Nicotine and Electronic Cigarettes
ECD: Well, have you seen the latest study [on electronic cigarette]? The latest study is saying we shouldn't change to e-cigarettes because we don't get any nicotine out of them, and therefore we won't be able to stop using real cigarettes. So, it seems to go from one extreme to the other. Nicotine is dangerous so don't use electronic cigarettes, and now you don't get nicotine from them so don't use electronic cigarettes because you won't quit.
Chris: They can't make up their minds up what they are saying. They can't even be consistent on whether nicotine is a good or a bad thing.
The UK department of health has just released a report which says they are going to put pharmaceutical nicotine products center stage in their approach, trying to halve the number of smokers in the next ten years, and they say it is a perfectly safe drug, and they say they are going to work with the pharmaceutical industry to dispel some of the myths about nicotine.
But at the same time the environmental protection agency in America has said it's a class A carcinogen, acutely toxic, and ASH [US] one minute will say that it is a horrendous poison and carcinogen, and the next minute if they are talking about patches or say that is medicinal pure nicotine and it's very smoothing and all the rest of it. It depends where you buy your nicotine on whether it is a killer or not!
ECD: Well according to the TobaccoHarmReduction.org project it is the combustion that is the problem not the ingredients. They say it doesn't matter what you smoke, it'll be bad for you if you are burning it and inhaling it.
Chris: Well, there's a lot of truth in that. There's nothing particularly amazing or magical about cigarettes that differentiates it from smoke from a barbecue or from a bonfire or even from a candle. Anything combusted will have various potential carcinogens in it. Smoking, active smoking, is a harmful activity because you are filling up your lungs for decades with smoke.