Close, But No Cigarette

A Florida company called "Smoking Everywhere" has been aggressively marketing a cigarette-like smoking device of the same name in shopping mall kiosks nationwide, and has now reportedly enlisted help from steroid-tainted baseball player Jose Canseco to plug the device. The company's eponymous "Smoking Everywhere" electronic cigarette combines a nicotine-containing flavor cartridge, an atomization chamber, a small electronic chip and rechargeable lithium battery to create a device that looks, feels and tastes just like a cigarette. It's end even glows red when puffed on, but emits nicotine vapor instead of smoke. The company advertises its "e-cigarette" as a "healthier way to smoke" and suggests customers use it where smoking is banned -- in coffee bars, taxicabs, airports, restaurants and at sporting events. In addition to tobacco flavor, customers can choose from coffee, mint, vanilla, strawberry, chocolate and cherry-flavored cartridges. The e-cigarette currently sells for U.S.$149, and packs of five flavor cartridge refills, each one of which is equivalent to about twenty cigarettes, sell for $9.99. The device and the way it's being marketed are drawing scrutiny from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which may consider it a "new drug" and force its withdrawal from the market until the manufacturer backs up health claims about the product with scientific data. The classification would force the manufacturer to get FDA approval before marketing it.


I watched a video that gave different global perspectives about e-cigs and the controversy plaguing them. Apparently, the nicotine product has never been tested on humans. It has been used for patches and gum, but never inhaled before, so the long-term effects are unknown. I hope that this product proves to be effective because I think it is very important that chain smokers have a small ray of hope for quitting. But I wouldn't try it until I knew all of the side effects.

It is untrue that inhaled nicotine was never tested on humans. The prescription only Nictotrol oral inhaler was tested before receiving FDA approval. It has been on the market for years, but has been kept difficult to get and expensive largely due to the tobacco control community not liking the fact that "it looks like smoking." They felt that making it available OTC would interefere with their campaign to "denormalize smoking".

Health New Zealand tested e-cigarettes in 2008 and 2009. "The mist of the e-cigarette has been rigorously tested. Of over 50 priority-listed cigarette smoke toxicants tested, none was detectable in the mist...

"On the basis of findings to date, inhaling mist from the e-cigarette is rated several orders of magnitude (100 to 1000 times) less dangerous than smoking tobacco cigarettes. The nicotine dose per puff is comparable to that of a medicinal nicotine inhaler. E-cigarette nicotine is apparently not absorbed from the lung, but from the upper airways".