Comment: My name is Tim Fuller and I am commenting on Electronic Cigarettes and the Public Health; Second Public Workshop; Docket No. FDA-2014-N-1936-0003.
I smoked approximately a pack and a half of full flavor Marlboro cigarettes per day beginning in my early twenties and continuing until the age of 56. I gave up cigarettes for e-smoking about the middle of November, 2014, shortly before my 57th birthday and no longer purchase or consume combustible tobacco products. Like I suspect many do, I first switched to a ‘cigalike’ product, and after testing several of the popular e-cigarette substitutes (Vuse, Mystic, Fin, Bu). I settled on the Blu brand, partly for the convenience of the portable charging case but mostly for availability of their flavored e-juices. I found the tobacco flavored e-juices unappealing and would likely have returned to cigarette smoking had I not found the option of the flavored varieties offered by Blu.
Shortly thereafter (weeks) I discovered the existence of superior vaping products being offered by several other manufacturers which offered longer battery life (Ego, eLeaf et.al.) In addition to the convenience of longer battery life and adjustable power output, I found a vast assortment of different atomizers to choose from which offered a much improved vaping experience. These allowed the option of purchasing and refilling from a multitude of flavored e-juice products at customized nicotine levels. I purchased several atomizer tanks and several flavors of mid-strength (12-18mg) e-juices, finding the ability to easily switch out tanks/flavors beneficial in my conversion from tobacco. An added benefit often overlooked is the huge savings in cost over that of consuming tobacco, not an insignificant issue for someone on an extremely limited income as I currently find myself in.
I cannot speak to the issue of whether or not these devices are ‘safe’ but in relation to the ingestion of what are known to be hundreds of proven hydrocarbon carcinogens it seems a no-brainer that there must be at least a decent level of harm reduction involved in my decision to abandon nicotine delivery via burning tobacco. I had previously tried to quit smoking via gums and patches with no success. I do not know if I will break my nicotine habit thru vaping but given the ability to wean down the nicotine levels in my e-juices it seems a more likely route and in the meantime I am sure I am abating a great deal of additional health risks.
E-juice Safety and flavored options.
I am not in support of any regulations on restricting flavors of e-juices. Of course I do support limiting e-emoking devices and e-juice access by minors as is currently the case with other nicotine delivery products such as chewing tobacco, cigars and cigarettes. I have yet to see any confirmed deaths of children accidentally ingesting e-juice but barely a day goes by that entire families are lost to the vagaries of smoking related fires. This should be weighed heavily in terms of ‘consumer safety’ when considering the perceived dangers of e-juices and e-smoking. I have not noticed any adverse reactions to the use of any of my e-cigarette devices.
Vaping device safety.
I now vape on higher output highly regulated devices but at much reduced nicotine levels, well under six percent nicotine levels. I vape when I feel like vaping but certainly not in as consistent a fashion as I used to when consuming cigarettes. I do not have access to the statistics on vape device safety but prefer to use a regulated device in order to minimize the risk of overheated lithium batteries, short circuited atomizer coils, etc. If there is any segment of the e-smoking market which may need oversight I imagine it would be in the area of DEVICE safety. I do not have any firsthand horror stories to share in regard to this, but I can easily visualize situations where unlocked or non-locking unregulated mechanical ‘mods’ could be potential trouble sources.
My experience with the commercial cigalike makers leads me to believe that many of them are so poorly designed as to lead one directly back to smoking. I do not know if this is a feature or a bug from their point of view but I do not trust the established cigarette producers given their track record of consumer deception. I would not wish to see the market for vapes or e-juices restricted in terms of availability or innovation. I see many articles in the press which are obviously ginning up fear, uncertainty and doubt over e-smoking and it’s patently obvious that many of these stories are being planted by deep pocketed tobacco corporations concerned with nothing more than protecting their market share and profits.
Please don’t allow yourselves to be unduly influenced by those in the industry who have proven themselves to be totally disreputable in the past. Thank you for taking the time to collect and analyze public opinion on this issue.
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