Dear Respected Colleague:
On Jan 3, 2014, the President of the World Health Organization wrote:
“Vaping could possibly be the single most important medical advancement of the 21st century.”
As I am certain you will agree, this statement certainly warrants a circumspect evaluation as such accolades are rarely proffered in an age of a plethora of medical innovations. It is my intention to apprise you of this technology as it may allow healthcare providers a tenable solution to one of the most egregious scourges to population health, notwithstanding the billions of healthcare dollars that are spent annually treating the ravages of cigarette smoking.
“Vaping,” short for vaporization, is a process discovered in 2004 by Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist, whose discovery was attributed to the death of his father from lung cancer. The process is unique in that, instead of smoke, a substance can be vaporized (not particularized, as in smoke) by application of short bursts of heat, producing the tactile and respiratory sensations of smoking. The process has been substantially advanced by the development of battery miniaturization, which allows the delivery of the “cigarette substitute” in a compact fashion, delivering nicotine to the user who exhales nothing but water vapor. The discovery of a mixture of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, water (in some cases vodka, the ETOH which is burned off) and nicotine. Fortunately, all of the ingredients in “e-liquid” are substances found in many of our food stuffs and have long been approved by the FDA. The result has been the fastest growing industry in history, including the computer industry. Robert West, Professor of Health Psychology and Director of Tobacco Studies at the University College of London states;
“If used [prudently,} I would say that the risk is negligible and compared with smoking, there is no contest. They are (e-cigarettes) at least a 100 times less hazardous than cigarettes and they do not expose users to tar and carbon monoxide in the doses received.”
For over 35 years as an orthopaedic surgeon, I have been preaching the evils of cigarette smoking, attempting thousands of times to compel smokers to recognize the serious health hazards they represent, but have had little success as there has yet been a viable alternative to the noxious habit. Until NOW! Pharmaceutical solutions such as Nicorette and Chantix can boast, at best, a 20% success rate, the most successful e cessation method being reported is, in fact, hypnosis, followed closely by acupuncture; again, both with paltry results.
It is now being reported, and corroborated by my personal experience, that success rates for smoking cessation (the FDA prefers we use the expression, “harm reduction”) are in the neighborhood of 80+%! Why, because the delivery method of nicotine most closely simulates the tactile, respiratory and physiological experience of smoking.
Why have we not been inundated with information regarding this stunning scientific breakthrough? For some of the following reasons:
*Cigarettes produce $25B in annual tax revenues.
*The government sustains a $440 billion dollar price tag and 440 thousand deaths annually, directly attributable to smoking. Does it take a brain surgeon to do the math here? This puts your government senselessly in the red, a color getting darker and darker because of the tobacco lobby. As this color deepens, your bank account also gets darker and darker red!
*Federal grants for research seems to be preponderantly awarded to those who wish to add to the “negative “ bibliography of vaping and, egregiously vilify a good and enjoyable habit which, on balance, makes cigarette smoking a habit for fools and weak-kneed individuals who refuse to even consider a healthier change in theirs and their families’ and other citizen’s lives.
Though I could produce a lengthy treatise regarding the pros and cons of cigarette smoking relative to vaping or e-cigarettes, I will enumerate several, and provide annotation to anyone who wishes to see the written facts:
Here is my plea. I have made a decision to dedicate myself to promoting a safer alternative to smoking by researching the safest, most economical vaping products available worldwide to finally establish a viable, permanent alternative to smoking, and, ultimately, to a viable pathway of medicine delivery as well, the results of which can be found at DocsVapeEscape!
NOTE: This letter was still in production at the time of the Doc’s death, 5/14/16.