Is This the Most Outrageous Thing Ever Said About Vaping? Is This the Most Outrageous Thing Ever Said About Vaping?

From time to time, the media will interview people about electronic cigarettes and get some really strange comments and opinions. But this week, a retired physician from Kansas made a statement that could be the most outrageous thing we’ve heard yet!

It all started when the Independence City Council had a discussion about electronic cigarettes. Like many cities in the United States, Independence was considering how to handle the growing number of local vapers. Dr. Donald Pitts appeared at the meeting and asked the City Council to create a new ordinance in opposition of e-cigs. Potts made it clear that he was opposed to e-cigarettes, but his reasons might surprise you. “Potts said the fake cigarettes powered by a lithium battery still contain nicotine and he’s concerned that teenagers will refill them with dangerous liquids, like antifreeze.”

So essentially, Potts doesn’t like ecigs because they cause teenagers to smoke antifreeze. Does he win the award for outrageous e-cig opinion of the year? We have never heard anyone suggest refilling an ecig with antifreeze! It seems like Potts is pulling his viewpoint from an old FDA scare tactic where officials claimed that electronic cigarettes could contain trace amounts of diethylene glycol, an ingredient found in antifreeze.

This theory has since been completely debunked. To come up with that accusation, the FDA tested 18 cartridges from two e-cig companies. In one cartridge, they found “about 1% diethylene glycol”. Any legitimate research scientist would know that their sample was too small to be conclusive and there could have been cross-contamination to account for such a trace amount of the chemical.  Since then, independent labs tested dozens of e-cigs and found no evidence of diethylene glycol. It’s really hard to imagine that there could be any truth to this statement. If e-cigarettes did actually contain any antifreeze, people would be reporting numerous cases of poisoning and death.

Luckily, Independence had a few level-headed ecig supporters to set the record straight. Doug Stevens, owner of Vapor Up, explained that some e-cigarettes were nicotine-free and the whole idea was for smokers to use the devices to wean themselves down from nicotine addiction. He called Potts’ statements, “a knee-jerk reaction honestly” and went on to say, “It’s not based on science. People think if it looks like smoke, it must be smoke. But the product that we have is liquid-based vapor.”

So far, the Independence City Council hasn’t made a final decision on how to handle e-cigarettes. But Dr. Potts will keep up chuckling for quite a while with his take on e-cigs.

What do you think – is this the most outrageous thing ever said about vaping?


Katie Bercham - CocktailNerd Editor

Katie actually had a negative first experience of electronic cigarettes, picking up a cheap and horrible model from my local mall. Thanks to a chance meeting with co-editor David, she hasn’t had a tobacco cigarette in over 5 years. She brings a strong female voice to the e-cig community.