The American Lung Association Has Lost My Support

1st of all, I am proud to say that I have been smoke-free for almost 2 years. I have been nicotine-free for 6 months now. I put down the cigerettes in March 2014 and I started vaping. I went from 18mg e-liquid to 3mg in the 1st year. I continued vaping 3mg e-liquid for a while and 6 months ago I started vaping juice with zero nicotine. Now, I only vape for the enjoyment and I don’t really do it all that often.

If not for E-cigs, I would still be smoking and I am very thankful for vaping! I feel so much better now.

The American Lung Association is one of the causes I was giving through my employer but this fall when it’s time to update, I will be dropping them fast. Their stance on vaping has me furious right now. I knew that they didn’t “support” e-cigs, but until this story on TMZ yesterday, I didn’t know that they were actively fighting against vaping.

This tweet by the AMA was clearly a shot at Leonardo DiCaprio who was seen vaping at the SAG Awards last weekend.

The American Lung Association is concerned about the potential health consequences of e-cigarettes. Federal oversight and regulation of e-cigarettes is desperately needed to protect children and the public. This need becomes more urgent as e-cigarette use dramatically increases, especially among youth.

Are they worried about our health or their donors?

Pfizer, the company that brings us Chantrix and Nicotrol, supports the American Lung Association. In 2015, Pfizer donated almost $750,000 to the AMA. They donated more than $650,000 in 2014 and only $36,000 or so in 2013. The years prior to 2013 were also fairly low in donations. Why the sudden increase in 2014 and 2015, the 2 years that have seen exponential growth in the E-Cig industry? Who knows?

There have been rumors that the American Lung Association also receives funding from tobacco companies but I am not sure on this. I can say that they are only supported by Pfizer, but other pharmaceutical companies as well. Their website shows the logos for Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Merck, and Novartis.

Why would an organization concerned with lung health want to stifle a smoking cessation product that is working for thousands of former smokers? A smoking cessation product that the American Heart Association gave their blessings to.

This just makes me angry.

I think what makes me so mad is that vaping is being scrutinized by so many organizations yet it’s helped so many stop smoking, myself included.

Here are some statements by the American Lung Association on their page to campaign against E-cig use.

Nicotine is not safe. The U.S. Surgeon General has found exposure to nicotine during pregnancy harms the developing fetus, and causes lasting consequences for developing brain and lung function in newborns. Nicotine exposure also affects maternal and fetal health during pregnancy, and can result in low birth weights, preterm delivery and stillbirth.

I agree, Nicotine is evil. It’s addictive. Smokers are addicted to nicotine.

That’s why we have to use a nicotine substitute to transition away from nicotine like I did. As I said, I went from 18m to 12mg to 6mg to 3mg to 0mg over a year and a half. Now I am not a slave to nicotine.

Without FDA regulation and review, we simply don’t know what is in e-cigarettes. However, in initial lab tests conducted in 2009, the FDA found detectable levels of toxic cancer-causing chemicals—including an ingredient used in antifreeze—in two leading brands of e-cigarettes and 18 various cartridges. A review of studies found that levels of toxins in e-cigarette aerosol varied considerably within and between brands. A 2014 study found that aerosol from e-cigarettes with a higher voltage level contains more formaldehyde, another carcinogen with the potential to cause cancer. The findings are alarming, and the American Lung Association urgently calls for FDA oversight of these products.

Again, I agree that there need to be regulations on the e-liquid that is available, but condemning the entire industry over some studies that have already been debunked seems harsh.

The 2009 study, from what I understand, was done on a Chinese e-liquid and the level of formaldehyde were less of that in cigarettes. I think I would take that Chinese juice over a Marlboro any day of the week.

I am not real informed about the 2014 study.

Instead of quitting, many e-cigarette users are continuing to use e-cigarettes while still using conventional cigarettes. In 2013, 76.8 percent of the people who recently used e-cigarettes also currently smoked conventional cigarettes. The U.S. Surgeon General has found that even smoking a few cigarettes a day is dangerous to your health.

I have 100s of friends that quit smoking with e-cigs and I only know 1 single person that continues to smoke cigarettes too. I do not believe this study that claims that 76% of people using e-cigs currently smoke too. This study was in 2013 and the E-cig was less evolved than they are now, but even then, I highly doubt that percentage.

The tobacco industry aggressively markets e-cigarettes to youth, glamorizing e-cigarette use in advertisements and offering e-cigarettes in candy flavors such as bubble gum and gummy bears. Kids also can easily buy e-cigarettes online, according to a March 2015 study published in the Journal of JAMA Pediatrics.

I am quite sure there are many e-liquid companies targeting kids with their marketing, but the majority of the industry is keeping everything above board. If not for flavors, most of us adults that vape wouldn’t have been able to quit using e-cigs. If I had to vape a straight up tobacco flavor, I wouldn’t have stuck with it.

Bottom Line. Whether they are completely safe or not E-Cigarettes > Cigarettes and day of the week. Recognize this. If there are some long term side effects that show up in my body many years from now, I am quite sure they are better than my fate had I continued smoking analogs.

The American Lung Association can say bye-bye to any support from me.

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3 Comments

  1. Vape John says

    American Lung Association is a business. They will do what is necessary to protect their investment, including lie and spread misinformation

    1. Chris says

      Unfortunate to be honest. These organizations should be for the people, not their own pockets. Meh. 🙁

  2. dansus says

    Nicotine divorced from tobacco isnt that evil, in fact, for adults it could be beneficial to health and cognitive function later in life.

    Also, the UK CMO says nicotine about as addictive as caffeine, so not that bad when isolated from the 4000+ chemicals in tobacco.

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