Just About Had A Lungful Of This Nonsense

by Steve Barrett

Just About Had A Lungful Of This Nonsense

Another study released today claims that e-cigarette vapour has an adverse effect on lungs by producing ‘free radicals’ and therefore leaving the lungs with weakened immune systems.

Once again this seems to allow journalists the chance to exercise their linguistic skills in thinking up the most hostile ‘headline grabbing’ title for news articles targeting vaping.

The survey in question, led by Professor Shyam Biswai from Johns Hopkins University in the US, was conducted by putting mice in containers with e-cigarette vapour for a period of two weeks. He then injected these mice with pneumonia and flu viruses. As a result some of the mice died.

Are you kidding me?

Whilst this may be an interesting starting point for the on-going testing of e-cigarette vapour, it is, I feel, by no means conclusive as to any long-term lung damage being registered.

It is still a little baffling as to why this finding does not result in positive headlines: ‘e-Cigarette vapour only produces 1% of the Free Radical found in traditional cigarette smoke’, would be a good starting point.

Free Radicals are produced naturally in the body by breathing oxygen and one result is our natural aging process. The production of free radicals in the body is accelerated by, amongst other things: breathing polluted air; breathing paint, household detergents and polishes, vigorous exercise, intermittent exercise, unhealthy food groups and the sun.

To combat the effects of Free Radicals on the body we try to eat healthily – consuming fruit and vegetables. However, many of these fruits and vegetables contain naturally occurring nicotine – so, therein lies another dilemma and grounds for a second debate.

We exercise and try to breathe unpolluted air now and again with a day trip to the countryside.

My point being that Prof. Biswai’s findings are flawed as the mice in his ‘vapour tanks’ did not live the normal day-to-day life we do as humans. The 1% of Free Radical damage caused by e-cigarette vapour may well be off set by a normal intake of fruit and vegetables, the walk to and from work or the weekly game of 5-a-side. Aside from being akin to the usual levels of Free Radical activity caused by other pollutants.

It is also now widely acknowledged that results demonstrated by animal testing are often unreliable and not applicable to humans.

So Where Does That Leave Us

Well, a little perplexed no doubt.

On the one hand we have many health professionals, such Professor Robert West, Professor Peter Hayek, Dr. Michael Mosley, Dr. Christian Jesson describing e-cigarettes as a “revolution in the fight against tobacco” and Professor David Abrams, executive director of the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies telling us that vaping and e-cigarettes are “much, much safer than cigarettes and much less likely to cause the big diseases: heart, cancer and pulmonary.”

Watch this video by Dr Michael Mosley for a fair and balanced study of vaping:

Then on the other hand we have unresearched and what I would call, lazy journalism, from reputed media institutions intent on, what seems on the surface, a campaign to keep people smoking traditional killer cigarettes.

In my opinion, any journalist writing an unbalanced article that could deter a smoker from trying vaping as a way to quit traditional cigarettes should take a long look at themselves in the mirror.

Yes as an independent retailer of vaping kits I could be accused of looking for favourable coverage, but I am not. I am looking for sensible, fair and researched commentary. In these days of immediate social commentary content may be king but context should be, by definition, the King of kings.

Look at the Facts

Specialist retailers, vaping supporters, health professionals are not saying that e-cigarettes and vaping is:

  • A safe alternative to smoking. Safer, yes – that is proven. But it is acknowledged that studies are continuing and regulation would be welcomed.
  • A smoking cessation aid – although proven to be more effective than gums, patches or sprays. Although how inhaler manufacturers get away with making the claim is another puzzle: “Nicotrol inhaler is a smoking deterrent. It works by providing low levels of nicotine, which may help you to quit smoking by lessening the physical signs of withdrawal symptoms” – does vaping not do the same?
  • Will make you quit – that takes will power.

What these bodies are saying is that: vaping is a revolutionary step in providing a healthier alternative for smokers that could potentially save billions of lives from smoking related diseases and cut health bills considerably in the process – is that not a worthwhile headline in itself.


(all opinions are those of purplebox vapours)



Steve Barrett
Steve Barrett


Steve is passionate about changing people's lives for the better by helping them switch to vaping. Life is definitely more colourful smoke free. purplebox vapours is built upon expert advice, customer service and helping you choose the right product to make your vaping journey a success.

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