Safer than e-cigs?

Though I do wish to keep writing now and then about vaping and specifically issues relating to the Canadian experience I find myself uninspired to write when others have already adequately dealt with the latest news item or outrage. And I just cannot get all that excited about yet another popular article that gets it all wrong or the little ups and downs of regulatory evolution in other constituencies.  As to the latter I prefer to see how it all shakes out before predicting the effect on our domestic situation. (There is plenty going on in the world of e-cigs but not much of it is Canadian).

But I did find this one recent article in thestar.com, Toronto doctors seek investors for nicotine inhaler – The founders of Nico-Puff say their patented device is safer than an e-cigarette.

Two respected doctors, with all the best intentions, have developed a smokeless nicotine delivery device that involves no exhalation.  It is described as a plastic tube with nicotine powder that the user inhales into the lungs and which then remains in the lungs.

This sounds awfully similar to Similar Smokeless Cigarettes which were and possibly still are available on RyanAir flights.  I tried a few of these when they came out and had the same impression as the following review – no sense of anything happening at all.

I do reiterate that I think the doctors have the best intentions though it is beyond me why anyone would choose this product when e-cigarettes are already are on the market.  They state that they developed this product in reaction to the ravages of smoking, that imagining that all smokers will eventually quit is unreasonable and they embrace the idea that an alternative product should resemble what it is trying to replace.

Their hearts appear to be in the right place.

What I take issue with is that this product can be considered safer than vaping. To be absolutely clear on this, it is certainly possible that it might be measurably safer than vaping but I find it absurd to think that any difference between the two could translate into a difference in disease.

You already cannot get much safer than e-cigarettes already are. Also consider the fact that quality control in e-cigarettes is ever evolving to the good to make any future difference even more negligible.

I think that the more alternatives there are to smoking the better but to think that removing the 2nd e-vapor which we already know to be essentially harmless makes any difference is more of a concession to the alarmists out there.

Also I take exception to the implication of Sweanor’s remark “This is the sort of product we need, coming from exactly the sort of people you’d like to see it come from. It’s not Big Tobacco saying, ‘We’ve come out with something, trust us.’”  Sweanor has been a supporter of alternative products and e-cigarettes for some time and I have a great respect for the man however the important point here is that it does not matter where good harm reduction comes from.  Like anyone, I favour small business, and Canadian small business in particular, but whether quality e-cigarettes come from small business or from tobacco companies or from pharmaceutical companies what matters most is that they come from somewhere. Its nice that this one will come from doctors but it is irrelevant.

(And quite frankly, considering how many doctors are against tobacco harm reduction kind of undermines any implication of integrity for that profession.)

Ultimately I don’t see much of a future for this product.  Wouldn’t it be a little like if the only way for you to experience alcohol was as an inhaled tasteless substance – no pleasure in the flavour or the act of drinking.  To me this plays right into the absurd idea that using nicotine is a joyless addiction.

Part of smoking is hedonistic and any alternative that does not accept that is doomed to fail.

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5 thoughts on “Safer than e-cigs?

  1. Pingback: Safer than e-cigs? | Tobacco Harm Reduction | S...

  2. Pingback: Safer than e-cigs? | vapeforlife

  3. Wow, these guys (the inventors, the Star reporter) are really clueless. There is really no room to be much safer than e-cigarettes. With very low risk, and most of that from the nicotine itself, the chance of slipping into the margin between that and zero is pretty minimal. Which, btw, is the same reason that it is absurd for e-cigarette fans to claim that e-cigarettes are lower risk than smokeless tobacco (which is almost certainly false anyway).

    The basic physics/biology of this is exactly backwards. The story is a bit cryptic, but is seems that the new product involves lodging solid-phase particles in the lungs (in contrast with e-cigarettes, where the particles are liquid — i.e., droplets). This might turn out ok, but there is every reason to believe it will be far more harmful, and could actually turn out to be a disaster. Clueless, clueless, clueless.

  4. I was also wondering about those particles.

    All in all this just seems like a product that is being developed without taking into account that the niche is already filled with better and more attractive versions, What investor unless they were rabid and demented cessationists would put their money into this?

  5. “Part of smoking is hedonistic and any alternative that does not accept that is doomed to fail.”

    Paul, VERY well and accurately stated. Heavy, habitual smokers, those who go through 30 to 50 cigarettes a day, may not get a whole lot of hedonistic pleasure from smoking, but most light to moderate smokers do… or at least *did* when they were able to enjoy it without all sorts of restrictions and negative add-ons to the experience.

    – MJM

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