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My tobacco-hating daughter's FDA comment

Discussion in 'Legislation News' started by Berylanna, Aug 6, 2014.

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  1. Berylanna

    Berylanna Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I am not a smoker. I never have been, and I never will be. I hate smoking and tobacco products with an intense passion.
    Growing up, both of my parents were full-time smokers, and my step-mother smoked occasionally. I grew up breathing their second-hand smoke. My teachers would check on me periodically out of concern that my clothing smelled like smoke, and did that mean I was a teenage smoker? No, but many of my friends were. (I even refused to date a guy in high school just because he was a smoker. It made him want to quit, but years later he still hadn’t, because cigarettes were just too addicting.)
    As a result of all of this second-hand smoke exposure, I am highly sensitive to second-hand tobacco smoke. I am the only one of the 5 children in my family who has never smoked or done any other recreational drugs. I am the only one who managed to resist the results of pre-addicting second-hand smoke in my everyday environment. As far as we can tell, it’s only because I’m a singer, and the rest of the family is not. Doctors just automatically prescribe me asthma medication, because it is so well known that children of smokers usually develop asthma.
    Now none of my parents or siblings smoke anymore, and far fewer of my friends do. This is because most of them have switched to vaping. The vast majority of them have switched to the kind of vaping that uses these dorky-looking, personalized, re-useable vapers, and small-batch vaping solutions that contain a mix of nicotine and other secondary tobacco compounds (if they contain the nicotine at all – some don’t). Something that is especially important to me is that they buy the re-useable devices and small-batch vaping solutions from these little, personal, independent companies that care a lot more about whether their products are useful to their customers than their profit margin. We’re not beholden to Big Tobacco’s coercive deceptions that addicted most of my family anymore, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
    Even better, not a single one of these mixtures has ever caused so much as a twitch from my allergies. I can BREATHE now, no matter what the heck my friends and family are inhaling. And I've noticed - so can they! They're not breathing all that tar anymore. Neither are my nieces and nephews! The next generation isn’t being subjected to involuntary addiction.
    I never thought I'd be grateful for a tobacco product, but I have to say, now I am grateful for small-batch vaping.
    The reason small-batch, independent vaping is SO important is that it's not just nicotine my family and friends need from tobacco. They're self-medicating in a manner pharmaceutical companies and supplement suppliers have strangely yet to acknowledge. (I guess it’s a regulation problem, or something, but I think this method has huge potential and I wish more was being done with it.) Vaping gives the body access to compounds that are poorly absorbed or entirely unavailable via other methods.
    So, for example, my Mom needs to choose exactly which of the various compounds in tobacco she is actually going to inhale to counter the effects of severe depression and crippling anxiety, neither of which have been effectively treated with mainstream pharmaceuticals – and yes, she’s been trying my whole life. Tobacco compounds have proven to be a key part of her self-care regimen, which became very obvious when she tried quitting smoking with nicotine-only weaning methods, including vaping when it first came out, and failed miserably every time. It was a huge source of conflict between us for most of my childhood and early adult life. As a child I felt horribly, personally betrayed every time she tried to quit smoking cigarettes and failed again because the alternatives didn’t address her needs.
    Without access to small-batch tobacco, my Mom quickly ends up back on traditional cigarettes, breathing tar, emitting smoke into the surrounding air, and setting off my allergies, and I go back to mostly avoiding getting near her. This is because the nearly useless, mass-produced, fake-cigarette style vapers that the Big Tobacco companies put out (which I'd frankly prefer never to give money to ever again for any reason thank you) don't contain most of the necessary tobacco compounds. They only focus on nicotine, as though nobody who smokes could possibly have been drawn to any of the other hundreds of natural compounds in the tobacco plant.
    Well of COURSE they focus on Nicotine - it's what their business is grounded on. They've spent decades breeding tobacco plants that are artificially high in the compound they believed was the most addicting, in order to make sure their customers never stop smoking! They don’t want competition that actually pays attention to what is good for their customers; they want the government to make it so that they can have the customers do what THEY want. Big Tobacco’s only priority is to continue lining their wallets!
    And sure, for people who only smoke because they're addicted to nicotine, nicotine-only vaping (or sometimes gum or patches) can help wean them off. But that's not everyone - as far as I can tell, that's not even most smokers anymore. Maybe it was back when Big Tobacco had everyone convinced that smoking is cool, but nobody thinks that anymore. They certainly don’t think it about indie vaping, which is the most ridiculous looking self-care activity I’ve ever seen. Seriously, anybody who CAN quit with nicotine treatments alone already has quit, and nobody is in any danger of take up vaping for the sake of appearances.
    (Well, actually, those little disposable “e-cigs” the mainstream companies produce look almost exactly like regular smoking, with all the “cool” social connotations built up in the media in previous generations. Just without the benefit of being biodegradeable when you throw them carelessly on the ground like the rebel-without-a-clue that you’d have to be to still be giving them money after all the damage they’ve done, when you have real alternatives. But at least they’re less likely to start wildfires, I suppose…)
    So, I understand that the last question is of added flavors. I honestly don't understand what the big deal is here. Medicine has added flavors all the time, and we don't worry that this means our children will break into the medicine cabinet to drink all the cherry-flavored Ny-Quil (ewwww). That's because all the flavors do is moderately mask the nasty taste of medicinal chemicals, and as far as I can tell, that's all they're doing in vaping solutions, too.
    The people who vape aren't vaping because vaping is the next cool thing. They're vaping because they NEED what's in the vaping compounds to live happier, healthier lives – or in some cases, to live at all. The flavors just make it tolerable to taste.
    The rest of us really, really need them to be vaping instead of smoking, so we can BREATHE.
    Please don't take my Mom's medicine away. Please don't make her go back to smoking traditional cigarettes. Please don't make me go back to breathing second-hand smoke. If she has to choose between a slow death from lung disease that makes everyone around her sick too, or a faster death from depression, I'm afraid of which one she'll choose.
    There are no right answers for us if you take away small-batch vaping.
    Thank you for listening,
  2. DetraMental

    DetraMental Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Mar 31, 2013
    United States
    I feel this post wholeheartedly. I agree with your daughter and her point of view, well said.
  3. DrMA

    DrMA Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 26, 2013
    Seattle area
    I admire the sentiment, but vaping is neither medicine, nor tobacco product. That entire comment could easily be misinterpreted by FDA to support the deeming.
  4. ClintS

    ClintS Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 14, 2014
    San Diego area, CA
    While I agree that the comments are not totally accurate and could be misrepresented by others after reading them - she still makes a point about Big tobacco and cigalikes. That is worthy by itself.

    It is too bad that a tactic like this, having family members of ex-smokers turn vapers make their own comments. With a wing and a prayer - maybe the FDA will have to take a look at this aspect as well.
  5. Berylanna

    Berylanna Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I worried about that a little, but "self-medicating" is pretty much code for something legal for medicinal use which I don't use. (I vape because I don't WANT to end up on chemo!!!)

    I cringed but maybe this example would allow some of you to get family members to comment, only give them better feedback before they submit. BTW, when I reminded my daughter that I have never been suicidal she confessed that her portrait of me was actually a composite of all her family and friends. If she were a journalist, they'd take away her Pulitzer.
  6. Berylanna

    Berylanna Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    My sister's is more issue-aware than my daughter's, probably because we talk more:

    From: [your name]
    To: FDA Center for Tobacco Products
    RE: FDA, Docket No. FDA-2014-N-0189, Regulatory Information Number (RIN) 0910- AG38

    I am a person who uses ecigs to quit smoking. Ecigs are a very important bridge toward smoking cessation. To reduce the availability of ecigs and reduce the variety of flavors or eliminate the small manufacturers would have a terrible effect on the people who are using these products as an alternative to smoking.
    I have smoked for 40 years. I tried the patch which produced a severe and even life- threatening allergic response. I tried Wellbutrin which was ineffective entirely. I tried cold turkey which produced a weight gain of 60lbs.
    Ecigs have produced none of these side effects in me. My friends and a couple of family members who also use ecigs have quit smoking over the course of a few months . They also report very little weight gain. No digestive disorders as the ones I experienced in my attempts to quit, no depression or dramatically reduced metabolic rate. A very beneficial "side effect" is that we are less winded with physical activities have more energy and a greater sense of well being. We feel less ostracized as ecigs not produce second hand smoke and clothing doesn't retain any odor of smoke as it does with a smoker. The stains on hands and teeth are no longer there.There are no longer massive amounts of garbage being produced by cigarette butts as the tips are recycled and reused. My experience has been a need to use different flavors as well. This reduces both the craving for smoke as well as the tendency to replace cigarettes with food especially sweets. When researching how a product should be regulated, I would ask you to consider the benefit to both society in general, and to the consumer of this product. It would certainly be beneficial to require that no pesticides hormones steroids or antibiotics were infused into these products as they have been into our food supply. I would welcome the security of knowing that the FDA considers the safety of the product itself, and the safety of those who consume the product. A merely Evangelical stance against the product due to disapproval or aversion to the habit or to those who are in need of this solution, would unnecessarily discourage those who have found hope in the ideal of smoking cessation.
    I have tried many other ways to leave smoking behind me.I would ask that you consider not only the benefit to the smoker trying to quit, but the larger benefit for the public as well. Should the FDA decide to put these very draconian regulations on ecigs creating less access reduction of quality and the destruction of many self-reliant and honest small businesses, I would be very discouraged and probably feel resigned to smoking as there has been no alternative that has worked for me. It would be a crushing blow to so many of us who struggled with this and finally found a vastly improved effective alternative.
  7. DC2

    DC2 Tootie Puffer Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 21, 2009
    San Diego
    I've posted this elsewhere, but I thought it might fit in good here too...

    This is my wife's comment from a few days ago...
  8. Harlen

    Harlen Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 14, 2013
    Charlotte Nc
    Way cool , You did a great job
  9. granolaboy

    granolaboy Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 13, 2014
    Skidegate, BC, Canada

    If more people heard first-hand experiences like this, they would be more supportive of the vaping revolution.
  10. Berylanna

    Berylanna Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mrs. DC said:

    Oh, man. I'd like to blog that on Daily Kos, as "the wife of a friend of mine says."
  11. DC2

    DC2 Tootie Puffer Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 21, 2009
    San Diego
    Please feel free to do so if you want to.
  12. UncloudedThinking

    UncloudedThinking Full Member

    May 7, 2014
    Oklahoma City
    Awesome! I hope that a lot of non-smokers/non-vapers submitted comments.

    I have never used tobacco and don't vape. What I didn't realize before getting involved in this issue is that (as wrong as it is) many non-smokers dismiss the thoughts and views of smokers (or vapers) regarding vapor products. It's part of the whole 'stigmitization' thing TC works so hard at. It is easy for non-smokers to dismiss you as being blinded by your addiction because they have been trained so thoroughly to think of smokers as 'anit-social' and be irritated that they won't 'just quit' the way they are supposed to.

    It's an ugly reality, but one I'm sure most of you are all too aware of already. (Like I said, I never even noticed it before, but now I'm ashamed at some of the attitudes/assumptions I held.) I have noticed that when talking to non-smokers, they are more receptive to my views on vaping when they find out that I never smoked and don't vape. It's almost like it makes me more trustworthy. Obviously, thats not true for everyone, but it's pretty widespread. This attitude is just another example of the damage the tobacco control movement is doing (that they accept as collateral damage).
  13. Berylanna

    Berylanna Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Some of that is due to demonization by the ANTZ, BUT in general people figure they are more likely to hear something they agree with when talking to someone they already know they agree with on at least one issue.

    One point of getting families involved is that my daughter WOULD NOT have supported me in opposing an indoor or doorway smoking ban, fair or not. So it's a wake-up call that vaping is different when our families support us instead of sighing and rolling their eyes.
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