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Should E-Cigarettes Be Treated Like Cigarettes?

Evening Edition

Aired 4/7/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.


Jeff Stier, is a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research a conservative think tank. He has presented on the benefits of e- cigarettes at conferences and public meetings across the country.

John Pierce, Ph.D. of the UCSD Moores Cancer Center. This year he was awarded the 2013-14 American Association of Cancer Research outstanding researcher in cancer prevention.


The introduction of e-cigarettes is, depending on who you talk to, either an appealing alternative to help addicted current smokers give up tobacco, or gateway devices for a new generation of tobacco smokers.

Several cities in San Diego have banned the use of e-cigarettes, in all areas where smoking is already banned, most recently Oceanside. And the city of San Diego is considering a ban.

This week in San Diego at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research — doctors are hearing the case for and against e-cigarettes.

Jeff Stier, is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research. He said e-cigarettes can save lives.

Stier said the problem with regulating e-cigarettes like tobacco cigarettes is that it takes away a tool that helps people to quit smoking.

"We shouldn't let our appropriate dislike for cigarette companies blind us from the benefits of e-cigarettes," he said.

John Pierce, of the UCSD Moores Cancer Center said a recent study has shown that particulate matter found in the vapor inhaled by people smoking e-cigarettes could be a health concern for both the smoker and for people inhaling the vapor second-hand.

Pierce also said there is no evidence to support the idea that e-cigarettes help people quit smoking.

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Avatar for user 'Julian'

Julian | April 7, 2014 at 12:01 p.m. ― 2 years, 11 months ago

I'm a tobacco smoker who switched to e-cigarettes because I wanted to have a safer way to use nicotine. Electronic cigarettes have 3 known ingredients: nicotine, propylene glycol and glycerin, (reputable online retailers like will list the ingredients of their e-liquid) and no ingredients have been found to cause cancer. I feel healthier since I made the switch--no more chronic cough. People like the activity of smoking but don't want the over 4000 questionable and cancer causing ingredients in tobacco cigarettes. There's also no secondhand smoke or PROVEN health hazards with e-cigs, so why would you want to treat them the same as tobacco products?

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Avatar for user 'jarheade6'

jarheade6 | April 7, 2014 at 12:56 p.m. ― 2 years, 11 months ago

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Avatar for user 'jarheade6'

jarheade6 | April 7, 2014 at 1:04 p.m. ― 2 years, 11 months ago

I am/was a smoker for 45 years. now I use the e-cigarette. I am glad for this and
and I'm sorry to see so many againt it. I Don't have the cough anymore, the brown discharge every morning. I am breathing better and @ a full lung pull, there is no problem (pains).
This is NEW, and why is the non-smoker so hurtful for US (ex-smoker) trying to better ourself. we were giving such hateful look for smoking and now that we are trying to quit, we get this,
Is this from the Cigarette COMPANY, ex-smoker, or non-smokers. Let us quit smoking, and give us a helping hand. PS: I have NOT smoked a cigarette in over 5 mt's with the help of this E-CIGARETTE and I'm proud of myself. thank you.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | April 7, 2014 at 1:27 p.m. ― 2 years, 11 months ago

As someone on the other side, it is not that you are trying to quit but rather that you are continuing to emit addictive chemicals while doing so. I will grant that this is preferable to carcinogens, but I still don't want to be breathing this either.

I applaud your desire to quit. Perhaps you could do so without exposing the rest of us though.

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | April 7, 2014 at 2:06 p.m. ― 2 years, 11 months ago

See. No matter how much ex-smokers are willing to try to conform to the control of others, it will never be enough. The "control you" crowd won't quit until we look like mini-thems. First cigarettes, then obese folks, then e-cigs, plastic bags, cola. Next meat, alcohol, non-organic produce, Who are these "controls" and how do we give them their lives back without us??

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Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | April 7, 2014 at 2:40 p.m. ― 2 years, 11 months ago

just another drug delivery system.

wise up people, quit.

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Avatar for user 'SmokingAlternatives'

SmokingAlternatives | April 10, 2014 at 10:03 a.m. ― 2 years, 11 months ago

If you're going to use E-Cigs to quit smoking, go for a nicotine free version, like the OMG Buzz E-Hookah for sale at

Great taste, long lasting and affordable.

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Avatar for user 'Kazzxtrismus'

Kazzxtrismus | April 21, 2014 at 10:31 a.m. ― 2 years, 11 months ago

I don't see this gentleman acting very open minded or unbiased. Let alone the countless studies already out proving the vapor harmless or the FDA's own study stating second hand vapor is harmless to children.
For the naysayers i suggest you Google for yourself. attitude like this gentleman only proves his research will be biased regardless of actual science from countless reliable places like the UN & FDA

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