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Steve Johnson, Published July 13 2012

E-cig science is sound

Barbara Clark made an interesting point that e-cigarette vapor has not been tested and proved safe in a “25-year study conducted by an independent research team” (letter, July 5). Allow me to provide some facts and research.

Direct e-cigarette vapor contains a combination of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, food-based flavorings and nicotine. Propylene glycol has been classified as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the Food and Drug Administration, as well as being shown to be nonirritating (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (2008), and proved to not cause sensitization (UNEP Publications, SIAM 11, U.S.A, Jan. 23-26, 2001, Page 21), and it shows no evidence of being a carcinogen or of being genotoxic (Title 21, U.S. Code of Federal Regulations. 1999).

Vegetable glycerin is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid that is widely used in pharmaceutical formulations, including cough syrups, elixirs and expectorants, toothpaste, mouthwash, and many other products that we ingest and use on our bodies on a daily basis. The food-grade flavoring, from companies like LorAnn, Flavor Apprentice and FlavourArt, is used (outside of e-cig applications) in hard candies, taffies, frostings, baked goods and countless other products that are eaten by the general public in mass quantities every day with no ill effects.

The nicotine has quite literally been the e-cig industry’s “elephant in the room” for some time now. However, recent studies have shown that due to the heat introduced in the process and the interaction between mucous membranes and vaporized nicotine, the majority of absorbable nicotine in the solution is absorbed as soon as the user mouths the vapor. So much in fact, that the nicotine concentration in exhaled vapor is unable to be measured and is scientifically proved (Clearstream Study, May 2012, utahvapers.com/clearstream.

html) to be less than .001 mg per cubic meter of air.

With this information, it is easy to see that including e-cigs in this proposed ban due to harm caused by “secondhand vapor” is not only factually incorrect but actually harmful to public health as a whole; the proposal will force ex-smokers who have found relief through

e-cigarettes to stand outside in the elements, surrounded by smokers.

Johnson is a three-year “vaping” veteran, and co-owns and operates SnG Vapor of Grand Forks. He has helped hundreds of people remove tobacco cigarettes from their lives and replace them with personal vaporizers, or electronic cigarettes.