Smoking out tobacco: the rise of e-cigarettes

By Agence France Presse
Monday, February 11, 2013 2 06 EDT Topics electronic cigarette &diams electronic cigarettes &diams traditional tobacco

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The camera zooms in on a stubble bearded hunk dragging on a cigarette and blowing out a thick cloud of smoke with what seems to be great satisfaction.

It resembles the TV smoking ads of yesteryear, now banned in most of the world, yet this modern day offering is approved for American television viewers.

You know what the most amazing thing about this cigarette is? It isn t one, explains a narrator as the modern day Marlboro Man fixes the viewer with a broody stare before returning the reusable smoke to a container that resembles the traditional pocket sized cardboard pack.

The NJOY cigarette is electronic its tip lights up with the help of an LED and what appears to be smoke is actually water vapor.

The actor is not smoking, but vaping .

Cigarettes, you have met your match, proclaims the ad for a product that claims to mimic the look, feel and flavour of the real thing minus the tar, ash, smoke and most toxins.

NJOY is one of a flurry of e cigs entering the market as tobacco prices skyrocket and smokers become ever more concerned about the toxins they inhale.

But the jury is still out on whether the gadgets are safe or not.

Without question, e cigarettes are safer than traditional tobacco cigarettes, said Joel Nitzkin, of the American Association of Public Health Physicians.

They deliver nicotine, with only the tiniest traces of other toxic chemicals.

But there are concerns that these battery driven alternatives, officially called electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), may pose health hazards we are not even aware of yet just like cigarettes before their ill effects became clear.

The safety of ENDS has not been scientifically demonstrated, the World Health Organisation said in response to a query.

The potential risks they pose for the health of users remain undetermined.

The UN s health organ said some testing suggests the presence of other toxic chemicals, aside from nicotine , and strongly advised consumers not to use them.

E cigs first emerged in China in 2003 as an alternative to tobacco, which kills nearly six million people each year.

Just like their predecessors in the 1950s and 60s, electronic cigarettes are being advertised with attractive women and rugged, virile men hinting at a better, more popular you.

It s a strategy that seems to work.

A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) last month said 80 percent of users questioned in the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia believed e cigarettes to be less harmful than their tobacco counterparts.

NJOY chief executive Craig Weiss told AFP that industry predictions are for electronic cigarette sales, which have doubled in the United States every year since 2008, to reach $1 billion (about 750,000 euros) in 2013.

Growth in the category has occurred as a result of the millions of smokers who are actively seeking an alternative to cigarettes, he said by email.

The company would not comment on the health aspects.

According to Nitzkin, the hazard posed by traditional tobacco cigarettes is about 100 times higher than today s smokeless tobacco alternatives.

When burned, cigarettes create a tarry residue that sticks to the inside of the smallest bronchial tubes of the lungs and in the alveoli, where the body absorbs the oxygen and releases the carbon dioxide.

This tarry residue stays in place 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the life of the smoker, he said a side effect that ENDS do not have.

Yet the European Respiratory Society said this month it could not classify e cigs as a safe alternative to smoking, and stressed the principle that tobacco users should not trade one carcinogenic product for another.

Last month, the UK s Advertising Standards Authority banned an ad for an e cigarette, Nicolites, saying claims that the product was not harmful had not been substantiated .

Some researchers have also expressed concerns that non smokers may get hooked on nicotine through e cigarette use, or that the gadget would keep people addicted to nicotine who might otherwise have quit.

Nicotine can be harmful to children, pregnant women and adults with heart disease.

A recent study among 3,400 high school pupils in France showed that 12 percent of 15 to 16 year olds who claimed never to have smoked before had experimented with ENDS, and 19 percent of 17 year olds.

As a doctor, I cannot recommend the electronic cigarette, lung specialist Bertrand Dautzenberg told AFP recently at the Pitie Salpetriere hospital in Paris.

But I would not interfere with a smoker who wants to take it up. With a cigarette, there is a 50 percent chance of killing oneself. With the electronic cigarette, we aren t too sure yet, but it is probably less, he said.

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Here’s how much a pack of marijuana joints could eventually cost — policymic

Here’s How Much a Pack of Marijuana Joints Could Eventually Cost

How much would a marijuana cigarette cost? Since legalization in Washington and Colorado, an old joke Marlboro Greens has been making the rounds again, starting with an article in the satirical publication Abril Uno that claimed Phillip Morris will be introducing Marlboro Marijuana smokes.

The smokes aren’t real, but it has people thinking about what the final retail price of such a product would be. According to Fast Company, it would cost Phillip Morris somewhere in the neighborhood of $40 on the low end to make a pack of pure marijuana cigarettes, while mixed marijuana tobacco cigarettes might be as cheap as $20. A production cost of $40 means that a pack of the good stuff could cost the consumer up to $70 80 at retail. Premium marijuana could run up to $120, while you could grab a pack of 50 50 marijuana tobacco cigarettes for about $40.

Wait a second …. But Forbes’ Tim Worstall points out that there’s a big hole in Fast Company’s analysis they «model the tax take and likely retail prices given the current producers’ prices» i.e., what it currently costs marijuana producers in the U.S. to grow and prepare a gram of weed. «They’re not, in any manner, trying to model or calculate producers’ prices themselves they’re simply an assumption going into their model.» That’s a big flaw, because the marijuana industry is «highly fragmented, very inefficient and it is both of these things because it is still illegal.»

If Big Tobacco decided to dive into the weed business, the very first thing they’d do is investigate how they can bring production costs down using the same techniques they used to make machine rolled cigarettes so cheap. In Malawi, for example, growing a kilogram of weed costs just $3. And packaging and distribution costs would be somewhat similar to regular cigarette prices, resulting in a much different estimate of a production cost of 50 cents per pack. Worstall also predicts that after liberalization of the marijuana market, the price crash will be followed by tax changes and calls for protectionism in favor of U.S. producers. All told, marijuana cigarettes could be much cheaper than Fast Company’s analysis would imply.

Will this actually happen? That said, Big Tobacco has no plans to get involved in the marijuana business anytime soon, seeing as weed remains very illegal on a federal level. And even if that particular barrier is breached, retailers will have to jump on board selling a very controversial product which might have 50 very different regulatory regimes for each state. Meanwhile, smokers might be suspicious of Big Tobacco produced marijuana products when buying high quality weed at a local dispensary is a good option, and options like e cigarettes and vaporizers could prove to be more popular. There’s definitely a market for such a product, but if it happens at all, it’ll be decades from now.


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  2. 94), "How cigarettes are made". Video presentation at Philip Morris USA, Richmond offices. Retrieved October 31, 2006. "Legacy Tobacco Documents Library". Retrieved 2012 03 25. Grant Gellatly, "Method and apparatus for coating reconstituted tobacco". . Retrieved November 2, 2006. David Pemberton, "S

  3. 07/BF00334625. PMID 2742495. G.C. Clark (1990). "Comparison of the inhalation toxicity of kretek (clove cigarette) smoke with that of American cigarette smoke. II. Fourteen days, exposure". Archives of toxicology 64 (7) 515 521. doi 10.1007/BF01971829. PMID 2073125. (December 1988). "Evaluation of t

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