e-cigarettes

We always knew when our PhD advisor was applying for a grant. He would pace the hallways, then go outside and smoke. A lot. (Thankfully, he's quit since then.)

Why do smokers find such solace in cigarettes? It may be the nicotine. Several years ago, a (very) small experiment suggested that people who were intentionally provoked into becoming angry were less likely to retaliate if they were wearing a nicotine patch.

That's an interesting finding because, as the original study explains, "Deficits in anger management may be a risk factor for smoking initiation and...

Not that long ago, if a company had invented a far safer way to deliver nicotine to addicted smokers, politicians would be celebrating. Smoking is one of the leading preventable causes of disease and death in the world. If every smoker quit cigarettes today, we would have a healthier society, and healthcare costs undoubtedly would decrease. That's a win-win.

But today, partisanship has ruined just about everything. It has crept into nearly every aspect of American life, from the workplace and classroom to sporting events and even dinner table conversations. A good idea is rejected simply because the "other team" came up with it.

This is a terrible development for our culture. But it's even worse for areas such as public health, because people die when we implement bad...

There is a stunning lack of practicality in modern-day America. This is reflected not only by our hyperpartisan politics -- in which politicians refuse to endorse good ideas if they come from the "other side" -- but in the never-ending culture wars.

Previously, the culture wars focused on topics such as gay marriage and abortion, but recently, it has shifted to things like sugar, "chemicals," obesity, and smoking. There is a large contingent of Americans who believe they have the right to dictate what you put into your body. Worse, some pass moral judgment on people who do not share their lifestyle. Smokers aren't simply engaging in harmful behavior; instead, they're fundamentally bad people.

Such beliefs appear to be gaining popularity. A...

There's no doubt about it. E-cigarettes have the potential to save millions of lives.

What makes smoking so dangerous isn't the nicotine, per se. Nicotine is an addictive alkaloid, just like caffeine. (Believe it or not, plants produce both compounds because they are insecticides.) The addiction makes people want more tobacco, but the molecule itself isn't all that harmful.

Tobacco is lethal because of the smoke. A lit cigarette releases known chemical carcinogens and tiny bits of particulate matter, which are incredibly damaging to the lungs. Setting anything on fire, not just tobacco, and inhaling the fumes is a bad idea. That's why innovative ways to get...

Like most topics in America these days, e-cigarettes are controversial. The reason stems largely from the fact that the debate is driven less by science and more by religious zealotry.

On the one side is the pro-vaping lobby, who seems to believe that e-cigarettes are the greatest invention since the wheel. Not only are e-cigarettes effective for quitting smoking, they are safe and fun.

On the other side is the prohibitionists, who believe that the mere thought of vaping is blasphemous. According to them, e-cigarettes are just as bad as tobacco, and therefore the only acceptable public health policy is total abstention.

Both sides are wrong. While the vapers are right that e-cigarettes can help smokers quit, it is unlikely that they are as safe as breathing fresh...

Despite the mounting data about the benefits of electronic cigarette use, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo must not be getting the memos.  In a move that can only be explained as pro-cancer, Governor Cuomo has decided to ban indoor vaping in restaurants, bars and places of employment - effectively treating such devices in the same fashion as combustible cigarettes.

If it is passive inhalation of toxins we are worried about, I have a suggestion for Governor Cuomo - perhaps he should move to a ranch in Wyoming.  Simply step out on any NYC sidewalk on any given day and you will find yourself immediately assaulted with a plethora of respiratory insults - from the rank smells of garbage, vehicle...

As a physician, I can unequivocally say that about 70 percent of the illnesses I have encountered has been either directly or indirectly related to cigarette smoking.  It is without a doubt an awful habit, and one whose psychological grip on the user is frighteningly powerful.   

At the American Council on Science and Health, we have always championed measures that improve public health outcomes – chief among them, advocating the use of electronic cigarettes.  We have written countless articles on the utility of e-cigarette use and its role in harm reduction.  This is why it was with great excitement when I read the new ...

E-cigarettes are "effective in helping people quit smoking" and "95% safer than smoking."* Additionally, there are "no health risks to bystanders."

What evil, conniving, greedy, Big Tobacco-loving, propaganda-spewing group of shills says that? The UK's National Health Service (NHS).

On its website, the NHS discusses a report issued by Public Health England (another UK government agency) that examined the available evidence on e-cigarettes. The report is unambiguous in...

The King County Health Department, which serves mostly the city of Seattle and its suburbs, has recently earned a reputation for being driven by politics rather than by evidence-based medicine or common sense.

Last month, the county decided that crisis pregnancy centers that don't perform abortions aren't "real healthcare." According to its website, Care Net -- a crisis pregnancy center in the Puget Sound region -- performs pregnancy tests, STD screens, and ultrasounds and provides prenatal education. Because such crisis centers are often faith-based, what they don't do is perform or encourage abortions.

That's anathema to Seattle, a city whose residents and politicians have little use for religion or...

During the 1990s and 2000s, opponents of the legalization of marijuana (be it recreational or medical) argued that it served as a "gateway" to harder drugs.

While the gateway hypothesis cannot be entirely ruled out, it is also unlikely to be true. Most people who smoke marijuana do not move on to injecting heroin or snorting cocaine. The likelier explanation is that when people decide to do something rebellious, they begin by picking the "low-hanging fruit," such as alcohol, tobacco, or pot.

Put another way, if a person who uses hard drugs first started with marijuana, that does not mean that marijuana caused him to use those hard drugs. Just because A...