Tag Archives: FDA

E-Cigarettes Puff into Las Vegas – Passing Fad?

Party in any Las Vegas nightclub, or most anywhere else in the city for that matter, and you’ll most likely be overcome with smoke.   However, it’s now a crime now to light up, drink and eat in the same unenclosed area in Nevada bars.  Bar owners claim this law hurts their business in already a down economy. 

Now, a new trend is rapidly emerging that replaces tobacco cigarettes with faux ones, the battery operated kind whose nicotine can be inhaled anywhere, even in areas governed by “clean indoor air” laws. 

Electronic or “E-cigarettes,” as they are called, are manufactured mostly in China, but now they are making rapid inroads in U.S. markets, and, yes, even in Las Vegas.   E-Cig Technology in Las Vegas is one such distributor that even showed their cigs in January at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. 

The electronic cigarette kits sell for approximately $80.  Cartridges that are both refillable and replaceable are the business end of electronic cigarettes, which contain no tobacco and emit a harmless mist but no smoke.  And the most popular cartridges are those that contain a variable, user dialed-in amount of nicotine, the drug craved by tobacco addicts. 

The perceived advantage of e-cigarettes is that the hundreds of other harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke are not present.  

Some brands resemble pens while others look almost like regular cigarettes. The main idea is to give tobacco smokers the sensation they’ve grown comfortable with- holding a cigarette between their fingers and inhaling every few seconds to achieve a nicotine high. 

E-cigarettes are even packed with propylene glycol – the same chemical used in antifreeze – to simulate smoke, giving them a “lit” look. 

Many habitual smokers are turning to the novel product as a way of either kicking or reducing their tobacco habit.  

This is all well and good, if not for the fact that studies of e-cigarettes have never been completed in the U.S., either by private labs or by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

In fact, the FDA has never even authorized e-cigarettes to be sold in the U.S., leading one FDA official to merely call them “unapproved drug device products.”  

But that laissez faire attitude may change now that the U.S. Congress has passed tobacco bill legislation on June 12, giving the Food and Drug Administration for the first time authority to regulate what goes into tobacco products, demand changes and eliminate toxic substances and block the introduction of new smoking products. 

Consumer groups that endorsed the new bill said that properly implementing the law can significantly reduce the 400,000 deaths and $100 billion in health care costs attributed every year to smoking.

About 45 million U.S. adults still smoke, despite years of warnings that tobacco causes lung cancer.

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Need a Cocaine Hit? Try Red Bull!

If all night partying in Sin City and the caffeine and sugar chaser in Red Bull drinks in the wee morning hours doesn’t kill you, maybe the cocaine will. 

Red Bull has long been a preferred drink of choice for Las Vegas partiers, and widely distributed in the United States, either used in mixed drinks or just swigged right out of the can.  That’s why last year Red Bull deemed fit to launch their sister drink, Red Bull Cola, after a splashy Las Vegas launch.  RedBull

It’s a cola-flavored spin-off to the popular Swiss-made Red Bull energy drink, marketing itself as “Strong & Natural,” containing only natural ingredients such as lemon, ginger and kola nut.  Coca-Cola lists only “natural flavors” on the can’s label. The company historically has kept its ingredients a secret- until now. 

The rub is that it also been found to contain coca leaf- coming from the same plant that supplies cocaine.   

“Decocainized coca leaf extracts are used as flavoring in food products around the world and are considered to be safe,” Red Bull said in a released statement, citing a U.S. Food and Drug Administration code that lists decocainized coca leaf as a safe, natural extractive. 

Officials in Germany are not swallowing those assurances. Six German states – half of Germany’s population – have now banned the drink and pulled the can off their shelves after a German health institute recently took a sampling of Red Bull Simply Cola, using a highly sophisticated method of testing. The sample results tested positive for cocaine — albeit a tiny 0.13 micrograms in one can.  Although 12,000 liters would need to be drunk to feel any effect, that was enough to cause concern in Germany, where the country’s strict federal consumer protection agency is doing more tests. 

Red Bull management, based in the Austrian city of Salzberg, counters the allegations saying it’s really not a big deal.  It’s not the white powdery stuff; it won’t get you high; it won’t hurt you. But they “take the German authority’s concerns seriously” and had an independent institute test Red Bull Simply Cola, which found that cocaine was not detectable in the drink.  Furthermore, they said, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment found the drink’s ingredients posed no health risks and no risk of “undesired pharmacological effects including, any potential narcotic effects.” 

Meanwhile, the FDA wasn’t aware of any complaints about the drink, nor does it have plans to order a ban in this country.  “We’re aware of this news report but do not have any additional information at this time,” said FDA spokeswoman Susan Cruzan. 

Bottom’s up!  Try your gambling luck and gulp Red Bull Simply Cola’s in Las Vegas like water!

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