“In applying the same tactics used to demonize tobacco, are anti-smoking advocates and regulators missing out on a chance to save millions of lives?”
An expert review of the latest evidence concludes that e-cigarettes are around 95% safer than smoked tobacco and they can help smokers to quit. Key Findings are copied below verbatum or go here to read the full report https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/e-cigarettes-an-evidence-update
1.Smokers who have tried other methods of quitting without success could be encouraged to try e-cigarettes (EC) to stop smoking and stop smoking services should support smokers using EC to quit by offering them behavioural support.
2. Encouraging smokers who cannot or do not want to stop smoking to switch to EC could help reduce smoking related disease, death and health inequalities.
3. There is no evidence that EC are undermining the long-term decline in cigarette smoking among adults and youth, and may in fact be contributing to it. Despite some experimentation with EC among never smokers, EC are attracting very few people who have never smoked into regular EC use.
4. Recent studies support the Cochrane Review findings that EC can help people to quit smoking and reduce their cigarette consumption. There is also evidence that EC can encourage quitting or cigarette consumption reduction even among those not intending to quit or rejecting other support. More research is needed in this area.
5. When used as intended, EC pose no risk of nicotine poisoning to users, but eliquids should be in ‘childproof’ packaging. The accuracy of nicotine content labelling currently raises no major concerns.
6. There has been an overall shift towards the inaccurate perception of EC being as harmful as cigarettes over the last year in contrast to the current expert estimate that using EC is around 95% safer than smoking.
7. Whilst protecting non-smoking children and ensuring the products on the market are as safe and effective as possible are clearly important goals, new regulations currently planned should also maximise the public health opportunities of EC.
8. Continued vigilance and research in this area are needed
On December 23, 2015, Attorney General Tom Miller released a statement attempting to clarify some of the miss-information about ecigs. According to Miller, “The harm of the combustible cigarette is dramatically greater than the harm of the e-cigarette”…. “There has been an effort to say that combustible cigarettes and e-cigarettes are equally harmful, that their companies are equally evil, and that they should be strongly regulated the same way. This view is incorrect, but it has gotten significant traction…”
Tom’s full statement may surprise you. I hope you will take a moment to read it. Here it is:
Many of the most vehement critics of e-cigarettes including the CDC have expressed fear the devices could prove to be a gateway drug and will raise the risk of non-smoking vapers being lured into trying the real thing. A recent study by the CDC suggests the fears are misplaced; the study found no evidence that “never-smokers” who vape are therefore more likely to become smokers or that the rising popularity of e-cigarettes has given a boost to conventional cigarettes. To the contrary, vaping and smoking rates are moving in opposite directions. The CDC’s survey data suggest that’s more than a coincidence: Not only was vaping much more common among current and former smokers than among never-smokers, but current smokers who had tried to quit in the previous year were more likely to be vapers than those who had not.
Details here: CDC Study
Last month the New England Journal of Medicine published a study reporting formaldehyde in e-cig vapor. Below are just a couple of the hundreds of responses rebutting the study. I’ve reviewed the study and many of responses and am convinced the findings are fundamentally wrong and for some very simple reasons, obvious to any person who uses e-cigs. The study used e-cigs in a way nobody would ever desire to: They excessively burned the vapor. Before you get struck with fear that a person might make the same mistake consider this. Carcinogens are produced when burning a steak on the grill and yet nobody would suggest this a health hazard. The reason is simple. Burned steak tastes terrible. The same is true for burned e-cig vapor. E-cig users refer to this as a “dry hit” and know full well it tastes terrible and means something is wrong.
- From The American Vaping Association
“This study is largely a retread of others that have shown that vapor products, when tested with a machine under unrealistic device settings that do not mimic actual human behavior, can produce high levels of carbonyls like formaldehyde.”
Full post here: American Vaping Association – Spreading Fear and confusion with misleading formaldehyde studies
- From Clive Bates Counterfactual:
“Another alarmist and deeply misleading story about formaldehyde and e-cigarettes has now emerged in the New England Journal of Medicine: Jensen et al Hidden Formaldehyde in E-cigarette Aerosols.This experiment operated the vaping device at a such a high temperature that it produced thermal breakdown products (so-called dry puff conditions), but no user would ever be able to use it this way – the vapour would be too acrid.”
Full post here: Clive Bates Conterfactual
At the end of the day, if this study causes non-smokers to stay away from e-cigs I would declare it a victory. My concern is that it will cause many smokers to shy away from an option that might well save their lives.
Last week, the BMA Occupational Medicine Committee released an article claiming that the safety of e-cigarettes is yet to be proven. World renowned cardiologists Konstantinos Farsalinos and Riccardo Polosa responded with a complete rebuttal, claiming that scientific evidence abounds and “clearly indicates e-cigarettes are considerably less harmful than tobacco cigarettes.” In their response, the doctors made an appeal to the medical community to examine the actual scientific evidence rather than giving vague and misguided statements that would scare the public away from using e-cigarettes.
Despite oft-repeated claims that we lack the research to determine the safety of e-cigarettes, all of their components and constituents have been extensively studied for decades. If we are dealing with facts and looking to science, we can safely conclude that e-cigarettes are not only much safer than tobacco products, but are also relatively harmless by their own accord.
More details here: http://www.vapeloft.com/blog/is-e-cigarette-vapor-safe/