not all companies do.
Many review sites are little more than e-cig scams trying to capitalize on a fast growing trend. Learn how to avoid being scammed by fake review sites.
Expert Vaping is very thorough in our testing and we are unforgiving of cheaply made, second-rate products. You can rely on our reviews and you can also read about the experiences of consumers. Our top-ten list is thoroughly vetted.
Our review videos and careful kept data provide you with empirical evidence of how well each of our recommended brands performs.
With good regulation and with educated consumers, the bad e-cig companies will fade away. It is important that the leaders of the e-cigarette industry maintain the spirit and integrity that began this business in the first place.
The e-cigarette began because it solves a massive problem. The people who started this industry cared deeply about making a difference. It is crucial that we do not follow the dark path of Big Tobacco. This industry is better and must remain better.