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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

FDA Jail Time: Vioxx Off Market but not Opioids; Where's the E-Cig Danger?

While the US FDA and CDC cry about the increase in "children" using e-cigarettes the following little facts happen to slip out...

According to this article:  "The longer a person uses opioids, the greater the risk of forming a deadly addiction. But just how long does it take to switch from being a short-term user—say, while you’re dealing with pain after a surgery—to a long-term, potentially problematic user? A few weeks? A month?

According to a new study, that transition could take just a matter of days."

So let's put this in perspective.

All kids try cigarettes.

What if they (the cigarettes, not the kids) were this addictive?

Here's a handy chart...


Little Suzy sprain her ankle at gymnastics?  Little Jr. crash his dirt bike and break his leg?

No problem, here's some opioid pain pills for a couple weeks...

Why old doc hack-bush will give you a few pills.  I broke my arm and got 90 handed to me.  Good thing I was paying attention...

And little Suzy or Jr. ends up addicted.  Seriously addicted.

Soon their mom and dad will be down at the bank wondering who took all the rent with the ATM card...???

Now let's look back at our old, FDA-approved pals Vioxx and Celebrex.  As you may recall both were yanked off the market because they increased heart attacks in users.

The FDA said (see Wikipedia): "In September 2001, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent a warning letter to the CEO of Merck, stating, "Your promotional campaign discounts the fact that in the VIGOR study, patients on Vioxx were observed to have a four to five fold increase in myocardial infarctions (MIs) compared to patients on the comparator non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), Naprosyn (naproxen)."[41]"

If you study the link you'll see that heart attack rate went from .1% to .4%.  Not that anyone actually cared at the time but I digress...

And here's what drugabuse.gov says about death rates and opioid addictions:


Sure looks like these FDA-approved pills are killing people.  Seems like there is a significant percentage increase, like 150%, over a few years; very much unlike the .1 to .4% change for Vioxx.

But, surprise, the government doesn't technically track overdose deaths so, viola, no need to do anything about it!

Not true, unfortunately, for smokers and tobacco users.

So you vapers out there, don't worry.  You're safe from your e-cigarettes...

Dislike Trump or Clinton, how about putting these FDA criminals in JAIL for what they are doing to us and our youth...



Googling Your Rights and Freedom Away...

So now Google is going to "censor" my ads for me based on their standards...

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/325084-google-announces-new-ad-policies-after-boycotts

This is crap.

According to the Hill: "The new policy changes include, “removing ads more effectively from content that is attacking or harassing people based on their race, religion, gender or similar categories.”

Wonder who decides what "attacking" and "harassing" involve...???

Opioids vs E-Liquids: How the FDA Harms Children

From the allgov.com link...
A while back I wrote about e-cigarette nicotine poisoning and calls to the poison center:

http://lwgat.blogspot.com/2014/04/nicotine-poisoning-all-you-really-need.html

What was really striking was that about 125,000 children a year are poisoned by cosmetics as compared to about 600 per year with e-cigarette liquids.

Today I came across this little gem of FDA "responsibility," namely:  190,000 children are poisoned by adult opioids (philly.com).

Then there is this: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/17/poison-control-centers-field-32-calls-a-day-for-kids-poisoned-by-opioids.html

Good thing the FDA is keeping us all little Suzy and Johnny safe from dangerous things like e-cigarettes; I guess that's to keep them alive to be poisoned by opioids...

After all the US, with 5% of the worlds population, consumes 80% of the worlds opioids (see this)...

Recall, too, that opioid drugs sold in the US must have FDA approval.

And remember that e-cigarettes are harming us all, especially the "children."

As to where these opioids might be coming from?  Once source is the VA.  A fine government agency busily doling out opioids by the handful to our veterans (see this).

Now I imagine that the 190,000 number is only the reported incidence of poisoning and that it forgoes all the theft of opioids by little Suzy and Johnny for fun and profit.  Similarly it surely undercounts teenagers being hooked on opioids in rehabs, etc.

After all, those aren't poisonings...

So what message does the FDA send e-cigarette users through all this?

One, its okay to kill people so long as we say it is.

Two, its okay to poison children so long as we say it is.

Three, the stigma of tobacco is so great in our minds we are willing to sacrifice children to opioids rather than face up to statistical truth about health, e-cigarettes and addiction.

Needless to say the cost of all this (the opioid problem) is devastating to our country and our children.

God forbid anyone should take their health into their own hands.

(And to all my "Withholding THR from Children is Abuse" friends: if little Suzy ended up addicted from filching grandma's pill should we withhold treatment cause she's too young...???)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Withholding THR from Children is Abuse

About a week ago I came across this post (http://www.ecigarette-research.org/research/index.php/whats-new/2017/251-indus).

The upshot is that Dr. Farsalinos, a well known e-cigarette researcher, says regarding materials at a US vape expo:



"... However, unlike Europe where they [the packaging above] represent a very small minority, my very credible source told me that 30-40% of displayed products in that US vapexpo were of similar packaging. I wonder if there is anyone who thinks that the use of cartoons and funny graphics and the names of these products is not going to be perceived as appealing, and an attempt to actively promote the products, to youth. In my opinion, this is absolutely unacceptable and a clear indication of irresponsible behavior and marketing tactics. Even if there is no such genuine intention, none will be convinced. This is irresponsible behavior not only from the producers, but also from the retailers who sell these products and from the vapers who buy these products. Besides the regulators, who will do their job, the responsible part of the e-cigarette industry must immediately target and expel these members, while retailers should request the removal of such labels and packaging design or deny getting such products for retail."

Now let's think about this statement in general as well as the underlined part very carefully...

First off, we have groups like protectnykids.org, a site for protecting children from sexual abuse, in the NY Daily News, calling for the same heads as Dr. Farsalinos: ban those damn e-liquid flavors targeted at the "children."

Now we all know that smoking, as in combustion tobacco, is a harmful activity for both adults and children.  Apparently, at least in the mind of protectnykids.org, children vaping flavored e-cigarettes is an equal evil to the sexual abuse of said children...

(As difficult as it may be hold that thought.)

Now the point of vaping is "tobacco harm reduction," or THR for short.  Reducing objective harm.

An example of this might be the safety bars added into car doors so that when your car is broadsided the safety bar takes the impact energy and transmits it to the car body instead of your body.  The fact that highway fatalities dimmish after such innovations often is cited as "proof." (Regardless we shall take this as an example of "objective harm reduction.")

Now as of December 5th, 2016 apparently the FDA does not consider "synthetic nicotine e-liquid" to be a "tobacco product" (see this link).  Vincent Schuman, CEO of Next Generation Labs, commented in the link: “The FDA’s statements to the Court seem to confirm our long-held position: TFN Nicotine products cannot be regulated under the Deeming Rule as they simply are not tobacco products..."

Of course, the same FDA pretzel logic that ensnares your child's iPhone as a tobacco product may, and "may" is the operative word, ensnare a product containing "synthetic nicotine."  But, as with all investigations into angelology (angels dancing on the head of a pin), the result of such lines of inquisition are not always apparently clear.

So what does this all mean?

Well, it would seem that, first off the FDA does not consider "synthetic nicotine" to be a tobacco product, at least on the face of things.  Now I cannot tell from the images above if any of these e-liquids are made with synthetic nicotine but its a good bet some at the "vape expo" probably are.

And to put a sharper point on it, most vaping products are made from "USP" nicotine which, other than its dubious tobacco heritage, is generally not distinguishable from other forms of nicotine (such as synthetic).

And what about harm?

Regardless of the state of nicotine one wonders what it means to apply THR to children...?

To wit:

Where do children vaping synthetic nicotine fall?  Clearly such "vaping" is not tobacco related (as nicotine is not unique to tobacco).

More troubling, most smokers start with they are young (see this and this) - perhaps half to three quarters before they are eighteen.

A smoker commits his or her life to supporting a tobacco company and, in doing so, sacrifices their "objective" health.

So if half of all smokers (at a minimum) start smoking under eighteen it seems to me pretty clear that leaving said smoking children out of THR is in fact increasing their objective exposure to harm.

Kind of like saying, well Jr., you can speed in the car without your seat belt because only "adult" drivers are allowed to wear seat belts.  Of course, once you are eighteen you speed safely with your seat belt on.

Groups like Planned Parenthood hand out birth control without a parents knowledge or consent because a child might acquire are STD or become pregnant.

Yet said child is not allowed to use "adult" vaping products even though objectively they are less dangerous (as put by the FDA) than "combustion tobacco."

Kind of makes you want to rethink child abuse.

Why would I, a parent, want my child to use something objectively "more harmful" than something else?

I think this entire discussion has been poisoned by those interested in protecting "combustion tobacco."




Sunday, February 19, 2017

Yes, Trump is a Liar...

So let's look at the revenue at the NY Times (historical from 2000 through 2015 from the NY Times 10-K SEC filings at this site):


As you can see from a peak of around $3.5 billion (numbers on the left going up and down for those with a college education) in 2000 it has fallen to $1.5 Billion as of 2015 (years going from 2000 on the left to 2015 on the right).

WIRED magazine says (quoted from here): "Just days after the election, Trump suggested that the Times—or, per his preferred Twitter epithet, “the failing @nytimes”—would be a frequent target of his administration, calling an article “dishonest” for citing something he had said on CNN (which was odd, since he did actually say it, in public, on video) and adding (also falsely) that the Times “is losing thousands of subscribers because of their very poor and highly inaccurate coverage.” In fact, it’s been the exact opposite: Four weeks after the election, Times chief executive Mark Thompson told an industry conference that subscriptions had surged at 10 times their usual rate."

They (WIRED) also shows this table:


What they don't seem to show is how dramatically the revenue has contracted (to less than 50% of its 2000 base) over the last fifteen years as well as how print is making up an ever larger percentage of that revenue.

Who uses print these days?

My mother used to - but she passed away several years ago.

What this really says is that the only, er, perhaps primarily the people from the generation prior to mine would still be using the NY Times (I was born in the nineteen fifties).  They are dying off.

It would appear that the boomers and that the Gen-X-Y-Z's are not picking up the slack.

Trump would appear to be saying (underline in quote above) that the Times has lost thousands of subscribers.

This is patently false.

Print subscribers in 2000 were (according the the 2000 10-K): 12-month average circulation: 1,132,400 Weekday. 1,697,300 Sunday.

In 2015 we find (from the 2015 10-K):  603,700 for weekday (Monday to Friday) and 1,127,200 for Sunday.

The NY Times in fact lost about a million subscribers during the week and a half million on Sunday.




Thursday, January 26, 2017

Pennsylvania & FDA: Pushing Vapers to Smoking...

(As I predicted in my submission to the FDA of August 14, 2014...  The FDA is making smoking the "best" option when science has shown it is, in fact, the most dangerous...)

We recently received an email (note the underlined section):

"Hello ma'am, 

My name is ------. I have been a customer at your store for about a year. ... To support this store. Example I paid 10 dollars more just to have the XXXXXX when I could have got it cheaper online for 24 dollars. 

But my point is this. This store is the only one in the area. Including XXXXX, YYYYY and ZZZZZ don't carry XXXXXXXX vape oil. I have patiently waited for it to be restocked at the store. 

...

I do not like any other vape oil I have tried all of the others. ... But this is the only one I like. 

I have gone back to smoking cigarettes because I can not get the XXXXXXX oil. 

Please bring it back in. 

...

Thank you 
-------"

So this person has made the choice to smoke because federal and state regulations and taxes are restricting the market for vaping products which offers them, according to science, healthier choices.

The the end result of the Pennsylvania 40% tax on wholesale vaping products is to drive this poor person to either A) smoke "combustion" tobacco products or B) become a criminal in Pennsylvania for not paying the "use" tax on vaping products (much like buying cigarettes on-line).

(We had to pay 40% on our inventory in stock as of 10/1/2016 and 40% on everything thereafter.)

Of course, if we the shop keepers thought that we might still be in business after 2018 we might wish to put more money into our store (thanks, FDA).

SO the state of Pennsylvania and the US government are, by taxing us out of business (and believe me there used to be many shops in the areas X, Y and Z indicated above), promoting smoking of burning tobacco.

Vaping is not a gateway (new research here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/vaping-less-harmful-than-smoking-1.3943418).

It simply stops people from inhaling burning tar which is the real problem with combustion tobacco.

Think also of all the other companies from insurance, deliver, cleaning, power, water, boro services, etc. etc. being strangled by these regulations and taxes.

Like a fool I will probably put more money into the vape shops as I know there are many more like this person.

I, personally, and helping people not to smoke.

Not Pennsylvania, not Governor Tom Wolfe, not the FDA...

Me.

With my own money.

P.S. The PA tax is backfiring - more than one hundred shops closed and revenue substantially below projections (including taxes on plain cigarettes)...

Monday, January 9, 2017

Vaping: Safer than a Vaccine?

Oops! Someone forgot to tell Dr. Daniel Neides that he should just "take one for the team" and tow the big pharma line in vaccine land.  Seems Dr. Daniel doesn't want to be "injected with mercury" for some reason, nor does he want to be injected with "formaldehyde," a known carcinogen.

Who can blame him?

While the odd Smallpox or Polio vaccine is good prevention today's big pharma vaccine "band wagon" with dozens and dozens of duplicates was outed again much to chagrin of the Cleveland Clinic.

Some of my previous thoughts on this subject:

http://lwgat.blogspot.com/2013/01/flu-shots-useless-by-rigorous.html

http://lwgat.blogspot.com/2013/02/mother-may-i-have-flu-shot.html

http://lwgat.blogspot.com/2012/03/vaccinating-our-way-to-poor-health.html

http://lwgat.blogspot.com/2012/01/magical-medical-thinking-might-be.html

So these posts were written prior to my deep involvement in vaping.  If nothing else vaping has taught me that killing people for profit is utmost in the mind of big pharma and our government.

(Search this blog for "vaping" or "nicotine.")

Clearly, at least in the rest of the world, vaping is seen as a top THR (Tobacco Harm Reduction) tool.
Is it perfectly safe?

Of course not.

However, at least according to my previous research vaccines routinely kill a hundred or so people per year (see this).

Not so vaping.

Yes, I know that Smallpox killed millions in its day and eradicating it is a good thing even if some die in the process.

But that's not what people are vaccinated for today.