You Won’t Believe What a Kansas Doctor Said About E-Cigarettes!

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The media loves to talk about electronic cigarettes because they are controversial and it seems that everyone has a different opinion. Sometimes people sing their praises and other times people criticize e-cigs because they stir up the old tobacco control arguments. From time to time, we encounter opinions that are just completely outlandish and this week, we’ve seen a statement that might just be the craziest thing we’ve ever heard about vaping.

A retired physician from Kansas decided to show up at a local City Council meeting when he found out that electronic cigarettes might be on the agenda. Dr. Donald Potts passionately opposes vaping and he wanted to make sure that the City Council had a chance to hear his opinions and get his view of what e-cigs are really all about. He told the city council that e-cigs were nothing more than “fake cigarettes powered by a lithium battery” and pointed out that the still have nicotine. Then his remarks got pretty outrageous. He said he was mostly concerned that teenagers would use them and then refill them with antifreeze!

We’ve never heard of teens smoking antifreeze so it seems that Dr. Potts is basing his argument on an old statement from the FDA, which claimed that electronic cigarettes have small amounts of diethylene glycol, a chemical ingredient used in antifreeze.

After the FDA made the allegations, they were later debunked. They based this claim on a test conducted with a mere 18 e-cig cartridges from only two manufacturers. In one cartridge, they found “about 1% diethylene glycol”. However, with such a small sample size, they can hardly made a sweeping statement about all e-cig brands. Plus the amount of diethylene glycol was so slight that it could have been a case of cross contamination.

Several independent research groups tested the FDA’s theory by examining dozens of e-cig brands and so far, no one has ever found a single trace of diethylene glycol again. It’s pretty obvious that e-cigarettes don’t contain antifreeze or people would be dying from poisoning on a regular basis.

After Dr. Potts shared his unconventional arguments with the City Council, local vape shop owner Doug Stevens spoke up and set the record straight. He pointed out that some e-cigs are actually nicotine free and the devices were designed for smokers that wanted to eliminate tobacco and wean themselves down on nicotine use.  Stevens brushed on Dr. Potts, calling his remarks “a knee-jerk reaction honestly” and went on to say, “It’s not based on science. People think if it looks like smoke, it must be smoke. But the product that we have is liquid-based vapor.”

At this point, the Independence City Council is still deliberating on how to handle e-cigs in their city, but Dr. Potts will certainly go down on the vaping record books as one of the most creative voices of opposition. What are some other crazy things you have heard people say about e-cigarettes?

Jimmy, lover, blogger, vaper and ex-smoker. I’ve been blogging about and supporting Vaping since 2009. They changed my life and I think history will show them as one of the most significant public health invention of the 21st century.

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