There Are No Ecig Experts

From Stanton Glantz to Gregory Conley, there are no experts on electronic cigarettes. Sure, there are plenty of professionals. Some of these professionals could be considered experts in a particular field, especially outside of the electronic cigarette industry. But, nobody is an expert on electronic cigarettes. No one has gone to school to receive a well rounded education on the science, technology and history of ecigs. There are doctors, lawyers and advocates all working on both the pro and con side of the vaping equation.

The notion that “there is no long term research on electronic cigarettes”, which is largely trumpeted by public health officials, should neither be considered a positive or a negative statement. And, this proves my point. Electronic cigarettes haven’t been around long enough to show definitive yes or no answers at a population level.

Yes, science is much more advanced today than it was when the world developed it’s research on smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. But, it depends on the quality of the science being produced, or procured, and the people who are interpreting it.

This week, the California Department of health launched it’s 75 million dollar campaign and website http://www.stillblowingsmoke.org which declares electronic cigarettes a public health threat. This campaign has an extremely alarmist point of view that attacks the very fabric of how vapers are perceived by the public. Some of the rhetorical questions, then self-answered, in the campaign seem about as well put together as I would expect from a high-school comedy routine. Undoubtedly, the campaign was heavily influenced by Stanton Glantz, who has an aerospace engineering degree. Don’t ask how this degree lands you a position as a tobacco control expert; we still haven’t figured that out. The research this campaign cites in support shows no verifiable evidence that electronic cigarettes are causing any problems, let alone problems significant enough to alarm the public against use of electronic cigarettes as an alternative to smoking tobacco.

One person, Stefan Didak, completed an extremely successful counter campaign with http://www.notblowingsmoke.org in less than 2 days, and it was launched simultaneously with the anti-ecig campaign. Be on the lookout for how this campaign will effect politics at not only the state, but national and quite possibly global levels. The conclusions of the science in both campaigns seem to be a concensus that more science is needed.

Imagine the confusion of the policy makers voting on taxes and bans on electronic cigarettes when they have no biases toward one side or the other. On one side of the room you have public health advocates who have long been trusted in tobacco control, who are now staunchly against electronic cigarettes and are associating them to the hated big tobacco companies of old. On the other side of the room is a small industry who has yet to prove themselves one way or the other, but is also biased because of the need to operate their business. I know that many of the small vapor businesses started with the intent to help people, but that argument seems like hearsay when money and taxes are the issue.

Meanwhile, the FDA has not yet imposed it’s regulations on electronic cigarettes. This is both a positive, and a negative for the industry. Since there are no federal regulations, there is nothing to to say what can and can not be put into e-liquid. This is why I highly suggest you select a reputable company that is willing to discuss their products and are willing to disclose ingredients within reason. The willingness of ecig companies to work with it’s customers is what has, does and will make the industry one of the greatest in history. If the FDA stifles the industry away from technological advances it would be a detriment to the industry. One thing is certain, you can not make advancements to inhaling burning tobacco. I believe the industry is geared toward making it’s products as safe and effective as poosible as time progresses.

Somewhere in-between all of this mess is the truth. And, with no “real” experts in the field of electronic cigarettes, the actual truth lies with the people. Within days, records were broken for the sheer amount of vapers in attendance at the local and state level this past week. And, we need this type of record to continue to be broken at the local and state level if we wish to have a positive outcome in our community. The only expert on electronic cigarettes is you, and how they have influenced your life, and the lives of those around you. We need you to tell them who is being truthful. We need you to tell elected officials your expert testimony!

Tim Mechling

Tim is Mt Baker Vapor's resident creative weirdo. He writes, composes music, draws, designs, produces podcasts, investigates, and blows the trumpet for the Common Man.

  • Pat Meyer says:

    A thoughtful and and timely piece with an interesting take on “experts.” I wonder who will teach the classes for students pursuing an advanced degree in electronics cigarettes? My favorite takeaway is that more vapers are getting involved by showing up at public hearings. We cannot overstress the importance of vapers personally letting their political representatives know their views.

  • Diane R says:

    Love it. We are not experts nor is the other side. All we can say is that vaping has improved our own personal health. Do we know the long term effects of vaping? No. All we know for now is that it has made us healthier. Thousands of accounts have proven this. But the actual bottom line is money. Money for the government, money for Big Tobacco and Big Pharma and money for Big Vaping. It’s caused a war between everybody instead of creating a bridge to better health.

  • Alex Carlson says:

    Thank you for your input!

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