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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  September 12, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm EDT

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this is al jazeera, i'm tony harris. here are the headlines at that hour. diplomacy at work in geneva, secretary of state john kerry and russia's foreign minister met today. kerry said the military strike option is still very much on the table for the united states. assad is saying stop threatening his country. he said he won't talk about a chemical weapons hand overif the
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united states keeps talking about military threats. an ice cream shop caught fire and the fire spread to a good portion of the boardwalk. some firefighters and residents had to be treated for smoke inhalation. we understand this board work was just recently repaired after the ravages of superstorm sandy. the fire has been ongoing since about 2:30 this afternoon. those are the headlines. thanks for watching. i'm tony harris. ♪ ♪ electronic cigarettes are an emerging billion dollars market. it's new nicotine delivery system without the smoke or tar.
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and it is not regulated. who is vaping and why? this is "inside story" on al jazeera america. ♪ >> hello, i'm libby casey. they are the hottest thing in nicotine. e-cigarettes. you may have seen people puffing them where regular cigarettes aren't allowed. adults are vaping maybe only to kick the habit. kids are vaping too. but is it harmful? no one fully knows, but it's big business and it's hip. >> now i do the electronic cigarette. >> i have never heard about this or seen this, don't know what this is. >> the about rez opened david
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letterman's eyes to a growing trend. the electronic cigarette. they come in a variety of designs and sizes. some look and feel like tobacco cigarettes. others offer flavors like mint. marketed as a safe alternative to cigarettes. there's no tobacco smoke. only vapor. >> they are getting a heavy celebrity push from stars such as jenny mccarthy who is telling the blue brand. >> when i switched not only did i feel better about myself, i felt the freedom to have a cigarette without the guilt. >> manufacturers do not claim the product is healthier than smoking, but wrath ear tobacco-free alternative. still health officials are
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concerned. dr. thomas freeden is the head of the centers for disease control. >> anything that increases tobacco use is going to be a big problem. we know there are several things that are very concerning. and one is the rapid increase of kids using e-cigarettes. >> this year alone sales are expected to reach $1 billion, still well below the $80 billion figure for conventional cigarettes. only 20 states prohibit sales to minors. each of the big three u.s. tobacco companies are working on their own electronic products. it is shaped like a cigarette and about the same size. an interpal battery heating a warming unit. to some the draw of e-cigarettes is the freedom it gives to puff away. >> it was the ease of it, you
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can do it inside. >> he is a radio producer and gets stuck in the studio for hours on end without a cigarette. and it helps's his caveings. >> i got them because i couldn't leave my desk at work for long period of time. and i was like this is nice. >> some say too nice. >> this is clearly, clearly something that is being done to get kids hooked. >> in a survey released by the cdc, 1.8 million middle and high school students have tried e-cigarettes. that number has doubled in just a year, and three-quarters of those students have also triad regular cigarette. some smokers hope e-cigarettes will help them quit tobacco. >> i think it could be a way to cut down, but it's still
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nicotine and it's close enough to cigarettes that i don't think it made me want to stop smoking. >> for you they are a largely unregulated product. the food and drug administration is preparing to take action to regulate new tobacco products. the fed told "inside story" that further research is needed to analyze the benefits and risks of e-cigarettes. in the meantime, consumers will continue to smoke them if they got them to. >> is there a chance you can become addicted to the device? >> oh, yeah, i'm totally addicted to the device. [ laughter ] >> joining us now are thomas the cfo of the tobacco vapor cigarette association, stanton glance, and danny, the vice president for research at the
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campaign for tobacco-free kids. let's start with you, tom. we asked the manufacturers to come on your show, and they told us to try your group, and you are also one of the owners of an e-cigarette company. who is using e-cigarettes? what is the market? >> the market for electronic cigarettes has vastly increased as you stated in your opening. really the use of esig are folks that are 35 and older, tried other replacement devices, and currently you have a technology that is very reliable or fairly reliable. and people are finding comfort in transitioning, away from the one product we know.
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so our client el tends to be those that are a little bit older and are using the product as a transitionary product. >> do you think it's safe? >> we have never made the claim that the product is safe. we make the statement that it is logical and less. a poster shows all of the ingredients in an electric cigarette and it is essentially five ingredients. so if you take the base of what the product is, it is five ingredients that have been in the u.s. households for over generations. the product not approved by the fda, but all constituents have been approved by the fda. it has engendered a lot of conversation. >> what are the five
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ingredients? >> profalean glycol -- that is approved by the epa for use. you have different levels of nicotine. it is heated to a water vapor and you inhale it. the exhale is a water vapor as well. i could put 50 people in this room, and you really won't smell anything. >> but i want to hear from dr. glass. what are your concerns about these ingredients. >> there have been a few studies that have measured what is in the e-cigarettes, there is formaldehyde, carcinogens and
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heavy metals. so they are delivering much lower levels of toxic chemicals than a conventional cigarette. so yes, they are less dangerous than a conventional cigarette, but they are still delivering a wide range of substances that are toxic. ten of the chemicals are actually on -- here in california are called the proposition 65 list of known carcinogens that require consumer warnings. in addition the claim that e-cigarettes don't pollute the air around the user is just not true. you can see the vapor, the smoke, and smell it, and exhaled
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water vapor is colorless and odorless. heavy compounds have also been measured in the exhale of these vapors. the first thing i think we need to do with these cigarettes is not allow them to be used in doors. they are not as polluting as a cigarette, but again, a cigarette is ridiculously polluting, and i see no reason to increase in door air pollution at all. >> all right. we'll talk more when we come back. stay with us as we continue our talks about e-cigarettes.
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♪ >> welcome back to "inside story." we're continuing our look at electronic cigarettes, who is using them and what they mean for health. still with us or the cfo of the tobacco vapor electronic cigarette association, stanton glans, center for tobacco control use, and the vice president for research for the campaign for tobacco-free kids. so have there been studies, doctor? >> there has only been one study so far, and that showed that they irritate the lungs. the problem is in order to really assess the health effects of these products, it's going to take five or ten years of watching people using them and see what kind of diseases they develop. the real issue is what is called
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dual use. 50 to 90% of the people who use these cigarettes continue to smoke conventional cigarettes at the same time. so as long as you are smoking any conventional cigarettes, you are suffering the full heart disease risks associated with smoking, and they are just cutting down the number of cigarettes that you are smoking probably doesn't give any more tallty benefit at all. >> i wanted to get tom back in here. dr. stanton glance brought up concerns about other chemicals and things you really don't want in your body that are in these e-cigarettes after you said there are only five ingredients. >> this goes back, at best those statements are disenginous at best. what they didn't report in their
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study were the levels they found. and with any toxin, it's not the fact you find a toxin, it's at what level. and they were found at trace levels. a single cigarette has 11,190 toxins in it. one cartridge has nine. so again, we're talking about trace amounts, and is the position do you want people to stay on traditional cigarettes, when i heart those arguments, it's very disheartening. >> danny, you with are the campaign for tobacco free kids, what is your response? >> e-cigarettes are being marketed just like traditional tobacco products were marketed for 50 or 60 years using the
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same themes. television advertising -- we haven't seen cigarette advertising on television for over 40 years, and we're seeing it again. the flavors, cherry, vanilla, the sports sponsorships, nascar, you saw the celebrities, so the themes of sex glamour and rebellion. a doubling of the use of these e-cigarettes by high school and junior high kids is alarming. >> is there proof use of one product leads to the other. >> dr. glance started to raise that question. what is really the issue. we need to figure out the health effects and no one knows them.
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but it goes way beyond that. even if these products are less harmful, if all they do is serve to keep smokers smoking, like the gentlemen who used them to get his nicotine when he couldn't get a regular cigarette. so if they prolong cigarette use, and in particular if they are luring another generation of kids into nicotine and progression to conventional cigarettes, then even if they are less harmful, the overall effect will be bad for public health. >> tom is your industry willing to make some concessions in terms of trying to keep the product away from kids. >> they adjudicated this in 2009, and in 2010, the courts determined that the e-sig is a tobacco product.
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our association is adamant that it not be promoted to kids. we have r a tobacco product and this should not be -- >> we'll dig more into the regulation later in the show, but what about philosophically, are kids more drawn to flavors like vanilla and chocolate? >> kids are drawn to a lot of things. i have stats here for kids that try other drugs and alcohol. again, this study that the cdc did not draw a link between kids experimenting and then kids using. the turn of the study, i really don't know. yes, there's 10% of kids are using e-sigs and 6.4% of those kids are now hard core users of traditional tobacco products, and that line was not drawn. >> you talked about some of this
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research having to wait until longer-term effects are known, but what are the questions that you are raising right now? >> well, while i think the research that is available now is very limited, there is enough information i think to warrant prudent action. first of all we know they pollute the air. as tom said it's not as much as a cigarette, but the cigarette pollutes the air as much as a forrest fire pollutes the outdoor air. i think there should be ban on things like chocolate those flav flavors that appeal to kids. there are two studies that have been done looking at how the use of e-cigarettes among adult
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smokers effects quitting. one showed they didn't help any differently than anybody else, and the other showed that people using e-cigarettes were actually less likely to quit. a lot of the claims made in marketing these products even though the data is limited, we know are false. we know that the claim that these e-cigarettes are good for quitting isn't yet demonstrated. >> tom, you used words like transitory product, and that it -- it -- sort of moves you -- >> transitionary, yeah. >> uh-huh. >> on our website we have a compliance section, and we have a list of recommended compliance issues for marketing and sales -- >> i want to put it into real speak instead of talking about marketing and compliance, but you haven't made the claim that it helps people quit. but calling it transitionary
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does that imply that it does ? >> to me, there is no question some of these websites are explicitly saying they are good for quitting, others are strongly implying it by the use of doctors to endorse the product and things like that, and because of the dual use product, i think there's a better than even chance that these e-cigarettes in the end are going to keep people smoking by acting as a bridge. >> we'll talk more about this when we come back, and also dig deeper into regulation. 20 cigarettes prohibit e-cigarette sales to minors. should the federal government get more involved in stay with us.
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welcome back to "inside story." we're talking about electronic cigarettes, and now we'll dig deeper into the issue of regulation. our panel is still with us.
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danny, how should e-cigarettes will regulated. >> they already fall under the regulation of the fda control center. so nobody has done that, and to my knowledge nobody has applied for that. so if they are claiming they transition people from conventional smoking to e-cigarettes smoking, they need to do that. but the fda gave them immediate authority oversmokeless and roll your own, but then said you can assert your position on other tobacco products. so they have waited too long already to assert their
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authority over e-cigarettes and cigars, and decide which should apply to e-cigarettes. there are product display restrictions, the flavors, they need to look at whether these flavors are appealing to kid, and like flavored cigarettes we got rid of those with the tobacco control act. but states can act too, as drdr. dr. glance mentioned. so that the uncertainty about the health effects of second-hand vapor or whatever you want to indicate, we don't take that chance with our citizens. >> tom, how could regulation be? >> we have pushed for regulation as a tobacco product. we were at the forefront going back to 2009 for -- and we
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worked with california, utah, illinois, recently i was in the city of laguna beach that was going to ban the use of electronic cigarettes. so it's the industry's position that they are already regulated as a tobacco product that we adhere to all state and local laws. >> i want danny's response to that. hold on a second doctor. >> if you look through history, you have to pay attention not to what the companies say, but what they do. we have heard for years that the tobacco companies don't market to kids, and they do. i would challenge anyone to look at the advertising that is going on now, around e-cigarettes, jenny mccarthy, the ads you showed in your intro piece. the same ads we have seen for
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years, with the sex, glamour, and sport events. why wait if you claim you don't market to children. >> and if we're talking about being regulated as a tobacco product, how should it go further? >> i think it's very disenagain wows for tom to talk about how the fda is regulating things and how they support that, because it was the e-cigarette companies that sued and prevented the fda as marketing it as a medical device. but the fact is they are completely unregulated in the united states. there is no controls over the quality or the actual delivery of nicotine, and there's no control over what else is in the product. i think -- while i agree with danny, the fda needs to get off of its behind and do something,
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the realities are any kind of meaningful action is probably years away. because once they finally do start doing something, it's almost certain some e-cigarette company is going to sue them and tie the whole thing up in court for years. >> okay. we have only about 30 seconds left. danny is enough to be regulated as a tobacco product? >> in terms of if the fda acts and applies the restrictions that they do to other products, that's helpful. but states can act as well. >> thank you so much to all three of your gentlemen. that's it from the team in washington, d.c. and for me, libby casey. you can keep the debate going however by logging on to our facebook stage or send us your thoughts on twitter. or you can reach me directly. thanks for watching. ♪
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