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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Withholding THR from Children is Abuse

About a week ago I came across this post (

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, 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, 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."

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