Mrsa | MRSA Isn't The Real Problem With E-Cigs

It’s early, but it sure looks as if the e-cigarette is going to turn out to be every bit as odious as its forebear, the paper and tobacco cigarette.

Yet in a wondrous twirl of Don Draper magic, the e-cigarette has positioned itself as the St. Patrick of the 21st century, driving a carton of menthols out of our lives instead of snakes. Ad blitz aside, the e-cig is a problematic, likely toxic , surely untested, and unregulated battery-operated gizmo that delivers flavored nicotine mist to its sanctimonious users. These users have the assurances of the tobacco companies that are behind the e-cig that their new product, unlike their old product, which, oh well, turned out to be a little dangerous, is totally safe . And if you can’t believe the promises of Big Tobacco, well, hey, who can you trust?

Choose the Right Probiotic for You

The screws tightened on the e-cigarette racket a tiny amount this week, with a modest study conducted on agar plates that seemed to suggest that the juice, including nicotine, that constitutes the pre-battery buzzed liquid of the e-cigarette might have something in it that promotes the growth of last decade’s public enemy No. 1, MRSA , a resistant and sometimes fatal bacteria. A group presenting a paper at the annual meeting of lung specialists took a famously harsh strain of MRSA, dubbed USA 300, and placed it into various concentrations of e-cig vapor. They studied the consequences and found some changes in the bacteria itself and in its propensity to hide in a self-protective and sometimes impervious slime called the biofilm, alterations that indeed might make the bacteria harder to kill.

Might. It is a mega-leap from the agar and test-tube finding to real patients and their delicate lungs. Though I am certainly no fan of the e-cigarette”and have come to hate its ad campaign and fake glow with almost as much piquancy as I have hated cigarettes these many decades”this study seems like entrapment to me: scientists looking for new ways and reasons to hate the new e-product but with no clear hypothesis other than the likelihood that the dragnet will yield a juicy (read: newsworthy) finding.

Will This Pill Kill ‘Safe Sex’?

The e-cigarette needs no additional evidence that it is a ringer. More than a ringer, it is yet another manifestation of the American genius at finding loopholes. Imagine the glee that entered the cigarette-maker marketplace as tobacco leaders envisioned more and longer life on the tit of yet another addictive nicotine product with a shady health record that seemed likely to lie outside the reach of the FDA at least for a few profit-glorious years. As a reminder, the

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