The non-profit corporation, Legacy, who is best known for all of those incredibly exaggerated Truth ads about cat pee and such, has published a so-called “fact” sheet aimed at instructing the uninformed masses about the demonic evils of electronic cigarettes. For those of us who have bothered to take a little extra time out of our day in order to actually do some real research on this particular topic, the “facts” contained within the margins of this “fact” sheet are almost laughable, and quite in line with the blunt fear-tactic approach of their Truth commercials and counter-marketing advertisements. Unfortunately, as is all too common with non-profits like this one, their cause has taken on a life of it’s own, and all statistics and bits of information must either conform to a position of loyalty to the cause, or be shoehorned into the same position somehow. So, let’s examine a few of their “factual” claims:
- “Cartridges generally contain up to 20 mg of nicotine:” (It should be noted that Blu and NJoy E-cigarette brands are both mentioned just prior to this claim). Assuming they are talking about cartomizers, and of course it would help their position dramatically if they learned the terminology of the industry they purport to be battling, it is simply unheard of for one of these cartridges to hold more than an absolute maximum of 1 (one) ml of E-liquid. Since the nicotine content of E-liquid is measured in mg/ml, it is actually true that these cartridges could contain this much nicotine. However, the simple inclusion of this fact, couched amidst many negative statements about E-cigs, suggests that 20mg is a dangerous amount of nicotine. The wording and presentation of this sentence is carefully constructed to make a fact appear dangerous when, in true fact, it is actually quite normal.
- “…fatal dose of nicotine in adults is estimated at 30–60 mg:” Legacy is practising a little CYA here, by using the word ‘estimated.’ This gives them an escape clause for when someone inevitably screams, “Bullshit!” There are many, many E-juice manufacturers who offer a 36mg nicotine-strength liquid in their product line-up. There has yet to be any actual fatalities reported about those who vape 36mg juices. I, myself, have gotten 100mg pre-diluted nicotine solution on my hands and apparently I lived long enough to write this article simply by wiping my hands off on my jeans. Swing and a miss, Legacy!
- “This risk is more consistent with nicotine-based pesticides:” Well, the majority of currently marketed nicotine-based pesticides are about 40% nicotine… pure nicotine. Even the strongest E-cigarette cartridges and/or E-juices are about 3% nicotine. So, unless I’ve lost my command of the English language, this comparison is decidedly less consistent than it is more consistent.
- “…U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis analyzed the ingredients in a small sample of cartridges from two leading brands of e-cigarettes and found that the tested products contained detectable levels of known carcinogens and toxic chemicals. Diethylene glycol, a potentially lethal organic compound, was found in one cartridge, while nitrosamines were detected in several cartridges:” One word… small sample of cartridges. OK, that’s four words, but it would have been eight words if I had included the expletives I first intended to use. I find it fascinating that the same organization, namely the FDA, that cries constantly for further research conducts their own studies (using millions if not billions of our tax dollars, I might add) with ‘small samples.’ Next, ‘detectable levels’ of carcinogens does not mean ‘dangerous levels’ of carcinogens. Why the use of this indirect, vague phrase to describe something that is supposed to be everything but indirect and vague? And finally, I’m not even going to dignify the ‘diethylene glycol’ claim with comment. I’ve written plenty of other articles about that one, and I don’t wish to sound as though I work for the Department of Redundancy Department.
- “The quality control processes used to manufacture e-cigarettes seem to be inconsistent or non-existent:” That would be true except for AEMSA (American E-liquid Manufacturing Standards Association), which maintains an incredibly strict set of rules, regulations, and guidelines to be followed by E-juice companies in order to maintain membership and approval ratings, and the tendency of E-juice makers to follow FDA laboratory/cleanroom guidelines in order to be ready for upcoming FDA E-cigarette regulations. So, essentially, there are no quality control processes in place except for the quality control processes that are in place.
That should about do it for now. The rest of this “fact sheet” is about the legal status of E-cigs, which is outdated as of June, 2013. Plenty of bad legislative decisions have been made in the months since the last revision of this document. Even without that section, though, Legacy has proven itself (as many other ANTZ organizations and non-profits have already done) to be more interested in triggering emotions of fear and foreboding than in reporting the truth in any way, shape, or form. Shame on Legacy, not only for their slew of shameless fear-mongering TV commercials, but also for presenting falsehoods as factual information on their website for all to read and become deliberately mislead.