Search

The town of Lemon Grove, California, has banned e-cigarettes in bars and restaurants and in public areas like parks, effective October 1st. If that seems a lot like cigarette rules, that is what they intended.

Critics argue conflating the two makes no sense. They both contain nicotine, but so do gums and patches. None of them contain tobacco smoke, which does have hundreds of dangerous chemicals and has been shown to be a risk factor for numerous diseases for over 50 years.

If the rationale is smoke, banning e-cigarettes is not evidence-based but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has instead argued both that they...

Here's a diagram of a distillation apparatus. It's very simple. The liquid to be purified is placed in a distillation flask. Heat is applied to the flask (1); when the liquid reaches its boiling point the vapor rises up where it passes over a thermometer, enters a water-cooled condenser, which converts the vapor back to a liquid – presumably purer – and it drips into a collecting flask. 

For example, here are the boiling points of some common solvents used in chem labs (in ºC):

  • Toluene - 111
  • Water - 100
  • Acetone - 56

Below are two distillation flasks. The flask on the left contains a...

She Loves to VapeDr. Gilbert Ross' op-ed in Forbes.com, December 17, 2013

What's Bloomberg Smokin' Now? There is no reason to question why soon-to-be-former Mayor Michael Bloomberg has once again sic'd his attack dog of a Health Commissioner, Tom, Farley, on another innocent victim: electronic cigarettes (e-cigs). Read more.

There is zero doubt that the harms associated with smoking are considerable.  Thanks to public health efforts, smoking cigarettes is recognized as one of the biggest contributors to death and disability globally.  This is why when tools become available to reduce or eliminate cigarette use we should embrace it versus shooting it down with false fears.

We have been very vocal about our support for e-cigarette (in all its variety) use as a safer alternative to combustible cigarettes and a new article published in the journal, Addictive Behaviors, lends further credence to our advocacy.  The study included two years of data (2014 and 2015) from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).  For...

Vaping, NOT SmokingIn their ongoing campaign to stifle the truthful communication of risks (hypothetical) and benefits (not yet documented but theoretically huge) regarding the innovative low-risk nicotine devices, e-cigarettes and vapor products, the NYTimes has reached new heights today. Working hand-in-glove with the public health officials, NGOs and politicians whose craving for cigarette tax money and/or big pharma largesse outweigh their ethics, the Times editorialists published an essay misleadingly titled...

The CDC is one of the finest public health institutions on the planet. Because they fearlessly march into "hot zones" to battle deadly infectious diseases, we microbiologists think of the good folks at the CDC as real-life superheroes.

But not everything the CDC does is equally praiseworthy. As Dr. Josh Bloom explains, their portrayal of the opioid crisis has been unhelpful at best and lethal at worst. Their insistence on restricting prescription opioids flies in the face of the overwhelming evidence that the overdose deaths are largely due to the recreational use of fentanyl-laced heroin.

The CDC has also gone on a...

The other day, CNN hosted a 7-hour long climate change town hall for the Democratic presidential candidates. This, of course, isn't the only scientific topic of relevance to Americans. If we were running the debate, we would ask questions about the following science and health topics:

Vaccines. Measles and other vaccine-preventable infectious diseases are on the rise, largely due to anti-vaxxer propaganda.

  • California has passed new laws that will require the state to investigate doctors who hand out more than five vaccine exemptions per year and schools whose immunization rates are below 95%. Should this law be adopted nationwide?
  • Should social media accounts that distribute anti-vaxxer propaganda be shut down? If so, by whom?
  • ...

ByeBye cigs, Hello e-cigsA study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors lends further support to the accumulating literature on the major benefits of e-cigarette use (vaping) in helping smokers quit their deadly habit. Two experts in addiction...

Last Monday, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Knocked Up” actress Katherine Heigl promoted e-cigarettes (electronic cigarettes) as her most effective smoking cessation option on the ...

Everyone agrees smoking is bad these days but how to end it has become its own cultural war, and the warring sides have come down along predictable lines. Some believe in abstinence only, some only think there should be products that are for quitting (cessation) while some believe smokers should have options for that which can also help with harm reduction while they quit. Like other cultural wars related to science and health, the sides can now be predicted politically.

It's also no surprise that one side of the culture war has flipped the narrative and declared that smoking cessation and harm reduction using e-cigarettes ("vaping") don't do anything of the kind, they instead create nicotine addiction - just like cigarettes. Even if there is no nicotine. ...