Why I Think Discriminating Against Smokers is Effectively Ethnic Discrimination

Discussion in 'Law and the E-Cigarette' started by toddkuen, May 13, 2014.

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  1. toddkuen

    toddkuen Senior Member ECF Veteran

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    So for many years I have been interested in and studying what separates smokers from non-smokers.

    Recently I found this article.

    Its about cotinine - a metabolite of nicotine (basically nicotine treated with either hydrogen peroxide or UV light).

    Most (say 65% or more) of nicotine is converted to cotinine when you vape or smoke cigarettes.

    Its says, among much else, that "Individuals that express a catalytically deficient form of CYP2A6 [ a gene ] (i.e., CYP2A6*4) showed a lower rate of cigarette consumption compared with individuals that express the normal allele... Therefore cotinine metabolism and, consequently, smoking behavior can be influenced by ethnicity."

    Thus whether or not your body expresses CYP2A6 a certain way determines your reaction to cotinine.

    A deficient expression of the gene and you don't need to smoke (I believe I have that) because you process cotinine differently.

    Cotinine comes from the nicotine you ingest (non smokers have a very low level in their blood) - either eat, e.g., peppers, or inhale.

    Smokers have a much higher level of cotinine in their blood (hence the use of cotinine markers for busting smokers) - but its because genetically they need it.

    There is enough meat in this article (plus much else available about cotinine) to convince me smoking (or vaping) is genetic.

    Hence discrimination against smokers is like discriminating against women with BRCA (the breast cancer gene).

    I would think this is illegal.
     
  2. toddkuen

    toddkuen Senior Member ECF Veteran

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    Some additional notes:

    CYP2A6 is a gene that, according to Wikipedia, processes nicotine and cotinine.

    Now there are recognized mutations of this gene (see this for a discussion).

    Now recall is, according to the CDC, that there is such a thing as "dietary nicotine."

    Never heard this?

    Neither had I until I found this link to studies by the CDC where everyone of 800 people tested for nicotine (non-smokers) tested positive.

    Now think about this. Nicotine is in our foods as a necessary nutrient.

    So it stands to reason that human (and mammals) can process nicotine and use it in their bodies.

    No one wants you to know that dietary nicotine is a necessary nutrient - that would explode the entire "smoking" myth.

    Yet there it is.

    So its not a big stretch to imagine mutations of this ability to process nicotine.

    Hence you have smoking and now vaping - which has been around for perhaps 5,000 years.

    So folks have been studying what happens when you manipulate this gene (see this).

    Now, if you were short of, say niacin (nicotinic acid or vitamin B3) it would be no problem to run down to the store and get some.

    In fact, pellagra is a recognized disease with niacin deficiency.

    Yet a deficiency of cotinine means you are a jerk because you vape or smoke to replace what your body needs.

    Doesn't strike me as fair.

    So if every human being consumes and biochemically requires nicotine in their diet as a necessary nutrient how is that the FDA can dictate you can't consume extra?

    If you withheld vitamin C from your child and the child became ill with scurvy you'd go to jail.
     
  3. toddkuen

    toddkuen Senior Member ECF Veteran

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    I think its an excellent hypothesis that relies on all that the FDA, CDC and big tobacco don't want you to know and boils down to this:

    1) Tobacco smoking is an FDA regulated system that delivers necessary, naturally occurring, non-addictive, not-specific-to-tobacco nutrient nicotine to humans.

    2) Your need for nicotine is genetic and depends on mutations of CPY2A6 which in turn control how your body processes both nicotine and cotinine.

    3) Ethically we can all agree that smoking is regulated by the FDA because its bad for your personal health and causes long term, expensive public health issues.

    But now we discover nicotine is only really addictive when coupled with whole tobacco alkaloids, i.e., when smoking, and occurs in everyone's body naturally.

    Can the FDA deny a genetically separate/distinct segment of the population necessary nicotine?

    Particularly vapers who do not use whole tobacco alkaloids and only nicotine?

    I say no.

    It would be like denying a woman with BRCA treatment.
     
  4. chapeltown

    chapeltown Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    So....two things.

    One, Thank you for the new information. It supports my long held theory that my PTSD and Depression where the main things keeping me from quitting smoking. From intimate experience I can tell you that Panic attacks go on a massive up tick within 3 days of quitting analogs cold turkey.
    Also, it is worth noting Dr. Farsalino's research that shows that Vaping produces smaller amounts of nicotine in blood plasma than cigarettes:
    Nicotine absorption from electronic cigarette use: comparison between first and new-generation devices : Scientific Reports : Nature Publishing Group

    Which also explains why, on particularly stressful days, or during a time of a massive panic attack, I still occasionally need a cigarette because my 24mg isn't cutting it. My good friend tells me she does not think it is a fail when I occasionally have a cigarette during a panic attack, because at this point, the cigarette IS a chill pill, not a sign that I am still addicted to smoking.

    The more research comes in, the more reassuring this is.
    Thank you, OP.
     
  5. sonicdsl

    sonicdsl Reviewers Mgr
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    Have you tried 36mg/3.6% or WTA or NET liquids? They may help in those situations. :)
     
  6. AmandaD

    AmandaD Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    I have a friend that vapes 48mg/ml at those times. It's her emergency stash - unflavored nic. It works for her!
     
  7. chapeltown

    chapeltown Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    I am going to try it. Just had base come in the other day that I am getting ready to dilute and freeze, so I will make a Lil bottle of high test stuff. ;-)

    from my galaxy s4
     
  8. chapeltown

    chapeltown Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    ......as an aside.... having ptsd or depression or schizophrenia is Not an Ethnic thing.
    ....just thought I would mention it.

    from my galaxy s4
     
  9. toddkuen

    toddkuen Senior Member ECF Veteran

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    By "ethnic" I mean genetically different - doesn't mean race or anything like that.

    Like smoking (and vaping) runs in families...
     
  10. chapeltown

    chapeltown Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Ooooh!!! Okay. I see you are right....
    Anything that creates or links a group of people together.
    My bad. :blush:

    Hey, did you know insanity is inherited?!?!

    Yep....you get it from your kids.

    ;-)

    from my galaxy s4
     
  11. chapeltown

    chapeltown Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Wow. I guess I'm the ....
    [​IMG]killer....


    from my galaxy s4
     
  12. catlady60

    catlady60 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Not only is discrimination against smokers/vapers/nicotine users effectively ethnic discrimination, it also reeks of disability discrimination, especially discrimination against people with mental disabilities.
     
  13. chapeltown

    chapeltown Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Absolute agreement Catlady. Really could not agree with you more. I know of very very few 'nam vets who don't struggle with nicotine addiction. My shrink also recognizes it too, so when I told him I had switched to the e cig and that it was working for me, he immediately asked for the information he could give to the other vets he counsels to help them get the nic In a safer way.

    from my galaxy s4
     
  14. ArtyPa

    ArtyPa Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    You, my man...are on to something BIG here. Fascinating to watch it unfolding nicely,and logically,
    Hopefully an ECF SUPPORTER who has science credentials will pick up on your idea.
    Have you thrown the idea to the think tank at CASAA?
    Its a groundbreaking line of reasoned thought. It just needs an incubator like CASAA.

    GOOD LUCK,
    Arty
     
  15. Giraut

    Giraut Account closed on request

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    Interesting article. However, I have to say, my critical mind can't help being extremely suspicious of any scientist linking any addiction to genetics - which in turns shields that addiction behind anti-discrimination laws. It's been done before - namely studies "proving" that propensity to become obese was mostly hereditary, paid for by the fast food industry if memory serves.

    In the case of nicotine, it's just too good an argument for the tobacco industry. I can't be bothered to find out, but I wouldn't be surprised if the author of this article was in their pay.

    In any case, like most addictions, the cause of nicotine addiction is probably a lot more complex than just a gene factor.
     
  16. ArtyPa

    ArtyPa Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Where i am differing is to suggest that ANY addiction is personality based.
    Whether smoking,drinking,gambling, promiscuity,eating disorders can all be found in personality based deficiencies.
    This is the argument to be used by Vaping proponents.
    To force people trying to overcome a destructive harmful habit ,by forcing them to stand beside and be exposed to the other destructive habit is in fact a cruel and unusually bad way to treat an individual in recovery.

    Does that make sense to our LEGAL members of ECF?
    Is there a discrimination argument that can be developed?

    Arty
     
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