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2nd Hand Smoke & e-Cigarettes

From Issue: Volume XXI - Number 17

By Taylor Ramsey

Federal, state and local government bodies all across America have spent decades and millions of dollars convincing us that any type of smoking is bad for our health. I get it. Smoking cigarettes on a continual basis could be bad for us. The same government agencies have also done their best to assure us that second hand smoke is dangerous and kills us too.

I believe the first part is true. The part regarding second hand smoke is ridiculous.

A recent television advertisement I viewed about second hand smoke was the last straw for me. The commercial featured a smoker in front of an apartment building while the camera followed slow rising cigarette smoke high into the air. We tagged along behind the smoke observing it as it entered an open second story window where the smoke finally engulfed a beautiful baby sleeping in a crib. Of course, the observer was then advised that second hand smoke KILLS and we must assume the sleeping baby will certainly die if this type of activity continues.

I understand second hand smoke is not good for anyone with breathing difficulties. It is also irritating to anyone forced to breathe it when it is blown their way by rude and inconsiderate smokers, but I do not accept as truth that it causes cancer or death. Common sense has always told this non-smoker that the bad chemicals in smoke are too diluted, even in close range or in continual repeated instances, to concentrate enough chemicals in the body to kill. It has never made sense to me.

So, I began my research on second hand smoke. I wanted to discover the statistics behind all the deadly claims. I found plenty of websites, including the EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency), repeatedly informing me how many people die from second hand smoke. It was impossible for me to find any information on how they came to those conclusions or how they counted all those people and determined second hand smoke was the culprit.

I did find information on web sites indicating second hand smoke does not kill. The producers of those websites were more than happy to share detailed information, unlike the proponents telling us second hand smoke kills. In January of 2009, Dr. Tim Simpson posted a large amount of research and data in a paper titled “The Myth about Second Hand Smoke” and he provided studies and facts supporting the reality that second hand smoke does not kill. His conclusion supports my thought, that by the time smoke reaches someone other than the smoker, even in close distances, the cancer causing chemicals are pretty much dissipated.

On a related note, in 2003, Chinese Pharmacist, Hon Lik, invented the Electronic Cigarette. It seems like quite a breakthrough for those trying to quit smoking. The e-cigarette delivers nicotine in the form of a water vapor to the user and the discharge in the atmosphere from the procedure is harmless water vapor. There are no chemicals related to cancer being introduced to the user or bystanders. I know of several individuals who are benefiting from the e-cigarette and are grateful for it as they quit smoking cigarettes.

I find it wonderful that private industry is finding solutions for smokers such as the inventions for the nicotine patch and gum. Like clockwork, our crazy elected representatives are introducing “feel good” legislation in California (SB 648) to ban the use of e-cigarettes in the workplace, in public buildings, within 20 feet of public buildings and other locations. Our legislators, who have spent decades and millions upon millions of dollars to convince us to not smoke cigarettes are now foolishly going to ban the very product that assists smokers in ceasing their addiction to cigarettes. Those wise people in Sacramento claim there is no evidence it will not harm someone.

Since when do you create laws based on what you don’t know? Folks, it is water vapor!
Taylor’s Blog:
Twitter: @TaylorPRamsey