March 24, 2014

"A dangerous new form of a powerful stimulant is hitting markets nationwide, for sale by the vial, the gallon and even the barrel."

The NYT raises the alarm over liquid nicotine for e-cigarettes.

66 comments:

Pogo is Dead said...

Another day, another new gubmint tyranny.

State workers hate your freedoms, and work to limit them where possible.

Do I dare to eat a peach?
Only if the FDA allows.

I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
Well, not today. The DNR closed the beach off from the public.

And walking must record each step to meet official exercise documentation rules.

MadisonMan said...

Won't somebody please think of the children!!!

Agatha Christie would approve of this toxin.

T Rellis said...

A powerful new stimulant that has only been openly available here literally since before white people set foot on this land.

I for one, as the husband of a former smoker, am happy with the barrels full of this new dangerous stuff.

Pogo is Dead said...

I am amazed I can still buy Drano, bleach and gasoline.

Pogo is Dead said...

Or donuts, for that matter.

Strelnikov said...

How many fainting couches do these douchebags keep in the newsroom?

Whatever the number, I'm sure it's standing room only.

Birkel said...

Pogo is Dead:

Stop it, now! The people who would restrict the things you mentioned have no collective or individual sense of humor. Give them no ideas.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

That stuff knocks the living shit out of bugs, too.

The Godfather said...

"I don't smoke and I don't chew, and I don't go with girls that do."

Now e-cigs, that's different. We can't be against them for the REAL reason we're against them -- that OTHER people enjoy them -- we have to be against them because they effect innocent little children. No second-hand smoke? Keep working it, you'll find something.

dbp said...

I didn't see any mention of how e-cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes.

Must have been an oversight.

Quaestor said...

I read of an experiment done in the seventies involving liquid nicotine. A group of addicted drug users plus a control group were given a injection of clear liquid. Some got sterile saline solution and some got nicotine, not a huge jolt, just about what a smoker would get from a pack of Camels. The subjects were then asked to describe their reactions and "name the poison". I suppose the study was aimed at measure how a drug users expectations influenced their experience.

The heroin addicts usually thought they were getting cocaine; the cocaine users thought they were given heroin.

I don't know what this means, but it's interesting.

Aside from the damage they do to their health from smoking, smokers don't seem to show much ill effect from the nicotine. Nevertheless they crave it, and on the face of it it's the nicotine that keeps them smoking. Yet alternative delivery means like nicotine chewing gum, nicotine candy, e-cigs and the like are unpopular among nicotine addicts.

This phenomenon has been documented in prison studies. Inmate smokers were given a choice between nicotine candy and cigarettes flavored with a nasty tasting yet harmless alkaloid deterrent. The cons overwhelmingly chose to endure the foul taste and smoke rather than eat the candy, the the nicotine dose per piece was higher than the smoke. Odd. Odd. Odd.

Seeing Red said...

Where's my weed?

Revenant said...

Reason Magazine slapped this down earlier today:

The number of accidental poisoning reports related to e-cigarette fluid increased from about 338 in 2012 to 1,351 in 2013. None of these poisonings was fatal, and most (73 percent) were not serious enough to require hospital treatment. In 2012, by comparison, 311,347 poisoning reports involved analgesics, 221,314 involved cosmetics, 193,802 involved cleaning substances, 96,997 involved anthistamines, 88,694 involved pesticides, 68,168 involved vitamins, and 49,374 involved plants. So if "e-liquids pose a significant risk to public health," as Richtel says, the risk posed by common products such as aspirin, window cleaner, and bug spray is gargantuan.

Roughcoat said...

I miss salvia. It was legal in Illinois until 2012.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Hi, my name is Tyrone and I'm a nicotine addict. I quit using tobacco in all forms ten years, six months, four days and five hours ago. And eighteen minutes. A cigarette would make me blissfully high for about four minutes, but only if I hadn't had one in a day or so. That was enough to keep me lighting up for a long time.

I'm prepared to believe that e-cigs are better for you than Pall Malls, but let's face it, addiction is addiction. Even if the stuff were free and totally harmless, addiction makes you do things you wouldn't otherwise do. And that's bad.

Quaestor said...

And the "medical" marijuana thing is another source of my confusion.

I get the "medical" end of the argument, almost. "If it's therapeutic for very sick people, why not let them use it," that the medicinal pot litany, correct?

But if you go to a medical marijuana dispensary you don't see people getting capsules containing a measured dose of THC. You see the patients sitting in little groups, passing joints or bongs like its a dorm room or something. To me that seems like the antithesis of medicine. A responsible physician should only give medicine on the basis of controlled dosage and monitoring; you don't hear a doctor say "take as many of these pills as you want" or "chew willow bark until you feel better." That's shamanism, not science.

I can't shake the suspicion the medical cannabis crowd are have us on.

mesquito said...

Remember, to understand the Left you must realize that this country was founded by Puritans.

Sam L. said...

We. Are. DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

Don't drink that stuff.

Sam L. said...

Godfather, when I heard that in Scouts, lo, those many years ago, it was "...and we don't go with girls what do." Midwestern boyhood.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Althouse vapes.

Craig Howard said...

As a sixty-year-old (the picture's old) who still smokes, I have to say that most of the criticism I receive is from contemporaries who are pissed off that I haven't been shamed into quitting as they apparently were. And from that, I've deduced [perhaps, illogically] that most of the anti-smoking crusade is little more than a movement to end physical pleasure [sex excepted, natch].

We must all don hair shirts to live until we're miserable, shriveled, muddled, and so very old. It will be our punishment for defiling the earth, lo, these many [too many] years.

God, I'm sick of it. Leave me alone.

David said...

Cynthia Cabrera, executive director of Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association, said she would also favor regulations, including those that would include childproof bottles and warning labels, and also manufacturing standards. But she said many companies already were doing that voluntarily, and that parents also needed to take some responsibility.

“You wouldn’t leave a bottle of Ajax out,” she said.


No. But you would not sell it so people can smoke it either.

Mark Jones said...

Tyrone--yes, god forbid you should be addicted to a cheap, legal substance that causes no serious physical or mental problems.

The anti-smoking zealots have spent decades trying to stamp out smoking. First, because it was bad for you. Then, because it's bad for other people. Now that the smokers have, instead of simply knuckling under to their superior wisdom, found a new way to smoke that doesn't inflict harm on anyone OF COURSE that new approach must be banned. How dare they defy their betters with creativity instead of abject obedience?

great Unknown said...

Caffeine is also available in pure crystalline form. We all know it is highly addictive, and the negative effects may be worse than those of pure nicotine.

BTW, it's available on Amazon in "Health and Personal Care." List it on the blog and you might make a killing.

Michael said...

The govt never gets it

Ban alcohol get moonshine
Paraquat on mild Mexican dope get powerful US grown buds
Interdict cocaine get crack
Lean on crack get meth

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Sam L. said...

Godfather, when I heard that in Scouts, lo, those many years ago, it was "...and we don't go with girls what do." Midwestern boyhood.


My midwestern dad would recite this:

Root-a-ti-toot
Root-a-ti-toot
We are the boys of the Institute.
We don't smoke
And we don't chew,
And we don't go out with the girl that do.
(sniveling)
Our class won the Bible!

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Girls

PB Reader said...

Cigarettes/nicotine used to fuel the newspaper industry. Smoke-free, the industry is on the skids.

Reporters smoke cigarette and deliver the news.
Journalists don't smoke and tell you how to think.

Ambrose said...

The article was interesting. The horror was not necessarily the product itself, but rather - brace yourself - the fact that it is largely free from federal regulation

chuck said...

I am amazed I can still buy Drano, bleach and gasoline.

But you have to cheat to buy dish soap, and incandescent bulbs are getting hard to come by.

The government wants to tax nicotine for the children. Do your duty, people, smoke.

tmitsss said...

I never worked topping tobacco as a teenager but I had plenty of friends that did. Some of their stories of encounters with tobacco sap were entertaining and most of them lived.

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quaestor said...

What amazed me about tobacco was the seeds.

I was living in Southern Pines, North Carolina horse country, which is surround by some of the best cigarette tobacco land in the America. I needed some antibiotic for a horse with a gravel. The nearby dealer was out and directed me to a store in the next county. So I went. Looking around the store I noticed a locked cabinet, which I assumed contained livestock drugs. But it didn't. It contained tiny canisters of tobacco seed. And the prices were staggering. $500 dollars for can three inches tall! Someone told me that one can could be all that the typical grower might use in any season. Evidently the seeds are tiny, much smaller than poppy seeds.

Later study reveal why. Tobacco is a parasite. It's figured out how to enslave humans so that they will do much of the work a plant does for itself. Most seeds contain supply of nutrients so that the embryonic plant can survive until it is big enough to fend for itself. The tobacco plant has dispensed with most of the nutrients, letting its human hosts figure out how to nurture the seedlings.

SteveR said...

A Ruth Anne sighting!! Feels like 2005.

chickenlittle said...

Ruth Anne Adams said...
Althouse vapes.

Cotinine (an anagram of nicotine) is a metabolite of nicotine and is used to detect for nicotine in routine blood screening.

Should the ACA ever get serious about surcharging smokers for healthcare, they will rely on cotinine's longer half life in vivo to test positive for smoking. In theory, e-cig vaporetti will test positive for smoking.

Another unintended consequence.

Zeb Quinn said...

I love e-cigs. They make the anti-smoking Nazis heads explode.

traditionalguy said...

The military with the best cigarettes usually wins wars. So this new source for the thinker's focusing drug will probably be outlawed by the Obama Gang.

John said...

Queastor said:

A group of addicted drug users plus a control group were given a injection of clear liquid. Some got sterile saline solution and some got nicotine,

I was under the impression that nicotine, even in minute amounts, was deadly poison. Perhaps from reading pulp fiction where someone dies instantly from being nicked with a knife that had been dipped in nicotine.

We have some doctors here, can you fill us in?

John Henry

chickenlittle said...

John Henry: Perhaps you're thinking of coniine (hemlock)?

Revenant said...

But if you go to a medical marijuana dispensary you don't see people getting capsules containing a measured dose of THC.

A few questions for you:

1. Who would create these pills? Producing the pills you're describing would require a few million dollars' up-front investment by someone who didn't mind openly running an illegal drug lab.

2. Inhalation has a rapid onset time and the amount inhaled is easily controllable. When you pop a pill you wait ten or twenty minutes and then get whatever dose the pill maker thought was appropriate. Why would you want to opt for the second option over the first, unless you had asthma or some other condition that made inhalation a bad idea?

3. One of the main legitimately-medical uses of marijuana is to combat nausea. Are pills a good idea for a person with nausea?

A responsible physician should only give medicine on the basis of controlled dosage and monitoring; you don't hear a doctor say "take as many of these pills as you want" or "chew willow bark until you feel better." That's shamanism, not science.

Actually, you just described how doctors treat aspirin -- another useful drug it is essentially impossible to overdose on. Got a bottle of Bayer handy? Most don't even HAVE instructions, just a list of medical conditions that aspirin may exacerbate.

Even among other drugs, words along the lines of "take as needed, but no more than X times/day" are common among both prescription and non-prescription drugs. There are some medications (antibiotics, for example) that MUST be taken in exact doses at exact times, but most drugs are only supposed to be used to the extent you need them.

Ironically, your vision of medication as something only doctors can make decisions about and which normal people should not dare to think about is a lot closer to "shamanism" than to science.

Pogo is Dead said...

Tobacco poisoning through the skin in 1933 (insecticide exposure)

Smilin' Jack said...

Thanks to e-cigs you don't have to smell like a burning douche bag, you can just look like one.

Meade said...

Hipster poison:
http://rlv.zcache.com.au/vintage_black_leaf_40_poison_label_shirts-rb71589d7fc664ad3ab454211e2f1c1ee_va6lr_324.jpg

Pogo is Dead said...

"Two issues are particularly relevant in understanding the pharmacodynamics of nicotine. First, the nicotine dose-response relationship is complex. Low doses may stimulate neural systems, whereas higher doses depress them. For example, low doses of nicotine produce central or peripheral nervous system stimulation with arousal and an increase in heart rate or blood pressure. At high doses, such as during nicotine intoxication, nicotine produces ganglionic blockade resulting in bradycardia, hypotension, and depressed mental status.

Apart from producing a burning sensation in the mouth and throat, it may cause sudden respiratory failure by acting on the peripheral and central nervous systems; death may also be caused by respiratory muscle paralysis and/or for cardiovascular collapse. Despite its high toxicity, nicotine rarely results in serious or fatal poisoning.
"

Death due to ingestion of nicotine-containing solution: case report and review of the literature.
Solarino B1, Rosenbaum F, et al
Forensic Sci Int. 2010 Feb 25;195(1-3):e19-22. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2009.11.003. Epub 2009 Dec 1.

Scott said...

"Nationwide, the number of cases linked to e-liquids jumped to 1,351 in 2013, a 300 percent increase from 2012, and the number is on pace to double this year, according to information from the National Poison Data System."

And nearly a quarter million people are poisoned by chlorine bleach every year. Which one is the problem, and which one is the statistical noise?

AReasonableMan said...

I tried a broad spectrum of addictive drugs as a young person. Nicotine was the only drug that I had great difficulty quitting. In my experience it is the most addictive of the drugs that someone might encounter in an adventurous youth. Obviously other people's physiology and psychology can and do differ but ultimately I was grateful for the public health measures that discouraged smoking. They certainly made it easier for me to quit. I understand the libertarian impulse to pour scorn on nanny state measures against drugs but addiction is a very odd thing and public health measures to limit the negative effects of addiction are not all bad.

Pogo is Dead said...

Addiction to nicotine isn't the problem, it's addiction to smoking tobacco leaves to get nicotine that is a problem.

Quaestor said...

Revenant wrote:
Actually, you just described how doctors treat aspirin -- another useful drug it is essentially impossible to overdose on. Got a bottle of Bayer handy? Most don't even HAVE instructions, just a list of medical conditions that aspirin may exacerbate.

Wow. This glaring error puts your thesis in jeopardy.

Many other drugs, some readily and cheaply available of the counter can be seriously toxic. Here's one you're like to have in your own medicine cabinet that can kill.

I'll let you mull on this awhile. You ought also consider the folly of anyone regulating his own drug dosage based on something as biased as "how do I feel now."

Pogo is Dead said...

@Revenant: "Who would create these pills [THC]? Producing the pills you're describing would require a few million dollars' up-front investment..."

MARINOL®
(dronabinol) Capsules
Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc

Dronabinol, the active ingredient in MARINOL® (dronabinol) Capsules, is synthetic delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC) ... a naturally occurring component of Cannabis sativa L. (Marijuana).

Quaestor said...

John Henry wrote:
I was under the impression that nicotine, even in minute amounts, was deadly poison.

All things are poison, and nothing is without poison
- Paracelsus (1493-1541)

Judging by this nicotine sulfate is very dangerous. But as Paracelsus taught, the devil is in the details. "Minute amounts" is too inexact for real toxicology.

The median lethal dose for an adult is 0.5-1.0 mg/kg. One cigarette provides approximately equal to 1 mg of nicotine, so 4 packs of cigarettes could be lethal to the average man. Fortunately nicotine is rapidly metabolized, so it's hard to get a harmful dosage concentrated in the body. To use nicotine as a reliable murder weapon it would be necessary to double or triple the concentration. Otherwise you may only make your victim quite sick and very jumpy.

That Black Leaf 40 was evidently very concentrated.

The very informal abstract I read about the nicotine experiment only compared the injection to a pack of cigarettes, no numbers.

Injecting nicotine appears to provide a slower takeup of the drug by the normal receptor sites. This is also true of cocaine, which is why snorting replaced injection as the administration method of choice.

Quaestor said...

I understand the libertarian impulse to pour scorn on nanny state measures against drugs but addiction is a very odd thing and public health measures to limit the negative effects of addiction are not all bad.

Very reasonable and well put. Aristotle would be proud of you.

Quaestor said...

Pogo, I read the JAMA link you provided. The article mentioned tobacco enemas as one means of deadly administration. I seem to recall a book about Marilyn Monroe that claimed her death was murder by nicotine enema. It was sensational nonsense, of course, but for a chain smoker like Norma Jean, an elevated nicotine level in the postmortem might not raise eyebrows.

Mark said...

Well, all the users of hash oil are going to love the acceptance of this device. Should be fun having smoking everywhere again.

School districts are going to love this, as it pretty clearly is a way to get young people addicted to a smelly and now hard to do habit. Startistics support the fact that trying these is common among the high school set. Another generation of nicotine addicts, y'all must be so proud!

stlcdr said...

'New form of powerful stimulant'? There's nothing new about it.

Also consider the lack of deaths despite the completely and utterly lack (sic) of government intervention.

How many vapers have not had a cigarette? Is this a way to get kids hooked on nicotine? I don't think so, unless it's made cool. There isn't really a nicotine high that comes from even small doses of other drugs. Or is there? The lack of studies on nicotine doesn't help us understand or even require extensive intrusion by government.

(Of course, the default government stance is control it now - which is odd that, again, there is little regulation. This is the media trying to push people who ordinarily wouldn't care about such a thing, into acting to ban or control something they have no contact with).

MadisonMan said...

but let's face it, addiction is addiction.

and the Govt is addicted to telling you what to do.

Revenant said...

Wow. This glaring error puts your thesis in jeopardy

Um, no, not if you actually do the math. An adult has to consume an entire *bottle* of aspirin to reach those toxicity levels!

I'll let you mull on this awhile. You ought also consider the folly of anyone regulating his own drug dosage based on something as biased as "how do I feel now."

I don't really care if you think it is foolish. I was refuting your claim that self-regulated medication isn't "real medicine". It obviously can be, as OTC medication (and much prescription medicine) demonstrates.

Revenant said...

MARINOL® (dronabinol) Capsules Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc

Marinol is prescription-only, and doctors who prescribe it tend to get harassed by the feds.

Revenant said...

I understand the libertarian impulse to pour scorn on nanny state measures against drugs [but] public health measures to limit the negative effects of addiction are not all bad.

Which is why public health measures to limit the negative effects of addiction are "not all" criticized by libertarians.

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

Quaestor wrote:
But if you go to a medical marijuana dispensary you don't see people getting capsules containing a measured dose of THC. You see the patients sitting in little groups, passing joints or bongs like its a dorm room or something.

One of the reasons I never got into pot (aside from the fact that I'm asthmatic and so my lungs are very sensitive to smoke) is that I had to share a joint with someone else who just put their mouth on the joint first.
Are they at least sterilizing the bong when giving out the "medicine"?

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
MARINOL® (dronabinol) Capsules Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc

Marinol is prescription-only, and doctors who prescribe it tend to get harassed by the feds.

If prescribing Marinol would get you harrased by the feds I can imagine what presicring a dime bag would cause.

ken in sc said...

I remember when the Clintonistas wanted to ban lead. Hand crank your car. It's more green.

jaed said...

Is anyone going to mention that THC isn't marijuana? It's pretty well understood that the actual plant has cofactors that have medical effects.

Eric said...

Um, no, not if you actually do the math. An adult has to consume an entire *bottle* of aspirin to reach those toxicity levels!

It may take an entire bottle to kill you outright, but it doesn't take anywhere near that to cause potentially fatal bleeding stomach ulcers.

Eric said...

I remember when the Clintonistas wanted to ban lead. Hand crank your car. It's more green.

I would love to buy a car with a crank starter. Not because of lead, though - I'm just a sucker for retro stuff.