If it burns, it sickens, kills

Denial is a critical part of the human coping mechanism. Without it, we would all wake up terrified every morning about all the ways we could die. Instead, our minds block out our existential fears by focusing on stresses we can handle—like getting to work on time or paying our taxes.  -- Inferno

Clean burn.

We hear the term all the time from Big Oil companies promoting their fancy or hybrid/blended fuels.

But the bulk of their products are still fossil-fuel-based  – crude oil.

Crude is definitely dirty and even deadly when burned.

What can pass the clean-burn test are pure, unadulterated plant-based or phyto-fuels like bio-ethanol and the like.

But technology and industry apparently have not reached a level of sophistication or even just plain good sense to fully switch to bio-fuels to address public health concerns like air pollution and other forms of environmental degradation,

The same is true for traditional combustible tobacco products.

“Clean-burn” cigarettes, anyone?

Here is Ped Xing’s simple take on the matter: You can search all you want anywhere but won’t find one.

There simply ain’t no such animal, stupid!

A smoking cessation expert said the combustion or burning process is what causes disease and death from smoking .

"Practically all risks to health from smoking are due to combustion products that are released from burning tobacco," said Peter Hajek, professor of clinical psychology and director of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine's Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London.

Hajek, known for his research into smoking cessation, made the statement to clear the confusion among authorities in countries such as the Philippines over the difference between smoking and nicotine consumption.

Numerous studies have shown that it is the tar and carcinogens found in tobacco smoke that cause the death and disease associated with smoking, and not nicotine.  

Professor Hajek said that by removing the element of combustion from nicotine consumption, health risks would be significantly reduced.  He said this is possible by using products such as e-cigarettes or Swedish snus.

"E-cigarettes are expected to pose less than five percent of risks of smoking, and with snus, the risks are even smaller," he said.

Various scientific studies have confirmed that these smoke-free nicotine products are significantly less harmful than traditional cigs.  Public Health England issued a report in 2015 stating that e-cigs are at least 95-percent less harmful to humans than combustible tobacco.

Public Health England is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the UK Department of Health that brings together public health specialists from more than 70 organizations.

Innovations such as e-cigs and snus do not burn tobacco and so do not produce smoke and tar.

Hajek said nicotine, on its own, poses limited risks.  

"Outside pregnancy and some rare vascular diseases, using nicotine on its own does not pose much risks to physical health. If smokers switch from smoking to using nicotine on its own, they avoid practically all risks of smoking," he said.

The professor said nicotine and its supposed addictiveness is poorly understood globally, including in the Philippines.  

"Nicotine seems addictive when combined with other tobacco chemicals, but much less so when on its own. Adolescent non-smokers who try cigarettes have over 50-percent probability that they will progress to daily smoking, but adolescent non-smokers who try e-cigarettes very rarely progress to daily vaping," he noted.

He pointed out that pharmaceutical nicotine is not addictive.

"People do not get hooked on nicotine gum or patches. But while nicotine on its own seems unattractive to non-smokers, it can be rewarding to smokers who are already habituated to it. In this way, such products help smokers quit," he said.

Hajek said the problem with smoking is not nicotine, but the smoke that causes cancer, heart disease, and lung disease.

"We have no problems with almost everyone drinking coffee, even if such use is daily, compulsive, and in many people could be labelled as 'addictive'. In the same way, there is no issue with some smokers continuing to use nicotine, if health risks of such use are small," he said.

The academic said to reduce the health risks from smoking, authorities in the Philippines and other countries should encourage smokers to switch to less harmful, smoke-free nicotine products such as e-cigs and snus.

"As long as cigarettes are freely available, Philippine legislators should try to make the less harmful nicotine products as attractive to smokers as possible, so that more smokers are encouraged to switch. Such products should be cheaper, more easily available, and accompanied by less restrictions and stigma," he said.

A February 2019 clinical trial by UK's National Institute for Health Research found that e-cig was twice as effective as nicotine-replacement treatments such as patches and gum in helping smokers quit.

Hajek said questions about the safety of e-cigs emerged last year with acute lung injuries reported among users in the US. This, however, turned out to be due to contaminants in illegal marijuana products, and not related to nicotine vaping.

Behold God’s glory and seek His mercy.

Pause and pray people.