Electronic Cigarette Review

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E Cig press continues to increase daily and CNN finally decided it would finally join the crowd and have the CNN Health.com Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, review electronic cigarettes. Too bad the story is full of errors.

I have embedded the CNN Health.com video here.  I  highly recommend watching it as a case study in, “what happens when you have non-smokers review e Cigs.” Funny stuff:

I told you it was funny. Ha ha you, “smoke on it” or “take a swig,” the choice is yours.

First, I want to apologize if you are a big fan of CNN Health.com or Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

I am going to point out a big blunder in this video review and a few other errors in the story and maybe have a little fun doing it.

Don’t get me wrong. I do think that Dr. Sanjay Gupta actually gave e Cigs a positive review and did encourage people to keep an open mind, but to also be cautious. I just think he could have done better.

This is the way it works on the internet: Instead of asking the Mass Media CNN Health.com outlet to print a correction or a retraction, the masses media outlets (small “m”) publish it for them complete with links to embarrassingly accurate facts and references.

We may not reach as many people at once as CNN Health.com does, but at least if someone is searching for the truth in a search engine they will find it.

Now let the corrections begin.

The first (although not the biggest blunder) in my opinion is Dr. Sanjay Gupta states, “… at $100 bucks these aren’t cheap …” Seriously Dr. Gupta? Have you seen the price of cigarettes lately? Do you know it just went up?

Oh, wait. That’s right Dr. Sanjay Gupta doesn’t smoke.

Every time I or anyone else has done our own calculations based on actual usage smoking e Cigs is always cheaper especially if you drip your cartridges.  Even after replacing atomizers, batteries, and flat out just buying your replacement cartridges it still approaches 50% cheaper, but as always your mileage may vary.

The only case I have ever heard electronic cigarettes weren’t cheaper was for someone who previously hand-rolled their cigarettes.

I could attack this cost issue from many different angles like the cost of health care, but I want to move on to Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s BIGGEST blunder of the whole video.

Here is the blunder in a quote of Dr. Sanjay Gupta from the video:

Its never been really been tested in humans. They use nicotine in patches; they use it in gums but not inhaled before. So, what exactly is going to be the impact on humans in the long term? They just don’t know because they haven’t tested it.

Oopps! I guess the FDA will have to remove their approval of the Nicorette™ and Nicotrol™ nicotine inhalers. That’s right. Both brand names have FDA approved nicotine inhalers so there had to be testing done on it.

If you don’t believe me you can research it yourself or take a look at the “PHARMACOLOGIC PRODUCT GUIDE: FDA-APPROVED MEDICATIONS” I found in 2 minutes on the University of California, San Francisco’s Smoking Cessation Leadership Center’s web site.

The other problems with this story are actually in the written part of the article you can read here: FDA hazy on e-cigarettes’ safety.

First the article states,

Makers of e-cigs tout their product as the first healthy cigarette, free of harmful chemicals and tar typically found in tobacco products. The only ingredient: pure liquid nicotine.

Pure nicotine is NOT the only ingredient. Not even close. Also, saying, “pure liquid nicotine,” makes it sound like its crack cocaine or something.

In fact nicotine makes up only 6% of the solution in the cartridges at most according to the Wikipedia article on e Cigs that references the patents for the different nicotine solutions that could be used in the refill cartridges.

Remember that list of FDA approved medications from the University of California? If you go on to read more of the article you find out that Dr. Steven Schroeder of the University of California-San Francisco was actually contacted and quoted in the article.

Ironically Dr. Schroeder had this to say:

Nicotine is not the thing in tobacco smoke that causes cancer, but inhaling pure nicotine may be dangerous,” said Dr. Steven Schroeder, physician and smoking cessation expert at the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center. “We have no clue what the health effects could be.”

Again, e Cigs do NOT contain pure nicotine.  And, how can Dr. Schroeder say, “We have no clue what the health effects could be?” Does he know nicotine inhalers are FDA approved? It is in a document affiliated in some way with his University after all. Was there any testing on health effects of nicotine inhalers when they gained FDA approval or not?!

I invite Dr. Schroeder to comment.

Am I missing something here? Maybe we don’t want electronic cigarettes to get FDA approval if it leaves us with no clue of what the health effects of inhaling nicotine could be.

I think I just figured out what the health effects of being stupid could be!

OK, that was a little over the top. I really don’t think anyone is being stupid. I honestly think I am missing something here. Hopefully some comments will provide some additional perspective here. This is too crazy to not be the case.

So now that I have covered everything that I think was wrong in this piece I did want to cover a couple of other things that I thought were interesting in the CNN Health.com story.

First, the CNN Health.com article withe the help of the American Cancer Society and Dr. Schroeder redeemed itself in my eyes somewhat by saying:

Tobacco smoke causes nearly 90 percent of lung cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. “If it is a choice between smoking tobacco product or a nicotine replacement — of course, keep taking the nicotine,” Schroeder said. “It is a heck of a lot healthier than tobacco smoking.”

That’s more like it. Lets be positive.

Another quote from the article stated:

“The FDA has been detaining and refusing importations since at least last summer of these so-called ‘electronic cigarettes,’ ” FDA spokesperson Rita Chappelle told CNN in a written statement.

This is just great.  There are plenty of cigars, regular cigarettes and / or chewing tobacco that are imported to this country every day. Why is it that OK, but electronic cigarettes are being confiscated by the FDA?

Also, U.S. companies continue to make and sell cigarettes which will, by the way, NEVER obtain FDA approval because they have the Surgeon General’s warning on them.  This seems crazy to me that people are hung up on e cigarettes getting FDA approval and I wonder what Dr. Sanjay Gupta would say about it.

In the video portion Dr. Gupta also said they had someone try the electronic cigarette in the studio and this person apparently was surprised how much it satisfied their craving for a cigarette.   So, if we never figure out if is “safe” can we at least be certain it is effective?

I think everyone should be permitted to judge for themselves.


  1. Sue says:

    Just a quick comment about what you are “missing” in regards to the CNN review. Inhaling nicotine as in smoking cessation therapy has been tested and deemed “safe and effective”. But these devices are only approved for temporary use (6 to 12 weeks I believe). Inhaling nicotine long term – as in months and years -has NOT been tested, so there is no long term safety data. I think this is what the scientists mean when they say we do not know if it is safe or what the effects could be. And truthfully, we really don’t. But, as a user and supporter of e cigs myself, I would remind us all that the effect of long term vaping is, without a doubt, less harmful than long term smoking.

  2. Karen says:

    Hi all, I have started using the e-cig and I am sure this is going to be the next cig. of the future. I have a heart problem and am a 40 ciggarette smoker a day. With the e.cig I have reduced my smoking to 5 cigs a day. I still enjoy a real cig but I have to wonder why I still smoke knowing that I am killing myself with the government approved tobacco…when I have the e-cig always charged and ready to go. I would like the government to come clean on why they allow the tobacco companys to put so much poison in their product but will not promote the e-cig, Just to add since I have had my e-cigs,,,I now have no chest pains or shortness of breath when I am outside working with my animals. As before I could not do alot of work because of my ongoing post copd….I am gratefull to the people who turned me on to this e-cig and I am sure in time I will be completely weaned off of the poison coffin nails that I have been smoking since I was 13yrs old. I am 50yrs old now…Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks.

  3. brenda says:

    Im considering trying the e-cig but Im very confused about a good starter pack. Can you recommend a good reliable company to work with

    • Sparky says:

      This is very hard to do at the moment. Many companies are having supply problems at the moment so if you can nail your decision down to 2 products you think are quality then i would suggest which ever one seems to have more product in stock.

      • Chungi says:

        Why are there supply problems? Is it related to the FDA seizures? Should i buy from an American company because of this, even if their product is not as good?

        I have tried many different methods of quitting, but my problem, along with having an addictive personality, is that i LIKE smoking. I am hoping this will provide me with a means, if not the ends.

  4. Bram says:

    What the Doc either failed to mention or just plain misspoke on was the fact that there ARE nicotine inhalers in the US in the market today used as smoking cessation device produced by big pharma (Pfizer). The New Zealand study showed that no more nicotine is absorbed from the Runyan E-Cig than from the nicotrol inhaler… things that make you go hummmm!!… By the way the PG found in most ecigs is aslo found in analogs.

  5. Judy says:

    You really missed the big picture – TAXES. There are no tobacco taxes on this product. If the e-cig catches on, there is really no way to add taxes to it without putting all the tobacco taxes on the nicotrol inhaler, too. Big pharm companies will not tolerate this, as their product is a “medicine”. Money always talks. And by the way, the nicotrol inhaler is much more expensive. I quit smoking completely about 4 months ago and cannot tolerate cig smoke anymore. I bought these for my husband so he can smoke in the house – no smell at all. They also come with a variety of levels – including no nicotine at all. This in itself should help smokers quit. Let’s get rid of the tobacco taxes and all smoke e-cigs – no second hand smoke. Wouldn’t that be great?

  6. Brandy says:

    Oh the best part was when Dr. S from CNN just had to mention the Pharma drugs used for anxiety and smoking cessassions..SURPRISING huh?

    FDA would support e-cigs if they were paid billions of dollars like they are paid when a drug is patented(just so they can tell us how safe they are now). It’s never about our health..it’s about the money. That will never change and besides..look how much taxes they get when people have this addicting habit. You think those big fat cats in Washington want us to quit..? Oh and going to the local MD and getting Chantix and whatever drug is next to hit the pharma market is sending the money right over to the FDA..catch my point yet..Dr’s and pharmaceuticals and GOVT..BAD Corrupt and vicious combinations. I’m next to try the E-CIG and lord I hope it helps me to quit so I can stop helping other people get rich!

  7. Mark D. Baum says:

    I read your article. And the thing which motivates these do-gooders is that monkey on their own backs where they feel that curtailing liberties is the price to be paid by us all to save lives. I’m sure that they may have looked at themselves in the mirror as the ambivalence of their own addiction manifested itself, “Is this really all worth it?”

    I used to be one of those people. And two things broke me out of that cycle:

    1) It’s none of my business how people choose to use their freedom to pursue pleasure. Some forms of pleasure do indeed have certain risks and I’m sure that the individual carefully considered that in light of all the public data available. So I’m willing to give the individual the benefit of a doubt. After all it is their own life and their life is their own responsibility.

    2) I was not only able to quit using nicotine products on my own but, as it turns out, deprogramming from the hype surrounding nicotine addiction. Hype which, when believed, is just as corrosive by simply undermining one’s own resolve to quit.

    Years ago I posted a lengthy essay on The ARID Site (page linked in “Website” field) in which I not only detailed my background and how I quit my nicotine use but also deconstructed and analyzed the hype of nicotine addiction. I even found data where an actual group (not one or two individuals but a whole GROUP of people) of former heroin users was studied regarding their decision to quit heroin.

    It’s interesting that the common myth is that nicotine is as hard to break as heroin. Here I found evidence that proved just the opposite. Since I found it easy to quit nicotine once and for all I found myself chuckling, “Well, it must be that dead easy to quit heroin as well!” It was only when I completed that research that I found I was right.

    The tragedy in all of this is that the mainstream corporate-owned/corporate-subsidized mass media of the state is fueled by drama. You won’t hear of the millions who quit their own addictions without treatment, sponsors, patches, gums, Big Books, 12-Step meetings or support of any kind. There’s just zero drama in the quitter who faced down that enemy and simply moved on. But there’s lots of drama in always-recovering-but-never-recovered “addicts” who always slip or the smokers getting lots of free press as they succumb to various cancers cancer. And, need I not mention, quitters aren’t buying into any of that nonsense with their hard-earned money. There’s simply no market for quitters.

    You are correct that there’s money to be made and not just by Big Tobacco. Addiction ‘treatment” is a multi-BILLION dollar business. Likewise, Big Pharma profits hansomely for the next bit of snake oil or refined nicotine fix. I don’t know if you heard of some of the “Black Box” side effects from Chantix (a “treatment” to help people quit nicotine) but some of the side effects include suicidal ideation and agitation. This “Black Box” warning is within every pharmacology leaflet with that drug that was added this summer.

    Hmm…risking hurting myself or others or quitting cold turkey? Hmm… ;-)

    My advice for anyone who wants to quit: Just do it. Enjoy that final nicotine fix to the very last puff off of that unit you’re holding. Savor it. Then never do it again. Quitting is with that brief bit of deprivation that lasts from a couple days to a week. But, once you realize that it’s not you that needs its fix (after all, YOU DO want to quit otherwise you wouldn’t have considered it) but your body attempting to tempt you into another fix. You’re in control and right there that enemy of addiction is being pummeled by your own resolve. “Never again” puts it down for the count and then some.

    And yes it is that simple. And those snake oil charlatans will not be able to make a buck off you you, much less Big Tobacco.

    Anyway, I’m glad you posted that info about these do-gooders. They know nothing and you proved it. And goodness know that if there is ever a treatment for pleasure you can be certain that many more of our precious liberties will be taken away in the process.

    Smokum if’n ya gottum!

    –Mark D. Baum

    • SB-X says:

      > And yes it is that simple.

      Your STFU-and-do-it-style assumptions are insulting to the millions of people who’ve tried to quit cold turkey and failed miserably.
      The fact that you assumed in classic Limbaugh form “since I could do it surely anyone can!!!” – whether you found supporting research after-the-fact or not – shows your arrogance. I did try to read that long-ass essay of yours for evidence until realizing it had much that wasn’t related to smoking at all. (an atheist eh? maybe that explains the arrogant fundamentalism you invoke)
      Anyway, everybody is different. The addictive effects of nicotine affect some more than others, and not everyone possesses the same sheer force of will that you do. A lot of people refuse to believe this. I’m young and Libertarian-leaning and even I know that…

      But no, those losers in the support groups just aren’t trying hard enough!
      Just chant “YOU HAVE THE POWER!!” you can do anything. XD~
      (although I tend to agree that quitting something at once is more effective than trying to wean off it, if possible)

      To the editor: thanks for this extremely informative counter-story. The ignorance of the medical community is amazing. -_-

    • Katheryn Hasara says:

      Mark,I have to agree with you; the easiest way to quit smoking is STOP COLD TURKEY! My husband did it 26 years ago at age 38 (the angina pain around his heart finally scared HELL out of him)- he had been smoking 2 1/2 packs a day since his teens. But I also know that other factors play into one’s ability to stop; my son-in-law is a very high-strung, type A personality, and he can’t just stop or wean off. He becomes totally unbearable for anyone to be around every time he’s tried (my husband was a ba—rd for about a month, but not totally unbearable!). Anyway, it’s the e-cig for the son-in-law (funny- he’s also 38!). I’m praying it works for him. The best to all of you in your heroic efforts-you deserve it, and so do your families. By the way; I totally agree with the opinion of the money grubbing, back-stabbing pharmaceuticals. They, and ignorant doctors being led around by the pocketbook, have nearly killed my chronically ill daughter (the smoker’s wife) many times over. Every time they suggest another drug now, we ask why? why? and then at what cost, both physically and financially? Then I hit the Web and research like crazy. Don’t just trust doctors to do the right thing; challenge them!

  8. drguptasucksfan says:

    WHEN is the honorable Dr. Gupta going to have the balls to retract his fraudulent portrayal of low functioning autism when he featured factitious disorder sufferer “amanda baggs”? How can anyone in the autism community have any respect for such a disgraceful presentation from a Dr? This guy needs to retract or he will be forever known as the idiot doc who promoted a fake case of autism on CNN. Amanda Baggs is a fraud and this idiot thought she was the real deal. God help us..this is why there are so many problems in the autism community…Keep this idiot away..he is dangerously stupid

  9. Jen says:

    Sparky, you said:

    “Every time I or anyone else has done our own calculations based on actual usage smoking e Cigs is always cheaper especially if you drip your cartridges.”

    Forgive my ignorance, but what does it mean to ‘drip your cartridges’?

    • Sparky says:

      “Drip” means refill your cartridges with nicotine solution sold separately. I have been meaning to put more on dripping on the site, just haven’t got around to it.

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About Me

The Electronic Cigarette Review is NOT about me.

Its here for millions of people in America and the rest of the world who smoke and may be considering electronic cigarettes as an alternative for their health, smoking bans, outrageous taxes and other costs.

When I went to the web searching for GOOD information on electronic cigarettes it was difficult to find.

This site will have something useful here for everyone thinking about trying electronic cigarettes or those who are looking to take their new found joy of smoking the e cig to the next level!