Politics, Policy, Economics - Since 2010

I am writing this post after a return from London, where you have a great many of smokers and smoking culture. There is also a lot of v...

Critique: The United States of Vaping



I am writing this post after a return from London, where you have a great many of smokers and smoking culture. There is also a lot of vaping and vape shops. The EU is in favor of a broader distribution of vaping devices but they take a common sense approach to regulation. Nicotine, for instance, and nicotine amounts per milligram are regulated. A question we must ask ourselves in America is: "is vaping better than combustible cigarettes and should it be regulated". Off the cuff the answer seems obvious. However, from a medical standpoint:

"E-cigarettes heat nicotine (extracted from tobacco), flavorings and other chemicals to create a water vapor that you inhale. Regular tobacco cigarettes contain 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic. While we don’t know exactly what chemicals are in e-cigarettes, Blaha says “there’s almost no doubt that they expose you to fewer toxic chemicals than traditional cigarettes. - Johns Hopkins”

On this, vaping is bad for you. Smoking cigs is bad for you. Vaping is a healthier option but it still bad for you.  Also, vaping is still addictive. Let us look at cigars and cigarettes. Cigars are not terribly bad for you in moderation, but if you smoke them daily and if you inhale them, they are seriously bad for you.

Switching from cigarette smoking to cigar smoking can be particularly harmful because you might inhale cigar smoke the way you inhaled cigarette smoke. The more cigars you smoke and the deeper you inhale, the greater the risks. Although the health effects of occasional cigar smoking aren't as clear, the only safe level of cigar smoking is none at all. Instead of trying to choose between cigarette smoking and cigar smoking, try to quit tobacco entirely. There is no safe form of tobacco. J. Taylor Hays, M.D.

What can I say about this US? Well, the United States typically believes that the state level market dictates issues that then merit federal intervention. They are very hands off. In the world we live in today there is a loophole which allows for bad actors and greedy players to flood the market with their quasi-safe or not-safe-at-all product and it goes straight into the population where they are treated like guinea pigs in a consumer product experiment. At an extreme example is Heroin, OxyContin and Fentanyl. As for marijuana and THC, the absolute lack of regulation has put many buyers at the risk of the ethics of the manufacturers. Essentially, drug dealers who are squeezing out products and adding in extenders, or "cutting the drug" with whatever they deem appropriate, almost never attached to a scientific process.


The filled cartridges are not by definition a health risk. However, Mr. Downs, along with executives from legal THC companies and health officials, say that the illicit operations are using a tactic common to other illegal drug operations: cutting their product with other substances, including some that can be dangerous. - NYT

The US needs to set standards for nicotine, CBD, THC and other marketable smokeable vape cartridges and oils. Additionally, whatever base liquid is used for nicotine (as we all know what is the base for CBD/ THC)  we need strict regulations so as not to have a continued public health crisis. - Chad


Links & Sources:

1) Global Tobacco Laws:
https://www.globaltobaccocontrol.org/e-cigarette/country-laws/view

2) Johns Hopkins 5 Vaping Facts You Need To Know:
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/5-truths-you-need-to-know-about-vaping

3) The Walter White of Vape Cartridges:
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/15/health/vaping-thc-wisconsin.html?action=click&module=MoreInSection&pgtype=Article&region=Footer&contentCollection=Health





+ Disclosure:
I am an investor in companies that manufacturer smoking devices and import Cuban tobacco.