A Positive Look at E-Cigarettes:
First of all, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make the case against e-cigarettes on the basis of scientific evidence. A second cochrand review was done on the safety of smoking e-cigarettes. The gold standard when it comes to assessing the state of the evidence topics like public health and tobacco. In conclusion they found e-cigarettes, that involve no combustion may help tobacco smokers quit without serious health consequences. Of all 24 studies included, not a single one reported serious health risks to smoking vapers. In conclusion the study was for up to two years of e-cigarette use. This update is guarded, but also gives an approving nod to 15 randomized controlled trials. These trials are studying smoking tobacco and smoking vapor.
The evidence has moved another tick in favor of e-cigarettes. Furthermore, the latest report is sure to add fuel to the fire. In the long run, the ongoing battle is not one that pits public health against industry. Remember the century-long struggle against smoking and Big Tobacco. Rather, e-cigarettes have ignited a bitter feud within a community of scientists. Scientists bent on drastically reducing the prevalence of e-cigarettes I feel have political agendas.
At stake for harm reduction and public health are two key tensions. The first relates to how we weigh risk in the long run. What do we do in the absence of scientific certainty about smoking e-cigarettes? These questions about public health were at the heart of the letters between scientists. This feud over e-cigarettes can’t be understood because smoking vapor products is proven safe. We all know smoking tobacco kills and vapor does not, so why not use e-cigs for harm reduction.
Tobacco Control Champions:
Tobacco control champions who favor e-cigarettes know there is a big difference between smoking vapor and tobacco. A psychiatrist and pioneer of smoking cessation methods famously wrote about smoking in 1976. He wrote, people smoke for nicotine but they die from the tar. Many physicians and public health practitioners in the industry have extended this perspective to e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes represent a disruptive tool for harm reduction. Furthermore this can reduce if not eliminate the enormous burden of death and disease attributable to smoking tobacco.
The Harms of Smoking Tobacco:
From a harm reduction perspective, risky behavior is inevitable. In the long run going cold turkey when it comes to an addiction like smoking has its limits. Even if e-cigarettes carry some risks, those risks are far less serious than those of smoking tobacco. Thus, weighing the risks of smoking e-cigarettes always involves a comparison to the well-documented harms of smoking tobacco.
The Questionable F.D.A.:
Consequently, there are tobacco experts who have dedicated their careers to taking down the tobacco industry. As a result they think e-cigs will reglamorize smoking. “We can’t allow e-cigarettes to establish themselves the way tobacco cigarettes did. Well let’s face it folks for harm reduction smoking vapor is the way to go. Furthermore, a lot of these experts on tobacco or vapor smoking are tied to the F.D.A. Do the math.
The F.D.A.’S Regulatory Regime:
So far the F.D.A. says smoking vapor has no place in a public health anti-tobacco arsenal. And there is uncertainty regarding the harms smoking vapor may pose. The F.D.A’s new regulatory regime may impact quality control. E-cigarettes are a better option for any individual smoker who wants to quit and has tried other means but failed. The most fundamental question, in other words, isn’t how e-cigarettes might help or harm individuals. Will smoking vapor products change population-level smoking patterns in the long run.
This tension between harm reduction and precaution, highlights a second vital question involving the populations of concern. Whose risk matters in the long run?
The United Kingdom Endorses Vapor Products:
2015, Public Health England the United Kingdom’s equivalent to the US C.D.C, roiled the waters. Furthermore they are now endorsing e-cigarettes as a harm reduction tool. Smoking vapor for harm reduction drew fire from the editors of the Lancet and the British Medical Journal. Nevertheless, they received the backing of ASH. ASH is a major NGO in the UK with an unimpeachable record of staunch opposition to tobacco. The Royal College of addictions joined Public Health England in 2016. They advocated a harm reduction approach to smoking. The Royal College included e-cigarettes but also other forms of smokeless tobacco.
The UK saves Lives: