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Aug 11 2013

But what about the baaaaabies?

Nicotine is a teratogen — it’s known to have all kinds of interesting effects on the developing fetus. It’s very strongly associated with low birth weight, increases the likelihood of premature placental detachment, and it also causes deficiencies in lung development. You shouldn’t smoke during pregnancy (or use nicotine patches or any of the other alternatives for nicotine delivery), and if you really, really care about babies, you shouldn’t encourage other people to use nicotine during pregnancy.

Isn’t Jenny McCarthy supposed to be really passionate about protecting children? I recall her getting rather shrill about those wicked vaccines with their traces of propylene glycol used as a preservative.

Forget that, though, when money is on the line. Jenny McCarthy is now shilling for e-cigarettes…which use propylene glycol as part of a delivery system for nicotine.

So…in Jenny McCarthy’s mind, vaccines, which have been proven safe and even better, prevent serious diseases, are evil; e-cigarettes which give you a jolt of a known teratogen and toxin are sexy and fun.

As a reward for her hypocrisy and child-killing opinions, she gets a cushy job on broadcast television.

152 comments

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  1. 1
    shawnthesheep

    What about the moneeeeeeeyz?

  2. 2
    KahaNalu

    Hey PZ

    Vaporization != Combustion

    *facepalm*

  3. 3
    blf

    So…in Jenny McCarthy’s mind, vaccines, which are made by Big Pharma, are evil; e-cigarettes, which are made by Big TobaccoMy Sponsors, are sexy and fun.

    I suspect the above “fixed” version is closer to how that dangerous shrill “reasons”.

  4. 4
    Paul Gibson

    Hang on, they aren’t babies, or children, or humans with rights until they’re born.

    If the woman decides she would like some nicotine, why should we – or concerns for the parasite within her – be able to stop her doing so (or even to shame her into stopping doing so)?

    Remember autonomy, people. It always exists.

  5. 5
    Paul Gibson

    KahaNalu:

    Hey PZ

    Vaporization != Combustion

    *facepalm*

    Maybe the OP has been changed since I first read it, but I don’t see where he says the two are equal?

  6. 6
    blf

    KahaNalu, Where, precisely, did poopyhead say (or even imply) “Vaporization = Combustion” ?

  7. 7
    gijoel

    Jenny McCarthy just signed up to for an advertising deal with Laramie ‘lil toots cigarettes, and the Burns Power company.

  8. 8
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Paul:
    You do realize PZ is pointing out McCarthys hypocrisy, right?
    He is not advocating anyone violate a womans bodily autonomy.

  9. 9
    Paul Gibson

    Tony!

    Yeah, upon re-reading I sort of have to withdraw my original complaint. I can now see this is about her, and not a generic whinging about women using nicotine during pregnancy.

    Thankyou.

  10. 10
    Jacob Schmidt

    You shouldn’t smoke during pregnancy (or use nicotine patches or any of the other alternatives for nicotine delivery), and if you really, really care about babies, you shouldn’t encourage other people to use nicotine during pregnancy.

    I’ve been told that its more harmful for someone addicted to quit entirely during the pregnancy. Is there any truth to this claim?

  11. 11
    cyberax

    Grrr…

    I kinda like e-cigarettes – several of my friends were able to quit smoking completely because of them (most of them tried nicotine patches and other substitutes in the past). Also they are probably better than regular cigarettes from a health perspective for those who can’t quit, because there’s no combustion and consequently no laundry list of carcinogens generated by it.

    On the other hand, tobacco companies already try to push e-cigs as a safe toy that can be used without the stigma of regular smoking.

  12. 12
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Quick note: juices for vapes can be made with vegetable glycerin and without nicotine. Oddly enough, the non-nicotine, veggie glycerin juices are really good sellers. I have a few friends who are on diets who vape veggie glycerin flavors w/o nicotine (like chocolate n’ such) to reduce cravings for things not on their diets.

    Of course, absent any actual studies, there’s still no guarantee of safety, and nicotine can still hurt the babies…

    The stuff I vape, of course, is nicotine free… because I prefer THC… :D

  13. 13
    imthegenieicandoanything

    The instant and incredible shrillness of anti-vaxers still astounds me! How and why they are SO vicious, willing to stoop to every insult and lie to attack even the mildest criticism, even questioning, of their bullshit.

    OT. Paul B – A fetus is a “parasite,” eh? I absolutely support women having control of their own sexuality and bodies, but I really don’t want to associate with you. Or maybe this was humor. Cripes!

  14. 14
    infraredeyes

    Strictly speaking, a fetus most certainly is a parasite on its host’s (mother’s) body. The term “parasite” has a real meaning, it is not just a vague pejorative.

  15. 15
    ledasmom

    Frankly, a tapeworm (adult form) would be much less bother than a fetus.And tapeworms don’t get you up every two hours at night after you expel them.

  16. 16
    viaten

    Isn’t Jenny McCarthy also a fan of Botox (Botulinum toxin) injections?

  17. 17
    Reginald Selkirk

    Here’s a baby with a poll:
    POLL: Tennessee Judge orders name change for Baby “Messiah”

    WBIR – Newport, TN) A Tennessee judge has ordered a mom to change her baby’s first name from “Messiah.” … The Judge said the word “Messiah” is a title that’s only been earned by one person. … Do you agree or disagree with the judge’s decision?

    Pharyngulate!

  18. 18
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Well, I voted, but I can’t see the results. *shrug*

  19. 19
    Robert B.

    @ Paul Gibson: I can’t tell whether you’re presenting that argument sincerely, but either way: if the fetus is later born, the negative consequences of the mother’s nicotine use are inflicted on what is now a person. It’s obviously bad to do something that you know will likely later cause a person to become ill. It follows that it is unethical for a pregnant woman to use nicotine (or alcohol, etc.) unless she’s sure the pregnancy isn’t going to end in a live birth.

  20. 20
    Ysanne

    To the complaint in #4:
    1) Smoking while pregnant is usually not done in an attempt to terminate the pregnancy. (People who do could really use some education about how bodies work.)
    2) The adverse effects on the fetus result in actual health and developmental issues for the baby well after it is born, i.e. when it is most definitely a person.
    3) PZ isn’t campaigning for a ban of (e-)cigarettes here, but pointing out a glaring mistake in Jenny McCarthy’s widely-publicised risk-benefit analysis of vaccinating vs smoking.

  21. 21
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I know it’s not the point of the thread, but I must say: please, please, please don’t anyone go nuts about how e-cigs are UNPROVEN FULL OF CHEMICALS. Authorities such as the Mayo Clinic are actively lying about them, and some “health” groups are trying to get them banned. It’s utterly insane—not to mention immoral—to try to take a huge harm reduction strategy away from smokers. I can hardly believe it, but so it is. E cigs are being treated to the same shit that Sanjay Gupta just admitted is a pack of lies about marijuana.

  22. 22
    Ichthyic

    and consequently no laundry list of carcinogens generated by it.

    ..except the nicotine itself, which, as was mentioned, IS A KNOWN TERATOGEN.

    just stop it. mkay? smoking sucks, nicotine is a deadly poison, and you all should stop rationalizing your damn addictions, regardless of your personal delivery system.

  23. 23
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Shut the fuck up Ichthyic.

  24. 24
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Notice the rare sighting in the wild of the unashamed Health as Morality scold.

  25. 25
    Ichthyic

    Strictly speaking, a fetus most certainly is a parasite on its host’s (mother’s) body

    It depends entirely on how one defines “parasite”, since that would be like saying your germ cells are parasites on the rest of your body, since they don’t contribute anything somatically to it, yet rely on nutrients provided by the rest of your body to grow and reproduce…

    typically, when there is shared genetic code involved, the propagation of the code supercedes the concept of parasitism.

  26. 26
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Yeah, I am not in the mood for The Moral High Horse atm…

    Ichthyic:
    Please take your shaming elsewhere.

  27. 27
    Ichthyic

    Shut the fuck up Ichthyic.

    stop smoking Josh.

  28. 28
    notsont

    I fucking hate those e-cigarettes they still leave a stench on people you smoke around and yet now we have all these assholes blowing the crap all over everyone spouting the idiotic phrase “its just water vapor” if it was just “water” you would have no fucking desire to breathe it all the time. And it STILL smells like shit.

  29. 29
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I don’t smoke. And shut your fucking mouth. You’re just wanting to be seen as disapproving. You don’t actually give a shit about people per se. Spit.

  30. 30
    Ichthyic

    Please take your shaming elsewhere.

    it’s not shaming, you assholes, I’m calling you out on your rationalizations.

    trying to pass off e-cigs as ‘safe’ while ignoring the fact that nicotine itself is the major teratogen in tobacco to begin with is just that, rationalization.

  31. 31
    DLC

    ah, but you don’t understand. Jenny’s a Mommy Warrior, and she needs a smoke after a hard day’s battling against Teh Evil big corporations. who produce botox vaccines.

  32. 32
    Ichthyic

    And shut your fucking mouth.

    shut yours, you disingenuous fuck.

  33. 33
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Icthyic…

    Are you serious?

    First off… I’ve yet to see ANYONE in this thread disagree with the general idea that nicotine is bad for unborn babies or kids or people in general. Addiction sucks. So I have no fucking clue where you got that.

    Second, I know a shit-ton of people who, after nicotine gum and patches and, in a couple cases, fucking hypno-therapy, it was e-cigs that finally got them to quit… completely.

    As someone who dealt with nicotine addiction for a while, and who still has lapses, I really don’t appreciate the judgey bullshit. So could you please not do that?

  34. 34
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I don’t care about teratogens, Ichthyic. They’re not relevant to me. Yes, I understand why they’re relevant to what the odious Jenny McCarthy is up to. But that does not bear on nicotine outside the context of pregnancy. This is a fairly clean nicotine delivery system. Do you object to nicotine patches and inhalers too?

  35. 35
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    For what it’s worth (which is rather more than a moralizing scold’s), my cardiologist: “You’re getting clean nicotine. I’m happy with that. I don’t care if you use the e cig the rest of your life if it means you never pick up cigarettes again.”

    This is a guy who stented me during my surprise heart attack at 36.

  36. 36
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    For the record, e-cigs are safer than straight combustion because they don’t have the laundry list of carcinogens that straight combustion does.

    That does not change the fact that nicotine, as you do rightly point, Icthyic, is a dangerous teratogen.

    E-cigs are not safe… just a bit safer… and I’ve yet to see anyone say differently.

  37. 37
    Ichthyic

    I’ve yet to see ANYONE in this thread disagree with the general idea that nicotine is bad for unborn babies

    This is why I mentioned it was a rationalization, because the fact that nicotine is a teratogen seems to have been entirely missed by the person I quoted, even though if they didn’t know that previously (and really, who doesn’t any more), it was actually mentioned in the OP.

    here, read again:

    I kinda like e-cigarettes – several of my friends were able to quit smoking completely because of them (most of them tried nicotine patches and other substitutes in the past). Also they are probably better than regular cigarettes from a health perspective for those who can’t quit, because there’s no combustion and consequently no laundry list of carcinogens generated by it.

    there is in fact, still a list of carcinogens in it, as noted.

  38. 38
    Ichthyic

    That does not change the fact that nicotine, as you do rightly point, Icthyic, is a dangerous teratogen.

    oh fuck me, you’re going to play word games now?

    like i said, keep right on rationalizing that addiction.

  39. 39
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    FFS.

    Are e-cigs equivalent (health-wise) to running in a pristine mountain meadow? No.

    But they are a lot better than actually smoking. As a step-down method for someone trying to quit (or someone who – for whatever reason – cannot quit), e-cigs can literally be a lifesaver.

  40. 40
    cyberax

    Ichthyic, actually I don’t smoke at all (and never had).

    And nicotine in itself is not a known carcinogen, its teratogenic effect stems from the fact that derivatives of nicotinic acid are used in cell signaling.

  41. 41
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    No, Ichthyic. You’re not being rational. If you’re concerned about nicotine being a teratogen, then why are you concerned about my use which has no possible relevance? You realize I’m not gestating a baby, right?

    I’ve no need to rationalize my nicotine addiction. It is what it is. I don’t really care that much. The fact is I’m far healthier by a country mile for not inhaling tobacco smoke.

    Why aren’t you happy for people who can improve their health that way? Serious question. Why are you so angry that someone else has an addiction? Does caffeine addiction upset you this way, too?

  42. 42
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Oh and yes, teratogens only affect babies. If you’re not pregnant, they don’t harm you as such. If you’re a dude, then that pretty much doesn’t apply to you.

    Teratogens are not carcinogens. They do not cause cancer in a healthy adult.

    E-cigs, at least when used with vegetable glycerin, are, as Josh points out, cleaner delivery systems for nicotine.

    Also…

    notsont:

    I fucking hate those e-cigarettes they still leave a stench on people you smoke around and yet now we have all these assholes blowing the crap all over everyone spouting the idiotic phrase “its just water vapor” if it was just “water” you would have no fucking desire to breathe it all the time. And it STILL smells like shit.

    Um… I’m around people who use e-cigs all the time. They don’t smell.

    Now, they are wrong about it being water; it’s not. It’s generally either vegetable glycerin or, most commonly, propylene glycol. PG has its own issues, which is why I personally wish they’d all switch to VG. Most of the people i know who use e-cigs use vegetable glycerin and they like it better.

    But when you are addicted to something, how you get it doesn’t matter. If it was just “water vapor” mixed with nicotine, people would breathe it in, because it’s the nicotine they’re after. The delivery system doesn’t matter so much. That’s why it’s called an addiction.

  43. 43
    Ichthyic

    oh, and btw, regardless of how you want to play this game, nicotine is both teratogenic AND carcinogenic:

    Nicotine worsens the detrimental effects of aggressive factors and attenuates the protective actions of defensive factors in the processes of development and repair of gastric ulceration. Nicotine also takes part in the initiation and promotion of carcinogenesis in the GI tract. In this regard, nicotine and its metabolites are found to be mutagenic and have the ability to modulate cell proliferation, apoptosis, and angiogenesis during tumoriogenesis through specific receptors and signalling pathways.

    https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jphs/94/4/94_4_348/_article

    but hey, if you don’t give a shit about duodenal ulcers or gastrointestinal cancers, you can safely ignore that too.

  44. 44
    Ichthyic

    Why are you so angry that someone else has an addiction?

    you were the one who told me to fuck off first, Josh. I’m reacting to you.

    rationalization makes me angry, not addictions.

  45. 45
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Ichthyic, why does nicotine upset you so disproportionately that you forget all about relative risks, dose making the poison, etc.? What is it about this that so exercises you when, presumably, other recreational drugs of similar effect don’t?

  46. 46
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Ichthyic, please explain why it is preferable to smoke (thus getting tar, smoke, etc in addition to nicotine) than to use an e-cig. Because that’s what the issue is.

  47. 47
    Robert B.

    Ichthyic, could you define teratogen for me? No worries if it’s not technical or super-precise, I just want a very basic explanation of the term.

  48. 48
    Ichthyic

    Ichthyic, please explain why it is preferable to smoke

    what the fuck?

    why would I do that, since that was never even near the argument I was making.

    Because that’s what the issue is.

    no, it really isn’t. Miss.

    why does nicotine upset you so disproportionately

    I’ve watched most of my family die from it. I happen to be a bit of an expert on the subject.

  49. 49
    carlie

    And grilled food is carcinogenic.

    And alcohol is a carcinogen.

    And anything stored in plastic becomes a carcinogen.

    It’s a pretty big list.

    I don’t see the point in demonizing one in particular over another.

  50. 50
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Did they die from nicotine or did they die from smoking, which delivers more than just nicotine?

  51. 51
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Ichthyic:
    I do not smoke either, but your comment about addiction strikes close to home and smacks of attempts to shame addicts. Not cool.

  52. 52
    Ichthyic

    I don’t see the point in demonizing one in particular over another

    Surely, that can’t be directed at anyone in this thread, since nobody did that.

  53. 53
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Also…

    Yes, Icthyic, I’m going to play with words, because carcinogens and tarotogens are two different things; they are not related… like… at all.

  54. 54
    carlie

    Ichthyic, I wrote that about not seeing the point before seeing yours about your family, and I’m sorry that it looks so callous sitting right there after yours. But there is no way to prove they died specifically from nicotine, unless that was all they were taking, right? It was the whole smoke package. My grandfather had emphysema, and probably lung cancer (he was too weak by then from other diseases to bother to biopsy it), and it was from smoking as a whole, not specifically from nicotine. The nicotine kept him going back to his cigarettes, but it wasn’t the only thing affecting him.

  55. 55
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Ichthyic, they DID NOT die from the nicotine. They died from the combusted smoke. Don’t you see that? Nicotine is the devilish part of cigarettes because it’s what keeps one hooked. And it matters WHAT it keeps one hooked on. . .inhaling burnt tobacco and carbon monoxide and thousands of carcinogens.

    When you remove most of that and strip it down to mostly nicotine you’ve removed the part that kills people. Do you understand that? Do you understand that that is why pharmaceutical nicotine patches and inhalers and gum don’t produce the effects smoking does?

    I can imagine this would be an emotional thing for someone who watched family die. But god man, I’m just trying to get you to see that some of what you’re angry about you don’t need to be because it isn’t true.

    And people like me—who use nicotine cleanly—aren’t the devil. We count too.

  56. 56
    Ichthyic

    Did they die from nicotine or did they die from smoking, which delivers more than just nicotine?

    Dad: died of duodenal ulcer as a direct result of nicotine.

    Mom: died much earlier of emphysema as a result of irritation from smoking itself.

    but then, this is not relevant to the point I was making at all.

  57. 57
    Ichthyic

    They died from the combusted smoke.

    fuck off, Josh, you don’t know shit.

    seriously.

  58. 58
    Ichthyic

    And people like me—who use nicotine cleanly—aren’t the devil. We count too.

    *yawn*

    Yes, Icthyic, I’m going to play with words, because carcinogens and tarotogens are two different things; they are not related… like… at all.

    yes go ahead and ignore the reference I posted as well.

    fuck you all.

    seriously.

  59. 59
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Yes, I do know shit. You’re seriously misinformed, you’re exaggerating dishonestly to promote a moral point of view.

  60. 60
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Except that emphysema is caused by irritation of the lungs by all the various shit found in cigarettes, not just the nicotine.

    And as for the duedonal ulcer, they have lots of causes (H. pylori, for one). The smoking certainly aggravated it, but saying that the nicotine caused it is a bit of a stretch.

  61. 61
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Icthyic, I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with you, but you are being astonishingly full of shit here.

    I’ve never smoked in my life. I get nauseated around it. And to start yowling that health is a moral imperative and to someone who is advocating something much, much safer than combustion for people who are trying to or cannot quit, you are being an utter asshole. It’s not utterly safe, no, but, as pointed out, neither is the glass of beer I’m having now. You are being an utter asshole to people with addictions, and that is never justifiable. Harm reduction is a good fucking idea. And also all of this shaming and outright bullshit from someone who doesn’t know the difference between a teratogen and a carcinogen needs to STFU and go sit in the fucking corner.

  62. 62
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Nicotine does indeed help to promote carcinogens but… they… kind of have to be there, first. Even your article itself does not support the idea that nicotine is, in fact, a carcinogen by itself. All the evidence suggests that nicotine can suppress your body’s ability to fight carcinogens.

    But absent those carcinogens… well…

    In other words… smoking is a convicted killer. The jury’s still out with nicotine. I’ve also seen family and friends die from smoking.

    But I blame smoking, not nicotine alone. I’m all in favor of cleaner delivery methods for it.

    And let’s not forget that cigarettes especially have a shit-ton of horrible additives, including:

    Acetanisole,
    Acetic Acid,
    Acetoin,
    Acetophenone,
    6-Acetoxydihydrotheaspirane,
    2-Acetyl-3- Ethylpyrazine,
    2-Acetyl-5-Methylfuran,
    Acetylpyrazine,
    2-Acetylpyridine,
    3-Acetylpyridine,
    2-Acetylthiazole,
    Aconitic Acid,
    dl-Alanine,
    Alfalfa Extract,
    Allspice Extract,
    Oleoresin,
    And Oil,
    Allyl Hexanoate,
    Allyl Ionone,
    Almond Bitter Oil,
    Ambergris Tincture,
    Ammonia,

    Ammonium Bicarbonate,
    Ammonium Hydroxide,
    Ammonium Phosphate Dibasic,
    Ammonium Sulfide,
    Amyl Alcohol,
    Amyl Butyrate,
    Amyl Formate,
    Amyl Octanoate,
    alpha-Amylcinnamaldehyde,
    Amyris Oil,
    trans-Anethole,
    Angelica Root Extract, Oil and Seed Oil,
    Anise,
    Anise Star, Extract and Oils,
    Anisyl Acetate,
    Anisyl Alcohol,
    Anisyl Formate,
    Anisyl Phenylacetate,
    Apple Juice Concentrate, Extract, and Skins,
    Apricot Extract and Juice Concentrate,
    1-Arginine,
    Asafetida Fluid Extract And Oil,
    Ascorbic Acid,
    1-Asparagine Monohydrate,
    1-Aspartic Acid,
    Balsam Peru and Oil,
    Basil Oil,
    Bay Leaf, Oil and Sweet Oil,
    Beeswax White,
    Beet Juice Concentrate,
    Benzaldehyde,
    Benzaldehyde Glyceryl Acetal,
    Benzoic Acid, Benzoin,
    Benzoin Resin,
    Benzophenone,
    Benzyl Alcohol,
    Benzyl Benzoate,
    Benzyl Butyrate,
    Benzyl Cinnamate,
    Benzyl Propionate,
    Benzyl Salicylate,
    Bergamot Oil,
    Bisabolene,
    Black Currant Buds Absolute,
    Borneol,
    Bornyl Acetate,
    Buchu Leaf Oil,
    1,3-Butanediol,
    2,3-Butanedione,
    1-Butanol,
    2-Butanone,
    4(2-Butenylidene)-3,5,5-Trimethyl-2-Cyclohexen-1-One,
    Butter, Butter Esters, and Butter Oil,
    Butyl Acetate,
    Butyl Butyrate,
    Butyl Butyryl Lactate,
    Butyl Isovalerate,
    Butyl Phenylacetate,
    Butyl Undecylenate,
    3-Butylidenephthalide,
    Butyric Acid,
    Cadinene,
    Caffeine,
    Calcium Carbonate,
    Camphene,
    Cananga Oil,
    Capsicum Oleoresin,
    Caramel Color,
    Caraway Oil,
    Carbon Dioxide,
    Cardamom Oleoresin, Extract, Seed Oil, and Powder,
    Carob Bean and Extract,
    beta-Carotene,
    Carrot Oil,
    Carvacrol,
    4-Carvomenthenol,
    1-Carvone,
    beta-Caryophyllene,
    beta-Caryophyllene Oxide,
    Cascarilla Oil and Bark Extract,
    Cassia Bark Oil,
    Cassie Absolute and Oil,
    Castoreum Extract, Tincture and Absolute,
    Cedar Leaf Oil,
    Cedarwood Oil Terpenes and Virginiana,
    Cedrol,
    Celery Seed Extract, Solid, Oil, And Oleoresin,
    Cellulose Fiber,
    Chamomile Flower Oil And Extract,
    Chicory Extract,
    Chocolate,
    Cinnamaldehyde,
    Cinnamic Acid,
    Cinnamon Leaf Oil, Bark Oil, and Extract,
    Cinnamyl Acetate,
    Cinnamyl Alcohol,
    Cinnamyl Cinnamate,
    Cinnamyl Isovalerate,
    Cinnamyl Propionate,
    Citral,
    Citric Acid,
    Citronella Oil,
    dl-Citronellol,
    Citronellyl Butyrate,
    Citronellyl Isobutyrate,
    Civet Absolute,
    Clary Oil,
    Clover Tops, Red Solid Extract,
    Cocoa,
    Cocoa Shells, Extract, Distillate And Powder,
    Coconut Oil,
    Coffee,
    Cognac White and Green Oil,
    Copaiba Oil,
    Coriander Extract and Oil,
    Corn Oil,
    Corn Silk,
    Costus Root Oil,
    Cubeb Oil,
    Cuminaldehyde,
    para-Cymene,
    1-Cysteine,
    Dandelion Root Solid Extract,
    Davana Oil,
    2-trans, 4-trans-Decadienal,
    delta-Decalactone,
    gamma-Decalactone,
    Decanal,
    Decanoic Acid,
    1-Decanol,
    2-Decenal,
    Dehydromenthofurolactone,
    Diethyl Malonate,
    Diethyl Sebacate,
    2,3-Diethylpyrazine,
    Dihydro Anethole,
    5,7-Dihydro-2-Methylthieno(3,4-D) Pyrimidine,
    Dill Seed Oil and Extract,
    meta-Dimethoxybenzene,
    para-Dimethoxybenzene,
    2,6-Dimethoxyphenol,
    Dimethyl Succinate,
    3,4-Dimethyl-1,2-Cyclopentanedione,
    3,5- Dimethyl-1,2-Cyclopentanedione,
    3,7-Dimethyl-1,3,6-Octatriene,
    4,5-Dimethyl-3-Hydroxy-2,5-Dihydrofuran-2-One,
    6,10-Dimethyl-5,9-Undecadien-2-One,
    3,7-Dimethyl-6-Octenoic Acid,
    2,4-Dimethylacetophenone,
    alpha,para-Dimethylbenzyl Alcohol,
    alpha,alpha-Dimethylphenethyl Acetate,
    alpha,alpha Dimethylphenethyl Butyrate,
    2,3-Dimethylpyrazine,
    2,5-Dimethylpyrazine,
    2,6-Dimethylpyrazine,
    Dimethyltetrahydrobenzofuranone,
    delta-Dodecalactone,
    gamma-Dodecalactone,
    para-Ethoxybenzaldehyde,
    Ethyl 10-Undecenoate,
    Ethyl 2-Methylbutyrate,
    Ethyl Acetate,
    Ethyl Acetoacetate,
    Ethyl Alcohol,
    Ethyl Benzoate,
    Ethyl Butyrate,
    Ethyl Cinnamate,
    Ethyl Decanoate,
    Ethyl Fenchol,
    Ethyl Furoate,
    Ethyl Heptanoate,
    Ethyl Hexanoate,
    Ethyl Isovalerate,
    Ethyl Lactate,
    Ethyl Laurate,
    Ethyl Levulinate,
    Ethyl Maltol,
    Ethyl Methyl Phenylglycidate,
    Ethyl Myristate,
    Ethyl Nonanoate,
    Ethyl Octadecanoate,
    Ethyl Octanoate,
    Ethyl Oleate,
    Ethyl Palmitate,
    Ethyl Phenylacetate,
    Ethyl Propionate,
    Ethyl Salicylate,
    Ethyl trans-2-Butenoate,
    Ethyl Valerate,
    Ethyl Vanillin,
    2-Ethyl (or Methyl)-(3,5 and 6)-Methoxypyrazine,
    2-Ethyl-1-Hexanol, 3-Ethyl -2 -Hydroxy-2-Cyclopenten-1-One,
    2-Ethyl-3, (5 or 6)-Dimethylpyrazine,
    5-Ethyl-3-Hydroxy-4-Methyl-2(5H)-Furanone,
    2-Ethyl-3-Methylpyrazine,
    4-Ethylbenzaldehyde,
    4-Ethylguaiacol,
    para-Ethylphenol,
    3-Ethylpyridine,
    Eucalyptol,
    Farnesol,
    D-Fenchone,
    Fennel Sweet Oil,
    Fenugreek, Extract, Resin, and Absolute,
    Fig Juice Concentrate,
    Food Starch Modified,
    Furfuryl Mercaptan,
    4-(2-Furyl)-3-Buten-2-One,
    Galbanum Oil,
    Genet Absolute,
    Gentian Root Extract,
    Geraniol,
    Geranium Rose Oil,
    Geranyl Acetate,
    Geranyl Butyrate,
    Geranyl Formate,
    Geranyl Isovalerate,
    Geranyl Phenylacetate,
    Ginger Oil and Oleoresin,
    1-Glutamic Acid,
    1-Glutamine,
    Glycerol,
    Glycyrrhizin Ammoniated,
    Grape Juice Concentrate,
    Guaiac Wood Oil,
    Guaiacol,
    Guar Gum,
    2,4-Heptadienal,
    gamma-Heptalactone,
    Heptanoic Acid,
    2-Heptanone,
    3-Hepten-2-One,
    2-Hepten-4-One,
    4-Heptenal,
    trans -2-Heptenal,
    Heptyl Acetate,
    omega-6-Hexadecenlactone,
    gamma-Hexalactone,
    Hexanal,
    Hexanoic Acid,
    2-Hexen-1-Ol,
    3-Hexen-1-Ol,
    cis-3-Hexen-1-Yl Acetate,
    2-Hexenal,
    3-Hexenoic Acid,
    trans-2-Hexenoic Acid,
    cis-3-Hexenyl Formate,
    Hexyl 2-Methylbutyrate,
    Hexyl Acetate,
    Hexyl Alcohol,
    Hexyl Phenylacetate,
    1-Histidine,
    Honey,
    Hops Oil,
    Hydrolyzed Milk Solids,
    Hydrolyzed Plant Proteins,
    5-Hydroxy-2,4-Decadienoic Acid delta- Lactone,
    4-Hydroxy-2,5-Dimethyl-3(2H)-Furanone,
    2-Hydroxy-3,5,5-Trimethyl-2-Cyclohexen-1-One,
    4-Hydroxy -3-Pentenoic Acid Lactone,
    2-Hydroxy-4-Methylbenzaldehyde,
    4-Hydroxybutanoic Acid Lactone,
    Hydroxycitronellal,
    6-Hydroxydihydrotheaspirane,
    4-(para-Hydroxyphenyl)-2-Butanone,
    Hyssop Oil,
    Immortelle Absolute and Extract,
    alpha-Ionone,
    beta-Ionone,
    alpha-Irone,
    Isoamyl Acetate,
    Isoamyl Benzoate,
    Isoamyl Butyrate,
    Isoamyl Cinnamate,
    Isoamyl Formate, Isoamyl Hexanoate,
    Isoamyl Isovalerate,
    Isoamyl Octanoate,
    Isoamyl Phenylacetate,
    Isobornyl Acetate,
    Isobutyl Acetate,
    Isobutyl Alcohol,
    Isobutyl Cinnamate,
    Isobutyl Phenylacetate,
    Isobutyl Salicylate,
    2-Isobutyl-3-Methoxypyrazine,
    alpha-Isobutylphenethyl Alcohol,
    Isobutyraldehyde,
    Isobutyric Acid,
    d,l-Isoleucine,
    alpha-Isomethylionone,
    2-Isopropylphenol,
    Isovaleric Acid,
    Jasmine Absolute, Concrete and Oil,
    Kola Nut Extract,
    Labdanum Absolute and Oleoresin,
    Lactic Acid,
    Lauric Acid,
    Lauric Aldehyde,
    Lavandin Oil,
    Lavender Oil,
    Lemon Oil and Extract,
    Lemongrass Oil,
    1-Leucine,
    Levulinic Acid,
    Licorice Root, Fluid, Extract and Powder,
    Lime Oil ,
    Linalool,
    Linalool Oxide,
    Linalyl Acetate,
    Linden Flowers,
    Lovage Oil And Extract,
    1-Lysine,
    Mace Powder, Extract and Oil ,
    Magnesium Carbonate,
    Malic Acid,
    Malt and Malt Extract,
    Maltodextrin,
    Maltol,
    Maltyl Isobutyrate,
    Mandarin Oil,
    Maple Syrup and Concentrate,
    Mate Leaf, Absolute and Oil,
    para-Mentha-8-Thiol-3-One,
    Menthol,
    Menthone,
    Menthyl Acetate,
    dl-Methionine,
    Methoprene,
    2-Methoxy-4-Methylphenol,
    2-Methoxy-4-Vinylphenol,
    para-Methoxybenzaldehyde,
    1-(para-Methoxyphenyl)-1-Penten-3-One,
    4-(para-Methoxyphenyl)-2-Butanone,
    1-(para-Methoxyphenyl)-2-Propanone,
    Methoxypyrazine,
    Methyl 2-Furoate,
    Methyl 2-Octynoate,
    Methyl 2-Pyrrolyl Ketone,
    Methyl Anisate,
    Methyl Anthranilate,
    Methyl Benzoate,
    Methyl Cinnamate,
    Methyl Dihydrojasmonate,
    Methyl Ester of Rosin, Partially Hydrogenated,
    Methyl Isovalerate,
    Methyl Linoleate (48%),
    Methyl Linolenate (52%) Mixture,
    Methyl Naphthyl Ketone,
    Methyl Nicotinate,
    Methyl Phenylacetate,
    Methyl Salicylate,
    Methyl Sulfide,
    3-Methyl-1-Cyclopentadecanone,
    4-Methyl-1-Phenyl-2-Pentanone,
    5-Methyl-2-Phenyl-2-Hexenal,
    5-Methyl-2-Thiophenecarboxaldehyde,
    6-Methyl-3,-5-Heptadien-2-One,
    2-Methyl-3-(para-Isopropylphenyl) Propionaldehyde,
    5-Methyl-3-Hexen-2-One,
    1-Methyl-3Methoxy-4-Isopropylbenzene,
    4-Methyl-3-Pentene-2-One,
    2-Methyl-4-Phenylbutyraldehyde,
    6-Methyl-5-Hepten-2-One,
    4-Methyl-5-Thiazoleethanol,
    4-Methyl-5-Vinylthiazole,
    Methyl-alpha-Ionone,
    Methyl-trans-2-Butenoic Acid,
    4-Methylacetophenone,
    para-Methylanisole,
    alpha-Methylbenzyl Acetate,
    alpha-Methylbenzyl Alcohol,
    2-Methylbutyraldehyde,
    3-Methylbutyraldehyde,
    2-Methylbutyric Acid,
    alpha-Methylcinnamaldehyde,
    Methylcyclopentenolone,
    2-Methylheptanoic Acid,
    2-Methylhexanoic Acid,
    3-Methylpentanoic Acid,
    4-Methylpentanoic Acid,
    2-Methylpyrazine,
    5-Methylquinoxaline,
    2-Methyltetrahydrofuran-3-One,
    (Methylthio)Methylpyrazine (Mixture Of Isomers),
    3-Methylthiopropionaldehyde,
    Methyl 3-Methylthiopropionate,
    2-Methylvaleric Acid,
    Mimosa Absolute and Extract,
    Molasses Extract and Tincture,
    Mountain Maple Solid Extract,
    Mullein Flowers,
    Myristaldehyde,
    Myristic Acid,
    Myrrh Oil,
    beta-Napthyl Ethyl Ether,
    Nerol,
    Neroli Bigarde Oil,
    Nerolidol,
    Nona-2-trans,6-cis-Dienal,
    2,6-Nonadien-1-Ol,
    gamma-Nonalactone,
    Nonanal,
    Nonanoic Acid,
    Nonanone,
    trans-2-Nonen-1-Ol,
    2-Nonenal,
    Nonyl Acetate,
    Nutmeg Powder and Oil,
    Oak Chips Extract and Oil,
    Oak Moss Absolute,
    9,12-Octadecadienoic Acid (48%) And 9,12,15-Octadecatrienoic Acid (52%),
    delta-Octalactone,
    gamma-Octalactone,
    Octanal,
    Octanoic Acid,
    1-Octanol,
    2-Octanone,
    3-Octen-2-One,
    1-Octen-3-Ol,
    1-Octen-3-Yl Acetate,
    2-Octenal,
    Octyl Isobutyrate,
    Oleic Acid ,
    Olibanum Oil,
    Opoponax Oil And Gum,
    Orange Blossoms Water, Absolute, and Leaf Absolute,
    Orange Oil and Extract,
    Origanum Oil,
    Orris Concrete Oil and Root Extract,
    Palmarosa Oil,
    Palmitic Acid,
    Parsley Seed Oil,
    Patchouli Oil,
    omega-Pentadecalactone,
    2,3-Pentanedione,
    2-Pentanone,
    4-Pentenoic Acid,
    2-Pentylpyridine,
    Pepper Oil, Black And White,
    Peppermint Oil,
    Peruvian (Bois De Rose) Oil,
    Petitgrain Absolute, Mandarin Oil and Terpeneless Oil,
    alpha-Phellandrene,
    2-Phenenthyl Acetate,
    Phenenthyl Alcohol,
    Phenethyl Butyrate,
    Phenethyl Cinnamate,
    Phenethyl Isobutyrate,
    Phenethyl Isovalerate,
    Phenethyl Phenylacetate,
    Phenethyl Salicylate,
    1-Phenyl-1-Propanol,
    3-Phenyl-1-Propanol,
    2-Phenyl-2-Butenal,
    4-Phenyl-3-Buten-2-Ol,
    4-Phenyl-3-Buten-2-One,
    Phenylacetaldehyde,
    Phenylacetic Acid,
    1-Phenylalanine,
    3-Phenylpropionaldehyde,
    3-Phenylpropionic Acid,
    3-Phenylpropyl Acetate,
    3-Phenylpropyl Cinnamate,
    2-(3-Phenylpropyl)Tetrahydrofuran,
    Phosphoric Acid,
    Pimenta Leaf Oil,
    Pine Needle Oil, Pine Oil, Scotch,
    Pineapple Juice Concentrate,
    alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene,
    D-Piperitone,
    Piperonal,
    Pipsissewa Leaf Extract,
    Plum Juice,
    Potassium Sorbate,
    1-Proline,
    Propenylguaethol,
    Propionic Acid,
    Propyl Acetate,
    Propyl para-Hydroxybenzoate,
    Propylene Glycol,
    3-Propylidenephthalide,
    Prune Juice and Concentrate,
    Pyridine,
    Pyroligneous Acid And Extract,

    Pyrrole,
    Pyruvic Acid,
    Raisin Juice Concentrate,
    Rhodinol,
    Rose Absolute and Oil,
    Rosemary Oil,
    Rum,
    Rum Ether,
    Rye Extract,
    Sage, Sage Oil, and Sage Oleoresin,
    Salicylaldehyde,
    Sandalwood Oil, Yellow,
    Sclareolide,
    Skatole,
    Smoke Flavor,
    Snakeroot Oil,
    Sodium Acetate,
    Sodium Benzoate,
    Sodium Bicarbonate,
    Sodium Carbonate,
    Sodium Chloride,
    Sodium Citrate,
    Sodium Hydroxide,
    Solanone,
    Spearmint Oil,
    Styrax Extract, Gum and Oil,
    Sucrose Octaacetate,
    Sugar Alcohols,
    Sugars,
    Tagetes Oil,
    Tannic Acid,
    Tartaric Acid,
    Tea Leaf and Absolute,
    alpha-Terpineol,
    Terpinolene,
    Terpinyl Acetate,
    5,6,7,8-Tetrahydroquinoxaline,
    1,5,5,9-Tetramethyl-13-Oxatricyclo(8.3.0.0(4,9))Tridecane,
    2,3,4,5, and 3,4,5,6-Tetramethylethyl-Cyclohexanone,
    2,3,5,6-Tetramethylpyrazine,
    Thiamine Hydrochloride,
    Thiazole,
    1-Threonine,
    Thyme Oil, White and Red,
    Thymol,
    Tobacco Extracts,
    Tochopherols (mixed),
    Tolu Balsam Gum and Extract,
    Tolualdehydes,
    para-Tolyl 3-Methylbutyrate,
    para-Tolyl Acetaldehyde,
    para-Tolyl Acetate,
    para-Tolyl Isobutyrate,
    para-Tolyl Phenylacetate,
    Triacetin,
    2-Tridecanone,
    2-Tridecenal,
    Triethyl Citrate,
    3,5,5-Trimethyl -1-Hexanol,
    para,alpha,alpha-Trimethylbenzyl Alcohol,
    4-(2,6,6-Trimethylcyclohex-1-Enyl)But-2-En-4-One,
    2,6,6-Trimethylcyclohex-2-Ene-1,4-Dione,
    2,6,6-Trimethylcyclohexa-1,3-Dienyl Methan,
    4-(2,6,6-Trimethylcyclohexa-1,3-Dienyl)But-2-En-4-One,
    2,2,6-Trimethylcyclohexanone,
    2,3,5-Trimethylpyrazine,
    1-Tyrosine,
    delta-Undercalactone,
    gamma-Undecalactone,
    Undecanal,
    2-Undecanone, 1
    0-Undecenal,
    Urea,
    Valencene,
    Valeraldehyde,
    Valerian Root Extract, Oil and Powder,
    Valeric Acid,
    gamma-Valerolactone,
    Valine,
    Vanilla Extract And Oleoresin,
    Vanillin,
    Veratraldehyde,
    Vetiver Oil,
    Vinegar,
    Violet Leaf Absolute,
    Walnut Hull Extract,
    Water,
    Wheat Extract And Flour,
    Wild Cherry Bark Extract,
    Wine and Wine Sherry,
    Xanthan Gum,
    3,4-Xylenol,
    Yeast

    Just about all of those, BTW, are NOT NATURALLY FOUND IN TOBACCO. They are shit added to cigarettes by cigarette companies.

    Which means that fucking cigars and pipes are cleaner delivery systems for nicotine than cigarettes.

    Wanna know why cigarettes kill? That list of 599 additives NOT naturally found in tobacco should tell you.

  63. 63
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    And yes, I realize my list is long as hell and made this comment thread a lot longer, but that was done on purpose. Again… those are not things naturally found in tobacco. They were added by cigarette companies.

    It almost looks like they wanted to kill their customers…

  64. 64
    Algernon

    Watching people argue about this makes me want to mainline some drano.

    How’s that for healthy?

  65. 65
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Some people talk up the dangers of propylene glycol being the solution the nicotine is in.

    And many of them conflate ethylene glycol (which is in fact whacky toxic) with propylene glycol.

    This is bullshit. Propylene glycol is used commonly in the manufacture of cosmetics and some pharmaceuticals. It carries a “generally recognized as safe” label from the FDA.

  66. 66
    QueQuoi

    Hi, my name’s QueQuoi, and I’m a nicotine addict.
    *awaits super-judgemental acceptance from other people in a church basement knowing she’s just going to be expected to recite the serenity prayer*

    /snark off

    It’s an addiction. I know that. I’m not proud of it. I’ve tried to quit a hundred times and it hasn’t taken. E-cigarettes do help, and they are the best thing I’ve found so far.

    One of these days I do hope to quit smoking, but I will be godsdamned if I’m going to allow myself (and other possible commenters and lurkers) to be shamed in this space.

  67. 67
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Esteleth… safe for being put on the skin and swallowed, but for direct inhalation into the lungs?

    To be fair… the studies are still being done. I generally see a preference for vegetable glycerin around me, so that’s what I go with. Maybe propylene glycol is generally safe even for such direct inhalation. It’s one of those “more studies needed” things, I think…

  68. 68
    Robert B.

    … Urea? That’s what I think it is, right?

    Also, raisin juice? If raisins had juice, they would be grapes.

    And, granted, I’m neither a drinker or a chemist, but I think I saw a complete ingredient list for beer mixed in there. And caffeine. WTF?

  69. 69
    Paul Gibson

    Essteleth #65, if you read the post and comments you’ll see that anti-vax fundies are the ones with scare stories about propylene glycol. I’ve seen no evidence here of “conflation with ethylene glycol”.

  70. 70
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Robert B…

    Urea is indeed what you think it is.

    Raisin Juice is actually a thing.

    Not so sure about beer as I really don’t like beer, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

  71. 71
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    It wouldn’t be so rough, QueQuoi, if the other, more numerous addicts to a substance with similar physical effects as nicotine —cough*coffee*cough*starbucks—were similarly shamed. But they’re not, because more people like coffee. And because most of us think it’s whack and inexplicable to be upset about your neighbor’s addiction to a mild stimulant.

  72. 72
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Oh and yeah… caffeine… one of the more benign ingredients.

    What gets me the most are the formaldehyde and the various assorted poisons…

    In fact, after reading that list, it could be said that nicotine is probably the healthiest ingredient in cigarettes.

  73. 73
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    I am also a caffeine addict… just as a by the way…

  74. 74
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Well, sure. Veggie glycerin would probably be better. But the “propylene glycol is dangerous!” stuff is awfully overblown.

  75. 75
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    I do wonder how cigarette companies haven’t been mass convicted for the murder of millions considering all that shit…

  76. 76
    Paul Gibson

    Also, Esteleth #65: you may wish to leave science to scientists. You said “ethylene glycol (which is in fact whacky toxic)…”

    Simply not true. Toxicity is relative, and EG does not come close to what I assume you mean by “whacky toxic”. Maybe I’m misinterpreting your bizarre classification system!

  77. 77
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Esteleth… yeah, I do actually agree with you there.

  78. 78
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Paul Gibson:

    you may wish to leave science to scientists.

    Uh, okay. For the record, I have my Ph.D. in a bioscience, I am a working scientist, and I will soon be a nursing student.

    Toxicity is relative,

    Trufax. Dose makes the poison and all.

    Ethylene glycol has an LD50 of 4700 mg/kg as an oral, >200 mg/m3 as a vapor (both numbers from rats, for the record).

  79. 79
    Algernon

    Well there are flavorings that are known to be unsafe used in e-cigs. For instance any butter/caramel taste is probably as bad for your lungs when vaporized as it is for the people who make butter flavored popcorn.

    It’s not health food.

    Still, it’s a glaring hypocrisy for some one terrified of any additives in vaccines to support ANY drug at all.

    We can argue about the relative harmfulness of nicotine vs meth, but the glaring hypocrisy is still there for the anti-vax queen.

    As for addiction. You can’t fix other people’s problems. You want to stay away from everyone who is addicted to something? Good luck. That’s definitely going to keep you occupied. However, you certainly have the right to try to live a life that makes you happy. Divorce yourself from the emotions that make you angry then. They’re attachments. They’re also probably stressful enough to be dangerous.

    As for people doing things that may slowly kill them or quickly kill them… yep.

    The best way to die a virtuous death is probably called stillbirth.

  80. 80
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    I was unable to find propylene glycol toxicity data for rats in vapor. But orally in rabbits, propylene glycol has an LD50 of 18500 mg/kg.

    I will point out that 4700 mg/kg is a smaller dose than 18500 mg/kg.

  81. 81
    Robert B.

    I see wheat, yeast, hops, and water. Not to mention ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide, which aren’t really ingredients because they’re produced in the brewing rather than added, but are characteristic of the final product.

    Also wine and rum.

    Man, this list is bizarre. Calcium carbonate = seashells. Sodium bicarbonate = baking soda. Sodium hydroxide = fucking lye, though that might be neutralized by the eight million acids on the list. Why? Just… why?

    Ambergris is a whale product, how is that even legal?

    Wait a minute, how do you add carbon dioxide to a cigarette, anyway? And why would you bother? It’s a combustion product, it’ll be in the smoke anyway. (So is water, but I can think of plenty of reasons to add a cheap polar solvent to things.)

  82. 82
    Rob Grigjanis

    All this talk of health and lists. Must include Hunter S. Thompson’s breakfast of champions;

    four Bloody Marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crepes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon, or corned beef hash with diced chiles, a Spanish omelette or eggs Benedict, a quart of milk, a chopped lemon for random seasoning, and something like a slice of Key lime pie, two margaritas, and six lines of the best cocaine for dessert

    Probably a couple cigs in there somewhere as well.

  83. 83
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Algernon… that’s also true. Luckily, caramel isn’t a very popular flavor. I saw it a lot at the beginning, but I see it less and less and I basically don’t know anyone who uses it, so the market is taking care of that one. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a butter flavor, but I’ll grant that’s probably a function of my just not looking. Chocolate and vanilla are, I think, the most popular flavors. Those are the only ones I’ve tried when I’ve been granted a puff from somebody else’s. I do know there are flavors based on alcoholic drinks (like Sex on the Beach, Long Island Iced Tea, etc) and desserts (Death by Chocolate, Strawberry Shortcake, Tiramisu, Key Lime Pie, Apple Pie, etc) that I want to try, though not knowing how they create those flavors is, I admit, a bit of a worry…

    Though, full disclosure: heavily-buttered popcorn is a guilty pleasure of mine… in fact, it’s pretty much the only way I’ll eat popcorn… :(

    Esteleth… thanks. I take back what I said about PG, then. Personally I’d still probably use VG, but now I wouldn’t complain if a flavor I liked only came in PG…

    Robert… yeah… like I said, I’m shocked they haven’t been charged with some serious serial-killing. As to carbon dioxide, that’s a great question, but from what I’ve read, they apparently have found it in un-smoked cigarettes and it’s listed as an added ingredient so… I don’t know. Maybe it’s a by-product of however they add some of the other ingredients?

  84. 84
    Algernon

    “Hang on, they aren’t babies, or children, or humans with rights until they’re born.

    If the woman decides she would like some nicotine, why should we – or concerns for the parasite within her – be able to stop her doing so (or even to shame her into stopping doing so)?

    Remember autonomy, people. It always exists.”

    Paul, you make no sense.

    Actually it is the woman’s decision to make. No one is suggesting making smoking illegal for women assumed to be pregnant, or requesting pregnancy tests upon purchasing cigarettes. So yep, it’s her decision.

    Assuming she WANTS to carry the pregnancy to term and is trying to have a healthy baby, one might advise her, however, that smoking is probably not a great way to achieve this.

    One would encourage her to use her autonomous rights, her ability to choose, and her common sense to attain her goal.

    The point here is that advocating for something known to be a bad idea if you are *trying* to have a healthy baby is a very funny thing to do for some one who just spent the last 10 years trying to get people to stop vaccinating their children because… chemicals.

  85. 85
    Paul Gibson

    Esteleth: a PhD and now a nursing degree? You are a glutton for learning! Good for you. And you must have very deep pockets if you study in the same country as I live!!!!

    But the point is that ethylene glycol is not a particularly toxic, nor otherwise harmful, substance when compared to many many other compounds we are all in daily contact with. I just wanted the layperson to understand that you may not have presented them with the absolute truth in this regard. Further, as you were ” unable to find propylene glycol toxicity data for rats in vapor”, perhaps you should have left it there? Rather than go on to cite a figure for oral LD50? There was no need to overreach your data, when you could just have called it quits?

  86. 86
    Robert B.

    18500 mg/kg? It’s probably not healthy to consume two percent of your own weight of anything, except maybe water.

  87. 87
    Algernon

    Diacetyl is pretty insidious because it is often used to make vanilla flavors taste more creamy and rich. At the same time it is also a “dose makes the poison” issue too.

    As for people vaping in others faces, AFAIK the same social rules apply to e-cigs as apply to tobacco. If some one is literally blowing smoke (or vapor) in your face, they are being rude and careless.

  88. 88
    carlie

    Uh, Paul? What’s your point, here? Most of us do understand relative toxicity. Esteleth’s point was that ethylene glycol is more toxic than propylene glycol, not compared to “many other compounds we are all in daily contact with”, and she used oral ld50s for it because she was able to easily get those figures for both. Many readers here are scientists or science-adjacent, and those who aren’t tend to be pretty well-versed in general science concepts. I don’t think anything she said here would mislead anybody.

  89. 89
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Paul Gibson

    You are a glutton for learning!
    Yes, yes I am. Deal.

    And you must have very deep pockets if you study in the same country as I live!!!!

    Like most people in the US getting a Ph.D. in the sciences, I had a scholarship.

    There was no need to overreach your data, when you could just have called it quits?

    Lulz. I presented too much data?

    Also, you will note that I presented two different LD50s for ethylene glycol. I would have presented both for propylene, but could not find one. If I had just presented the one, would you be demanding where the other was?

    Also, yeah, I’m going to agree with Robert B that consuming 2% of body weight is probably not good for you. Propylene glycol is pretty safe.

  90. 90
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    gorrammit I know to blockquote!

    Retrying:

    Paul Gibson

    You are a glutton for learning!

    Yes, yes I am. Deal.

    And you must have very deep pockets if you study in the same country as I live!!!!

    Like most people in the US getting a Ph.D. in the sciences, I had a scholarship.

    There was no need to overreach your data, when you could just have called it quits?

    Lulz. I presented too much data?

    Also, you will note that I presented two different LD50s for ethylene glycol. I would have presented both for propylene, but could not find one. If I had just presented the one, would you be demanding where the other was?

    Also, yeah, I’m going to agree with Robert B that consuming 2% of body weight is probably not good for you. Propylene glycol is pretty safe.

  91. 91
    carlie

    And it may be that it’s late and I’m annoyed, but that swipe at “deep pockets” was really uncalled for. You’re basically accusing her of buying degrees rather than working for them, the way you’ve written it. Oh no, you’ll say, it was just a comment about the cost of education. No, it wasn’t. The only reason to include it was to try to insinuate a coloring of her character as somehow coddled and privileged and therefore easier to dismiss.

  92. 92
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Esteleth hasn’t said anything that isn’t true, and frankly, I’d trust her myself just from my impression of her intelligence not just after meeting her, but seeing her comments here before I met her and after.

  93. 93
    Paul Gibson

    carlie #91 Wow, thanks for telling me what I meant. How fucking dare you presume to know who I am, what I have gone through, what I go through and what my words mean. Seriously, fuck you and your innate privilege, as you seem to have so much of it that you can dispense your wisdom to others and tell them what they should say. Arrgh.

    Anyway, back on topic: eteleth, if I could speak TO you rather than someone who presumes to speak FOR you. I simply corrected your comment that “And many of them conflate ethylene glycol (which is in fact whacky toxic) with propylene glycol.” I just wanted non-scientific people to know that ethylene glycol is not – and I don’t think I would be alone in interpreting “whacky toxic” as this – extremely toxic.

    No idea why this – correcting somebody scientifically – should provoke anything more than “oh, okay, thanks for the information”.

  94. 94
    vexorian

    Comment nitpicks:

    An unwanted fetus follows the definition of a parasite. Except of course that it is still part of the reproductive method, so although it would be a parasite by cold definition, it is really not.

    On the other hand, the relationship between a mother and a wanted fetus is closer to symbiosis. Both organisms are working together for a common goal. But since in reality the fetus is part of the species , then it also doesn’t really count as such.

    Anyway, we *are* talking about babies’ safety. Jenny Mcarthy’s tips are for mothers willing to give birth to these fetuses. When they are born, they will most likely be affected negatively by the nicotine exposure during pregnancy. They are fetuses, but they will eventually become babies that will suffer because of this genius idea.

  95. 95
    Paul Gibson

    esteleth #90

    There was no need to overreach your data, when you could just have called it quits?

    Lulz. I presented too much data?

    Lulz. That’s not what is meant by “overreaching one’s data”.

    Here is thefreedictionary.com, verb meaning #2:

    To miss by reaching too far or attempting too much: overreach a goal.

  96. 96
    Kagato

    Esteleth:

    But the “propylene glycol is dangerous!” stuff is awfully overblown.

    I’m not sure how people are reacting to propylene glycol elsewhere, but in the context of this article it’s only being used to highlight Jenny McCarthy’s hypocrisy. (“It’s horrible in vaccines! It’s great to inhale!”)

    More relevant of course is the nicotine, which has known developmental effects on fetuses. She’s actively promoting a product with known, demonstrable adverse effects on fetus development; and apparently sees no problem doing so, despite the past 15 years of campaigning against vaccines and their supposed adverse effects on childhood development, on the basis of essentially no evidence at all.

  97. 97
    Paul Gibson

    carlie #91 Maybe I’m being over sensitive, but I really feel quite badly attacked here just for pointing out some scientific truth. Whatver you said:

    And it may be that it’s late and I’m annoyed, but that swipe at “deep pockets” was really uncalled for. You’re basically accusing her of buying degrees rather than working for them, the way you’ve written it. Oh no, you’ll say, it was just a comment about the cost of education. No, it wasn’t. The only reason to include it was to try to insinuate a coloring of her character as somehow coddled and privileged and therefore easier to dismiss.

    What the holy fucking fuck? So now the opinion of those with MORE privilege are are EASIER TO DISMISS?

    How…

    I don’t…

    Should I laugh or cry? We are now reduced to berating people for failing to show enough respect to those who – and these are not my words, they are words spoken for me by someone else – are “coddled and privileged and THEREFORE EASIER TO DISMISS”.

    Wow.

  98. 98
    Jadehawk

    my paternal grandmother died from lung cancer
    my paternal grandfather died from complications with diabetes which likely were the result of smoking
    my maternal grandfather died from his 2nd hard attack; the first one was at least partly caused by smoking, but he did manage to quit after; he fought cravings for most of his life after.
    both my parents smoke, and will never quit.

    if any of them would switch/had switched to e-cigs, that would have reduced harm. That makes e-cigs a good, in my book, even if it’s still harmful in some specific circumstances (pregnancy and already existing/beginning cancer). I wouldn’t want them promoted to people with no nicotine addiction at all, but for people who already have it? Harm reduction is a good thing. Attacking addicts for liking harm-reduction options? Not a good thing.

    And I’m a non-smoker. Smoked maybe for a year in high-school before stopping; never been addicted to nicotine.

  99. 99
    Kagato

    NateHevens @62:

    I object to laundry lists of chemicals like the one you posted for a number of reasons.

    For one, it’s exactly what anti-vaxxers like to do: post a list of scary-sounding chemical names, and then point out that this one is a poison, and this one is antifreeze, and this one is in window cleaner, and so on. Toxicity is always linked to dose, which is never listed (did you know apples contain cyanide???); and that a substance might form part of an unrelated product is irrelevant.

    For another, that massive list is for chemicals that “have been identified in tobacco industry documents as being added to tobacco in the manufacturing of cigarettes by the five major American cigarette manufacturing companies”. All have occurred in some cigarettes at some time, but I’d wager no single cigarette brand included all (or perhaps even most) of them. The list has been made deliberately scarier for its length.

    In addition, the list is padded with many substances which are innocuous in their own right, but “produce numerous additional chemical compounds when burned”. This risk is unspecified and unsubstantiated, which only muddies their case further.

    I’m hardly going to defend the health and safety of cigarettes, but in my opinion this particular tactic is the wrong approach to use to scare people off smoking, even if it is effective.

    Having said all that, I do have to confess curiosity as to why all that shit gets added into cigarettes. Flavour, preservatives, pest prevention…?

  100. 100
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Two points:

    1. that list of ingredients was released by those Big 5 tobacco companies to the Department of Health and Human Services in 1994. So no, they are not ingredients “identified”… it is literally the official and approved ingredients list of cigarettes. That’s what makes it different from the anti-vax laundry lists…

    2. While pretty much all additives on the list had been approved for food, they had never been approved for inhaling combustion. And the burning of cigarettes produces another 4000 chemicals that are inhaled… and let’s not get started on second-hand…

    And yes, I’m fully aware that apples contain cyanide. Can I interest you in the horrors of Dihydrogen Monoxide? :D

  101. 101
    Nathaniel Frein

    @Paul Gibson

    If you don’t like how your comment was received, maybe you should reword it?

  102. 102
    Robert B.

    Having said all that, I do have to confess curiosity as to why all that shit gets added into cigarettes. Flavour, preservatives, pest prevention…?

    Yeah, that’s about where I am, poking through that list just wondering what people are thinking. A lot of them are obvious flavorants that I would happily use in the kitchen or that a barbecuer might use in the smokehouse, and Wikipedia tells me that calcium carbonate is a preservative. The alcohols are probably there because of how they burn, and the various acids and bases probably get put in to balance the pH for flavor purposes. (Still, though. Sodium hydroxide?) For rationalist reasons, I’m doing my best not to hold any opinion about the ingredients I don’t recognize with the big scary structural organic-chem names, though I can’t help some concern at the sheer number of those.

    But whatever R&D chemist first came up with the idea of putting in urea to enhance the flavor (which according to Wikipedia is the reason for that particular ingredient) must have been a very unusual person.

    One entry on the list is “And Oil”, which I suspect is not so much evidence of cigarette companies being irresponsible with additives, and more evidence that someone is not quite clear on the Oxford comma. (“Ingredients: Tobacco, Mountain Maple Solid Extract, Isobutyraldehyde, Citric Acid, And Oil.”)

  103. 103
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Kagato… wow, I misread you… apologies…

    Yeah, I doubt every single last one of those ingredients could even fit in one average-sized cigarette. The list is one long list of all the ingredients used in the different cigarettes each company put out at different times. Still… it is an official list of ingredients, so… yeah…

    It’s not that you’re inhaling all of that, plus 4000 other chemicals created by combustion, from one cigarette. But you’re probably getting way too much of all of that over a good time-period of smoking…

    I still stand by my statement that, in light of this list, even cigars and pipes are cleaner delivery methods for nicotine than cigarettes…

  104. 104
    MrFancyPants

    A total aside, but:

    Like most people in the US getting a Ph.D. in the sciences, I had a scholarship.

    Interesting. Doctoral students in the sciences are funded via scholarships for the most part? I was under the impression that scholarship dollars were few and far between.

    I received a short-term one-year fellowship (which I guess is basically just a scholarship) and then relied upon funding from my college and my research advisor. Two years of teaching assistantships followed by two years of research assistantships, both of which I had to work my ass off for.

    But then I’m an engineer, perhaps things are different over on our side of the tracks. As an RA I helped write countless funding proposals, most of which failed, some of which got funded. Perhaps in the sciences there are fewer opportunities for similar funding, I really don’t know. Although at my university, there was a ton of money going into the Physics program, presumably from government sources.

    On-topic:
    Jenny McCarthy has, in my essentially uninformed opinion, done huge damage to childrens’ health in this country. She is a hypocrite and an asshole.

  105. 105
    anuran

    The interesting thing about fetuses is that they go from being endo-parasites to ecto-parasites

  106. 106
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Jenny McCarthy has, in my essentially uninformed opinion, done huge damage to childrens’ health in this country.

    There are those who agree with you

  107. 107
    Kagato

    No worries NateHevens… I can cut out most of my long reply now, which is for the best given it’s getting off-topic. :) I’ll try and be brief:

    1. The “identified” phrase in quotes is taken verbatim from the quitsmokingsupport.com page, so that’s them not me. No single cigarette has all 600 ingredients (as we agree) but that seems to be the implication you’re intended to take away from that website’s use of it:

    Trying to convince someone to quit? Show them this list, or better yet, print it out and give it to them – maybe once they see all of the junk that they’re putting into their bodies each time they smoke a cigarette, they’ll reconsider.

    Anti-vaxxers may sometimes take liberties with their ingredient lists, but even when they stick to the facts about vaccine contents they can still successfully use this tactic.

    2. Listing things with unspecified properties when burned and inhaled because they could theoretically be harmful is pretty weak sauce when compared with all the highly toxic & carcinogenic compounds that have been identified as such. A restructured document could list the toxic stuff first, followed by potentially harmful, then undetermined… it would be more informative and still all-inclusive, without being merely “look at all this nasty stuff”!

    Perhaps doing so would involve more work than a small advocacy organisation can muster. But still, as it stands they are using the list more as a scare tactic than an awareness campaign.

  108. 108
    Kagato

    But whatever R&D chemist first came up with the idea of putting in urea to enhance the flavor (which according to Wikipedia is the reason for that particular ingredient) must have been a very unusual person.

    Not sure how that came about… but I guess we need to keep in mind that while it may have been discovered in urine, it’s really just another chemical. No pee is used in its industrial production!

    Along with all the fertilizer (nitrogen heavy) and preservative uses listed on Wikipedia, I also see this standout: “A browning agent in factory-produced pretzels”.

    Yes folks, for extra squickiness, Google suggested me this: “food grade urea“.

    Ok, now I’m completely off topic. I’ll be off now…

  109. 109
    ledasmom

    Looks like a lot of those ingredients are for flavor and/or scent, which leads me to conclude that they’re making some interestingly-scented cigarettes (I had to look up vetiver oil. Apparently vetiver is a fragrant grass, although it sounded to me like a small wild rodent).

  110. 110
    SQB

    But whatever R&D chemist first came up with the idea of putting in urea to enhance the flavor (which according to Wikipedia is the reason for that particular ingredient) must have been a very unusual person.

    Maybe a nicotine junkie who, upon accidentily dropping their last cigaret in piss, thought “the hell with it, I’ll just let it dry”?

  111. 111
    lostintime

    #21, Josh

    It’s utterly insane—not to mention immoral—to try to take a huge harm reduction strategy away from smokers

    Taking it away is not the issue. The problem as I see it is that e-cigarette manufacturers are selling the product as a safe alternative to smoking, when no serious research has been done. No one knows whether or not e-cigarettes have long term health risks. The emphasis on harm reduction is also a dangerous ploy in some ways. My friend who is trying to give up smoking says that she has acheived this because she now smokes e-cigarettes, but in fact she still has a nicotine addiction and she ingests more nicotine now than she did when she was smoking (she can hardly put it down, and they are very expensive). When she is unable to buy an e-cigarette, she and her partner go back to smoking regular cigarettes – so the addiction has not been broken. As a strategy for giving up at least, I don’t think it’s effective. This guy is not convinced either.

  112. 112
    Nathaniel Frein

    “A browning agent in factory-produced pretzels”.

    I prefer lye, myself.

  113. 113
    carlie

    Ok, Paul, then why did you include ” And you must have very deep pockets if you study in the same country as I live!!!!” ? Because I see absolutely nothing germane to your argument in there. It’s nothing but a way to point out that you think she has a lot of money, and to do it in a disparaging way. As for dismissing her arguments because of it, yeah. Trust me, Paul, I know all about reverse snobbery. I’ve indulged in quite a bit of it in my time, until I realized that was unfair.

    And let’s not forget that you started this off with “you may wish to leave science to scientists”, which is about as condescending as it can possibly get. Esteleth is a scientist, and I’ve never seen her say that to anyone. There are a hell of a lot of scientists who post here, but you wouldn’t know it because they don’t flaunt it and say pompous shit like “leave science to scientists”, not even in the middle of arguments with people about science. The only way I have an idea how many there are is because they might have brought it up as a side note in an anecdote about their work life, or someone directly challenged them on how they know something in such detail, and it’s rare enough that it’s taken me about 7 years to catch them all (and I’m sure I haven’t, and I usually forget anyway). You can’t pull “you don’t know who I am or what I’ve been through” to excuse acting like a jerk.

  114. 114
    Walton

    I agree with Josh and Esteleth. While they may not be ideal, e-cigarettes are a hell of a lot less bad than smoking actual cigarettes, and I am firmly in favour of them. It’s a harm reduction strategy. This is something we as progressives should be supporting: rather than saying “just abstain” (a strategy which has never worked with other drugs – see the catastrophic failure of drug prohibition), we should be looking for harm reduction strategies that actually work in the real world.

  115. 115
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Lostintime, it is not, in fact, true that there have been no studies. It simply isn’t. I’m not going to spam the hell out of this thread, but if you’re interested in seeing what’s actually going on read Dr. Michael Siegel’s blog. He’s at the Boston University School of Public Health and a huge anti-smoking guy. He’s rounded up the misinformation about e-cigs for years and it’s *unbelievable*.

    http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/

    Other errors:

    1. Yes, they are effective for many people if by effective you mean “stops them smoking tobacco.” Isn’t that what we want? You can’t just say “they’re not effective, I don’t think” because you want this to be about nicotine, rather than the harmful effects of smoking.

    2. Most people wouldn’t say this about nicotine gum, which some folks chew the rest of their lives and which is a far, far better alternative than smoking. So why is this so dire with e-cigs?

    I’m sorry, but this is nonsense. It’s misguided moralizing that refuses to acknowledge what is plainly obvious about the morbidity of *smoking burnt leaves* as compared to nicotine alone.

  116. 116
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    And they’re not “very expensive”—why do you think that supports your idea that they’re bad? That’s a non-sequitur. I spend $30 a month on supplies as compared to $250 I used to spend on cigarettes.

    This is bizarro world—ordinarily rational people lose their minds over this because it’s tied up with “smoking”, and start pretending they can’t see the sky is blue.

  117. 117
    lostintime

    The person in the video by the way is a smoking cessation counsellor and parts of it are probably worth skipping as they are less relevant. I really couldn’t care less about whether or not people smoke and that wasn’t the intention of the post. I just think that supporters of e-cigarettes who claim that it’s a safe product are making baseless assumptions, and that harm reduction is a dubious strategy if you want to defend e-smoking on the grounds of health.

  118. 118
    John Horstman

    While McCarthy is certainly being inconsistent, the moralizing tone of PZ’s post is unfortunate. Optimal health is not a moral imperative.

  119. 119
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Lostintime—I’m sorry, but that doesn’t make sense. It is simply not rational to say we have no idea whether vaporized nicotine and propylene glycol or glycerin (and that’s all that’s in mine) that is NOT combusted is less harmful than ingesting burnt tobacco smoke. That’s insane. It’s obviously insane. We don’t need to know what the health effects are after 20 years of use to acknowledge the immediate health benefits of not smoking.

    Christ—my fucking cardiologist and doctor notice my lack of cough and easy breathing. This is just plain, ordinary observation.

    I wouldn’t get so exercised over this (except I do hate the brain-shut-off syndrome that accompanies discussions of smoking) if not for the fact that very big medical organizations are, in fact, trying to push e-cigs off the market. They are doing so with proven misinformation, they are directly lying about lack of research (“forgetting” to cite journal articles from other countries that contradict their line), and we’re beginning to see cities and states bring up legislation to ban them on those grounds.

    All while being totally OK with cigarettes being sold.

    Slow clap. Good job. That’s Helping People (TM).

  120. 120
    carlie

    rather than saying “just abstain” (a strategy which has never worked with other drug

    Or sex.

  121. 121
    Jadehawk

    I just think that supporters of e-cigarettes who claim that it’s a safe product are making baseless assumptions, and that harm reduction is a dubious strategy if you want to defend e-smoking on the grounds of health.

    this sentence makes me suspect that you don’t know what “harm reduction” means. A product doesn’t need to be safe to be harm-reducing and therefore a good thing in terms of health in specific circumstances.

  122. 122
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    carlie:
    I can see why you interpreted Paul’s comment that way
    However, I think he was alluding to how expensive college is, and that Esteleth must have deep pockets to be able to afford get a PhD.
    That said, Paul, you could have been clearer and perhaps not even made the assumption to begin with. Especially since it turned out to be wrong. Scholarships are quite common.

  123. 123
    gussnarp

    It’s hard to believe McCarthy could get any lower, but this is definitely a new low. I don’t see how anyone who makes money off of tobacco of any kind can sleep at night.

  124. 124
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    I will cop to being privileged. I had the privilege to be born to parents who were willing and able to support me when I was an undergraduate, thus saving me from having to put allof my undergraduate tuition on loans (I’m an atypical Millennial in that I only have $20,000 in loans).

    I had the privilege that this afforded to enable me to focus on my schoolwork, which is what enabled me to be a good candidate when I was applying to graduate school.

    But I resent the notion that I have “deep pockets.” I am currently $25,000 in debt (student loans, car loan, etc), and getting ready to take out more loans to pay for nursing school, because my savings cannot cover the expense. But then, I am privileged insofar that I have good credit, which means that I’m unlikely to be price-gouged when I do take out those loans.

    But when you say that supplying two LD50 values for a given compound (and only providing one for a second) is “overreaching,” Cupcake, you don’t know what overreaching is. Overreaching would be saying that the difference in LD50 values is non-significant. Overreaching would be saying with certainty what the human LD50 values are based on rodent data (rather than saying that the rodent LD50 values may be within a SD of the human values).

  125. 125
    carlie

    Tony – I know, that’s exactly what he said. But there was no reason to say it other than to draw attention to the fact that he thought Esteleth must be rich. If he was just trying to say college is expensive, he could have said that. Or commented that she must have worked hard to be able to afford it, or wow, she must have a lot of student loans, or something of the sort. But nope, he went straight to she must be rich, and that’s something he wanted to specifically point out, right after she had let him know he was wrong about her not being a scientist. It was a rhetorical way of getting another jab in after his first one had just been shot down.

  126. 126
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Yeah, a tip, Paul: if you don’t want to be taken as condescending and pompous, maybe not starting with “leave science to the scientists” would be a good tactic, as I can think of few occasions where this would not register with at least 6 kWr* of pomposity. And that’s a logarithmic scale.

    Cause, y’know, even those of us with humanities degrees often have our scientific loves; this should perhaps be somewhat unsurprising on the blog of a well-known SCIENTIST.

    Just sayin’, is all.

    * The new SI unit “Winchester”, abbreviated “Wr”, for the preening prince of pomposity from the long-running series M*A*S*H.

  127. 127
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Re: urea in tobacco. It is used as a means of providing ammonia during pyrolysis, which will react with the nicotine salts to increase the amount of free nicotine in the vapor phase, increasing its effects.

  128. 128
    Q.E.D

    I’ve been vaping for one week. I was a 20+ a day committed smoker for 23 years. I am now down to 5-10 fags a day. I am on the road to stopping smoking. I need to quit before my infant daughter learns to smoke from my example.

    Anti vaping people can kiss my arse.

  129. 129
    Richard Smith

    @Q.E.D (#128):

    Anti vaping people can kiss my arse.

    Bleagh! I’ll bet it tastes like kissing an arse-tray…

  130. 130
    Marcus Ranum

    This is an anecdote, but I am not presenting it as evidence.

    I know a guy who used to smoke periodically. He switched to an e-cig and now he is constantly puffing on the thing. I’ve often wondered whether he’s taking in more crap in smaller doses than if he just smoked cigarettes, though I suppose he’s avoiding some nasty byproducts.

    That said, inhaling stuff other than air seems like a bad idea, whether or not it’s comparatively better to inhale one thing or another. But unless we’re collectively being asked to help defray the cost of someone’s cancer or skydiving accident or whatever to a massive degree, I don’t see why it’s any of my business how someone else chooses to shorten their life. My personal preferences in that area involve red wine, pizza, and nitrous oxide. Though, even if I were living as healthy a life as possible, that still wouldn’t give me any moral standing to look down on someone for their toxins of choice.

    It seems to me, though, that the point is McCarthy makes a living simultaneously worrying about people’s ingesting toxins, while not applying a similar level of skepticism to herself. It’s as if she’s one of those skeptics that’s skeptical about thimerosal but not botulinum toxin, or something. Or skeptical about bigfoot but not god, etc. It seems to me that we look for intellectual consistency because we’ve learned that inconsistency is a hallmark of bad (or at best spotty) thinkers.

  131. 131
    SQB

    Haven’t made my mind up about e-cigs. Seems to me they’re a good thing if you’re coming down from actual cigarettes, but a bad thing if you’re coming up from nothing at all.
    There was a story in the news a couple of months ago of them being targeted at teens, using flashy colours and fruity flavours (not necessarily containing nicotine), but I haven’t tried finding out the veracity of that (yet).

  132. 132
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Jesus Christ. It’s not a mystery to understand the vast difference between the burnt particulates in smoke, and the vaporization of glycerine and nicotine. This is only so hard for people because SMOKING IS BAD is so ingrained we have a hard time separating out anything that looks like smoking or could be associated with it.

    Folks—nicotine is not the killer. No, it’s not “good,” but it doesn’t HAVE to be. Caffeine is about on a par. Are you worried that Starbucks is “marketing to children”? Are you worried about “shortening your life” with caffeine?

    No. But you sure do have you some opinions about nicotine.

  133. 133
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    SQB—-Those stories about targeting kids are rampant. They’re trumped up because they work. They provoke hysteria. Trouble is:

    1. Adults like nice flavors too. That’s astonishing, I know. But they do.

    2. No one proposes to ban wines, boutique flavored liquors, or anything of the sort because “kidz like fruity flavors.” We impose age limits on consumption. Duh.

    3. Even IF kids started taking up e-cigs it would be far better than taking up smoking, something nobody seems to figure out. No, I don’t want kids to do so. But perspective.

    E-cigs aren’t a gateway to cigarettes. Anyone who’s quit and now vapes can tell you cigarettes taste fucking disgusting to the non-smoker.

  134. 134
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    And, what ever would be the trouble with nicotine free flashy fruit flavored vaporizers? Seriously? This is how deranged we’ve gotten on this issue. It’s a purely emotive visual association. It’s completely, utterly irrational.

  135. 135
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Josh… I think I said it in my first post on this thread, but I have friends who use the nicotine-free flavors as craving-control while they’re dieting. One friend is staying off sugar because of her family history with diabetes, but she still craves sweet things. So she vapes nicotine-free juices that have dessert flavors (tiramisu, key lime pie, chocolate, red velvet, etc) and these control her cravings.

    I have another friend who just started what I’m doing (I use MyNetDiary to count calories… started June 30, 2012, at 230 pounds, and by August of this year I had dropped to 175 :D), and he’s trying keep down to 1900 calories (he found out he regularly ate 4500 calories a day, and he was not particularly active… I was eating 3500 to 4000 calories a day myself, and I was even less active). The nicotine-free juices help control his cravings, too.

    These are, obviously, simple anecdotes, and don’t make great evidence for definite conclusions, but I see no reason for not looking in to such possibilities scientifically.

    Of course, none of this is germane to the point, which is harm-reduction. E-cigs contribute to harm-reduction, so I simply don’t understand the negative reaction to them. They’re horrible if you’ve never smoked, but if you’re already addicted, e-cigs are a hell of a lot better than burning tobacco.

  136. 136
    trekkinbob

    “and if you really, really care about babies, you shouldn’t encourage other people to use nicotine during pregnancy.”

    Not to play a debil’s advocate here, but aren’t developing babies considered fetuses? If one were truly for their blanket protection I suppose one would advocate against abortion or perhaps for a woman’s right to smoke, drink, or do whatever she wishes during pregnancy. Conundrums sure are interesting.

  137. 137
    Q.E.D

    @ Josh Official Spokesgay

    Thanks for trying to point out that anti-vaping people are jumping on the “smoking” hysteria bandwagon.

    Looks like France’s Health minister is targeting vaping, just as you say, out of hysteria, not science based policy making.

    “Jean-François Etter, a professor of Public Health at the University of Geneva. “The e-cigarette is an alternative that can save millions of lives. I don’t understand these disappointing declarations, which go against the welfare of the population.”

    source: http://www.france24.com/en/20130531-france-trying-kill-e-cigarette-marisol-touraine

  138. 138
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Q.E.D., then France’s Health Minister is wrong. Then again, I’m not surprised, as health ministers and such are still screaming about the evils of marijuana, a drug which, while also not healthy (especially when smoking), does have some potenial (ie: further study required) health benefits.

    E-cigarettes are not healthy. But they are sure-as-fuck healthier than burning tobacco. Why is no one getting that?

    It isn’t hard.

    No one… not a single fucking person… is claiming that e-cigarettes are these great health breakthroughs that will strengthen your immune system and cure cancer and the common cold and kill the HIV virus and what-the-fuck ever.

    All we’re arguing is that e-cigs are a cleaner delivery system for nicotine than burning tobacco, and seems to help some people quit all together.

    Seriously… what is so damn controversial about that?

  139. 139
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Does anyone else think that Paul would have been somewhat less condescending to a commenter with a more masculine-sounding name?

    Trekkinbob, you’ve elided the critical factor of whether the woman wants the pregnancy or not. Bodily autonomy matters.

    Also, all the health-as-moral-imperative douchebins here can go piss up a rope.

  140. 140
    Doug Hudson

    The anti-e-cigarette fanatics remind me of the C.S. Lewis quote:

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

    What harm does it do me if adults can buy and use e-cigarettes? And don’t give me that “public health concern” BS, because that’s a road we really don’t want to go down.

  141. 141
    ChasCPeterson

    Strictly speaking, a fetus most certainly is a parasite on its host’s (mother’s) body. The term “parasite” has a real meaning, it is not just a vague pejorative

    when there is shared genetic code involved, the propagation of the code supercedes the concept of parasitism.

    An unwanted fetus follows the definition of a parasite. Except of course that it is still part of the reproductive method, so although it would be a parasite by cold definition, it is really not.
    On the other hand, the relationship between a mother and a wanted fetus is closer to symbiosis. Both organisms are working together for a common goal.

    > There is no one correct technical definition for “parasite”. It means one thing to parasitologists and something else to community ecologists, for example.
    > From the parasitological-definition perspective, a human fetus is not a parasite because, although it does obtain all its resources from a host organism, it’s a) the same species* as its host, b) too big (at least gets too big). Fetuses are analogous to paristological parasites in terms of nutrition only.
    > From the ecological-definition perspective, a parasite not only has to be a different and much smaller species, it has to inflict harm on the host, and the harm has to be manifested in Darwinian fitness. Direct reproduction (and its obligate physiological processes) can never constitute a reduction in fitness (best estimated for individuals by lifetime reproductive success).
    > It doesn’t matter if a fetus is unwanted, unless it’s actually aborted.( I guess it’s possible that aborted fetuses (and infanticides) could be regarded as having been analogous to an ecological parasitic in hindsight, if the probability for a woman’s future reproduction is decreased as a result.)
    > Symbiosis (a term of community ecology) also requires (usually much) different species, but here even the analogy fails because symbiotic organisms, unlike a pregnant woman and fetus, are not cooperating for a common goal, but are pursuing their own goals in a mutually beneficial way.
    But anyway.

    Authorities such as the Mayo Clinic are actively lying about them

    Seems an assertion worth referencing. (the blog you linked later?)

    Teratogens are may not all be carcinogens. They do not Many have not been shown to cause cancer in a healthy adult.

    FI.

    NateHevens @#62: that was unnecessary and really annoying.

    that was done on purpose

    yeah. Really annoying. And unnecessary.

    many of them conflate ethylene glycol (which is in fact whacky toxic) with propylene glycol.

    As the other guy sez, EG is not, “in fact,” toxic enough for “whacky” to have any meaning here.

    Veggie glycerin would probably be better.

    why?
    3 hydroxyls good, 2 hydroxyls bad?
    Would it make a difference if the glycerin was of non-vegetable origin?

    *of course, all parasites and their hosts “share genetic code”.

  142. 142
    Doug Hudson

    ChasCPeterson @ 141, not all pregnant women see themselves as “cooperating for a common goal” with their fetus.

    Besides, the fetus doesn’t contribute anything to the “common goal” anyway, so it’s hardly cooperative.

  143. 143
    carlie

    Does anyone else think that Paul would have been somewhat less condescending to a commenter with a more masculine-sounding name?

    It certainly seemed to have an implied “dearie” at the end, didn’t it?

  144. 144
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Carlie:
    Good point.
    I withdraw my comment.

  145. 145
    unclefrogy

    as I see it the main point of PZ’s post was to point out the blatant hypocrisy in being anti vaccination and pro e-cigarets which still stands regardless if either stances are true or false it clearly points out how essentially emotional the argument was and hints at how important the notoriety was it seems that fame and fortune was at least as important as the babies .

    of all the methods of delivery of nicotine smoking cigarets was the cleanest neatest method when compared to all of the others including chewing and snuff, smoking pipes and cigars which have the distinction of being a duel delivery system being chewing and smoking at the same time all very messy. Now come patches and gum and inhalers that look like cigarets. Smoking industrial cigarets helped make tobacco more popular. Time will tell if “e-cigarets” will maintain that popularity.
    I think one of the things that helped me finally quit tobaco was having used Black leaf 40 (a nicotine product) as an insecticide a very good one at that..

    uncle frogy

  146. 146
    Jadehawk

    “and if you really, really care about babies, you shouldn’t encourage other people to use nicotine during pregnancy.”

    Not to play a debil’s advocate here, but aren’t developing babies considered fetuses? If one were truly for their blanket protection I suppose one would advocate against abortion or perhaps for a woman’s right to smoke, drink, or do whatever she wishes during pregnancy. Conundrums sure are interesting.

    this comment is predicated entirely on refusing to understand what “encourage other people” means. There is no actual conundrum. “encourage other people” involves other people‘s bodies, not your own.

  147. 147
    ck

    Josh, Official SpokesGay wrote:

    2. No one proposes to ban wines, boutique flavored liquors, or anything of the sort because “kidz like fruity flavors.” We impose age limits on consumption. Duh.

    Actually, I have heard that used. I think the last time I remember hearing about it was about Mike’s Hard Lemonade, which some groups claimed where targeted at children, along with several of the other chocolate, mint or fruit flavoured spirits.

    And frankly, I agree with the Mayo clinic, although that doesn’t mean I want them banned. At this point, you don’t know if the nicotine cartridges are adulterated with a substance you don’t want to inhale, and the fact that several of the supposed nicotine-free cartridges that were tested by the FDA actually contain nicotine just reinforces this. What I want is for them to be tightly regulated, tested and no longer treated as a free-for-all “grey market”-type item.

  148. 148
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    the fact that several of the supposed nicotine-free cartridges that were tested by the FDA actually contain nicotine

    I read about that, and found it strange.

    I will grant this: I would very much like to see e-cigs FDA approved, and I have no problem with the fact that this requires quality control assurances and so on. The claims of e-cigs (help quit smoking, cleaner delivery system, etc) are not yet fully tested scientifically, with the numerous anecdotes only showing that they should be tested simply because the potential is there.

    If supposedly nicotine-free cartridges contain nicotine, then that’s a serious problem and needs to be fixed.

    I see no reason the FDA shouldn’t regulate e-cigs. I already know the vast majority of places selling e-cigs will not sell them to anyone under 18, and I’ve already seen one person almost arrested for agreeing to buy a kid one (the cop let him go when he promised to drive away with the cop watching… the kid didn’t get the e-cig, at least from the person). So, at least socially, they are treated like tobacco products normally are. Just add FDA-regulation, and things should be, I hope, fine.

    What I don’t want to see, however, are e-cigs stigmatized to be “just like cigarettes”, and treated as such. They very clearly are not like cigarettes. For starters, there’s no tobacco. For another, it’s not combustion, but vapor. You’re not breathing anything with carcinogens and tar and carbon dioxide and all that shit into your lungs. It’s still likely not explicitly healthy, but I see no way these couldn’t be healthier than cigarettes at the very least.

    I look at marijuana the same. So many people have found benefits for themselves using marijuana. People with cerebral palsy have said that it suppresses nearly all symptoms. People who get migraines have said that it helps with their migraines (including Carrie Poppy, BTW [her name has two different links]). I have a friend who’s ADHD who concentrates better (or so it seems) with marijuana, and another who suffers from anorexia who uses marijuana to help herself eat, and she’s actually managed to not only gain weight, but not feel bad about herself because of it… she’s in fact really happy with how marijuana’s been able to help her.

    Of course, none of that proves that marijuana is a wonder drug. Placebos work for some people, too; that’s why there’s a concept called “the placebo effect”. What it does show, however, is that marijuana is worth being looked at to see if these anecdotes actually do suggest that marijuana has potential benefits beyond your typical placebo… and if the side-effects are worth it.

    And yes, there is a point related to e-cigs here, and it’s that people who use e-cigs report being healthier, and many report using them to quit completely or at least enough where they’ve stopped cigarettes entirely but will still join friends every once in a while to go to a cigar bar or a hookah bar. And all the ones I know who’ve quit either partially or entirely have either stopped using the nicotine juices or stopped using the e-cigs all-together, as well.

    And again, as in the case of marijuana, these anecdotes do not prove anything. Again, there’s the placebo effect. They do show, however, that e-cigs may have potential benefits for cigarette smokers and also everybody else (due to a general lack of dirty second-hand), and they are worth studying in that regard.

    I wish our culture had a scientific outlooks towards drugs in general. I think we’d be better off if people looked at all drugs the same way they look at, say, Advil (it has many benefits but also side-effects; scientists should test it, and individual people should, once the substance has been tested, weigh the risks and benefits for themselves).

  149. 149
    Terry Karney

    Along with all the fertilizer (nitrogen heavy) and preservative uses listed on Wikipedia, I also see this standout: “A browning agent in factory-produced pretzels”.

    Which is better than what was used when pretzels were invented: lye. A healthy dash of white ash was added to the water bath they get tossed (as with bagels) before baking.

  150. 150
    Terry Karney

    Besides, the fetus doesn’t contribute anything to the “common goal” anyway, so it’s hardly cooperative.

    Really? What’s the common goal? I’d say it was, “have a child”. The fetus looks to be pretty important in making that happen. What I see in P.Z.’s comment as, “those who are having a baby, ought to consider the health risks nicotine presents”. There is an implicit idea that the pregnant person is, in fact, trying to carry the fetus to term, and will; as a result, end up with a baby.

  151. 151
    Doug Hudson

    Terry @150, as far as I know, a fetus is incapable of breathing, eating, or photosynthesis, so it has no way to generate the energy to build cells; all of the energy is donated by the mother. It is not a cooperative process, the fetus contributes nothing and has no say in the process.

    I agree with the rest of your comment, though, and my comment wasn’t aimed at PZ anyway, I was disagreeing with ChasCPeterson’s assertion that a fetus is not a parasite. It may not be a parasite by a strict scientific definition, but it’s close enough for the everyday meaning.

    With “pro-fetus” activists doing everything they can to strip away women’s right to choose, I get a little jumpy at anything that suggests that a pregnant woman is obligated to the fetus.

  152. 152
    deee

    E-cigarettes are a good thing. Now, I don’t think they (or any nicotine-containing product) should be used during pregnancy.

    However, as a general alternative to tobacco, they’re great. They’re safer, healthier, less dangerous to both users and people near them, they’re better than traditional cigarettes in practically any measure you wish to compare.

    There’s been a lot of outcry from politicians and other “concerned parties”, no doubt inspired by the big tobacco lobbyists – as you have to understand something: these are a direct competition to big tobacco companies, as well as to traditional nicotine-replacement medicines and delivery systems, and many people stand to lose money if they catch on – however, they are also something that can save the lives of many people.

    So, there are attempts to regulate e-cigarettes, to make them less attractive to users, to drive the users of e-cigs back to the profitable business of actual cigarettes. All the usual moral panic gets used here: they haven’t been studied enough, there needs to be more regulation because anything could be in those things… and the all-time favorite, think of the children – some even claim they serve as “gateway drugs” to real cigarettes!

    Personally, I quit smoking actual cigarettes 2½ months ago, after 17 years of non-stop smoking, and moved on to use an e-cigarette. It was the best decision of my life. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that nicotine vapour is relatively healthy when compared to the variety of toxic materials, carcinogens, carbon monoxide, nitrosamines etc. etc. you get from actual tobacco smoke.

    TL;DR: e-cigarettes are great, just don’t use them if you have a baby inside your body.

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