Wednesday, April 1, 2009

health canada to rescue big pharma from e-cig

Health Canada has just jumped in (with both feet) on the e-cig controversy, advising Canadians against purchase or use of the product. According to Health Canada, “these products may pose health risks and have not been fully evaluated for safety, quality and efficacy by Health Canada”. (I wonder if Champix was “fully evaluated for safety, quality and efficacy”)

But, while Health Canada goes on at great length about the possible hazards of nicotine addiction in their press release, they note that pharmaceutical nicotine is sanctioned for sale here in the Great White North. Says the press release: “While no electronic smoking product has yet been authorized for sale in Canada, Health Canada has authorized the sale of a number of smoking cessation aids, including nicotine gum, nicotine patches, nicotine inhaler, and nicotine lozenges”.

Health Canada’s endorsement of alternate nicotine delivery systems sold by the drug industry, while discouraging use of the e-cig, appears to be a direct attempt to influence the market place and deprive smokers of a satisfactory alternative to smoking. Their energetic promotion of pharmaceutical nicotine is problematic and should be of concern to all Canadians.

And, the timing of the news release, less than a week before the launch of a major television advertising campaign for the Nicorette Inhaler in Canada, should have Canadians concerned about the role of Health Canada as a marketing agent for the big drug companies.

The e-cig has been on the market for several years, yet Health Canada chose to raise no safety concerns until the e-cig started making news in the mainstream media. Celebrities using the e-cig, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, have been cropping up in the news and have threatened to increase the popularity of the new nicotine delivery device.

Health Canada has a legitimate role to play in the health and safety of Canadians. Unfortunately, their latest press release looks more like a campaign to protect the interests of the pharmaceutical industry. And, I’ve noted several times on these pages the propensity of the anti-smoker cult (The Canadian Cancer Society, Physicians for a Smokefree Canada, etc.) to promote pharmaceutical nicotine.

The safety issue provides a handy smokescreen for anti-smoker efforts to promote the profits of their puppet masters in the drug industry.

Murray Laugesen, a former medical officer in New Zealand, tested the first electronic cigarette in 2004. The result was a paper by Laugesen, along with others at Health New Zealand, entitled: “How safe is an e-cigarette? The results of independent chemical and microbiological analysis”.

According to Laugesen, who is also an anti-smoking activist with ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) New Zealand: “no cause of serious concern has been found." This doesn’t mean the e-cig is completely safe, or that further study is unnecessary. But, Health Canada has had ample time to evaluate this product for “safety, quality and efficacy”.

Not surprisingly. most members of the anti-smoker cult have been critical of the e-cig. Unlike the patch or the inhaler, the e-cig looks like a cigarette and provides the user with most of the trappings of the real thing. There’s even simulated smoke.

And that, apparently, is what has the anti-smoker cult in an uproar. It looks like people are smoking and that is simply unacceptable to the cultists. And, there’s also the fact that the e-cig is not geared specifically to smoking cessation. It is meant to be used as a safer substitute for smoking tobacco, although it can be used as an aid for smoking cessation.

According to Pfizer, the drug company which makes the competing Nicorette Inhaler, mimicking the hand to mouth ritual involved in smoking reinforces smoking cessation. At the launch of the inhaler in 2004, they claimed: “the Nicorette Inhaler is the only smoking cessation product to wean smokers from both the primary reinforcement (nicotine) and the secondary reinforcement (hand-to-mouth).

In a survey, 41 per cent of smokers said that one of the reasons their last quit attempt failed was because they missed the hand-to-mouth gratification they've come to depend on after years of smoking”.

Hmmm . . . 41% of smokers? Or 41% of smokers who tried to quit and who were surveyed (not all smokers actually do want to quit, contrary to myths created by the anti-smoker crowd).

But many might consider reducing tobacco consumption through use of the e-cig, if they’re given the opportunity. Unfortunately, it looks like the anti-smoker brigade will be using every means available to prevent that from happening.

Champix, on the other hand . . .


Anonymous said...

I like the cut of your jib Rambler ! One item you missed though was to mention US Senator Lautenberg, the guy who kick started this global ambush on E-cigs a few weeks ago, by demanding the US FDA do what Health Canada has done. Let's expose the underside of that Lautenberg turd and we find that Lautenberg is joined at the hip with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which is Johnson & Johnson's NGO, and the main source of funds for global anti-smoking, to the tune of over $ 440 MILLION so far, while of course it's 'parent' makes BILLIONS from their various anti-smoking products. Johnson & Johnson also owns Pfizer, the maker of the Nicotine Inhaler. Now - it turns out that Lautenberg has approved numerous gov't grants to RWJF over the years, and, received campaign donations from the same people. Meaning - those most against the Electronic Cigarette are the very same people who will lose the most because of Electronic Cigarettes, and the very same people behind the global anti-smoking and anti-ecigs campaigns. What really pisses me off is that the global so-called news industry refuses to report these facts. - Steve Hartwell - - Toronto, Canada

Healthy said...

Wow, this is quite a blog you have going here! I just want to add that electronic cigarettes are great. You get the nicotine, but without the 4000+ harmful chemicals that are in regular cigarettes! I can actually breathe now, and I can smoke anywhere regular cigarettes are banned. Sooooo, what's the downside? Health Canada is silly. I found a site that reviews lots of different kinds of e-cigarettes, for anyone that wants to learn a little more about them:

Green Smokes

And here are some videos with information about how e-cigs work:

HealthySmokes' Youtube Channel

Anonymous said...

Canada will allow us to smoke real cigarettes, which kill, but wont allow us to smoke ecigs.

Funny how that works.

Smoke real cigarettes, get cancer, spend money on medical bills.

Smoke fake cigarettes, live longer, spend less money on medical bills.

Which one is more profitable?

It makes me sick.

George said...

I have tried all the other BS to quit... never worked, but I was able to quit using the e-cig. Health Canada is about as corrupt as it gets. Just more politicians lining their pockets while we pay for it. Six months smoke free and feeling great. I have lost any and all respect for Canadian ethics when it comes to health.

HIram said...

Heath Canada's mandate should be to look out for the health of Canadians. Giving people who wan to quit smoking with e-cigs no choice but to smoke tobacco cigarettes is WRONG!

Here is a quote from
"I've never seen a product ever, that stands to save as many lives as electronic cigarettes"
Dr. David Baron, MD
Chief of Staff, UCLA medical center

Who are you going to take your medical advice from? A Doctor or a Politician?

George said...

Well all I can say is thats it been over a year now that I was able to quit smoking thanks to the e-cig. Health Canada is a shame to Canadians. Its riddled with senseless bureaucrats.

Carol said...

I do not believe that these e-cigs are harmless. I have not yet heard of a research on it's long time effect so we could never really tell what implications it can do for our health. I just went cold turkey after 10 years of smoking. It was difficult but it is doable.

fswolf said...

I think its time for all canada's to stop and take action over this.

I converted to the ecig and was enjoying its definite benefit till i tried to get nicotine tips and of course couldn't.

Now I am back on normal cigs and just want to say



this act of ... total stupidity on the governments part is enough to make me want to leave the country. Why would any one want to live in a country the blatantly shows they dont care about half there population.

Anonymous said...

To any Canadian that reads this, its to stand up and let our voices be heard on this matter. We need to fight this.

Anonymous said...

This is the part that really gets my goat on the whole e-cig debate by the "non-smoker groups". Is the fact that since I started the e-cig EVERY single non-smoker i know supports it. Their comments are anything that will get a smoker off traditional cigarettes has to be better. The flip side EVERY smoker I know are the biggest skeptics. Heck even the hard core non-smokers i know encourage me to use my e-cig in the office and tell me to puff away on it if i have an urge for a real cigarette. So how are these "non-smoker groups" really representing all non-smokers and their views?? That just does a mind *bleep* on me.

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