The Corner

The Corner @ 11

Bourbon, I think, Kathryn, well, maybe I’d prefer a single malt, something not too smooth, Laphroaig, maybe…

Of course, in these Bloomberg-scarred days, supplementing the whisky with a good cigar would be quite inappropriate (good grief, how I hate that word), and so, some think, would a danger-packed e-cigarette.

Danger-packed? Over at the Daily Beast, former smoker Eli Lake frets that these splendid little chaps may not be the life-savers he had hoped:

“The safety and efficacy of e-cigarettes have not been fully studied,” says the FDA on its website, and consumers “have no way of knowing…how much nicotine or other potentially harmful chemicals are being inhaled during use.”…

Dr. Lowell Dale, the medical director of the Mayo Clinic’s Tobacco Quitline, [told me] propylene glycol as a liquid…is “similar to antifreeze.”

But, as so often, Reason’s Jacob Sullum is on hand with some comfort:

Propylene glycol, which is not an “active ingredient” in e-cigarettes but a carrier in which the nicotine and flavoring are dissolved, is known as “nontoxic antifreeze.” Guess why. As Lake notes, it is approved by the FDA as a safe food ingredient. It is also used in various FDA-approved medications, including cough syrup and nasal sprays. Calling it “antifreeze” is a scare tactic aimed at clouding the issue. While it’s true that there is not much research on the effects of inhaling propylene glycol, a 2012 study found that, unlike tobacco smoke, e-cigarette vapor does not impair lung function in the short term.

E-cigarettes could well ending up save a lot of lives, but I’m unconvinced that Propylene glycol has celebration written over all it (and e-cigs taste a little insipid), so I’ll stick to the whisky, ponder the cigar, and drink a toast to the Corner and the extraordinary amount of the work, as Filistro notes in the comments, that you, Kathryn, have put into it over the years.   

Slàinte!

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