Thursday 6 December 2012

"It's Time We Take Our Freedom Back"

So that's what the odd noise was this morning - it was the sound of steam whistling out of the ears of thousands of anti-smokers.

Hats off to the BBC for bringing to our attention the new national TV adverts for Blu e-cigs in the US.
A new TV advert for a brand of electronic cigarettes marks the first time in decades cigarettes of any sort have been promoted on US television.
Oof! That must have been as welcome as a tactically-placed kick in the love spuds, eh?
A handsome actor poses and struts on a beach in a stylishly shot black-and-white television spot. He puts the cigarette to his lips, takes a puff, and exhales a rich flume. 
"Blu lets me enjoy smoking without it affecting the people around me, because it's vapour not tobacco smoke," says Stephen Dorff, the scruffy heartthrob star of The Immortals. 
"We're all adults here, it's time we take our freedom back."
Doncha just love that tagline? Here it is in context.

Now, I've always spoken in favourable terms of e-cigs. One of the reasons being that I could see the huge potential for irritating the bejaysus out of the fake coughing and arm-waving community, but this is even more deliciously forthright than I imagined the entry of Lorillard into the market would be.

Even as the tobacco control industry - in an effort to save pharmaceutical NRT profits by maximising cigarette sales - launch an all-out assault, mostly in the US, on e-cigs,  the battle still seems to be getting away from them. This is national exposure on a scale never seen before, and for every shrill voice against them there must be a few thousand seeing this product for the first time thanks to Stephen Dorff's ad. 

The same 'people power' I mentioned as having stymied the MHRA's plans to ban them over here is now creating a tipping point that is almost impossible for the more irrational, and irresponsible, tobacco controllers to counter.

Must hurt the big one. Eh, Duncan?

All those decades cultivating an environment where finger-wagging and tutting is acceptable behaviour towards the choices of others, and now they have to do it all over again with the new market entrant. And it came right out of the Blu, as it were.

"Time we take our freedom back". Ha! Love it!

UPDATE:  SteveVape expands on the ire this ad has caused to anti-smokers, and reckons such publicity will be banned sharpish. The difference is, there is a huge corporation batting for e-cigs now instead of a few inspired entrepreneurs. If Steve is correct, it will be fun to watch the tobacco control industry show themselves up as venal and uninterested in health again.



Caroline Freeman said...

This has cheered me up in so many ways :) Golden!

moonrakin said...

I bet that some *real* effort is being expended inside Al Ha'Beebee Cee to come up with some negative coverage for e-cigs...

Perhaps another terrorist incident?
Demonizing Lithium batteries?
Psychological traumatization?
e-cigs lead to real tobacco addiction?

I reckon they'll come up with something ....

Ivan D said...

I love the WHO reaction. Nothing positive from the supra-national authority of course. How much do we contribute towards it mostly funding its own bureaucracy?

"Could weaken tobacco-use prevention campaigns through their marketing as safe alternatives to smoking"

Heaven forbid that anyone might fail to share the WHO's utopian beliefs and actually welcome a safe alternative.

nisakiman said...

It's a great ad, is it not? It rather looks like a deliberately provocative sally by Lorillard. A shot across the bows of TCI. When I saw it this morning I tweeted that "battle lines are being drawn", and I really think that's what is happening. I think that Lorillard are trying to draw the antis out from under cover so they can shoot them down. They know that the antis despise e-cigs and will do all in their power to discredit them. And therein lies their weakness. They will go one lie too far.

I sincerely hope so, anyway!

Like you, I bet the antis are apoplectic with indignation when they see the ad! Ha! Delicious! The thought of Chapman et al watching the ad brought a smile to my face!

jpsks said...

its not the first ecig advert on American tv ... late at night they have adverts for internet , mail order etc ecigs .. and crappy infomercial type ads .... it was no doubt the first well made one .... nice blog :)

jaycas said...

BTW I was told a few weeks ago that Banitime had had a heart attack while he was exercising in one of his gyms.

Mark.S said...

I think great aunt tabacco control will have a bad case of "the vapours" after seeing that...!

Frank J said...

Recently, I've heard E-Lites advertised several times on Talksport Radio. Ideal Xmas present for smokers, they say.


Michael McFadden said...

Moon, I think they've already "come up with something." Your last point: "e-cigs lead to real tobacco addiction"? Here's what John Banzhaf had to say in his press release ( ) about this ( the 4th of 5 major points):

"4. Just as generations of younger children were led to become smokers by pretending to puff on candy cigarettes, today’s teenagers may likewise find e-cigarettes - with their many kid-friendly flavors, nicotine kick, and strong resemblance to actual smoking - training wheels for becoming smokers."

Training wheels eh?

Of course that's no more ridiculous than his point #5:

"5. There may be a serious risk to those around e-cigarette users (especially including young children, the elderly, and those with allergies) from being forced to inhale large amounts of nicotine (a highly addictive and deadly drug which can trigger fatal heart attacks),"

Large amounts eh? I don't think anyone's ever measured those "large amounts" yet, and my guess is that it's because they're down below the nanogram/picogram range of detectability, particularly when one speaks of the exposure being "forced" (as in simply working in a room with people vaping, not actually hovering six inches from their faces when they exhale repeatedly)

JB's point #1 is fun because it so clearly shows his inability to even think straight when presenting his information. Note the lack of parallelism about the "may/may not" thing in the following : " while they may (or may not) have a lower cancer risk, may present an equal or even higher risk of fatal heart attacks" What happened to a (or may not) before the heart attack statement, eh JB? LOL!

JB goes on to add concerns about "propylene glycol (used in antifreeze)" but somehow restrains himself from adding "water (also used in antifreeze)"

And, finally, *IF* JB happens to be accurately quoting from the FDA, supposedly they also claim such things as ecigs "present a serious risk of addicting new users, including children.” as well as risk of "slurred speech" and "diarrhea." Note however this is material quoted by JB -- not the best source in the world.


Michael McFadden said...

Oh! And in terms of availability to minors, guess what I got in the mail yesterday: a holiday catalog for ordering wine and having it DELIVERED through the mail/delivery services! I dunno how it is in UK/Euro, but the Antis made a HUGE fuss over here about children using their credit cards to secretly order cigarettes while their parents never notice the packages arriving. They even managed to get a unique law passed about it, reminiscent of drug language included: the "Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act." Funny how the kiddies can still order wine and all sorts of prescription drugs through the mail though...


JonathanBagley said...

The Times Raconteur section was yesterday devoted to ecigs. To me the future looks worrying. TV adverts like that will be ammunition to the anti tobacco industry. The anti tobacco industry tactic appears to be claiming these are pharmaceutical products whose purpose is to help the user give up nicotine, whereas most users consider regard them as an OK and safe way of consuming nicotine indefinitely. Here are some quotes:
From Robert West, anti tobacco propagandist masquerading as a CRUK scientist,
"I can't see how you can have what is clearly a pharmaceutical product.......without medicinal regulation."
From the MHRA,
"Our view is that products designed to help you beat the addiction to nicotine can fall within the definition of a medicinal product. We would regard any e-cigarette presented as an aid to quitting smoking as being a medicinal product."
Then, oddly, they go to say,
"In the UK it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes as a quit smoking aid unless they are licensed as a medicine by the MHRA."
Does this mean they admit they can't do anything about ecigs not sold as quit smoking products?
The MHRA also talks about the "efficacy" of ecigs, as if they have decided what their purpose is, rather than the users. Nobody suggests investigating the efficacy of coffee`. People buy it, therefore by definition it is effective.
Just as worrying is some ecig companies submitting their products for licensing. For one thing, this is very expensive and the cost will be passed on to users who, after the smoking ban, don't want to give the Government anther penny in any tax related to tobacco or nicotine and, secondly, I can't see a medicinal licence being granted to a tobacco flavoured, or even cherry flavoured, nicotine product.
Finally the tobacco companies seem confident that the current ecig companies will be put out of business by regulation.
From David O'Reilly, scientific director of BAT,
"But it is mostly the burden of regulation which will change the market. Unless you are prepared to invest a lot of money into the necessary science and clinical work to show that your product is efficacious, you're done."
Get hold of yesterday's Times if you can. It is very interesting. Can anyone with some inside knowledge comment?

Rursus said...

No one measured those "amounts of nicotine"?

Coincidentally some scientist have already done some reasearch :)

Quote : "5 vapers using e-cigarettes for 5h in a small room without renewal of indoor air do not produce detectable levels of nicotine in the air.“ [1]
„On the base of the obtained results and on ARPA data about urban
pollution, we can conclude by saying that could be more unhealty to
breath air in big cities compared to staying in the same room with
someone who is vaping." [1,2]
„For all byproducts measured, electronic cigarettes produce very small
exposures relative to tobacco cigarettes. The study indicates no
apparent risk to human health from e-cigarette emissions based on the
compounds analyzed" [3]

Surprised? The answer is: There is no measurable amounts of nicotine in the exhaled vapor, because nicotine is retained over 98% in the lung. [4]

Eat THIS Tobaccocontrol :)





Michael McFadden said...

Rursus, thank you very much for those details and references! I didn't have them before. Their phrasing "electronic cigarettes produce very small exposures relative to tobacco cigarettes." is annoying. It's like discussing skin cancer and solar radiation and saying "starlight and reflected moonlight produce very small exposures relative to direct daytime sunshine."

P.S. Of course, until more studies have been done, people should not simply assume that starlight and moonlight are safe. It's always best to keep yourself and your children safely locked indoors.

Elaine Keller said...

You missed one. Schripp T, Markewitz D, Uhde E, Salthammer T. Does e-cigarette consumption cause passive vaping? Indoor Air. 2012 Jun 2. When they captured exhaled vapor in a 10 m3 chamber they found no measurable nicotine. So then they had subjects inhale directly into a 6 L glass chamber and found .... 6 mcg/m3. Of course the only way a bystander could get to this nicotine would be to lock lips with a vaper and inhale the vapor that s/he exhaled. (We used to do that with smoke!). Anyhow, the authors chose to put a negative spin on their very positive results. I wrote about it here:

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