Talk:Electronic cigarette/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 5

External links

I have removed several external links for various reasons, per Wikipedia:External links: links to fora (not the purpose of an article), the map was removed because it's of little informative value (it appears to be related to a forum, it shows who else uses e-cigarettes and where to get them; I don't think it's relevant to the readers of this English language Wikipedia as it only shows locations in the Netherlands - not counting the few dots elsewhere) and finally, the review doesn't add to the information that's already in the article. - Simeon87 (talk) 20:49, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Dead link

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--Stwalkerbot 23:20, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Legal Situation

Before I edited this text today it looked as if one Austrian agency had made the decision for the rest of the European Union... except for the UK. Of course the Austrian agency writes no European legislation and as far as I know they do not write Austrian legislation either. Personally I agree more with the UK point of view that the electronic cigarette is a harmless device with which people can enjoy vaporised liquids in just about any taste (a.o. apple, cinnamon, chocolate, coffee, vanilla) with or without the addition of nicotine. Of course nicotine is potentially poisonous (not in this concentration) and it is addictive. But nobody can get hooked by this device, only smokers who are already hooked on nicotine will use nicotine fluid. And by my personal experience I can tell you that it's indeed extremely easy to lower the concentration over time. But what's wrong with those people who just love to get a fix of nicotine? Live and let live. Let them get it through this device instead of condemning them to killing tobacco products. Maggy Rond (talk) 18:54, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Can't this device be used to deliver ANY kind of drug in liquid form? But then, so can an Asthma inhaler. What many critics are afraid of, is the glamour associated with the shape of the inhaler device. If it was shaped like a PEZ dispenser, I doubt there would be any law against it. A lot of people have problems with Chocolate cigarettes :p -- (talk) 01:37, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
What is truly idiotic is that instead of allowing this device various countries are instead making sure that nicotine users continue to get their drug via the most dangerous method possible. Usual political drug stupidity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:33, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Any nation that permits the sale of tabacco should permit the sale of these devices under the same law. For example, here in the UK you cannot purchase tabacco under the age of 18 - although I'm not sure it's law yet I have noticed all the products I looked at say it is not intended for minors under the age of 18. My reasoning is that this is a -relativly- harmless product that can help people stop smoking 'real' tabacco or alow them to 'smoke' in areas they would not normally be alowed to. Elcaballooscuro (talk) 00:59, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Electronic cigarettes will be made illegal in the US soon anyway. If more people switch over to a less harmful product, then the IRS (and therefore the Federal government) will be losing money in cigarette taxes. Therefore, the Fed benefits from keeping smokers on cigarettes. Many local city and state governments have taxes on cigarettes too, and pay for government programs with the revenue. Then there are the pharmaceutical companies that sell smoking cessation aids, which might become obsolete if a safer smoking method is available. E-cig companies are going to be hit from multiple angles. Jamesia (talk) 17:12, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Link Removals?

Why are links for USA retailers of this product being deleted? There is room for everyone here. By the way, I think I should probably be on the list, as it is my original picture being used in the article. incidentally, I am not a manufacturer, but I am an importer of this product, unlike several of the others listed who are actually drop-shippers. Caveat Emptor. - Jakemaheu (talk) 20:10, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Link spam

What is the use of that long list of commercial links to manufacturers and resellers? It seems that every commercial company in the e-cigarette bussiness wants to place a link to their website in this article. The links don't add anything to the article. They're just link spam and should be removed, unless the link actually adds some usefull information. Anyone has a good reason to keep the links? If not, I will remove them some time later. Waninge (talk) 14:40, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

I would support the removal of the company listings. There's been a bit of tampering of the lists to boost the profile of particular companies. It's not helping the article at all, anyway. Some checking of the External links section would probably also be a good idea. Dancter (talk) 22:11, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
I decided to go ahead, and in fact performed a full sweep of external links, to avoid complaints about favoritism. A bit extreme, but good links can always be added back after reviewed by a couple impartial eyes. Dancter (talk) 20:23, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Good thing that the spam links are gone. But what about the image captions? One says: "A e-cigarette" and the other says: "People Smoking Gamucci Cigarette". Aren't that just tricks to advertise a website and a brand respectively? Waninge (talk) 22:25, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
I removed the watermarking from the Gamucci photo (which is permissible according to the licensing indicated by the original uploader), so that should be some improvement. As for the caption, I'm a bit skeptical of whether the cigarette is distinguished by manufacturer or vendor. I have no problem removing the mention pending a clarification. As the uploader the image indicated above, the company is an importer, and not an original manufacturer of the product sold. Dancter (talk) 23:31, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
The image comes from this page on, so it is really displaying a product from the company Safe Smokes. The uploader is Jakemaheu, whose only contributions to Wikipedia are a few edits to E-cigarette and this image. The domain is registered to someone called Maheu, so Jakemaheu is probably the owner of Safe Smokes and likely a reseller. Anyway, I like the picture but not the brand name (or any other brand name) in the caption. I think we should remove the brand name and keep the picture. Waninge (talk) 01:45, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Looking again at the article I feel that the Gamucci picture doesn't add any useful information to the article. I believe we better remove it and just keep the safesmokes picture. Waninge (talk) 01:51, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I won't stand in your way. My point was that if the item depicted was distinctive enough, that it may not be such a bad thing to mention which model it was. It looks fairly generic, though. If you feel the SafeSmokes website is only mentioned to lend it more visibility, then it's probably best that it be removed. Same probably goes for the Gamucci photo. Marketing for e-cigarettes is not really covered at all in the article, so it doesn't really add that much. It seems more decorative than informative. Dancter (talk) 04:10, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

References need cleaning up

In my opinion the references in this article are a bit of a mess and need cleaning up.

  • There are too many of them. It's not neccessary to give a reference for every bit of information in an article.
  • We have two references to patent applications which are more or less the same, we could do with just one.
  • Most references to news articles are not neccessary because we have a reference to the patent application, which contains a lot of information.
  • We have 2 references to German articles, they do not belong in the English wikipedia.

When I can find the time I will start working on this. Or perhaps someone else feels like it? Waninge (talk) 16:16, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

I should point out that the descriptions in patent literature often don't match the actual products. Sometimes this is intentional, to make it more difficult for competitors to use the information to develop their own variant that circumvents the patent. Frankly, I don't see a need for the complete table of ingredients, unless we're going to explain the purpose of the 2% geranyl butyrate in one of the formulations.
The patent application is a primary source, which can be prone to misinterpretation. It's usually preferable to cite reputable secondary sources such as news sources, which can properly digest and contextualize the information. See WP:PSTS for more on this idea. Dancter (talk) 19:10, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Atomization or nebulization?

User:Dancter removed the info about ultrasound vaporization, because "all mention of ultrasound-based atomization was removed from the revised citation". Now I have 2 questions:

  • Where can I find this revised citation?
  • If it isn't ultrasound-based atomization then what is the mechanism in the e-cigarette? Perhaps it's not atomization at all, but actually nebulization that is used? Nebulizers are sometimes called atomizers, perhaps that's the reason for the confusion.
    Waninge (talk) 22:30, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
My answers to both questions:
  • The citation is in the article. I don't know quite why Histrion changed it, but upon reviewing both pages, I considered that the original text was potentially misleading, for the reasons I touched on in my comment above.
  • There could be a couple of different methods, not necessarily restricted to ultrasound. Again, as I mentioned above, competitors often develop variants that are designed to circumvent the original patent. Not everything's going to be the same as in that application document, as I hopefully illustrated in my recent edit. As for the issue of nebulization vs. atomization, in the context of e-cigarettes, I'm not sure there is a notable distinction. I'm assuming that all mentions of "atomizers" are actually referring to nebulizers. Atomic spectroscopy involves breaking down molecular material into its atomic elements, which I sincerely doubt is happening in e-cigarettes.
Dancter (talk) 23:29, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
I use several of these. None of them (including Ruyan) use ultrasound atomizers. They just have heating coils in them. Yes, the Ruyan patent specifies one, but I guess a heating coil is just cheaper.
—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:52, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Battery life

The battery life varies from 0.5 hours to maybe 4 hours, depending on use. No way you get a day or a week. Manufacturers all seem to lie about this.

Show me a manufacturer of anything who doesn't lie about battery life. ;) But the real problem is trying to list battery life in hours in the first place. It is completely dependent on usage. -- (talk) 22:59, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Cartridge life

Cartridges are approximately equivalent to 2-3 cigarettes (supermini style e-cig) to 20 cigarettes (pipe style e-cig). Manufacturers lie about this too.

Ruyan Patent

As mentioned above, the actual designs of the ecigarettes do not infringe upon the claims of the Ruyan patent. They patented something that afaik they have never sold. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:59, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Use for vaporizing cannabis?

Could the E-cigarette be used to vaporize cannabis as well? Zachorious (talk) 11:44, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Not actual marijuana leaves, but if you could get your hands on some liquid THC, maybe. Equazcion /C 02:28, 24 Jan 2009 (UTC)
Hash oil will also work, but I would'nt bother it will just ruin the device. Elcaballooscuro (talk) 00:59, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Is exhaled E-cigarette vapor a potential infectious disease carrier?

My first impression of this new technology was to ask whether or not the exhaled vapor / atomized droplets could provide a vehicle to carry infectious pathogens picked up in the lungs or nasal passages of the user and convey them to the people in close proximity. How is this any different from someone continuously sneezing? I can just picture someone with the flu or TB using this device in the closed confines of an airplane, car or bus. So I ask this question. (talk) 01:40, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Admittidly, I have no medical training to back this opinion up with, but I doubt it would be much worse than someone taking a deap breath. There is a large amouht of moisture in a person's breat when they exhale, it just isn't visible. An EPA study shows that propylene glycol (the main ingredient in ecig cartridges) may reduce the amount of bacteria in the air. Perhaps it would be better if people with the flu smoked these when they were in an enclosed space with other people (kidding) (talk) 08:51, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Sneezing is worse than just breathing in part because of the speed of mist launched from one's mouth, which allows it to reach other person much faster and therefore potentially allowing higher concentration of virus carrying or disease causing bacteria to survive the trip. Using vaporizer in this case is more similar to breathing than sneezing. Further more, PG is a disinfectant and that fact should further reduce the concentration of surviving bacteria, which makes the above conclusion about using vaporizer possibly being healthier for one's environment than just breathing fairly logical. Admittedly, not medically tested, but pretty hard to refute. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tvujec (talkcontribs) 14:56, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Maybe an answer to my question?

Can anyone support or refute this assessment on the hygienic properties of propylene glycol used in E-cigarettes as given below? (talk) 02:06, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

The antibacterial and antiviral properties of propylene glycol are discussed in the Health NZ study of the safety of the Ruyan e-cigarette and nicotine solution: -- (talk) 23:14, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Law On Use

In the UK, or anywhere else in the world if you have info, can this product be used anywhere? Such as on a bus or in the supermarket. This may sound like a stupid question but I have yet to find a source that explisity says this. Elcaballooscuro (talk) 00:59, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

The content of the following contrib has been removed, leaving only its bot-added sig.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Thekoyaanisqatsi (talkcontribs) 17:18, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

  • I have removed the unexplained link to a commercial site; which appears to be commercial link spam.
Experienced editors are likely to recall User:Koyaanis Qatsi, a colleague from July 2001 until the August 2008, with 13,000+ edits.
In contrast User:Thekoyaanisqatsi, has had 160 edits, all in the last 21 months; 7% were to Swoopo, and Electronic cigarette is tied for 4th-ranked article, at 3% of total edits.
Of the user's 5 e-cig edits, two sessions were reverted by the next editor citing link spam, and the remaining session was the removal of a lk that the next editor restored repaired by removing the S in "https". One of the rv'd lks in the article is the one later placed by them in this section.
--Jerzyt 22:45, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Personal observation

cheers just bought one seems to be quite a party trick - I guess after just about year of this smoking ban people are completly shocked to see anything like it, they don't taste that great though to anyone out there with no intention of actuly giving up real tabacco but a damn sight cheaper ;) Elcaballooscuro (talk) 12:11, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

American Association of Public Health Physicians

I removed the recent posting quoting the director of the American Association of Public Health Physicians because this appears to be a fringe pro-tobacco group. Upon reviewing the Association's website, this group's only focus seems to be stopping any tobacco legislation. It doesn't appear to be a credible reference. Further, upon reviewing the interview with the director, it appears that the director isn't providing credible information.

Since the interview with the director only came out earlier this month, I would suggest that if a number of neutral websites (e.g. news websites, health websites) starts quoting this director or association then we place this quote back into the article. In addition, if other associations or professionals started supporting the safety of electronic cigarettes, then we edit the article in support of the safety of electronic cigarettes.

In short, let's wait and see if there is more support for electronic cigarettes.
DivaNtrainin (talk) 04:10, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Terms requiring citation

Why would the term "e-liquid" need any type of citation? Nearly every retailer calls it "e-liquid" or some similar variation. (talk) 07:25, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Legality in the United States

Although the FDA has prohibited some shipments of electronic cigarettes from entering the United States, their contention is that some products are promoting themselves as devices to quit smoking. When an e-cigarette is labeled as such, it falls within the FDA's jurisdiction and the labeling is illegal, as the FDA has not evaluated e-cigarettes as smoking cessation products.

However, the use and possession of an e-cigarette is legal in the United States. The sale of e-cigarettes and accessories is also legal, provided they are not being sold as items intended to diagnose, treat, or cure a medical condition (e.g. addiction to nicotine).

References: "CNN", "News & Observer" -- Kevin (talk) 16:38, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

July 4 Cleanup

I've made several changes where the article had [citation needed] tags, and removed a few irrelevant listings in the Patents section.

"e-liquid" -- A simple Google search shows 157,000 hits for the term, of which all but one on the first result page refer to liquid sold for electronic cigarettes
"...without any nicotine or without propylene glycol at all" -- Adding the CN tag to this introduces a slippery slope, akin to saying "blue t-shirts are available at most shopping malls". It is nearly impossible to cite without pointing to a retailer's site, yet, finding retailers of vegetable glycerin based nicotine (or non-nicotine_ liquid is simple.
"Health Issues" section -- The citations requested are found in the WHO article in reference #6. These tags are not necessary.
"Cixi patents" -- This is cited in the article at reference #18
"Gamucci" -- I've removed this, as I couldn't find any neutral source to verify the claim. Everything seems to come from their press releases.
"...a number of other companies use these terms..." -- Much like the propylene glycol / nicotine issue, this is a brandnomer which is nearly impossible to cite without becoming a directory of electronic cigarette vendors. A very good example here is Kleenex, which does not list every company that makes tissue.

-- Kevin (talk)

Mostly seems fine, but I'm not sure why you'd take out the "...without propylene glycol" if that part is clearly true and verifiable. Equazcion (talk) 05:44, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Just because on further reading, it didn't seem relevant to the section. It wasn't written in such a way as to leave someone with the impression that all liquid has a propylene glycol base. Though, I think the article itself should probably be refined to point out PG controversy and non-PG alternatives. -- Kevin (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 21:14, 4 July 2009 (UTC).

FDA Scare Tactics (July 22 2009)

Just had my factual edit rolled by by an exopedian (or is it metapedian?). There's no point in arguing about anything on wikipedia, so I put my changes here for everyone's consideration.


  • 1. I have been researching e-cigarettes for 6 months now.
  • 2. The recent FDA 'press release' was presented in a way so as to seem way more dangerous than it was, then dumped on the AP (I read at least 6 versions).
  • 3. They only tested 19 nicotine solutions from 2 companies; Results 2 contained small amounts of ethylene glycol a slightly toxic substance, and 6 had higher than stated or variable levels of nicotine.
  • 4. This was presented as 'dangerous' when real cigarettes are still 10x more damaging, even if these findings were true.
  • 5. There are literally hundreds of nicotine solutions from dozens of companies, that were not tested.

Old Version (And Roll Back)

However, laboratory analysis on electronic cigarette cartridges by the Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis of the US FDA found the presence of carcinogens and toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol

My Version (Deleted)

There are little to no established standards for the nicotine solutions used in e-cigarettes. Laboratory analysis on two popular electronic cigarette cartridges by the Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis of the US FDA found the presence of low levels of moderately carcinogenic and toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol. [10]. Also several other brands were shown to contain more or inconsistent levels of nicotine than what was stated on the label. This study, however, only tested a few of the more than 100 available nicotine solutions.


I leave it up to the community to decide which of these paragraphs is more accurate and informative.

I strongly support your version. Old version sounds like a tabloid item and it would be complete with replacing diethylene glycol with a phrase "key component of antifreeze". Context is extremely important here, and since the name (e-cigarette) already establishes implied comparison, reader is driven to a conclusion that this product is the same as a regular tobacco cigarette, if not worse. Such conclusion would indeed be an extreme exaggeration, like saying that pure electric car is a danger to the environment because its A/C exhaust releases carbon dioxide, the same chemical found in gas car exhaust. While the statement is true, I hope that anyone can see the power of implied context.--Tvujec (talk) 15:39, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Your version was reverted for several reasons. Firstly, your edit summary referring to "FDA scare tactics" clearly indicates you are not editing from a neutral point of view. I don't have an agenda here, and don't care what information is kept as long as it is factual, sourced, and neutral. Secondly, your edit was full of weasel words such as "little to no established standards", "low levels of moderately carcinogenic", and "several other brands". These need to be quantified so as to be factual and express a neutral view of the studies. What is a "low" level? What constitutes "moderately" carcinogenic? Finally, the last sentence is completely unsourced.
I have no opposition to this information being included if it is re-written neutrally, entirely sourced, and free of words that seem to push one point of view or another.
As for your contention that there is no point in arguing anything here, please see WP:AGF.Wperdue (talk) 15:57, 23 July 2009 (UTC)wperdue
Disclaimer: I do have an agenda, and a very strong one indeed. I do not want to die from cancer. Other than that and the fact that e-cigarettes tend to be cheaper over time than regular tobacco products, I don't have any financial benefit from electronic cigarettes. I might still be hurting myself by using this product, but the order of magnitude difference is just hidden in all FDA statements. That kind of intentional vagueness, when the message is scary has an accepted name - Scare tactics.
IMO, AGF principle should stand for people posting to wikipedia, not external sources. Since there are no truly independent studies yet, I don't see how original poster could have described it differently.Tvujec (talk) 18:03, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
My comment regarding WP:AGF was directed at the statement that arguing here is pointless. That statement implies that other editors are not acting in good faith while editing. The term "scare tactics" is not neutral as it implies that the FDA has some kind of agenda in its reporting of the facts. That is your opinion and not based upon any factual evidence or reliable source. It constitues original research. The only thing that can be added here is the fact that there was an FDA report released and what was contained in that report (and sourced to it) not the conclusions that can be drawn from it or what someone may think the motivation for it was. Wperdue (talk) 18:16, 23 July 2009 (UTC)wperdue

I think the FDA either has an agenda or they're old-fashioned adults who are scared of new things appearing that they didn't approve of. If I could post an original investigative report on the issue here, I might, as you have, but they have rules here about that sort of thing. Our opinions are of little to no consequence on Wikipedia, unless they were previously published. I can appreciate what you're trying to do, Tvujec, as I'm relatively pissed off about this whole situation myself. Hopefully someone who works for a reliable website will run with this story and we'll be able to summarize it here. Until then, my understanding is that it's not allowed.Equazcion (talk) 23:04, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Let me start with clarifying that the original edit is not mine, I only supported it. To Wperdue's comment, I understand why you disagree with the edit, and I can accept that. However, stating that FDA found DEG and carcinogens in electronic cigarette cartridges without providing any context is an unfair summary of FDA'a testing results, misleading at best, and definitely against WP:NPOV. The sentence in question either needs more context, or needs to be removed. Tvujec (talk) 19:00, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

It looks like it has been clarified to say that the testing was only of two brands. I'm all for further clarification if necessary as my only "agenda" is neutrality. Do you have any suggestions? Wperdue (talk) 23:32, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
What about some perspective, then? The FDA press release made no mention of the fact that the offending carcinogens are the result of using nicotine extracted from tobacco where the extraction process leaves "detectable levels" of tobacco-specific nitrosamines in the concentrated nicotine produced, which puts it on par with other forms of nicotine therapy like patches or gum that also contain "detectable levels" of the very same substances (for the very same reason). More importantly to (potential) e-cigarette users is the fact that regular cigarettes contain those same substances, except in deadly abundance rather than "detectable levels" - as well as a host of other harmful chemicals. As for DEG, it was found in "one sample" according to the FDA - the current text states that a study was done on samples from two suppliers, and traces of DEG were found, which implies both suppliers are at fault, which would be misleading. There is also no hint as to the size of the market, so what does it mean that samples from two suppliers were tested? Is that a thorough test or not? Next point: the section starts by pointing out that e-cigs are marketed as not delivering most of the harmful material that tobacco does and it then goes on to say, "however...", as if the FDA findings challenge that statement. But they only found the nitrosamines expected to be there from the nicotine extraction process, and then diethylene glycol in the one sample. Even if these were present in considerable amounts (which the FDA did not say, mind you), then the way e-cigarettes are marketed as containing fewer harmful chemicals than cigarettes still stands as accurate. -- (talk) 11:16, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
As an afterthought, the study itself doesn't appear to be published anywhere, and citation [5] links only to the FDA press release. The way the article is worded, I'd question whether the citation "directly supports the information as it is presented." It seems rather indirect to me. Would it be unreasonable to call for a wording that makes it clear that we're talking about the FDA's preferred interpretation of the results of a study that so far is neither peer-reviewed nor available to the public? (Please correct me on that if possible, I'd love to actually see the test results.) -- (talk) 12:24, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I believe this is all that has been made available. Dancter (talk) 14:24, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Proposal: Replace the existing sentence:

"However, laboratory analysis on two brands of electronic cigarette cartridges by the Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis of the US FDA found the presence of carcinogens and toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol."


"US FDA voiced its concerns about such claims, stressing that proper studies would have to be done to substantiate them. In May 2009, its Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis performed random testing of the contents of cartridges by two vendors. One set of cartridges was found to contain detectable levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamines, comparable to those found in existing nicotine replacement therapy products that are generally accepted as safe. The other set of cartridges contained nicotine that wasn't extracted from tobacco, therefore no such substances were found. One cartridge was found to be contaminated with 1% of diethylene glycol which is higher than the FDA allowed limit of 0.2%, and suggests that better quality control of this product is necessary."

We can add the link provided by Dancter as a reference. I can do some more work on this if you still think that it sounds biased. Tvujec (talk) 15:25, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

I was caught in an edit conflict. Here's what I was about to say, in response to Dancter: Thanks! That's actually a lot of information there. As far as I can see there's nothing on the quantities of the nitrosamines, only that they were detected in the cartridges with higher nicotine content (as expected) but below the LOQ (21-75 ppb). This seems to confirm that electronic cigarettes contain no greater amount of known carcinogens than nicotine gum and (true to how "some companies" are marketing the product) many orders of magnitude less than tobacco. Also DEG was found in only 1 out of 18 cartridges, so it is linked to either a flavouring agent, low-quality ingredients or a manufacturing error of some such (inexcusable though that may be), and is not a feature of electronic cigarettes the way the FDA portrays it (and this article seems to echo that). It's also a statistical sample size of one, and while that may be enough for a political decision it is not sufficient for a scientific conclusion (you can't even rule out a contaminated experiment). So since the FDA's press release and recommendation is clearly political in nature (for better or worse), how about moving it to a "politics" section and repeating only the findings of the FDA's actual study in the "health" section? -- (talk) 15:42, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
To supplement that, I didn't mean to suggest that one set of cartridges contained nicotine not derived from tobacco, I wouldn't know. But looking at the detailed results of the study, both sets had detectable levels of nitrosamines, apparently closely correlated with the nicotine concentration (see, page 4.) The wording above is a definite improvement, I think, in terms of relating the current science on e-cigs to the reader without the FDA filter, but it doesn't paint a very accurate picture of the FDA's position. I guess I'll repeat the recommendation to divide up the section between its political and scientific aspects. -- (talk) 15:42, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Hi, I ( signed up now. I'll read the FDA study in more detail later as I'm in a slight rush but for now I dug up a few citations:
- TSNA in nicotine chewing gum as a result of imperfect extraction from tobacco: ,
- AHA advocating NRT and thanking the FDA for approving NRT:
--ReturningTarzan (talk) 18:36, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Ok, how about this:

"Some companies market electronic cigarettes as a healthier alternative to tobacco smoking and make claims that most of the harmful material produced by the combustion of tobacco in traditional cigarettes is not present in the atomised liquid of electronic cigarettes.[citation needed] They have also been marketed as a way to curtail an addiction to nicotine.[4]"

"In May 2009, the US FDA's Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis tested the contents of cartridges by two vendors. In cartridges with higher nicotine content, tobacco-specific nitrosamines were detected in trace amounts,[ref. FDA study] comparable to those found in approved nicotine replacement therapy products.[ref. pubmed:] This confirms previous studies done by Health New Zealand in October 2008.[ref. Health NZ study] Of the 18 varieties of cartridge tested by the FDA, one was found to contain the toxin diethylene glycol in a 1% concentration, which is higher than the FDA allowed limit of 0.2%."

"Citing this study the FDA issued a press release in July 2009 strongly discouraging the use of electronic cigarettes. The FDA also repeated previously stated concerns that electronic cigarettes are marketed to young people.[ref. FDA press release]"

I think that accurately represents both the study and the FDA's position. I would sleep a lot better if we could complete the picture with what critics are saying, something like this:

"This move has since been strongly criticized by proponents of electronic cigarettes who maintain that the FDA study does not show the devices to be any more harmful in general than nicotine replacement therapy products, let alone conventional cigarettes. Critics further maintain that the products are not marketed to children nor even available for children to purchase, whereas several FDA-approved nicotine-delivery products take the form of candy." --ReturningTarzan (talk) 11:27, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Alright, edited. The previous version falsely implied that the FDA study found carcinogens and DEG in "cartridges from two suppliers", and falsely implied that the FDA findings were a surprising revalation. So I've clarified the results of the study a bit and separated them from the FDA press release as the two don't seem to be reconcilable. I've also added a little bit of controversy just to spice it up (and I await my crucifixion). There's lots more to add but I haven't the time right now. --ReturningTarzan (talk) 16:05, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
The reason for the edits is to remove unsupported claims and to make the edit more readable. I've removed the reference to 'trace amounts' because no one quantifies what a trace quantity is (as indicated in the Exponent report). I've also edited the statements regarding how many cartridges had DEG and nitrosamines because it is completely irrelevant to this discussion. The report is argueing the chemicals are present and that's not in debate. In food safety, when a dangerous chemical or bacteria is found in a portion of a food batch, all of the batch is recalled because there is no way of knowing what portion of the contaminated batch has the dangerous chemical or bacteria and what doesn't.o
I've read the Exponent report and will be the Wikipedia entry to accurately reflect what is both within the FDA report and is well supported in the Exponent report. The Exponent report is poorly written and some f its conclusions are not supported by the report. --DivaNtrainin (talk) 18:05, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
While it's true that the FDA study doesn't quantify the detected levels of TSNA, they are listed as being below the limit of quantitation. If you look at the listed LOD and LOQ, that puts them in the same range as the "trace levels" referred to in the Health NZ report. But if the consensus is that the word "trace" is none the less "weasely" then whatever.
Thing is the section discusses health issues. It may not matter to the FDA when speaking to the press, but concentrations and quantities mean everything. Relevant example: nicotine is many times deadlier than hydrogen cyanide, but in low enough quantities it's fairly safe. When you remove any mention of the quantities detected you might as well change the text to "FDA did some stuff and discovered some stuff" as far as reported facts are concerned. Specifically, DEG is not a zero-tolerance substance. The FDA encourages manufacturers of glycerin and propylene glycol products to test that glycerin used has less than 0.1% DEG content. See for details. It's detecting DEG in a 1% concentration in the end product that gives cause for concern. Also as for DEG, the reason some products contain too much of it is generally that somewhere along the ingredient supply chain corners have been cut, i.e. there are manufacturing issues, not design issues. This is why the FDA discourages certain imported toothpastes that are shown to be DEG contaminated (without implying that all toothpaste is made from antifreeze ;), and the Wikipedia article on toothpaste reflects that DEG contamination is a manufacturing issue (so generally speaking, brushing your teeth is still a good idea).
My main objection, though, would be the impression I get from reading the passage that TSNA and DEG are present in e-cigarettes because that's what the FDA found e-cigarettes to be like. But TSNA was strictly found in cartridges containing nicotine (which is perfectly understandable since nicotine is derived from natural tobacco in a process that is well-documented to leave these TSNA traces (sorry for using the word again)), so is it not relevant to mention that what was found was a correlation between nicotine content and nicotine-related carcinogens?
I don't understand removing the reference to TSNA content in nicotine replacement therapy products. A lot of critics point to this as a double standard, after the FDA used the TSNA detected to warn against e-cigarette use. Basically all e-cigarette users who get involved in the discussion and all manufacturers and resellers point it out, and it's a main point of criticism from oft-cited proponents like Dr. Michael Siegel. These people may well be biased, hence why their criticisms belong under "what proponents of e-cigarettes say", but I really don't think there's any question that they are indeed pointing it out. Moreover the fact that NRT products contain TSNA "traces" is supported by numerous studies and disputed nowhere. It's mentioned in the Exponent and Health NZ reports, too.
Overall, I think it's a very relevant question whether e-cigarettes are seen as cigarette-alternatives (judged for their toxicity compared to cigarettes) or drug delivery devices (judged for their absolute toxicity). What unsupported claims did I include by mentioning that proponents like to argue from the former perspective?
Oh, and you removed the first reference to "nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)", so it's not clear what subsequent uses of "NRT" mean.--ReturningTarzan (talk) 11:37, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

"has been proposed" or "is" an alternative to smoked tobacco products

Someone changed "is an alternative to smoked tobacco products" to "has been proposed as an alternative to smoked tobacco products". I changed it back.

There's no question about whether this is an alternative. The only questions are whether it's a safe alternative, an effective alternative, or a pleasing alternative. If the statement contained one of those contentious words, then yes, we'd have to add the "proposed" disqualifier. It doesn't, so I don't think there's any need.Equazcion (talk) 17:55, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Also, the patent section was quickly becoming a place to list every company's innovations (ie. advertising). I cut it down again to just discuss the electronic cigarette patent. Equazcion (talk) 18:04, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

E-cigarette design

Just a minor point, and I'm not going to edit the article myself over this, but the article claims that electronic cigarettes "require" an airflow sensor. The only purpose of the sensor is that of an on-switch and there are several e-cigarette models out that replace the sensor with a manual switch. -- (talk) 11:34, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

That's true. I've edited the statement accordingly. Equazcion (talk) 01:11, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Cost issue

While I can accept that e-cigs are not really a way to get off the nicotine addiction in the way that a patch can be, I can imagine that they might work that way for some poeple. I can accept that they are actually just as dangerous to the health as a normal cigarette. However, I would like the article to discuss the benefits to the smoker's personal budget, if any, of using e-cigs to competely replace a normal habit. AFAIK, in Europe at least, it is not cigarettes per se that are taxed, but the tobacco in them. Since e-cigs are are available as non-disposable units and contain no tobacco, surely they are a much cheaper way of continuing an existing smoking habit. While they may still damage your health, they may leave you with more money? --LeedsKing (talk) 07:03, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Could we please not perpetuate the myth that they're "as dangerous to the health as a normal cigarette"? That's like saying one cigarette is just as bad for you as a million cigarettes. It's simply nonsense. I know the media repeat the latest FDA press release as if they'd determined there aren't massive health benefits to e-cigarettes, but that's not what they found. All the studies (including the FDA one) show the same thing: compared to nothing at all, e-cigarettes may be slightly harmful (like all other smoking alternatives), but compared to smoking, everything indicates that they're almost as good for you as quitting. Anyway, as for the cost, an e-cigarette will cost around $50-100 USD. After that initial investment, e-liquid or cartridges cost on the order of 10-25% of what the equivalent amount of cigarettes cost. But the e-cig needs maintenance, too: the battery usually lasts a month before it's worn down, and the atomizer will typically last 1-2 months. Other components can fail, especially the pressure sensor. All this depends on how often the device is cleaned, what brand and model it is, how it's used (small puffs vs. longer draws, liquid vs. prefilled cartridges, etc.), and so on. It would be very complicated to say anything meaningful about the cost compared to real cigarettes. Personally I think I spend about half as much on e-cigs as I did on conventional ones, but I'd happily spend ten times as much just for the immediate benefits (like improved fitness, better sleep, no more smoker's cough, restored sense of taste and smell, whiter teeth, etc.) --ReturningTarzan (talk) 09:07, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
If you're talking about adding a cost comparison to the article, you could try and find a source that makes such a comparison (we would need a reliable source in order to add something like that), but as ReturningTarzan states, there are probably too many varying factors involved from person to person to state any definitive cost relationship across the board. There are many forum threads where people talk about the cost comparison, and everyone has a different story. A person's location alone can make all the difference. Cigarette prices per-pack in the US alone can vary by as much as $8 between states. A pack-a-day smoker in one state could have a $70/week habit vs. $14/week in another state. It seems doubtful to me that you'll find any reliable comparisons on this. As for the health issue, we all have our theories but the facts are to be determined. This isn't really the place to theorize and perpetuate or quell myths. Equazcion (talk) 09:49, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
I understand that this isn't the place, but just read the page and tell me a curious but yet-to-be-informed reader wouldn't get the wrong impression from Wikipedia's account of the FDA study. Part of being objective is recognising plain wrongness. But yeah, whatever, I'm still going over the FDA's and related studies, I'll revise the text when I feel I have a clear enough picture. All I really wanted to say was that I can't see any meaningful way to discuss the cost benefit of electronic cigarettes. It's anywhere from huge to negative depending on a million variables. We could reference various suppliers' claims of huge savings maybe, but I really doubt there's any credible research done, and if there were, it'd be region-specific. --ReturningTarzan (talk) 11:30, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

First Article about FDA Flaws

Like I said before I don't usually bother to argue on Wikipedia, and generally confine myself to science/technical/fact articles, but this is important to the lives of millions of people, and millions of people use Wikipedia as their primary source of information. Anyway here it is [1](with probably more to come).

As far as (future) edit wars go, the FDA is supposed to be a quotable, reliable, and referable source. But in this instance it is so blatantly clear that this is scare tactics, a hit job and deliberately misleading. So it doesn't matter if people (like me) who are familiar with e-cigarettes know the FDA has an agenda and use common sense and logic to point it out, we need cite-able articles from reputable sources like the one above in order to make sure your edits survive the style/reference police.

Some of you might point out that this is an opinion article, and you are absolutely right. It's a common sense opinion (almost exactly the same as mine), that is:

  • 1. By a medical doctor
  • 2. The president of the American Council on Science and Health.
  • 3. Published in the Washington Times.

So now maybe we can stop calling "FDA scare tactics" POV and just call it common sense truth? :P

--GlowBee (talk) 21:58, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

"The FDA's statements have been condemned by some journalists...", etc. Even the most "common-sense truth" is still a POV. I say this as someone who shares this particular POV. On Wikipedia, when we want to say that the statements of an authority are in doubt, we point to articles where reliable people voice those doubts. We can't just say the FDA is clearly wrong and deliberately deceiving the public (even though they are ;) ). PS Thanks for posting that link. I'm looking forward more of these. Equazcion (talk) 00:06, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Health effects

"Some companies market electronic cigarettes as a healthier alternative to tobacco smoking..."

Someone keeps adding a fact tag to this statement. I think that's pushing verifiability a bit too far. There might not be an article that actually states this, but visit any e-cig website and you'll see it. Not every fact needs an inline citation; there's no reason to challenge this.Equazcion (talk) 12:29, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

I changed the beginning of the section titled "Health Effects" because there is a lot of conflicting opinions and facts regarding the health effects of electronic cigarettes. Most authors can agree that there isn't a lot of scientific information regarding the effects of electronic cigarettes (either positive or negative). Electronic cigarette companies speculate that electronic cigarettes are safe but have provided few studies to demonstrate safety or to address the concerns raised by regulators.
Instead of starting the section with a definitive statement on the health benefits of electronic cigarettes, I started the section with a statement to let a reader know there are things we don't know and to encourage the reader to read the evidence and generate their own opinion. In that way, it brings in neutrality. DivaNtrainin (talk) 23:38, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
Well... there is no tobacco in an e-cigarette, just as there are no uranium fuel rods in a diesel engine, even though, in theory, potentially, by a very long stretch, "who knows?" But really, there isn't. The question should really be: what is the scientific consensus, and how is it best conveyed to a reader who is not necessarily trained as a scientist?
I have given the section a little overhaul and cited ample references from respected medical associations just to illustrate what should be obvious: if you take a product that is harmful, and you replace most of what makes it harmful with stuff that's not harmful, the resulting product will be less harmful. The RCP, ACSH, AAPHP, independent research labs, these are only a few of the sources we could cite. You'll be hard-pressed to find credible medical professionals who would ever argue that e-cigarettes are anywhere near as harmful as cigarettes, and you'll note that the FDA only ever implies this - they do not say it outright. If you read the results of their study you'll see why. I for one think the WP article should reflect such an overwhelming consensus. The FDA's position on the issue is relevant, but it does not constitute a controversy. --ReturningTarzan (talk) 11:44, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
I removed opinions from non-reputed medical associations like AAPHP. There are many so-called organizations that set-up websites, put up figure heads and claim they are legitimate, but that doesn't make them legitimate and it doesn't mean they should be quoted. In fact, a lot of your edits are just opinion pieces. They aren't studies or further clarifications or explainations on how electronic cigarettes are safe. I think we can agree that there is a lot of opinions that electronic cigarettes are safe but that is already present in my edits.
I think it is very important to start off by saying the health benefits are unknown. In this way it keeps neutrality into the section and into the article. Electornic cigarettes are very new and there is more information coming every day. I am open to editing once information become available, but it needs to be kept brief and concise. In this way, it doesn't take away from making the article readable. (talk) 12:55, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
It most certainly does not keep anything neutral. You're starting off from line one by suggesting that health benefits are somehow a relevant issue. The question is health hazards and how such hazards compare to tobacco products - which is not unknown. I agree that I was too hasty with the AAPHP (too quick to trust Wikipedia, mind you), but you're showing some very clear bias here by deleting the reference to the Royal College of Physicians, an institution that certainly doesn't fit your description of a "so-called organisation". I will roll back the edit, remove the AAPHP and ACSH quotes (including the one you didn't bother to remove). If you still insist that the "health benefits are unknown", add a citation from a credible medical professional who is not fully convinced that electronic cigarettes are healthier than cigarettes. --ReturningTarzan (talk) 13:33, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
For full disclosure: I'll be writing the ECA, who advertise the AAPHP's appeal to the FDA on their website, to ask whether they consider the AAPHP to be a genuine organisation. The tone will be firm. And I apologise outright for referencing the ASCH, I was not aware they were under so much fire for vested interests. However the central claim - that nicotine in itself is a lot less harmful than tobacco, which is basically the claim that AAPHP and ASCH are making, is by no means a controversial one. Really. Ask the RCP. Or, alternatively, you've got a lot more editing to do over on this page: Health effects of tobacco - let me quote:
Although nicotine does play a role in acute episodes of some diseases (including stroke, impotence, and heart disease) by its stimulation of adrenaline release, which raises blood pressure,[41] heart rate, and free fatty acids, the most serious longer term effects are more the result of the products of the smouldering combustion process. This has enabled development of various nicotine delivery systems, such as the nicotine patch or nicotine gum, that can satisfy the addictive craving by delivering nicotine without the harmful combustion by-products. This can help the heavily dependent smoker to quit gradually, while discontinuing further damage to health.
--ReturningTarzan (talk) 13:57, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
I have stated the health effects are unknown, not health benefits. There isn't any conclusive information what the positive or negative health effects of electronic cigarettes are. The section doesn't discuss just the health benefits but also possible harm done by electronic cigarettes. To bring in neutrality and to bring to light to any reader that there are a lot of unknowns regarding electronic cigarettes, it makes sense to start off the section that way.
For some reason you want to use the harmful effects of tobacco as a justification for electronic cigarettes. The harmful effects of tobacco are well known. They don't need to be reapeated. However, you can't state that electronic cigarettes are safe because the alternative is unsafe. Keep comments regarding tobacco products out of this wiki page.
I've also removed the link to the article from the Royal College of Physicians because your quote only references tobacco. More importantly, the conclusions raised by the article in relation to electronic cigarettes don't exactly favour them. They specifically say the following.
However, these novel nicotine delivery devices raise a number of regulatory concerns.5,28 One important question is whether the products have less toxicity than conventional products. A review of product design, chemical analyses and various toxicological studies could address the most basic aspects of this question. More difficult to answer, though, is the nature and extent of any long-term problems. Chronic toxicity may not be revealed in short-term tests, and products such as these could conceivably - as with 'light' cigarettes - make the overall problem worse by leading to a larger total market than would otherwise be the case.4,5 It will be especially important to regulate products such as these (as well as other tobacco products) in parallel with the regulation of medicinal forms of nicotine because of the interrelated nature of the overall market for nicotine delivery devices DivaNtrainin (talk) 14:49, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
I beg to differ. There is plenty of evidence that electronic cigarettes are harmful. They undoubtedly contain nicotine, which is a toxin with known short-term dangers and adverse long-term effects. But if you ask an "e-smoker", the issue which is at the core of the current debate on e-cigarette health issues is whether they are a safer than cigarettes. And questioning that you might as well be over on the page on evolution pasting "it's only a theory" all over the place. The FDA, WHO, and various other organisations are questioning whether e-cigarettes are a safe and effective smoking cessation aid, which is a completely different issue. They worry about larger questions, too, such as whether e-cigarettes will encourage more people to smoke or cause some to delay their efforts to quit. And those are relevant, but different questions.
A smoker pondering the question, "is an e-cigarette better for me than cigarettes?" should find information relevant to that question. As should someone concerned with larger public-health issues. The lack of any discussion of the current legal contest between the FDA and Smoking Everywhere annoys me, too, but might as well wait for the outcome of the first trial now.
Also, I'm not going to edit it now, but the word "claim" in the statement that FDA-approved NRT products contain TSNA traces is disingenuous. The claim is not unique to Exponent, in fact you'll find it documented in peer-reviewed studies going back two decades. Previous revisions of the article had references to such studies. They were removed for some reason. But the Exponent report itself cites several references for the "claim".
As for the RCP, they are not talking about electronic cigarettes in that passage. The page is from 2001, e-cigs weren't around then. The potential chronic toxicity they're talking about relates to previous cigarette-alternatives that had issues like carbon monoxide emissions. Their explanation of cigarettes as dirty nicotine delivery systems is however quite to the point and highlights the underappreciated difference between nicotine and tobacco.--ReturningTarzan (talk) 18:24, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Edit summary mistake

In my last edit summary I said I removed the Patent section, but it was actually the "E-Cigarette" section. The section was sourced with the company's own shopping website, which wouldn't be considered reliable, might be considered advertising, and the information wasn't all that relevant anyway. Equazcion (talk) 15:28, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

ECA membership conditions

[2] - The application has several conditions under the section title "We hereby agree to and currently meet the following conditions..." This can function as a primary source, and doesn't need to be shown in a third-party reference. Equazcion (talk) 15:22, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

2nd primary reference: [3] (video by ECA president). Equazcion (talk) 15:52, 7 October 2009 (UTC)