Given how many bad knockoff articles in papers about vaping surface every few days I have been ignoring them but I just had to say something about this one because there are a lot of people who take Oprah’s former court physician Mehmet Oz as a source of wisdom.
Oz has attracted some negative attention in the last little while the most noticeable being this New Yorker article by Michael Spector – Is the most trusted doctor in America doing more harm that good?
His comments/discussion of e-cigarettes I ran across this morning in my local paper via a syndicated advice column he writes with Mike Roizen ( a doctor who has the amusing delusion that right now with the right diet (he is now chiefly known for his health and diet franchise) “they could live to 120 with the quality of life of a 45-year-old” and who also states “spending one hour in the presence of secondhand smoke is the equivalent of smoking four cigarettes”. Those 2nd hand smoke maniacs tend to be the same people who are also anti-vaping and against any safer alternative to smoking that does not involve a prescription.
The column (I have bolded some of the foolishness):
Q: I want to quit smoking and am thinking about trying electronic cigarettes. Are they safe? Do they work? — Matthew F., Atlanta
A: Congratulations! That commitment is the first step to victory! Now you want to choose a routine that’s effective.
We think smokeless electronic cigarettes threaten the progress that’s been made in helping people get free of nicotine and tobacco. E-cigs deliver pure nicotine to the lungs. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that if people start using traditional and e-cigarettes together, the public health repercussions could be pretty bad.
-Leading off with muddling together habits and health and overstating the progress that has been made (how good can the situation be if millions are still dying from smoke-related disease) the ludicrous argument that because some progress has been made that we should discard any further solutions that come along is a common one. This all goes back to antis not liking the competition that arises from a pleasurable alternative (if smokers start vaping they are avoiding their wages of sin – they are not suffering enough to make amends for their actions to that point).
– Why would two doctors who are obviously quite smart prefer to stress a negative potential over a positive certainty? Yes, if people did vape while they were smoking we would be getting nowhere but any vaping that substitutes for smoking whether the person continues to smoke or not is a step in the right direction (it means the person has smoked less). The CDC and FDA love to suggest possible uses of e-cigs while ignoring or discounting all the reports and studies of how people are actually using them.
Also, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate e-cigs (they’re trying), so no one knows for sure what’s in the water vapor that drifts out of them, how much nicotine they deliver or whether other toxins are present (they’re reported to contain chemicals that are as bad for you as cigarettes or worse). Most are made in China.
-Yes, regulation is required for quality control but we do have a pretty good idea what is in e-cigs (again, too many of these people just are not doing the required reading before they open their mouths in public). And you would think doctors would be a little more careful with the whole idea of “containing chemicals that are bad for you.” Just about everything contains chemicals that are bad for you – what matters is how much (the dose makes the poison). And the howler of as bad for you as cigarettes! – do they really think this?
-and the Reds are in our beds – the China scare. Again, its better to read the assays these companies have had independently done and posted openly for anyone, including famous doctors, to read rather than using an ad hominem smear.
Their vapors are free of the tar and carbon monoxide in real cigs, but the device doesn’t necessarily lessen nicotine dependence. Breaking habits means substituting new behaviors for old ones; the electronic cigs just keep you puffing away (inhaling toxins, if reports are correct).
– You notice that the emphasis is on whether or not you continue to use nicotine, or continue to enjoy yourself, rather than whether it is better for your health.
Stick with patches and gums for smoking cessation. And follow our proven techniques for kicking nicotine and tobacco. The full program is on RealAge.com.
- Exercise daily — walk at least 30 minutes, jog, swim or cycle. Withdrawal symptoms will vaporize.
- Along with nicotine patches, ask your doc about using the anti-craving drug buproprion.
- Upgrade your diet. Eliminate refined carbs and added sugars and sugar syrups; they fuel food cravings and withdrawal symptoms. You’ll lose weight as you quit. Women typically lose six pounds on our Enforcer E-coaching program.
-Overall you have to wonder about taking any medical advice from such uninformed sources as these two celebrity doctors. And I wondcr with the mention of the enforcer program that there is a bit of a conflict of interest going on here with e-cigs competing not only with their $500 quit smoking program or some misguided loyalty to the pharmaceutical regimes.
Why vape away when you could be taking an anti-depressant?
I can never quite accommodate myself to the idea that so many doctors worry more about whether or not you are using nicotine than whether you are reducing your health risk.