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The Truth and Technology Behind Juul and Nic Salts

Discussion in 'Vapor4Life' started by Robert T. Tan, Apr 1, 2019.

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  1. Robert T. Tan

    Robert T. Tan Moved On ECF Veteran

    Nov 5, 2018
    Illinois
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  2. bombastinator

    bombastinator ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 12, 2010
    MN USA
    This article has so much “hell yeah!” in it for me that I actually mistrust it. Anything I agree with this hard is automatically subject to additional scrutiny. I may have objectivity problems because I want it to be true.
     
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  3. zoiDman

    zoiDman My -0^10 = Nothing at All* ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Apr 16, 2010
    So-Cal
    The School Hallway with Lockers was a Nice Touch.
     
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  4. Robert T. Tan

    Robert T. Tan Moved On ECF Veteran

    Nov 5, 2018
    Illinois
    Last week the science based medicine blog looked into the "teen epidemic" and the word nic salt didn't appear once. But they were sure to mention popcorn lung and claim vaping doesn't help smokers quit. The general coverage of vaping and the political class's bizarre fixation on flavors is so fractally wrong that it is hard to know where to begin the dismantling. Deriding an opposing view as being so wrong that they don't even understand the basic fundamentals is not the best way to persuade fence sitters.

    Gottlieb is an interesting case. I certainly don't agree with him on a lot of issues but in every interview he says that it would be a net benefit if all smokers switched to vaping. But this is always left out of the corresponding article because it conflicts with the point of view and narrative that is being pushed by CNN, NPR, Fox News etc. etc.

    I had a whole analogy drawn up that included a hypothetical scenario where teen drinking was way up because of caffeinated, sweetened, 150 proof canned beverages. And in response, lawmakers went after craft brewers because their market share is also growing and their creative marketing departments have come up with some amazing bottle designs and graphics. But the analogy doesn't work because Juul does help many people stop smoking.
     
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  5. bombastinator

    bombastinator ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 12, 2010
    MN USA
    The impression I get is the big advantages JUUL had were
    1) presence in gas stations. It made it much easier for kids to get them. Every kid who smoked (including a lot of the former kids here) knows how to score smokes at a gas station. That’s been around for 50 years.
    2) the device is almost purpose designed for stealth vaping which means kids can do it at school to impress their friends. The JUUL is very small and easy to hide. It’s even matte black. It produces a far less visible cloud than a cigarette while giving more kick at the same time.

    A move that took vapes out of gas stations and/or made them larger and more visible wouldn’t hurt smokers trying to quit, but it WOULD make them a lot harder for kids to hide.
    Lots of ways to do either or both.

    Another move is to attack highly concentrated protonated nic. There are a few smokers who need the very high nic levels salts can provide to quit, but the number is fairly small. Britain has a limit on max mg/ml and JUUL has been unable to make headway there. IMHO that is too harsh. There are a lot of British vaping regulations that seem pretty stupid and pointless from where I sit. I don’t like that one either particularly, but the result is interesting. Take high mg salts completely out of gas stations and non refillables perhaps? Make people DIY if they want high nic salts? Make premix high nic salts prescription? Taking them away isn’t necessary. They just need to be harder for kids to get.
     
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  6. Robert T. Tan

    Robert T. Tan Moved On ECF Veteran

    Nov 5, 2018
    Illinois
    I agree with you on the nic salt levels. 50 mg/ml+ seems excessive. But I realize I am biased. I mix 0 and 3 nic juice and can vape all day. I am old fashioned that way. Maybe I'd be singing a different tune if I could only get a fix every 4 hours. That said, it seems that the higher nicotine levels must play a role. I mean, that is what makes cigarettes addictive. It sure makes more sense than kids are being tricked by colorful labels and cookie flavors.

    The UK with its lower nicotine levels has less teen vaping. Colorful and sweet ejuices have been a huge part of the market for at least 6 years, but the uptick in teen vaping didn't occur until 50mg/ml nic salts started hitting the market. An interesting correlation at the very least.
     
  7. bombastinator

    bombastinator ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 12, 2010
    MN USA
    Here’s where the decent science ends and we have to start using derived and fragmentary data. Which I hate. There is an unproven argument that nic salts are possibly massively more addictive than unprotonated nic. What evidence there is is in the form of a couple of graphs snatched from JUUL during an unsuccessful lawsuit. The graphs show several protonated nicotine compounds, one of which is used apparently by JUUL, as having a much “spikeier” blood level/time profile than protonated nic. It hits very hard, very fast, and then disappears. This kind of spike is associated with addiction in many drugs. The entire concept that drugs such as adderal are less addictive than their component drugs (adderal contains three highly addictive stimulants) is that the drugs move through the body at different rates, evening the spike out into more of a somewhat bumpy curve. The time release “bag pill” nature of Oxycodone was supposed to prevent addiction as well. The problem was people crushed the pills destroying the “bag” making them merely strait up opioids.
     
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  8. dripster

    dripster Moved On ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2017
    Belgium
    There is solid evidence to support that the addictiveness of nicotine as a function of nicotine dosage or strength follows an inverse U-shape curve. This is in shrill contrast to any and all other known forms of addiction to substances, as a fundamental criterium to label a given substance as being truly addictive has always been that the person who is addicted will compulsively seek to increase the dosage strength and will do so at the sacrifice of social/family life and at the sacrifice of being able to function like a normal human being, with a level of self-harm that visibly spirals out of control, and also is characterized by a serious criminal offense type behavior to still be able to gain access to the substance. Else, we could be arguing with CNN, NPR, and Faux News that orange juice is addictive too. (Even, if the vodka is completely absent from it.)

    Further, the addictiveness of nicotine by itself (i.e. with no tobacco alkaloids added in the mix or anything like that, no hat tricks to try and fool those who have read Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit...) has not been established in a way that I would call scientifically convincing or plausible. So basically the dumbing down of America is a fact because money, yet continental Europe isn't looking any better than it (or maybe only just a little bit, but still money, specifically, addiction to money, and addiction to lots of money also obviously in addition to that).
     
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  9. bombastinator

    bombastinator ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 12, 2010
    MN USA
    This is fascinating enough to me that I’ve been googling around trying to find such but can’t seem to. Doesn’t mean it’s not there, since I’m not much of a googlista. Wouldn’t happen to have a link around by any chance?
    that’s quite different than the definition I remember which is a test involving counting the number of times a pigeon pecks a button to get a drug reward pill. It may be out of date though. It was 90’s vintage stuff.
    Under the definition you’re using nicotine may be more addictive than ....... It’s potential is only masked by legality. I vaguely recall an article claiming that when both were made illegal in the US prison system cigarette prices actually went higher than ...... prices on the prison black market.
    Hah! Found a link on that one. With Cigarettes Banned In Most Prisons, Gangs Shift From Drugs To Smokes
    There’s some saying about blind pigs and acorns that may apply.
    hmmm... myself I’m totally convinced using myself as a subject, you’re right in that such an opinion is less than scientific. Pidgin testing is cheap and fast though.

    I would say reduced education levels, but that is arguably money I guess
    Europe has also suffered reduced education funding. Not as drastically or as uniformly, and their levels were more variable. Doesn’t negate the point though.
     
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  10. dripster

    dripster Moved On ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2017
    Belgium
    See the explanation about Figure 5B under the section titled "Intracranial self-stimulation and nicotine self-administration", here: Historical and Current Perspective on Tobacco use and Nicotine Addiction
    More here: Nicotine as a modulator of behavior: beyond the inverted U. - PubMed - NCBI
    More recent findings are also in line with this; see the snippet above "Nicotine disrupts safety learning by enhancing fear associated with a safety cue via the dorsal hippocampus", here:
    Nicotine as a modulator of behavior: Beyond the inverted U | Request PDF
    Further, Public Health England (PHE) states that the addictiveness of nicotine depends on the delivery system; see "4. Nicotine", here: Evidence review of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products 2018: executive summary
    AFAIK with the exception of e-liquid that contains Whole Tobacco Alkaloid (WTA), Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and tobacco alkaloids are not found in e-liquid. Even if you vape on an RDA with big clouds, with the type of everyday normal e-juice that contains only a moderate (at or below 5mg/ml) concentration of freebase nicotine, I highly doubt that you can easily get addicted to nicotine. Countless vapers who successfully stopped smoking by vaping have also confirmed that they managed, pretty much spontaneously comfortably in fact, to reduce the nicotine strength of their e-liquid. (It took me about 12 weeks to go from 4.5mg-5mg down to 3mg, and, I never was a dual user.) That plus the fact I can't seem to find anyone who became addicted to nicotine by using nicotine patches.
     
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  11. bombastinator

    bombastinator ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 12, 2010
    MN USA
    Note: There’s a lot of data here. I’m reading a link and commenting on it as I go, this may come out a little fractured for that reason.

    This article seems to talk about the fact that nicotine was apparently central to the entire history of addiction sciences development. Seeing references to self administration animal studies I’ve heard of being used as a metric.
    The “inverted U” concept is described.
    From what I gathered the “U” describes the concept that below a certain blood level nicotine (apparently unprotonated nicotine) is not effective, and above it the unpleasant effects of nicotine are enough to reduce addiction potential a lot. I would equate this higher level drop off with being “nic sick”
    This one seems to be behind a paywall, at least for me, so I personally can’t read it. Might not be if I was using a British IP address. Have to check that one later.
    Another pay wall. The pdf request is ResearchGate, which is basically a way of begging or buying a copy of the research at the option of the researcher. I personally have had little success with it personally as I have basically zero status in academia. I requested it but hold out little personal hope.

    UPDATE: it seems the “citizen” option as well as the “student” option. At least from the iPhone version anyway, have been removed along with my researchgate account. If you have a verified job in the profession you are allowed to “apply” but are still not necessarily allowed to even make the request. ResearchGate has been made useless to the public.
    Not behind a paywall! Good find! The report itself is about the monitoring of smoking statistics in the UK, but part 4 and 4.1 appear to be summaries of research that IS behind paywalls or not available on the internet at all. One point removed, and we have to rely on the writer’s foreshortened opinion of the research they were able to see, but still much better than nothing.
    Of particular note is reference to a study saying that nicotine does NOT itself affect fetus development in humans. That’s a study I’d love to see myself.
    It also states that nicotine delivery methods seem to affect the behavior of the inverted U, which makes sense, as they affect the ability of delivery to remain in the “sweet spot” at the top of the inverted U, above minimum effective dose, and below “overdose” levels where addictive behavior drops again. I’m misliking the term “inverted U”. It’s just a weird way of saying “sharp hump”.
    To further summarize a summarization, 4.1 seems to me to say “we don’t know much about this stuff. E-cigarette development is moving faster than monitoring research on it can keep up”. This seems to explain at least partially US FDA actions to slow the development of e-cigarettes. They may want to do it simply to slow movement to the point that it can be monitored.
    that would depend on your ability to stay within the confines of the “inverted U” dose wise according to the research seen. Something that e-cigarette makers are apparently constantly striving to achieve. Since commercial liquid only seems to come in 6mg and 3mg. That would mean only at the very lowest available concentration for DL.
    that’s fairly quick from what I’ve seen, but very much in line. My praising of various stories on ECF implies the effect is very common, though not universal (I would be an exception for example) and takes place at a variable rate of between several months and several years.
    That would require a non smoker to spontaneously start applying nicotine patches. Something I can’t see anyone doing outside of a research study. There probably have been several of those though. They would have been required from patch makers by the FDA to allow the approval of patches in the first place. The question of blood level comes up then. Do patches maintain nicotine blood level within the addiction “sweet spot” above minimum effective dose, and below “overdose” level? I have no data. The data has no doubt been gathered though. More hidden science.
    The impression I am getting from this is that Nicotine research seems to have been more or less outside the public domain since the 60’s. There is another level of research though comprising basically all the even vaguely modern stuff which includes both patches and protonated nicotine, which is almost totally private domain only and even so privileged that even governments that monitor such stuff are not allowed to see it but are forced to copy the already done research as best they might at what pace they can manage. Some isolated pieces of this private domain research are occasionally released if and only if it is in the interests of the corporation that did the research to do so. This research may further have been “cooked” by first doing the actual research, then redoing a given experiment in a method designed to produce desired results and then releasing that instead.

    Does this research show nicotine is not addictive? Sort of. You need to be either below or above the “sweet spot” or the top of the “inverted U” or to add a new descriptor of the same thing “within the effective dose range” where it is either ineffective or it’s effects are so unpleasant that basic body defenses overwhelm the addictive nature. A point e-cigarette makers are getting better and better at avoiding.
     
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  12. dripster

    dripster Moved On ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2017
    Belgium
    My own personal conclusion is that nicotine without tobacco, or, to be more specific, nicotine by itself, has not been empirically proven to be addictive in humans, and that research aimed specifically toward this particular part of the subject either has been being obfuscated by systemically confounding nicotine addiction with addiction to smoking tobacco or has been yielding contradictory results the contradictory part of the data having been being systemically thrown out by tobacco control lobbyists and consorted financial interest groups. I.e., it's just a simple billion dollar lie.
     
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  13. bombastinator

    bombastinator ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 12, 2010
    MN USA
    It is and it isn’t so far as I see. A lot of the 60’s era research which is the only stuff that can be actually had en total seems to have been done in a lot of cases with rats given intravenous “nicotine”. What form that nicotine took and it’s total contents and purity level is unknown. It’s pretty hard to make a rat smoke though.

    The concept of “no one has proven this to be the case publicly so therefore it isn’t” is also iffy though. Again going back to anecdotal data, which seems to be all that is publicly available, I personally find vaping to be pretty addictive personally. Less addictive than cigarettes by far, but still not zero.
     
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  14. stols001

    stols001 Moved On ECF Veteran

    May 30, 2017
    Addiction== the right drug meets the right brain.

    I take ADHD meds because I have ADHD. I wish they'd figured it out in HS because I would be an MD/PhD instead of what I am (which is still pretty great.)

    I take the Demon (in AZ anyway) drug of Adderall. Pima county where I used to live had these DRACONAN laws, that are really a PITA. Because I buy in 3 month increments (mainly du to you MUST have a paper scrip) and not only that, you can't hand it over and wait for them to order, they won't even TELL you on the phone if they have what you need in stock and they act like you are going to rob you or something, it is many a Saturday I have gone from pharmacy to pharmacy feeling increasingly like an addict even though my dose has not changed in decades.

    There was some pill mill thing happening, and pharmacists did not find my "What, they can't get their hands on SUDAFED anymore?" funny.

    I personally think if methamphetamines float your boat YEA GET Adderall because it's clean and not going to ruin your body. BUT WHAT DO I KNOW.

    In any case, MY particular brain happens to ADORE opiates. The first one I tried (off label tx for depression) I remember driving somewhere after pill number two, thinking "I am going to take this pill FOREVER."

    Which really means, "Stop taking that med right now."

    So a decade or so later after several unfortunate and horrible relapses culminating in Suboxone which was THE WORST? Well, I have an opiate alert bracelet and only my husband can authorize them, and I have told him if it's medially feasible I need a benzodiazepine coma rather than some dang morphine. I have had a TON of surgery (mouth) and it's amazing what a little prayer and advil can do, is all I have to say.

    My point being: SOME brains really dig nicotine. It doesn't matter what form (well, it does health wise) and SOME teens will become addicted to nicotine. Nic alone is so (comparatively) benign I KNOW that (in whatever form) it's like no freaking big deal.

    SOME brains become addicted to the minor alkaloids (MAOIs) I know *I* like them. There are various ways to get those while remaining rather firmly in harm reduction. Folks who need them should DO that.

    With all that being said, I wish they WOULD ban the Juul first. Simply because if the 70% market share is true, there would be a ton more outcry.

    I do not trust or mistrust the Juul but I think A LOT of that article was a bit... Unsupported. I have no issue with those trying to save the Juul IN GENERAL as part of the ecig world in general but I also do not find it to be SO Very special apart from it's super high nic content and somewhat proprietary formula. Etc.

    Anna
     
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  15. dripster

    dripster Moved On ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2017
    Belgium
    If they can show beyond overstated anecdotal evidence that Juul is causing a new generation of harmfully addicted youngsters such that the benefits of harm reduction from nicotine replacement are overshadowed by it. But that in fact is still one seriously big IF, and, just because I think I may be addicted to certain things that look nice, doesn't necessarily also make it harmful or harmful enough that nice things should therefore legally be banned.
     
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  16. dripster

    dripster Moved On ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2017
    Belgium
    Colorful bottles of sweet candy-flavored, strong alcoholic beverages at convenience stores and in gas stations look nice, yet I don't see people calling for a riot in the streets about that fact.
     
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  17. Robert T. Tan

    Robert T. Tan Moved On ECF Veteran

    Nov 5, 2018
    Illinois
    Very interesting. Thank you for taking the time to provide such a detailed explanation!
     
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  18. Robert T. Tan

    Robert T. Tan Moved On ECF Veteran

    Nov 5, 2018
    Illinois
    I agree. But I do feel that since the FDA and especially politicians are going whole hog after this "teen epidemic", that it would be nice if at the very least they looked the devices that kids are actually using.

    But they can't even get that straight. They have been hung up on this flavor business for years.

    That is what makes this so frustrating. You have anti-vapers aping the technocratic language used to promote common public health initiatives like clean water, vaccination etc. The ones who aren't just babbling idiots complaining about "Tutti Frutti" ejuice will cherry pick studies and wave off anything contrary. But even in these cases, it seems that they don't understand the most basic aspects of vaping and smoking.

    I read a science based medicine blog a few weeks back, a 2500 word article and the word nic salts wasn't used once. But boy are they mad about the "influencers" and that ludicrous Stanford ecig marketing "study".

    And as you pointed out, what makes this situation even more unusual is the potential harm reduction aspect. Prohibition analogies simply don't work because of the real harm inflicted on smokers.
     
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  19. bombastinator

    bombastinator ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 12, 2010
    MN USA
    UPDATE: over the weekend I was informed of an even easier and more common method of study cooking which is to only release results that are in favor of the desired opinion. Biology studies in general produce a lot of results “noise”. There are a lot of outliers and unusual results. One has to look at a large number of attempts and observe the “cloud” of results. If one deliberately doesn’t do that but instead cherry picks examples the results of almost any biology study can be made to look arbitrarily in the favor of the releaser no matter what the actual results were.
     
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  20. bombastinator

    bombastinator ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 12, 2010
    MN USA
    They did happen though. Just a long time ago. There was even a constitution amendment passed. The 18th, iirc.
     
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