An Interview with Spike
Part 3: Anti-Smoking and the E-Cigarette
Part 1: Switching to Electronic Cigarettes | Part 2: National Vapers' Club | Part 3: Anti-Smoking and the Electronic Cigarette | Part 4: John Banzhaf | Part 5 The FDA and Electronic Cigarette Research | Part 6: Advice for Novices | Part 7: Mainstream Vaping
Background: Some extreme anti-smoking groups in America oppose the electronic cigarette, despite the fact that it is getting thousands of smokers off cigarettes and onto a device which scientists say is at least 100 times safer.
ECD: I think in America much more than in the UK, where there seems to be a lot more support for the electronic cigarette, there are lots of groups campaigning to have the electronic cigarette banned. Now do you think they are doing this to protect the health of users like you?
Spike: Well, that’s a difficult question. You see by protecting us from e-cigarettes they’re sending us back to smoking tobacco cigarettes and we have plenty of studies on tobacco cigarettes that show us that they are toxic, and they are poisonous and they are killing us. So by protecting us, with that little quote (gestures quotation marks with fingers) “protecting us” from e-cigarettes, they are effectively sending us to die by smoking cigarettes. Now, of course their argument is well then just don’t smoke. That’s great. For people who can just quit smoking, they do just quit smoking.
For people who can’t, they continue to smoke. I know people who watch their mothers, their fathers, their relatives, their loved ones died of cancer and suffer for months and they still couldn’t quit smoking. Nothing helped them quit smoking. When you have been smoking for 20 or 30 or 40 years for the majority of your life, it’s something that’s very difficult to just put down and walk away from. You have to relearn your whole life without smoking.
By switching to e-cigarettes you’re able to maintain the habit but still cut out in the tar and, you know, the crap and the carcinogens that would normally go into your lungs. So, you know, why are these groups doing it? They’re doing it because they are afraid. They’re afraid of what they don’t know. They’re afraid of new things. They’re afraid of technology.
We also know for a fact that, we have evidence of this, that the majority of these anti-smoking groups or non-smoking groups are paid a lot of money by pharmaceutical companies and the pharmaceutical companies help people quit smoking with the gum and the patch. The problem is the effect that it’s creating is between 6 to 10% depending on which study you look at. Between 6 and 10% means the majority of the people, 90 something %, are still smoking so…
ECD: The National Health Service in the UK actually estimate it at around 5%
Spike: Wow, yeah, it’s not good. And one of the main reasons, I mean, I studied behavioral psychology for many years, one of the main reasons it’s so difficult is because without that, that habit of putting your hand to your mouth and inhaling and exhaling, you’re not getting the same satisfaction. So the gum and the patch, if you were to get injections of nicotine with 5 times as much nicotine as a cigarette, it still wouldn’t keep you from wanting a cigarette because it’s not just nicotine, it’s an entire behavioral process.
ECD: There’s been a study that showed that, but not one that’s being well promoted, I mean, because a lot of these studies are funded by the pharmaceutical companies
Spike: That’s correct. That is what the pharmaceutical companies will tell you, “No, no, this works. It works.” Well, it works for 5% or 10% but it does not work for most. We found effectiveness ratings in surveys we’ve done and questionnaires that we’ve sent out between 70 to 85% of people who started using the e-cigarette are able to quit smoking effectively as long as they have online support on how to use these cigarettes; how to troubleshoot any issues with it.
ECD: Do you mean quit smoking or do you mean switched to electronic cigarettes?
Spike: Switched to electronic cigarettes from tobacco cigarettes, and completely switched. You know, there are still 10% or 15% that are going to continue to smoke and use e-cigarettes part of the time. But if for every cigarette you don’t smoke, that’s, you know, less chance that you’re gonna get cancer, less chance that you are going to die. If the majority of people can effectively switch completely from cigarettes to e-cigarettes and use them as, you know, as an alternative, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t. And for people to stop them until they prove any kind of harm or damage from e-cigarettes is ridiculous.