Pamphlet: Tobacco harm reduction, e-cigarettes, and e-cigarette use: an overview

by Carl V Phillips

For a seminar at the U.S. Senate offices today (which also featured Gregory Conley and CASAA’s Igor Burstyn), I prepared a handout that I think is the best way to give an overview of what the title describes.

[Update: I neglected to mention that the event was hosted by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), in the person of CASAA advisor Sally Satel. They and she did a great job of planning the event and getting a lot of people there to hear what we had to say. It was a great contribution to the cause.]

It is aimed at people who know a little bit about the topic, and thus have probably heard bits of the usual misinformation, but are fuzzy on even the basics. It glosses over the health science because Igor was covering that.

I figured I might as well share it more widely: Phillips – harm reduction and ecigs handout (pdf) [updated 19mar15 based on comments plus some additional tidying]. Comments welcome and feel free to share it. We will probably turn it into some sort of “permanent” CASAA document.

The only thing from my talk that is not in the document that is worth mentioning: When talking about the myth that flavors appeal only to kids, I pointed out that, as I understand, not too far from where we were sitting there is an Official Senate Candy Dish.

19 responses to “Pamphlet: Tobacco harm reduction, e-cigarettes, and e-cigarette use: an overview

  1. I loved it …BUT…It’s too long for a pamphlet, but great for a legislative packet. IT NEEDS GRAPHICS — legislators typically don’t listen and read, they speak and write. Same for reporters. Good scientists and engineers read, but they are already on our side, lol. Also, it’s easier to argue in one’s head with verbiage, but graphics make the point at a gut level very fast. Take a look at this week’s post on

    • Carl V Phillips

      Yeah. I don’t do cat posters.

      But seriously, I was looking for a word to put in the title and “handout” would read rather odd. I agree that it is not really a pamphlet in the present form, though it is certainly closer to that than it is to a paper. Briefing memo, I suppose.

      The goal of a document like this is to deal with people who are not ready to just take your assertions at face value. That requires more than a typical 300-word pamphlet or poster, which is limited to stating your conclusions without supporting them, and assumes someone will just accept them. That tends to only work if they already agree with you. Manipulating people with documents like that (i.e., marketing) can work, obviously, but I would rather work via communication. Fortunately, the immediate target audience were people who are educated and intelligent, and were willing to take an hour of their time to listen to people talk about this subject. I am not too worried that five minutes of easy reading is going to put them off.

      • When I do the graphics they are with links or more often with a talk, but I only have 3 minutes, they aren’t going to read, and the other side also just gave assertions. I let them know I can back them up. BTW, it is said that Rockefeller of all people is in charge of the Senate Candy Desk on the Democrat side.

        • Carl V Phillips

          Rockefeller is no longer in the Senate. The candy desk is in the hands of Pat Toomey (R-PA). However, it was — in a bit of irony that is rather over the top — in Rockefeller’s charge last year when he attacked ecig flavors.

  2. “Almost all experienced vapers prefer open systems, which create a more satisfying puff of vapor, deliver nicotine more efficiently, have a better battery life, and offer a seemingly infinite variety of flavors to suit every palate.”

    Although you mention flavors here and their importance elsewhere I would be inclined to add in the above that open systems produce a greater and more intense flavor experience. It is here the ecig goes from being a substitute to cigarettes to a preferred alternative. Personally, I think the increased flavor intensity is more important factor than more efficient nicotine delivery.

  3. Um, I would just note that your email address under the title is misspelled.

    • Carl V Phillips

      Well f…..
      What a great message to get when turning back on my phone after a much-delayed flight finally landed at 1:00am.
      I am firing my proofreader.
      (CASAA is a great organization, but a terrible name for an organization, I think we can all agree :-)

      • Carl V Phillips

        And now I discover that the original Word file that created the PDF has been corrupted, so I cannot just fix it. Just great. I will fix it tomorrow.

    • Carl V Phillips

      (Oh, and needless to say, thanks for catching that.)

  4. Jonathan Bagley

    I think this is an excellent pamphlet; comprehensive and explaining all aspects of vaping very clearly. I didn’t know ecig “vapour” is in fact an aerosol. This makes it even more similar to what is emitted by a pharmaceutical inhaler.

  5. I have printed it. Really plan to use this material. Thank you once again you really out did yourself Carl Phillips a masterpiece! It is so good, I would have read two of the paragraphs at the Washtenaw County Commissioners hearing, had it been available, it’s killer, hits a bulleye, calls out the Tobacco Control and Public Health for exactly what and who they are! Unfortunately, we lost the vote and now vaping is not allowed indoors where smoking isn’t. The only good thing is vape shops are excluded. The bad news is we never even heard about the city’s vote a month ago to ban vaping in 77 parks in Ann Arbor, Michigan! grrrrrr!

  6. So E-cig emissions are an aerosol, which is tiny droplets of fluid. Is that not what water vapour is?
    So if I venture outside in damp conditions, I shall be inhaling, with every breath I take, masses of aerosol containing water vapour and whatever pm 2.5 particulates happen to be contained within the water vapour. Why am I STILL not dead after doing so for seventy five years?

    • Carl V Phillips

      No, “water vapor”, if the terms is being used properly, really is vapor. Fog is an aerosol, so if it is damp enough, then yes you are breathing in massive quantities of small droplets. They are not PM 2.5 because that refers to particles (solids). Confused yet? You have inspired me to do a whole post on the subject, so maybe that will cover it.

  7. Carl, thanks for all your hard work and brilliant words. I will be distributing this widely.

  8. Reblogged this on artbylisabelle and commented:
    The absolute truth!

  9. Pingback: Nice pop press article on the benefits of nicotine (outsource) | Anti-THR Lies and related topics

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