published Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Smoke and mirrors: UTC student finding out what's in e-cigarettes

by Chris Carroll
Katie Thurman, a senior chemistry student at UTC, performs experiments in the lab at Grote Hall as she does research about the effects of growing plants in cigarette-butt saturated soil. 
Staff Photo by John Rawlston/Chattanooga Times Free Press
Katie Thurman, a senior chemistry student at UTC, performs experiments in the lab at Grote Hall as she does research about the effects of growing plants in cigarette-butt saturated soil. Staff Photo by John Rawlston/Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • photo
    UTC chemistry students are doing research about electronic cigarettes such as this one. Staff Photo by John Rawlston/Chattanooga Times Free Press
    enlarge photo

For $14.95, a smoker can buy 500 puffs in a single electronic cigarette.

A USB cable makes it electronic — just like an iPod, users can charge its lithium battery in the middle of paper writing, Amazon surfing, Facebooking.

“Smoking” includes no matches, tobacco or secondhand breath, only a nicotine mist waiting to be inhaled and a tar-free, odorless vapor.

Finally: E-cigarettes glow in the dark — red, green and blue.

Sounds clean and cool, according to University of Tennessee at Chattanooga associate chemistry professor Gretchen Potts and a student researcher, but they’re finding tobacco users’ newest product is neither clean nor cool as they investigate e-cigarettes — something the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t done thoroughly, they said.

UTC student learning how cigarette butts affect plants

The chemistry professor’s question is odd but relevant: “What’s in the butt?”

Building off a study that found 12 metals lingering inside the final remnant of a cigarette, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga associate chemistry professor Gretchen Potts and a student are looking into how 4.95 trillion littered cigarette butts affect plant growth worldwide. The figure comes from a research paper that Potts co-wrote.

As part of her “Plants Grown in an Ash Tray” undergraduate thesis, Chattanooga native and UTC senior Katie Thurman has stuffed the soil around pea plants with full cigarettes and cigarette butts, investigating whether butts transfer toxic metals to edible vegetation.

Among other metals, Potts found aluminum, lead, nickel and titanium within cigarette butts during a recently published study.

In the lab, Thurman has been “digesting” pea plant samples in a way that simulates the human stomach. Using acid, she’s broken down several plants into a clear solution with microscopic pea plant flecks dotting the surface.

“It was fun watching it digest,” she said. “Nothing happened for five or 10 minutes, then all of a sudden it melted down.”

This summer, she’ll analyze the results and identify compounds. She plans to present her findings at a research symposium at UTC in July.

Much of the research focuses on bioaccumulation.

“Let’s say microorganisms get whatever is in the butts, and it affects them but doesn’t quite kill them,” Potts said. “Something else eats that, something else eats that, a fish eats that, we eat the fish.”

As an example, she cites mercury in fish.

“That’s what happens with mercury,” she concluded. “It all works its way up the chain.”

“People don’t even know what’s in them,” said Amy Balestrino, a senior chemistry major at UTC doing the research. “They jump on the bandwagon without knowing anything.”

Devon Jay, a spokeswoman for SS Choice, an online e-cigarette retailer, said her company plainly lists ingredients and benefits — “no smoke, smoke anywhere, save money, no burns, no ashes” — on its website, which also includes smiling college students offering endorsements.

“I don’t think we encourage anyone,” Jay said by phone from Colleyville, Texas. “We’re in business to provide an alternative to someone smoking tobacco cigarettes.”

Despite a 2009 FDA sampling that found detectable levels of nitrosamines — cancer-causing compounds found in tobacco — in two brands of e-cigarettes, the agency recently announced it would not appeal a U.S. Court of Appeals decision stating that e-cigarettes “are not drugs/devices unless they are marketed for therapeutic purposes.”

An FDA memorandum dated April 25 promises to develop a strategy to regulate this “emerging class of products” as tobacco products under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which would allow the FDA to require ingredient listing, user fees and “misbranding provisions,” among other controls.

But as of now, e-cigarettes are unregulated, meaning no federal age limit.

Jay, the SS Choice spokeswoman, said the company verifies that each online buyer is 18 or older but said she’s “not familiar” with how that process works.

Jeff Ventura, an FDA spokesman, said “there’s no definitive timeline set up for regulation yet.”

“Anyone in the regulatory world knows it’s going to take a while,” he said. “There’s just not a lot of information out there about e-cigarettes one way or another.”

Smoke signals at UTC

Balestrino wants to change that, using the means at her disposal.

In lieu of a $35,000 “smoking machine” — which is what big labs normally use to test cigarettes — Potts rigged a plastic squirt bottle to simulate the inhalation of an e-cigarette.

“We have the power of the student,” Potts joked. “A smoking machine can hold up to 100 cigarettes, but I have my one student working every day, squeezing the bottle.”

When Balestrino applies pressure, the bottle “breathes in” the contents of the e-cigarette and a cotton ball absorbs them. After testing dozens of brands, she and Potts plan to investigate the cotton balls with something a bit more high tech — mass spectrometry and plasma machines — to identify ingredients.

“We’re going to extract from the cotton everything that comes out of the e-cigarette,” Potts said.

While research only began last week, early results are rolling in. Most e-cigarette companies claim their products are made of only two compounds — nicotine and propylene glycol, the liquid that hosts the addictive stimulant.

Do you think e-cigarettes should be regulated?

But when Balestrino tested two replacement solutions for reusable e-cigarettes, she instantly found 2-butanol, which Oxford University classifies as an irritant that “may be harmful by inhalation, ingestion or through skin absorption.”

Balestrino said she plans to publish results by July, when she’ll present her research at an undergraduate symposium at UTC.

Jay Collum, a tobacco education and control coordinator at the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department, said the results couldn’t come any more quickly.

“I have no knowledge of any such e-cigarette regulation here, state or city,” he said. “With these things, you get your nicotine and you get it anytime you want to.”

Contact Chris Carroll at or 423-757-6610.

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ECigUser said...

Corrections to this article:

1) E-cigarettes contain trace levels of carcinogens, and the FDA's tests prove that point. Any product with nicotine in it has detectable levels of carcinogens, including the nicotine gum, patch, and e-cigarettes. However, these trace levels are about 1/1000th of what is in a cigarette.
2) Most e-cigarette manufacturers say their product consists of propylene glycol, glycerin, nicotine, and food-grade flavorings, not just PG and nicotine. 3) 2-butanol is used in food flavorings and is approved by the FDA for human consumption under PART 172 -- FOOD ADDITIVES PERMITTED FOR DIRECT ADDITION TO FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION, Subpart F--Flavoring Agents and Related Substances, Sec. 172.515 Synthetic flavoring substances and adjuvants.
4) 2-butanol is only harmful in large amounts. According to Merck Chemicals, 6480 mg/kg is the ld 50 for a RAT. An e-cigarette cartridge holds about 1 ml of liquid.

I applaud UTC for studying e-cigarettes, but it appears that the research agenda is questionable.

May 17, 2011 at 2:50 a.m.
ecigator said...

so what? does this mean that electronic cigarette is harmful than real one???

The FDA now treat electronic cigarette as tobacco products, cos is better than real ~~~


so this research is unuseful~~

May 17, 2011 at 4:11 a.m.
mthompson332 said...

Not the article I read ecigator:

It says the FDA could treat e-cigs like a tobacco product. But right now it doesn't treat them like anything.

Meaning, of course, that anybody can buy them. I don't care WHAT'S in them, I don't trust any of these companies to tell me what's what.

Kudos to this research team.

May 17, 2011 at 6:05 a.m.
harleyrider1978 said...

JOINT STATEMENT ON THE RE-ASSESSMENT OF THE TOXICOLOGICAL TESTING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS" 7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18 November 2004.

"5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke - induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease."

In other words ... our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can't even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact ... we don't even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does.

The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory

May 17, 2011 at 9:09 a.m.
harleyrider1978 said...

They have created a fear that is based on nothing’’ World-renowned pulmonologist, president of the prestigious Research Institute Necker for the last decade, Professor Philippe Even, now retired, tells us that he’s convinced of the absence of harm from passive smoking. A shocking interview.

What do the studies on passive smoking tell us?

PHILIPPE EVEN. There are about a hundred studies on the issue. First surprise: 40% of them claim a total absence of harmful effects of passive smoking on health. The remaining 60% estimate that the cancer risk is multiplied by 0.02 for the most optimistic and by 0.15 for the more pessimistic … compared to a risk multiplied by 10 or 20 for active smoking! It is therefore negligible. Clearly, the harm is either nonexistent, or it is extremely low.

It is an indisputable scientific fact. Anti-tobacco associations report 3 000-6 000 deaths per year in France ...

I am curious to know their sources. No study has ever produced such a result.

Many experts argue that passive smoking is also responsible for cardiovascular disease and other asthma attacks. Not you?

They don’t base it on any solid scientific evidence. Take the case of cardiovascular diseases: the four main causes are obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes. To determine whether passive smoking is an aggravating factor, there should be a study on people who have none of these four symptoms. But this was never done. Regarding chronic bronchitis, although the role of active smoking is undeniable, that of passive smoking is yet to be proven. For asthma, it is indeed a contributing factor ... but not greater than pollen!

The purpose of the ban on smoking in public places, however, was to protect non-smokers. It was thus based on nothing?

Absolutely nothing! The psychosis began with the publication of a report by the IARC, International Agency for Research on Cancer, which depends on the WHO (Editor's note: World Health Organization). The report released in 2002 says it is now proven that passive smoking carries serious health risks, but without showing the evidence. Where are the data? What was the methodology? It's everything but a scientific approach. It was creating fear that is not based on anything.

May 17, 2011 at 9:11 a.m.
harleyrider1978 said...

Why would anti-tobacco organizations wave a threat that does not exist?

The anti-smoking campaigns and higher cigarette prices having failed, they had to find a new way to lower the number of smokers. By waving the threat of passive smoking, they found a tool that really works: social pressure. In good faith, non-smokers felt in danger and started to stand up against smokers. As a result, passive smoking has become a public health problem, paving the way for the Evin Law and the decree banning smoking in public places. The cause may be good, but I do not think it is good to legislate on a lie. And the worst part is that it does not work: since the entry into force of the decree, cigarette sales are rising again.

Why not speak up earlier?

As a civil servant, dean of the largest medical faculty in France, I was held to confidentiality. If I had deviated from official positions, I would have had to pay the consequences. Today, I am a free man.

Le Parisien Paris magazine ...

May 17, 2011 at 9:12 a.m.
harleyrider1978 said...

According to independent Public and Health Policy Research group, Littlewood & Fennel of Austin, Tx, on the subject of secondhand smoke……..

They did the figures for what it takes to meet all of OSHA'S minimum PEL'S on shs/ets…….Did it ever set the debate on fire.

They concluded that:

All this is in a small sealed room 9×20 and must occur in ONE HOUR.

For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes

"For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes

"Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up.

"For Hydroquinone, "only" 1250 cigarettes

For arsenic 2 million 500,000 smokers at one time

The same number of cigarettes required for the other so called chemicals in shs/ets will have the same outcomes.

So,OSHA finally makes a statement on shs/ets :

Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)…It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded." -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec'y, OSHA

May 17, 2011 at 9:14 a.m.
harleyrider1978 said...

E-cig the reason these bogus junk studies are even going on is because the nazi anti-smokers have to protect the tobacco companies market share due to the MSA deal.........Besides the fact they hate anything that will undermine their prohibition movement. If the tobacco companies prove market share loss they dont have to pay the states the MSA money and so far theyve proven market share losses...........

May 17, 2011 at 10:32 a.m.
Robert59 said...

Sounds like this e-Cig research will be useful in answering two questions I have: 1. Are there any compounds/elements detected in e-cig smoke that are NOT detected in regular cig smoke (there are hundreds, including Polonium-210). If there are different compounds/elements in e-cig smoke, toxicity assessment may change. 2. Is the overall number of compounds detected in e-cig smoke far less than in regular cig smoke? This is important because most toxicity assessments are based on toxicity of a single compound, rather than mixtures of compounds. The fewer the compounds the easier it is to do toxicity studies. Note that this research study is NOT about passive smoking.

May 17, 2011 at 10:34 a.m.
strawn40 said...

I'm hoping the E-cigs can and will help me quit smoking the real cigs. I was able to quit the real ones for almost four years, but when I started playing Darts again that made me start smoking the real ones again because being in a room full of smoke I had to light one up just to take one or two hits where the smoke from all the other darters wouldn't choke me so much. I love darts and I'm hoping this can help and won't hurt me like the real cigs can where I can still play the sport I love to play.

May 17, 2011 at 10:57 a.m.
Rolygate said...

I'm sorry but an e-cigarette does not work and cannot possibly work when operated upside down. It is a liquid-fed device that works very much like a kettle element: it needs to be in a liquid bath or it will overheat and melt the surrounding plastic. A user would never do this as they would choke on the melted plastic smoke.

The tip MUST be below the mouthpiece as it is a gravity-fed liquid supplied device. If you try and use it upside down then all you will get is melted filler and plastic fumes. No surprise then if the vapor is full of toxic rubbish - no user could inhale that stuff.

Please employ someone who knows something about them otherwise all your research will be utterly useless, as has been proven many times before - you're not the first person going down this road.

May 17, 2011 at 12:31 p.m.
harleyrider1978 said...


Is found in every vegetation on earth.......its in the soil everywhere and is not harmful!

It would take 4 trillion years to consume enough polonium210 in eating any vegetative matter or smoke from a cig to equal what killed the russian spy in london 3 years ago.........

Its in the ground naturally and from above ground nuclear testing decades ago.....dont let these people try and fool anyone!

May 17, 2011 at 1:22 p.m.
kristinnm said...

What company has claimed to "only" have nicotine and propylene glycol in their liquids? Since anti-tobacco health groups are complaining about the "candy flavors" that are supposedly made to entice children (because adults apparently only like things that taste foul,) obviously there is artificial flavoring in most e-cigarettes - even the basic tobacco and menthol flavors have to be artificially flavored.

2-Butanone is a flavoring agent. Check out the ingredient list of a strawberry shake at Burger King. The artificial strawberry flavoring contains...2-butanone.

And unless Ms. Balestrino discloses the LEVELS of 2-butanone found, there is no way to know if it is an actual health risk. The likelihood of adverse health effects is directly related to the amount of exposure. Considering that the flavoring in e-cigarette liquid is less than 25% of most solutions and 2-butanone is just an ingredient in that flavoring, the levels cannot possibly be very high.

This just seems to be a repeat of the FDA announcement of finding "carcinogens" and "anti-freeze" without disclosing the levels. Turns out the "antifreeze" was DEG in ONE cartridge (not the vapor)at a NON-TOXIC level and the "c arcinogens" were at the approximately the same levels as found in the FDA-approved nicotine patch.

Until you can disclose what the levels found were and support that they are harmful at that level, there is no valid reason to report the finding other than as a scare tactic to support an agenda.

May 17, 2011 at 2:38 p.m.
bpqd said...

Go Mocs! I hope everyone quits smoking cold turkey, regardless of these new cigarettes.

May 17, 2011 at 3:10 p.m.
harleyrider1978 said...

Nicotine is not a carcinogen!

May 17, 2011 at 4 p.m.
harleyrider1978 said...

In 2008 this paper was produced in America and concludes that nictotine and hence active smoking and passive smoking leads to less asthma. It also gives the aetiology (causation) why nicotine and the biologial process that reduces asthma in recipients.

The results unequivocally show that, even after multiple allergen sensitizations, nicotine dramatically suppresses inflammatory/allergic parameters in the lung including the following: eosinophilic/lymphocytic emigration; mRNA and/or protein expression of the Th2 cytokines/chemokines IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, IL-25, and eotaxin; leukotriene C4; and total as well as allergen-specific IgE. unequivocally show that, even after multiple allergen sensitizations, nicotine dramatically suppresses inflammatory/allergic parameters in the lung including the following: eosinophilic/lymphocytic emigration; mRNA and/or protein expression of the Th2 cytokines/chemokines IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, IL-25, and eotaxin; leukotriene C4; and total as well as allergen-specific IgE. ”

May 17, 2011 at 4:12 p.m.
harleyrider1978 said...

The inconvenient truth is that the only studies of children of smokers suggest it is PROTECTIVE in contracting atopy in the first place. The New Zealand study says by a staggering factor of 82%.

“Participants with atopic parents were also less likely to have positive SPTs between ages 13 and 32 years if they smoked themselves (OR=0.18), and this reduction in risk remained significant after adjusting for confounders.

The authors write: “We found that children who were exposed to parental smoking and those who took up cigarette smoking themselves had a lower incidence of atopy to a range of common inhaled allergens. “These associations were found only in those with a parental history of asthma or hay fever.”

They conclude: Our findings suggest that preventing allergic sensitization is not one of them.” The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Volume 121, Issue 1 , Pages 38-42.e3, January 2008

. This is a Swedish study.

“Children of mothers who smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day tended to have lower odds for suffering from allergic rhino-conjunctivitis, allergic asthma, atopic eczema and food allergy, compared to children of mothers who had never smoked (ORs 0.6-0.7)

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates an association between current exposure to tobacco smoke and a low risk for atopic disorders in smokers themselves and a similar tendency in their children.” Clin Exp Allergy 2001 Jun;31(6):908-14

May 17, 2011 at 4:34 p.m.
geneb said...

Spam King Harleyrider has been kicked off so many message boards he has to unload his trove of boilerplate all at once on the poor Times Free Press' board.

Google him for tens of thousands of links.

Obviously, spammers like harleyrider aren't too picky about where they get their cherry-picked "information." For example:

These nutty "researchers" Littlewood & Fennel run a -- well, I don't know what it is, but they call it "Independent Public & Health Policy Research." Why, it MUST be independent-- it says so in the title!

Did these two even graduate high school? You can't tell from reading their "study." You can't even find out what Littlewood's first name is. The authors lay no claim to be scientists of any kind.

They call their output, "a labor of our love." I guess you don't need a degree or an education or anything for love, but usually you do for, you know, science.

This weird entity is apparently run out of L&F's home in suburban Austin, and were it an actual business it may well be in violation of Austin's residential zoning codes--but I suspect it's nothing of the sort. No one's heard of it before or since.

It seems to me that "Independent Public & Health Policy Research" was set up for no purpose other than to try to contravene the science on secondhand smoke.

But its aberrant and unexamined output is the Gold Standard as far as harleyrider's concerned, and worth decades of peer-reviewed research by real scientists.

In 2005, after hearing 6 years of the best cherry-picking tobacco lawyers could muster, Federal Judge, Gladys Kessler, found, in a decision recently upheld by the Supreme Court:

"Evidence of the health risks of passive smoking is derived from many sources. It comes from knowledge of the health risks of active smoking, the carcinogenicity and toxicity of the components in mainstream and sidestream smoke, the evidence that nonsmokers absorb the disease-causing components of tobacco smoke, and epidemiological studies that have assessed the association of passive exposure to tobacco smoke with disease outcomes."

May 17, 2011 at 5:16 p.m.
harleyrider1978 said...

Yepper the junk science is so sound ol gene borio has to come out and try to defend the biggest lie ever told since global cooling which was changed to global warming in 1983 after their global myth failed to materialize.Then the global warming e-mails show up and blow the whole warming SCAM SKY HIGH.......

Now gene webmaster of anti-{ } has recieved funding from the robert woods johnson foundation the philantopic arm of the johnson and johnson big pharma corporation that makes NRT'S NICOTINE REPLACEMENT THERAPY DRUGS..RWJF PAID THE ACS.ALA.AHA 99 MILLION dollars to go out and lobby for smoking bans nationwide!

Ol gene lost his fuunding last summer so he is now back to possibly working for a living or is on contract with a smokefree group to do damage control with no evidence to back him up....

Scientific Evidence Shows Secondhand Smoke Is No Danger

Written By: Jerome Arnett, Jr., M.D. Published In: Environment & Climate News Publication Date: July 1, 2008 Publisher:


BS Alert: The 'third-hand smoke' hoax

The thirdhand smoke scam

Heart attacks Frauds and Myths..

New study: No evidence linking SHS and lung cancer

Surgeon General's Office Again Misrepresents and Distorts the Science in Report Press Release; Why the Need to Lie to the American Public?

B.S. Study: 600,000 People Die Worldwide From Secondhand Smoke Every Year

Don’t believe the lies about secondhand smoke

Monday 26 October 2009

The truth about second-hand smoking is finally out.

The New Corporate America Business Model

Trade In Black-Market Cigarettes: Hot, Dangerous

May 17, 2011 at 10:53 p.m.
harleyrider1978 said...

About 90% of secondary smoke is composed of water vapor and ordinary air with a minor amount of carbon dioxide. The volume of water vapor of second hand smoke becomes even larger as it qickly disperses into the air,depending upon the humidity factors within a set location indoors or outdoors. Exhaled smoke from a smoker will provide 20% more water vapor to the smoke as it exists the smokers mouth.

4 % is carbon monoxide.

6 % is those supposed 4,000 chemicals to be found in tobacco smoke. Unfortunatley for the smoke free advocates these supposed chemicals are more theorized than actually found.What is found is so small to even call them threats to humans is beyond belief.Nanograms,picograms and femptograms…… (1989 Report of the Surgeon General p. 80).

May 17, 2011 at 10:56 p.m.
Robert59 said...

Wow, some interesting but totally misleading comments! Toxicity of individual compounds/elements is not end-all, toxicity of mixtures is relevant, but harder to determine. Two other points, article says 2-Butanol was detected, not 2-Butanone. And Nicotine is an extremely potent pharmacologic agent, with very strong neuro receptor binding affinity that rivals that of heroin and morphine. Nicotine carcinogenicity in single compound studies is not very relevant.

May 17, 2011 at 11:06 p.m.
harleyrider1978 said...

Nicotine is not a carcinogen..........and your trying to talk synergistice effects.......the smokefree folks have tried for years to prove that and its never ever been done with tobacco smoke.

What they did was classic junk taking smokers who worked in extreme chemical environments of heavy carcinogenic chemicals and tried to claim synergism was proven because they saw more lung cancer cells than in others........Hell,they cant even prove direct smoking causes disease! unless your grade for causation is CORRELATION.....CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION!

DOSE MAKES THE POISON and nanograms will never meet that requirement as if it did we would all be dead!

May 17, 2011 at 11:30 p.m.
vocalek said...

Robert59 said, "And Nicotine is an extremely potent pharmacologic agent, with very strong neuro receptor binding affinity that rivals that of heroin and morphine." More than one researcher has verified that each puff of vapor delivers much less nicotine than an equivalent size puff of smoke (about one tenth). It is misleading to equate nicotine with heroin and morphine. There are no laws against driving under the influence of nicotine, nor should there be. Heroin and morphine both impair cognition and motor skills. Nicotine does not. In fact, it enhances these abilities.

May 18, 2011 at 12:27 a.m.
geneb said...

Harleyrider, or should I say, John Erkle from Kentucky, it doesn't help your case to fling out your boilerplate links to your pals' websites and to tobacco-funded orgs like Heartland. That's ridiculous.

We know the posting of friends' websites is a form of advertising, and helps raise their google rankings. It's abuses like this that have led many message boards to forbid links altogether.

Yes, whenever threatened by real science, you rush to your screwball links. But worse--you vilify whoever contradicts your dogma, spewing vitriol and flat-out lies.

You've been warned about libel before. The Times Free Press' Terms clearly state, "Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited."

May 18, 2011 at 3:04 a.m.
harleyrider1978 said...

Here Gene ol boy,your own folks ADMIT SHS IS A JOKE........they didnt want any lawsuits exposing the shs fraud!

Tobacco Control Division, Health and Safety Executive 2006 Guide Circular to Inspectors, HSAOS, Complaint Officers, etc, regarding enforcement of the Scotland Health and Safety at Work Act NOT FOR PUBLIC EYES, Item 9, "The evidential link between individual circumstances of exposure to risk in exempted premises will be hard to establish. In essence, HSE cannot produce epidemiological evidence to link levels of exposure to SHS to the raised risk of contracting specific diseases and it is therefore difficult to prove health-related breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Inspectors are therefore urged to exercise caution in considering any formal enforcement action in relation to SHS." Which means 1) 'they' know that SHS is NOT a Health Risk to other people, and 2) 'they' do NOT want the public to know the facts, so 'they' deliberately suppress it from all news media. Proof of that fact is abundant, by it's total absence from all news media.

May 18, 2011 at 6:56 a.m.
harleyrider1978 said...

You've been warned about libel before.

Gene telling the truth isnt libel now is it!!!!

Philippe Boucher's Rendez-vous with . . . Gene Borio

Rendez-vous 97 Thursday, April 26 , 2001

PB: Thank you Gene for accepting our rendez-vous. May I ask you to introduce yourself?

Gene Borio : I am the webmaster of, nee Tobacco BBS, which amalgamates tobacco news from around the world daily--hourly, actually.

I funded my own activities out of my computer work and savings for 10 years. It got rough. I would receive small contributions from terrific people with no more to spare than I had. I well remember my first significant donation of $250 from the wonderful folks at Americans for Non-Smokers' Rights! I had to turn down a couple of major contributions from the industry. When I was on the brink of having to abandon TBBS in 1999, Tac chipped in hugely to support the work. In 2000 the ALF picked up support, and now we are to receive funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Now you lost your rwjf funding and supposedly went to a fee based service to all the smokefree groups!

Gene from your own mouth you got rwjf funding.......if its not true then why is it on your site and you the one saying it....

Did you libel yourself gene ol boy........

or is that your internet bully boy routine when you cant get your way!

May 18, 2011 at 7:08 a.m.
harleyrider1978 said...

Govt health officials simply do not acknowlege that they don't know how to improve public health. So, inorder to look like they are earning their salaries, and to attract more funding to build an even bigger , more powerful bureaucracy they have to pretend they have the answers,,, or eg; are competent.

So when antismoking activists publish biased studies,, officials are all too quick to jump on these bandwagons.... and push for policies against smoking.

Example...did you know that ex-surgeon general Richard Carmonia who signed off on the 2006 Secondhand Smoke Report, graduated in 1979 with his MD from the U. of California, San Francisco where the greatest of all antismokers, Stanton Glantz, attracts all this pharmaceutical funding to promote bans?

UCSF is also home to Americans For Nonsmokers Rights..

and 1979 was back when all this was just getting started. UCSF probably produces about half of all antismokign studies. They developed the junk science protocol which allows for weak statistical and biased case-controled studies to be declared conclusive without including population studies, trend studies, and large cohort studies which deny the claim SHS is harmful. Traditional epidemiology does not allow the UCSF approach, BTW.

May 18, 2011 at 7:35 a.m.
kristinnm said...


Unfortunately, I did use the wrong name, but it doesn't change the facts of my original comment - 2-butanol is closely related to 2-butanone and 2-butanol IS, in fact, used as a flavoring agent.

"Although some 2-butanol is used as a solvent, it is mainly converted to butanone ("MEK"), which is an important industrial solvent and found in many domestic cleaning agents and paint removers. Volatile esters of 2-butanol have pleasant aromas and are used in small amounts as perfumes or in artificial flavors."

So, change my comment to read "2-butanol" and the facts remain the same. There is nothing misleading about it.

May 18, 2011 at 9:52 a.m.
DaniSouth said...

The FDA has already has it ass handed to it in court on ecigs... But I do think what you are vaping on should be safe... I ONLY use products from because all their chemicals come from a company in Texas and are medical grade. and Cig2o are also better stuff than all that china crap I have tried.

May 18, 2011 at 4:35 p.m.
geneb said...

Libel is saying things like:

"Ol gene lost his fuunding last summer so he is now back to possibly working for a living or is on contract with a smokefree group to do damage control"

Wow. It's not just inaccurate--which all your posts are--it's plain libel.

Again, the Times Free Press' Terms clearly state, "Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited."

I'm shocked they're allowing you on at all. They have an indemnification clause, but that'll only take them so far when they've been alerted and refuse to do anything about it.

Tread very carefully. In your mad dash to smear anyone who doesn't agree with you, you don't have the intellectual or educational capacity to avoid libel.

And now you want to take down Richard Carmona? How dare you? I guess the corrupt UCSF taught him how to be a battlefield trauma surgeon, wounded and awarded 2 purple hearts in Vietnam, to become deputy Sheriff and leader of Pima County's SWAT team, to set up its trauma program, and in general to rise from a cement-poor background growing up in Spanish Harlem and running off to join the army at 17 to go on to earn a PhD and become a doctor, to win numerous honors for his service to his neighbors and his country, physical and intellectual, and finally to become the Surgeon General of the United States.

Here's a man who actually did something with his life besides piddling around on motorcycles and then, in his Medicare/Medicaid-funded dotage, sitting around a computer screen sucking up vile conspiracy-theory propaganda and then regurgitating it as fast as he can spew. These anonymous dingbat potshots at actual known men of accomplishment and honor just expose your own slimy despicability. No matter how much propaganda you spill out on the internet, desperately craving attention, it'll never make you the big man you dream of being, or even a decent person.

Dr. Richard Carmona is worth 10,000 of you.

May 19, 2011 at 1:21 a.m.
ecigreviewsguy said...

While I applaud the enthusiasm of the students and the school and agree that it's their right to study and test whatever they want, I think it's ridiculous to assert that we "don't know what's in these things". They've been lab tested to death and the reputable e-cigarette companies publish their results and have no secrets.

Yes, I'm a biased as I have an electronic cigarette reviews site, however I wouldn't have that site if I didn't believe in the things and see that they are saving the lives of thousands by the day. I think the school would be much better served to dissect something like a Marlboro Light or even take a swing at herbal incense before piling onto this.

May 19, 2011 at 1:45 p.m.
BlueBierd said...

So far, electronic cigarettes are still much better than regular cigarettes. The smoke that e-cigs emit are much less pollutive to the environment and harmful to the human health. However, it still doesn't mean that people should just smoke it freely. I admire her work because she is trying to find out more harmful effects in each e-cig, and hopefully warn people about the hidden harmful effects. Gordon -

January 29, 2012 at 9:42 p.m.
GabrielMacy54 said...

For one, whatever man has invented, it will always have a good and bad effects. E-cigs are no exception. However, having a smoke-less environment, this at least helps second-hand smoke from reaching areas where non-smokers are. At least, e-cigs helps in this way. Whether a smoker smokes tobacco or e-cigs, they are already harming themselves. With e-cigs, they are helping save non-smokers.

December 13, 2012 at 11:15 p.m.
thomas83 said...

Well I quit smoking tobacco using e cigs, and I was a smoker for over 18 years! I never felt better since using them! What I dont understand is why they want to ban them in the EU! Surely there is some corruption going on with pharm and tobacco companies? I have been getting some useful information from here: some good knowledge and understanding in the e cig world!

December 26, 2013 at 11:44 a.m.
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