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Nicotine and Passive vaping sectionsEdit

Should we delete both the nicotine section and passive vaping section? QuackGuru (talk) 17:50, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

  • No, this would be an extreme response; consider reducing content instead: To begin with, WP:WEIGHT is not established as a function of what our other articles say about a topic, even as an indirect matter: it's is determined exclusively by the coverage given by WP:reliable sources to a given aspect of the article's subject matter. Now, clearly the topic of this article receives so much coverage that WP:DUE weight paid to particular aspects is a relative matter and hard to nail down without reviewing very large numbers of sources (which, given they opened this RfC, I will give QuackGuru the benefit of the doubt and assume they've spent a fair amount of time doing just that. However, insofar as the Nicotine section utilizes dozens of sources, including a number of WP:MEDRS, I think it is clear that the issue of accidental exposure is not a non-issue to health and safety experts. Therefore I think that options presented by this RfC (remove the section entirely or leave it in a bloated state) are clearly a false choice; there is at least one other (and I believe probably the appropriate) option: simply reduce the profile of the section some. It's worth noting that while this isn't the shortest article on the project, neither is it near the length of some of our other articles on topics that are large in scope and high on controversy. Furthermore, fully 50% of the page length is occupied by the massive notes and reflist sections, a result of the large amount of sources needed to resolve verification disputes and annotations. All factors considered, I'm seeing more than enough evidence of WP:WEIGHT to cover the topic of nicotine exposure in this article, but believe this summary could probably be achieved in half the space. Snow let's rap 07:16, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
On a side note, QuackGuru, you might want to consider re-working your !vote above, insofar as it immediately follows the prompt and thus serves as strong advocacy for one side of the dispute: you have somewhat conflated/misused the terms "subpage", "page", "subsection" and "subarticle" repeatedly in that post (made all the more confusing by the fact that you piped a link to a subsection of this article and labelled it as it if it was a different "page" altogether). For clarity: a "subpage" (as the term is used on this project) is when someone hosts a page within the namespace of another page. It is almost never used in article space. What you apparently meant to say is "subarticle": that is when one article represents coverage of one aspect of a topic covered by another article. A "subsection" is a section within a section (in any article or workspace page) and a "page" is any distinct namespace on the project (an article or work/project space). I don't mention all of this just to be pedantic: it actually took me several minutes to figure out the nature of your argument due to the mis-usages here (and one of them could also be considered outright misleading, though I'm quite certain it was just an error); I think new users probably would have any even more difficult time parsing the meaning. Snow let's rap 07:16, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
I added extra details to the Safety section in this article about nicotine and passive vaping. There is content about nicotine exposure as well as second-hand exposure to vaping in the safety section. The safety section in this article is a summary of Safety of electronic cigarettes, Adverse effects of electronic cigarettes, and Composition of electronic cigarette aerosol. See Electronic_cigarette#Safety. Those other sections are not a summary of any subarticle. Random content is a violation of WP:SYNC. If more coverage of nicotine and passive vaping is required then the safety section would be expanded rather than have other sections. I was careful to avoiding turning this article into an anti-e-cig article. I meant to say subarticle. QuackGuru (talk) 14:36, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
QuackGuru Reviewing the sections again with your most recent comments in mind, I understand your argument better. However, if you do ultimately end up removing the section, can I suggest that a very small amount of the content removed probably should be rolled into the 'Safety' section as well? I think it's probably reasonable to address the accidental exposure to nicotine issues with just the one statement and reference currently in the main 'Safety' section; while such exposure can of course be toxic at very low thresholds, I imagine these events are relatively rare and that the sources reflect as much (but you'd know better than me, being much more familiar with the sourcing). However, I do think the possible developmental effects of nicotine are a salient subject in their own right and it maybe makes sense to add a sentence or two on that subject to the 'Safety' section if the 'Nicotine' section is removed. Similarly, a small amount of discussion of the second-hand exposure risks (that is, a vastly reduced version of the content currently in the 'Passive vaping' subsection) could be reasonably included in the 'Safety' section, since that topic is almost completely absent from the rest of the article, as best I can determine. In other words, if you do end up deleting the 'Nicotine' and 'Passive vaping' sections, I think 5-10% of the content currently in those sections is probably ripe for minor re-wording and insertion into the 'Safety' section. That's jsut my quick assessment on the situation--I appreciate that you are eager to avoid this article becoming a cache-all for every negative consequence of using these devices, since there is another article reserved for the purpose. Snow let's rap 20:45, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

Sometimes editors will add details to a summary section without adding those facts to the more detailed article. To keep articles synchronized, editors should first add any new material to the appropriate places in the detailed article, and, if appropriate, summarize the material in the summary section. If the detailed article changes considerably without updating the parent article, the summary section will need to be rewritten to do it justice. See Wikipedia:Summary style#Synchronization.

The effects of nicotine and e-cigs are not a salient subject in their own right. There is no dedicated article on that specific topic. The composition of electronic cigarette aerosol is a salient subject in their own right, yet the 'Safety' section has only sentence for a summary for all of this content.
How is this specific content in 'Nicotine' and 'Passive' vaping better than using other content from the subarticles? Do you think the 'Nicotine' section and 'Passive' vaping section is a summary of any subarticle? If it is not a summary of the 'Nicotine' risks and 'Passive' vaping risks then what justification would there for keeping content that is not a summary of any subarticle? How could it be ripe for minor re-wording and insertion into the 'Safety' section when I do believe it is not a summary of the subarticles? The 'Passive' vaping section are all quotes. Quotes do not have an encyclopedic feel. I was thinking the 'Passive' vaping section could be replaced with an image about the second-hand aerosol and e-cig blasts.
There is another problem with the content in the 'Nicotine' section in this article. A lot it is bias and misleading like this date of 1991. It took me a lot of time to rewrite all of it. You can read both 'Nicotine' and 'Passive vaping' sections and determine what could be useful for the safety section and then I can find the similar content in the subarticles. You could also copy the 'Nicotine' and 'Passive vaping' sections to your sandbox and work on it and check if anything is worth keeping. I did do that before. I don't think I missed anything essential. The content in those other sections was re-written and merged into the subarticles and parts were inserted into the lede of Safety of electronic cigarette as well as the 'Safety' section. What you are telling me to do I already did. Before content is added here I would have to add content to the lede of the safety article per WP:SYNC. See Safety of electronic cigarettes and other subarticles. What content on those articles do you want in the lede of Safety of electronic cigarette. 4 paragraphs is the limit. There is 8 paragraphs on safety in this article. No editor suggests there should be 8 paragraphs in the lede for the Safety of electronic cigarette article. This is a serious violation of WP:SYNC. It looks like you support keeping the content in this article and as an afterthought consider reducing content instead. I can't support reducing it instead when there has not been a specific proposal for specific sentences. The topic of nicotine exposure in this article is covered in the 'Safety' section. The topic of second-hand exposure risks is covered in the 'Safety' section. The 'Passive vaping' section is essentially duplication. It is unreasonable to add duplication to the 'Safety' section. If you don't support 8 paragraphs in the lede of the Safety of electronic cigarette article then there is no justification for continuing to violate WP:SYNC. This is not about a compromise. This is about following WP:SYNC. Additional content added to the lede of the Safety of electronic cigarette article is supposed to be a summary of that article. The 'Nicotine' and 'Passive vaping' sections are not a summary of any subarticle. Therefore, this content should not be incorporated into the lede of the Safety of electronic cigarette article. If you want additional content in this 'Safety' section it would first be added to the safety article that summarizes the body. The 4 extra paragraphs in this article don't summarize any subarticle. Therefore, the 4 extra paragraphs in this article about safety is violating Wikipedia:Summary style#Synchronization. Should we delete both the 'Nicotine' section and 'Passive' vaping section in accordance with WP:SYNC? QuackGuru (talk) 20:53, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
Well, before looking at the particular issues here, I will say this as to WP:SYNC concerns. It's a fine principle and something that should reasonably be striven for at all times, but as a matter of policy and pragmatism, it yields to WP:LOCALCONSENSUS. What I mean by this is that, if there is a consensus to include content in a main article and for a topic, and yet, for whatever reason, you could not secure support for inclusion in the relevant sub-article, then the two articles would each still default to their own consensus as to whether or not to include said information. But I'm going to guess in this case that this is not going to be a huge issue, because I'm figuring that there's going to be significant overlap between the editors working at both pages? If that's so, there should be no trouble squaring the two consensuses. Which is good, because wherever you can have SYNC, you should have it.
And look, if you feel that the content should be removed wholesale, I'm not going to argue the point into the ground--that's pretty much why I was clear to format my commentary as a suggestion, rather than an !vote or similarly oppositional language. I stand by that suggestion, by the way: retaining two or three sentences from those deleted paragraphs about the increased risks of nicotine poisoning and second hand exposure does make sense to me. I'm not looking to dictate exact content to you though, because you're in a far better position to make the call, and you clearly have strong opinions about some of the content with regard to bias--apparently even after you've edited the section once, if I read you correctly. I just can't imagine that there's not a single source or statement there that you don't find to be biased as to the issues of nicotine poisoning (rare as it may be) and second hand exposure. But if I'm blunt, I don't want to keep rehashing the issue of the wording in increasingly minute detail. I'd much rather defer to your familiarity with the content. If you absolutely feel you are put between a rock and a hard place by my !vote and genuinely want me to look further into the sources and draft specific statements myself, I suppose the communal thing to do would be to do so, but, are you very certain you can't see anything in particular in those sections pertaining to those two topics that you don't think is worth saving, that is supported by the balance of the sources, as you understand them? Snow let's rap 10:25, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
See "Aside from toxicity exposure in normal use, there are also risks from misuse or accidents[234] such as nicotine poisoning (especially among small children[96]),[148] contact with liquid nicotine,[239] fires caused by vaporizer malfunction,[1] and explosions resulting from extended charging, unsuitable chargers, or design flaws.[234]"
See "E-cigarettes create vapor that consists of fine and ultrafine particles of particulate matter, with the majority of particles in the ultrafine range.[1] The vapor have been found to contain propylene glycol, glycerin, nicotine, flavors, tiny amounts of toxicants,[1] carcinogens,[96] heavy metals, and metal nanoparticles, and other substances.[1]"
See "But workplace safety standards do not recognize exposure to certain vulnerable groups such as people with medical ailments, children, and infants who may be exposed to second-hand vapor.[1] Concern exists that some of the mainstream vapor exhaled by e-cigarette users may be inhaled by bystanders, particularly indoors.[98] E-cigarette use by a parent might lead to inadvertent health risks to offspring.[77]"
The summary section contains content on nicotine poisoning as well as second hand exposure. It has been given its due weight. I do not want to overemphasize nicotine poisoning or second hand exposure. QuackGuru (talk) 10:39, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
Well, let me ask this then: you're happy to dump all of the first paragraph of the 'Nicotine' section? Because it comes sourced by work published in two fairly well respected journals within the top few percent of journals and ranked by impact factor. They are primary, but given the quality of the publications and the MEDRS context, that's not necessarily a negative. I don't know that it need four sentences to convey the gist when probably one would suffice, but doesn't some mention of the neurological impacts bear at least brief mention. Similarly, what about the first sentence in last paragraph of the 'Nicotine' section, noting a fourteen-fold increase in cases of accidental nicotine poisoning? I'm not sure how that source got tagged with a MEDRS tag, but it's the official publication of the American Academy of Pediatrics--it's a reliable source for medical topics lol. I wouldn't be surprised if its the biggest journal in its field after JAMA Pediatrics in most bibliometric indexes. And the underlying fact seems pretty relevant. And the source itself makes the connection between the rise of the product and the cases, so there's no issue with synthesis. Of course a large percentage increase doesn't necessarily equate to a huge number of individual cases, but that's why we cite source (and we can always add the raw figures if we feel that extra dimension is necessary for the average reader to appreciate the scale of the issue). Thoughts? Snow let's rap 11:47, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
I don't think any quality content was lost when it was rewritten and moved to the subarticles. The first paragraph of the 'Nicotine' section *is* covered in Safety_of_electronic_cigarettes#Nicotine and Safety_of_electronic_cigarettes#Carcinogenicity. It is not about the publication. It is about the content. What you have cited about nicotine are not a good overall summary. The Adverse effects of electronic cigarettes subarticle has content about the nicotine poisoning increases and decreases. A summary would be more general content.
Do you agree any content in the 'Passive vaping' is essentially duplication and already discussed in the 'Safety' section? I copied some of the content from the 'Safety' section and posted it above. I don't think I missed anything essential. I also added an image that covers second hand exposure. QuackGuru (talk) 16:33, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes cut out I am here through general WikiProject Medicine alerts. This article is already long and should either be focused on the e-cigarette devices or summarize related subjects which have their own articles. This top-level e-cigarette article is not the place to centralize the complicated subjects of either "nicotine" or "passive smoking". I can support either minimal coverage of those topics here linking to other articles or outright deletion on the assumption that mentions and wikilinks elsewhere in the article will help users navigate to the main articles. English Wikipedia is not currently differentiating between e-cigarette nicotine and conventional nicotine, or e-cigarette passive consumption and conventional passive consumption. If those articles ever got established then that could make a case for linking them from here, but right now the weight of the publication seems to be that should be only one term for nicotine. Blue Rasberry (talk) 21:34, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
Oh no its the legendary blueraspberry --NikkeKatski [Elite] (talk) 22:08, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

Discussions on Nicotine and Passive vaping sectionsEdit

The article is currently at 267,427 bytes. It is longer than any e-cig-related page. The Nicotine and Passive vaping sections are not a summary of any subpage. It is random content. I rewrote it to fix the problems in my sandbox and moved it to the subpages. See this discussion on the Safety of electronic cigarettes talk page. QuackGuru (talk) 01:41, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Safer than tobacco claimEdit

There is clear consensus both that the wording is neutral and that it is an accurate statement of fact. Nosebagbear (talk) 20:13, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

See lede and body: "... e-cigarettes are generally seen as safer than combusted tobacco products.[90][91]" Is this wording neutral? QuackGuru (talk) 00:44, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

Please note. For the body I updated it to "e-cigarettes are generally seen as safer than combusted tobacco products[90][91] such as cigarettes and cigars.[90]" I provided two examples of combusted tobacco products in the 'Safety' section. QuackGuru (talk) 01:34, 18 July 2019 (UTC)

  • Yes. The wording is neutral, according to the WP:MEDRS-compliant reviews. See discussion below for verification. QuackGuru (talk) 00:44, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes. It is as neutral as physically possible as it is just a statement of fact. It does not claim that they are safer. Neutrality is not censorship. --NikkeKatski [Elite] (talk) 16:14, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes, as above. Bondegezou (talk) 18:48, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes,the statement is unexceptionable. It is past time to stop fussing. JonRichfield (talk) 05:46, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes agree Cloudjpk (talk) 19:20, 26 July 2019 (UTC)

Discussion on safer than tobacco claimEdit

See Electronic cigarette#cite ref-KnorstBenedetto2014 91-0

See "Given that ECs do not generate the smoke that is associated with the combustion of tobacco, EC use is generally considered safer than tobacco use."[1][1]


  1. ^ Knorst, Marli Maria; Benedetto, Igor Gorski; Hoffmeister, Mariana Costa; Gazzana, Marcelo Basso (2014). "The electronic cigarette: the new cigarette of the 21st century?". Jornal Brasileiro de Pneumologia. 40 (5): 564–572. doi:10.1590/S1806-37132014000500013. ISSN 1806-3713. PMC 4263338. PMID 25410845.

See Electronic cigarette#cite ref-Burstyn2014 92-0

Also see "Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are generally recognized as a safer alternative to combusted tobacco products, but there are conflicting claims about the degree to which these products warrant concern for the health of the vapers (e-cigarette users)."[2][1]

Both sources are making a broad claim that e-cigarettes are generally considered/recognized safer than tobacco. If it were changed to tobacco cigarettes rather than tobacco in general that would be a more narrow claim. In this case, both citations verify the same claim. Another source states "Importantly, they are often viewed as safer than tobacco cigarettes, meaning that at-risk populations, including pregnant women, might be more inclined to use them."[3] This is a more narrow claim because it was only tobacco cigarettes rather than tobacco in general.

Both are MEDRS-compliant reviews. J BRAS PNEUMOL[90] has an impact factor of 1.496, as of 2016.[4] BMC PUBLIC HEALTH[91] has an impact factor of 2.42, as of 2017/2018.[5] QuackGuru (talk) 00:44, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

The narrower claim seems particularly uncontroversial. Benjamin (talk) 13:48, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
Both reviews are making a broader claim it was tobacco products in general rather than only cigarettes. It would be inaccurate to claim it was just cigarettes. The other source was just used to show it was making more narrow claim for only cigarettes. It is not a review.[6] QuackGuru (talk) 14:01, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
They mention "combusted tobacco products". I'm not too familiar with all the different types of tobacco products, but I assume that's things like cigarettes and cigars, and not things like chewing tobacco? Benjamin (talk) 14:37, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
You are correct. I added the word "combusted'. QuackGuru (talk) 14:50, 13 July 2019 (UTC)

What is this all about? I have only skimmed a couple of articles and talk pages relating to this topic and am not aware whether there was a dispute over the wording in question. The article includes the following relating to "safer" (and more, not listed):

e-cigarettes are generally seen as safer than combusted tobacco products
misbelief that e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes
no evidence that ECIGs are safer than tobacco in the long term
appear to be safer than traditional cigarettes

These statements appear to conflict with each other. Is that the issue in the RfC? Johnuniq (talk) 04:07, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

What is this all about? The dispute over the wording goes back over 5 years. Almost all editors have moved on or have left Wikipedia. I think I finally found the wording that is most neutral for the "safer claim".
"appear to be safer than traditional cigarettes" has been shortened to "E-cigarettes cannot be considered safe because there is no safe level for carcinogens."
"misbelief that e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes" is according to a 2016 review. There is in-text attribution and it says misbelief that e-cigarettes "are safer". That is not in conflict with they are "generally seen as safer".
no evidence that ECIGs are safer is a quote from a medical organization. It says no evidence that ECIGs "are safer". That is not in conflict with stating it in WP's voice that e-cigarettes are "generally seen" as safer. These other statements are not part of the RfC. QuackGuru (talk) 06:39, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
I have a problem in general with the words "no evidence" being used anywhere in encyclopedia articles, except in such exceptional cases that it is widely known and unanimously accepted that there is indeed "no evidence" of such and such. And I do not care WHAT the source is, any claim of "no evidence" (which is an absolute) regarding a contentious subject matter is probably not true (or the conditions for there to possibly be evidence do not exist, e.g., "no evidence that e-cigarettes are safer than cigarettes over the span of 50 years of use" would be a ridiculous statement considering that e-cigarettes have not existed long enough for there to BE any such evidence). Firejuggler86 (talk) 19:06, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
One of them is citied to a quote from 2019. The other one is no longer accurate. The last one is still accurate. See "There is no evidence that the cigarette companies are acquiring or producing e-cigarettes as part of a strategy to phase out regular cigarettes, even though some claim to want to participate in “harm reduction."[7] QuackGuru (talk) 19:18, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
Return to "Electronic cigarette" page.