Second Hand Vape

I wasn’t going to post anything for a while. After all, I have to pay attention to my day job.

But did I really hear that our Provincial Government (Ontario) is planning to allow public vaping for drugs? Vaping, for those who don’t know, is using an e-cigarette to vaporize some chemical to allow it quickly into your lungs.

Your lungs?

Nobody else? No, of course not.


No, what could go wrong, right?

If You Can Smell It, It’s Inside You

Did you know that? The olfactory system does require absorption of the chemical into the tissues of your nose, into the neural cells that sense the smell. Right beside those capillaries that absorb stuff so well.

Well, that makes sense (scents?) right. I mean, how are you supposed to smell stuff that does not ever penetrate your body in any way? You can’t.

The Match

Think of some guy over in the corner, striking one of those old sulphur tipped wooden matches. Imagine the room has no extra ventilation, that is, it is an average room. Like your living room. Just the routine vents.

How long before you smell the sulphur? Five, six seconds? Even that?

OK. Once you smell it, it’s in your cells.

What if you can’t smell it, because the chemicals don’t react in any way with the neural olfactory tissues. Like Carbon Monoxide, right. Odorless.

Yeah, kinda like that.

Lucky you thing you can’t smell it, because it might kill you. Wrong. It can and will kill you without you smelling a thing. Carbon monoxide is already a gas. It doesn’t need the cigarette to convert it. But marijuana, and narcotics, and crack cocaine, they all do.

So, back to the match, and think about this in terms of vaping. Vaping puts molecules of stuff into a vapor so it can be absorbed through the lungs.

Did you know that the lungs are the fastest way to get stuff into your body, especially into your brain? Makes sense right. I mean, that’s what oxygen is doing…getting into you quickly. If it doesn’t, you’re in trouble.

Inhalation is actually faster than intravenous injection, and is certainly closer, by the usual driving routes, to your brain.

If you take the surface area of all the alveoli in lungs (those little sponge like holes in the lungs that absorb oxygen) and lay them out flat, the surface area is the size of a tennis court.

That’s so it can absorb stuff quickly, which is why people smoke cigarettes, crack cocaine, marijuana. It gets to the brain directly, by bypassing the liver (which takes a shot at destroying anything you eat, but doesn’t get a chance with stuff you inhale, until it’s too late) and going straight from the lung to the brain. For those who know circulation, blood goes from the lungs, to the LEFT atrium, to the LEFT ventrcle, to the brain. takes maybe two seconds! Maybe three.

[By the way, does all the stuff you inhale get absorbed? If so, what risk to the guy beside you, apart from the stuff you don’t take into your lungs (like in the picture). Think of someone smoking. When they exhale after taking a drag, can you smell it? Yup. Heck, you can see it. Just like the guy in the picture.]

So, where is that sulphur smoke just seconds after the match is struck in the corner of the room.

In your brain.

What about the smell of baked bread. Mouth watering? It’s in your brain. What about burning leaves in fall? Nice eh. In your brain. What about cigarette smoke from the guy on the sidewalk passing you? In your brain.

Do you really want some person vaping marijuana in a public place like a restaurant, where, whether you smell it or not, because who of us knows what vaped marijuana smells like (not like burning pot I don’t think), it’s in your brain?

Stop this silly government action trying to allow other people to impose their habit, and their vaporized molecules on your brain. They want to do it in their own hermetically sealed home. Fine!

Just don’t do it to me.


One thought on “Second Hand Vape

  1. I agree with you that I think the provincial government of Ontario is completely wrongheaded on the many issues surrounding vaping. You probably know by now that the Province is doing a complete 180 on the public vaping of MM products — they were a bit hasty in exempting medical weed from the ban on use in public spaces, restaurants, airports, etc. They now say, as of yesterday, they are going to ‘re-think’ the issue (more likely ‘think’ the issue). The ban itself is relatively young — the provincial legislation came into effect in May of this year. The Province decided to make all vaping products subject to the same advertising, sale and promotion restrictions as combustible cigarettes. This means a couple of things:
    1. Even pharmacies that keep e-cigs and vaping products (non-nicotine) in the NRT section (nicotine replacement therapy), along with the patches (actual nicotine), can no longer do so. They have to be ‘behind the wall’ (no display, no picture of the product, no advertising, no ability for the customer to see before buying).
    The Province is saving its population from vaping blueberry flavoured mist because it may be a ‘gateway’ to smoking combustible cigarettes — an interesting theory about which there is virtually no scientific evidence or study. They ignored some pretty compelling evidence that vaping can be a significant aid to cessation of smoking — even without nicotine. And WITH nicotine, vaping products have been shown to be more effective than the patch, which has had significant success in helping people get off cigarettes. Why is it potentially better than the patch? For the reasons you spell out in your blog — it’s taken in through the lungs. (Nicotine used in e-cigs and vaping products is still banned by Health Canada, although freely available in the U.S. and, illegally, in about every vape store in Canada. Health Canada has refused to look at this issue, probably not unrelated to the fact that the previous government wanted to distance itself from the pro-legalizing forces of its political opposition. That environment has obviously changed — perhaps Health Canada will ‘re-think’ or ‘think’ this one soon. For a start, they might look at a study released by Health UK that is strongly supportive of vaping as a smoking cessation tool, concluding that vaping is dramatically less harmful than smoking and potentially can save millions of lives. The press release, and the study itself are available on-line at Shortly after this study came out, the Ontario government decided to relegate vaping to the status of combustible, cancer sticks. Nice work.
    2. So, where can consumers go to find, try, buy vaping products? Not Rexall, which has decided, in the light of the Ontario legislation not to re-order vaping products, at least for the time being. Not Loblaws, Costco, etc. They must go to the vape shops, where not only can they see and try, they can buy, illegally, under the counter nicotine liquids in their choice of concentration depending on the stage of their smoking habit, or lack thereof. I know of more than one person who vapes nicotine exclusively now, and each credits it as the only way, after thirty years of smoking, that he could quit. So instead of getting the help of a trained professional, a person who wants to quit smoking by gradually replacing his/her combustible habit with decreasing concentrations of nicotine taken by vaping, will be guided by a vape shop employee, whose accreditation consists of some experience selling bongs.
    I’m not a vaper. My fear of smoking is so intense (I quit 35 years and 10 months ago) that I can’t even bring myself to try a nicotine-less tiramisu-flavoured e-cig! I wouldn’t want to sit in a restaurant beside a guy blowing vape at my table; and the idea that a medical marijuana user may need to vape on a plane to control pain is just stupid. (The Supreme Court of Canada this year legalized the brownie, and other delivery systems, for all MM patients — bake a cookie, Dude.) The Province, however, keeps getting it wrong. And it shoots from the knee-jerk position. They should stop, look carefully at the evidence available and only then design a reasoned policy about vaping, nicotine and public health.


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