Rolling Stone on e-cigarettes

Rolling Stone reports:

Daniel Walsh was first drawn to electronic cigarettes for the same reason millions of smokers have taken up the devices. “I was a guy who could work 20 hour days and juggle a number of complex projects, but I couldn’t quit,” says Walsh. “It was my greatest deficit.” The quixotic promise that have made e-cigs the subject of endless controversy — that smoking cessation and smoking as recreation can coexist — resonated with Walsh. After successfully making the switch, he was so enamored by the product that he left his job developing artificial intelligence in San Francisco, decamped to Michigan and launched Purebacco, a manufacturer of the flavored, nicotine-laced liquid that are battery-heated into an inhalable vapor inside e-cigs. With over 30 employees, satellite offices in San Francisco and London, and plans to expand into a 40,000-square-foot headquarters, Purebacco’s growth is a microcosm of the industry as a whole, which is estimated to do $3.5 billion in sales this year. “There is so much anecdotal evidence out there supporting the idea that people like me have helped hundreds of thousands of smokers quit,” says Walsh, who is known to colleagues as the High Priest of Vaping, a fitting nickname for an enigmatic scientist with a mane of blond dreadlocks who works long hours in his sleek laboratory. “Yet as an e-cig CEO, I’m not really supposed to say that, since current rules prohibit us from marketing our products as anything but another vice.”

In many countries it is more difficult to sell or import than actual cigarettes. including NZ.

Whereas 84 percent of smokers believed e-cigs to be safer than ordinary cigarettes in 2010, by 2013 that figure had dropped to 63 percent. A study last year found that a third of people who had abandoned e-cigs and resumed smoking tobacco did so out of concern for the health effects of vaping.

Vaping does have some health impact, but it is exponentially less than actual smoking.

People smoke for nicotine but they die from tar.” Michael Russell, a South African scientist widely considered to be the godfather of tobacco control, wrote those words in 1976.

This is the crux – you get addicted to the nicotine, but it is the tar which kills you. So a product that delivers nicotine without tar is far better than a product that does both.

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