October 18, 2013

E-Cigs Deliver As Much Nicotine As An Argument Requires

Group of dogs different sizes isolated
Group of dogs different sizes isolated

Remember when tobacco industry executives, anti-smoking advocates, and public health nuts were claiming the electronic cigarettes weren’t worth fighting over because they didn’t deliver enough nicotine?  It really wasn’t that long ago and the argument still comes up on occasion.

Electronic cigarettes don’t deliver enough nicotine to be a worthwhile replacement for cigarettes, they’d say.  They can’t possibly be strong enough to meet the cravings smokers have.  Therefore, they should be banned or regulated in oblivion because they can’t possibly be good enough to bother keeping around.

Now, the opposite argument is being made to counteract new research and evidence that they can work as a replacement for smoking and without hardly ding to an individual’s health.  So now, electronic cigarette opponents are saying that despite the lower health risks and success as a replacement for tobacco cigarettes, they do deliver more nicotine and may cause smokers to be even more addicted to the drug — preventing them from ever truly quitting.

There’s a good example right here:

On average, e-cigarette users are drawing about 150 puffs and going through five nicotine cartridges per day. For perspective, that’s only about half the puffs it takes to get through one pack of tobacco cigarettes.However, we must keep in mind that each e-cig cartridge contains between about 6mg and 24 mg of nicotine.Using a midpoint of 15 mg per cartridge, e-cig smokers are going through about 75mg of nicotine every day. With vapor, only about half of this nicotine gets absorbed into the body, so we’ll reduce that number to 37.5 mg.When we consider the fact that a conventional cigarette pack contains around 20mg of nicotine, it becomes clear that the number of puffs doesn’t really matter; what matters instead is the quantity of nicotine being consumed.

We’ve already mentioned before, but we’ll say it again — nicotine is not the problem.  Nicotine is comparable to caffeine in the level of effect it has on and harm it does to the human body.  It’s the smoke that causes most of the problems.  Many experts now claim that nicotine can be used for a lifetime without significant harm to the individual under the right circumstances.

But aside from that, it seems that opponents are so desperate to find reasons to ward people away from e-cigs that they will use entirely conflicting arguments just to see what sticks and what doesn’t.  So we end up with people arguing against electronic cigarettes saying both that they don’t deliver a sufficient amount of nicotine and therefore are ineffective and mostly a novelty at the same time that others are saying that e-cigs deliver way more nicotine and are therefore still as dangerous as tobacco cigarettes, but in a different way.

Both statements are being made on the other side of the fence from those in favor of electronic cigarettes.  Both are generally wrong.  More on that soon.

 

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