In their quest to rob us of every tiny pleasure we can wrestle from life, public health officials recently warned us all to not eat toast and roast potatoes. Fortunately they didn’t give the job of talking about it to Martin McKee as his portly figure divulges a fondness for some of the kitchen’s naughtier products.
As health agencies go crazy and warn us only to eat light golden carbs, they admit they really don’t understand the full extent of the risk acrylamide poses. Moreover, as reported in The Guardian, “A person would need to eat 75kg (165lbs) of chips every day for two years, for instance, to be getting the cumulative dose of acrylamide (200 mg/kg daily) used in one rat study that showed the compound could cause DNA damage when it latched on to haemoglobin in the blood.”
Professor Margareta Törnqvist explains that, for carcinogens there is no threshold dose. “With chemicals that damage DNA it’s a linear dose response, so even the smallest dose contributes to the risk,” she said. Maybe if this level of honesty were used in the vape debate we’d understand better why the likes of McKee refuse to acknowledge pro-harm reduction arguments?
Phillip Morris have been heavily pushing their heat-not-burn products across the media for a number of months, and lapdogs at the Motley Fool are keen to push its line: “Users have complained of a chemical aftertaste from the heated e-liquid, while those nearby to someone vaping are annoyed by the billowing clouds in which they're enveloped.” Given the company’s success at rigging worldwide anti-vaping legislation in its favour, you wouldn’t bet against their iQOS product from taking off.
Predicting the death of vaping may be a tad premature though, especially as studies find further uses for it as a delivery vector for nicotine. In Nature Medicine, researchers have uncovered findings indicating that the drug may offer huge support to patients suffering from schizophrenia.
“Basically the nicotine is compensating for a genetically determined impairment," says Jerry Stitzel, one of the researchers. "No one has ever shown that before."
An American politician is hoping Donald Trump can offer the same level of hope to current vapers. He has appealed to the new President to intervene and delay the FDA’s regulations, and to change the filing deadline to 2020. “Continuous innovation is key to a successful strategy for tobacco harm reduction policy,” says Republican Duncan Hunter. “Public health officials understand that adults smoke for the nicotine, but it is the byproducts of combustion that causes the vast majority of tobacco-related disease.”
Benjamin Ellington won’t be interested though; it’s too late for him. He’s the latest in a list of reported vape victims (who paid no heed to the advice they were offered about safe use of lithium ion cells). We don’t know the full extent of the damage to his reproductive organ but at least it might stop him passing his genes into the pool.