Juul e-cigarettes deliberately addictive profile matches Marlboros – minus the bad smell

Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

” The nicotine formula used by controversial e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc is nearly identical to the flavour and addictive profile of Altria Group Inc’s highly successful Marlboro cigarette brand, new research suggests…

The formulation of Juul’s nicotine aerosol was designed to make it far easier for users to inhale larger quantities of nicotine without gagging, gasping or coughing – or even noticing.

” “It becomes obvious why novice users, people who’ve never smoked before, find it easy to try Juul,” said David Peyton, a professor of chemistry at Portland State University who worked on the study, published in the journal Tobacco Control. “And once you try it, you’re getting dosed with a high concentration of nicotine…”

” By adding organic acids to liquid nicotine, San Francisco-based Juul was able to reduce the amount of “freebase nicotine” in the aerosol that users inhale.

Freebase nicotine, common in e-cigarette liquid prior to Juul’s arrival in 2015, is harsh and difficult to inhale at high concentrations. Juul virtually eliminated the harsh side effects.

” Juul Labs did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new study’s findings.

Pretty standard non-response from criminal fraudsters. That’s what the lawyers on retainer are for.

No surprise; but – teens vaping links to higher smoking later

Los Angeles area teens who reported regular e-cigarette use were more likely to be smoking cigarettes 6 months later, researchers found, with more frequent vaping associated both with a higher likelihood of smoking and with heavier smoking at follow-up.

Adjusting for baseline smoking, each increment higher on a four-level baseline frequency continuum was associated with a roughly two-fold greater odds of smoking and heavier smoking…

The growing evidence that vaping increases the risk for smoking uptake among teens suggests that this transition “may warrant particular attention in tobacco control policy,” the researchers noted…

“Showing teen vaping to be associated with progression to more dangerous patterns of smoking raises red flags and has public health implications.”…”When teens who vaped on a weekly basis were compared to those who had never smoked an e-cigarette in their lives, the vapers had a 10-times greater odds of progressing to smoking,” Adam Leventhal said…

This research was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Seems pretty sensible to me. How would you expect anything different about behavior with an addictive substance like nicotine?

FDA ban on e-cigarette sales to minors started this week

The US Food and Drug Administration officially started regulating the sale of e-cigarettes on the 8th. Following a ruling that was finalized back in May, the agency now considers e-cigarettes, vape pens, and other related electronic devices “tobacco products,” and will henceforth ban sales to anyone under the age of 18.

Retailers are now banned from selling e-cigarettes to minors.

Going forward, retailers will need to treat e-cigs the same way they treat cigarettes and cigars, verifying the customer’s age against their photo ID. Meanwhile, most manufacturers will need to verify with the FDA that their products don’t carry any additional health risks. The regulations are outlined in the Tobacco Control Act of 2009, which governs the sale of tobacco products to minors.


Does the risk of e-cigarettes exceed potential benefits? You betcha!

The use of e-cigarettes continues to dramatically increase, and the debate over their safety and appropriate use has heated up, in parallel. We as pulmonary clinicians are called upon to advise our patients and others about e-cigarettes, which presents challenges given the current limitations of the data upon which our advice should be based. What do we say?

At first glance the use of e-cigarettes appears to be an attractive option. Evaluation of the ingredients and particulates associated with e-cigarette vapors has demonstrated a substantial decrease in carcinogens compared with the traditional cigarette…E-cigarettes can deliver nicotine in a form that is familiar to the traditional smoker, yet lacks many of the harmful constituents of cigarette smoke. The optimist envisions a cohort of multi-pack year smokers switching to the e-cigarette with a resultant rapid decrease in risks of heart disease, chronic lung disease, and cancer. But is this optimism justified by empiric evidence of safety, and favorable data on patterns of use, or is this simply wishful thinking?…

Most defenders of e-cigarette use base their perspective on the concept of harm-reduction, and the assumption that the only users of e-cigarettes are or will be current tobacco smokers looking for a safer cigarette. One of the early concerns with the e-cigarette, however, was that it might introduce young, nontobacco users to nicotine addiction, and there is recent evidence to support the validity of that concern. A recent cross-sectional survey-based study reported on trends of e-cigarette use from 2010 through 2013. E-cigarette use increased dramatically over this interval. The highest prevalence of use was among very young adults, ages 18-25. A third of current e-cigarette users were nonsmokers and 1.4% were never-smokers…

The trend toward younger groups being aware of and using e-cigarettes is also on the rise. A survey of 4,780 middle school and high school students from Connecticut identified a high rate of awareness, as well current and lifetime use, of e-cigarettes among those students…Additionally, a study that sought to gauge “openness” to starting tobacco products identified the use of e-cigarettes as a significant factor in being likely to try tobacco products in the future…

What all of these studies tell us collectively is that the cohort of e-cigarette users is growing, young, and open to using both e-cigarettes and traditional tobacco products — not a group of seasoned smokers trying to quit or looking for an alternative to the traditional cigarette. The e-cigarette may well contribute to an overall increase in nicotine addiction.

E-cigarettes have not been marketed as cessation aids (as doing so would have implications for FDA regulation) but have been advocated for this purpose, and many smokers have purchased these products as a way to stop smoking. Despite anecdotal reports that suggest effectiveness, there is not good evidence to suggest that e-cigarettes are superior to traditional, FDA-approved approaches to smoking cessation…

Multiple studies have reported on the toxicities that are associated with e-cigarette use. These studies have established that e-cigarettes are associated with increased nausea, vomiting, headache, choking, and upper airway irritation…One study demonstrated that after only 5 minutes of smoking an e-cigarette, subjects’ airway resistance significantly increased from baseline. In these same individuals exhaled FeNO was also decreased indicating that after only 5 minutes of exposure there was a significant change in the biologic function of the lung.

In other words, don’t believe the bullshit and quit smoking via reliable, proven means and methods. And don’t let your kids feed you a snowjob about e-cigarettes being a truly safe alternative to regular cigarettes. You lose. They lose.

FDA proposed E-Cigarette regulation leaked to industry first

After years of FDA foot-dragging amid calls for action on electronic cigarettes, an industry group nearly stole the agency’s thunder with an apparently leaked copy of an impending draft regulation.

The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (TVECA) put up a picture of the scanned document on its website Friday, indicating it was the “Deeming Tobacco Products to be Subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as Amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Control Act; Regulations on the Sale and Distribution of Tobacco Products and Required Warning Statements for Tobacco Products.”

However, the e-cigarette advocacy group said it decided not to go ahead with plans to release the document following informal discussions with the agency on Friday.

“[W]e all decided that [it would be] in the best interest of the regulatory process, as well as the industry and the public, not to post the document on Tuesday,” TVECA explained in a brief note on its website…

The title of the document shown by TVECA appeared to fit expectations that the FDA’s move will be to bring e-cigarettes under largely the same regulatory scheme as other tobacco products, which would involve blocking sales to minors and restricting marketing.

The agency has had e-cigarettes on its agenda for years, but finally sent a draft proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) last fall; action was further delayed by the partial government shutdown.

The document was still with the OMB as of last month. Whether the copy obtained by TVECA indicates an impending release for public comment wasn’t clear.

Anyone surprised? Anyone expect documents which might affect corporate profits and the health of Americans to be leaked to scientists or public interest advocates? Our government is working harder than ever to squash the possibility of another Edward Snowden popping up, say, in the FDA or USDA.

The electronic cigarette: a cleaner, safer way to inhale nicotine?

Hon Lik used to light up first thing in the morning. He smoked between lectures at the university where he studied Oriental medicine, between bites at lunch, in the lab where he researched ginseng health products. He’d usually burn through two packs by dusk and smoke a third over dinner and drinks with colleagues.

One of the strangest gizmos to come out of China in recent years, Hon’s invention, the electronic cigarette, turns the adage “where there’s smoke there’s fire” on its head.

It doesn’t burn at all. Instead, it uses a small lithium battery that atomizes a liquid solution of nicotine. What you inhale looks like smoke, but it’s a vapor similar to stage fog. (Take that, smoke-free bars!) It even has a red light at the tip that lights up with each drag.

“It’s a much cleaner, safer way to inhale nicotine,” said Hon, blowing curlicues of e-smoke as he showed off the cigarette in his Beijing office. (He says he doesn’t smoke anymore, except for such demonstrations.)

Hon got his first patent on the e-cigarette in 2003 and introduced it to the Chinese market the next year….

This year, it’s planning a big push in the United States. A disposable e-cigarette called the Jazz ($24.95 for the equivalent of five packs) is due to hit 7-Elevens in the Dallas-Fort Worth area shortly. Many rival versions, all made in China, are making their way to the U.S., sold mostly over the Internet by small marketing firms….

Buyer beware.

On the other hand, I am somewhat bemused by countries barring these products until they are demonstrated to be safe… like traditional cigarettes, one supposes.