As an avid follower of Choice I was dismayed to read the article regarding health claims and e-cigarettes. Dismayed not because the article was chosen to be printed, but because the claims have arisen from studies that were proven to be flawed and it would seem that no one at Choice questioned it.
I would ask that before simply reprinting something because it came over the news wire that Choice perform at least a minimum of fact checking. I HAD thought that was what Choice did, but obviously not and certainly not in this case.
E-Cigarette Formaldehyde Exposure (Credit: British American Tobacco)
For my part, I was a smoker for decades. 15 - 20 per day. In the past I had tried every approach to quit smoking tobacco and the best I could manage was a few days. In desperation I tried vaping and found that by using an APV (Advanced Personal Vaporiser) I was able to able to reduce cigarette use to 2 or 3 per day, and within two weeks was able to quit tobacco altogether. That was 12 months ago.
In doing so, I didn’t want to replace one harm with another equally dangerous product so I did my homework and found that while they are not able to say vaping is harmless, it is not nearly as harmful as using tobacco. Current research puts the level of harm at about 95% less harmful than smoking and almost no risk of second hand harm and these numbers come from the British Medical Journal.
While smoking and vaping resemble each other, there is little comparison beyond that. As a vaper, I will never go back to tobacco . . .
o I am not spending $150- $200 per week like I used to.
o Vaping similar amount to smoking costs $0.10 - $0.20 per day.
o I feel better.
o I don’t smell like an ashtray.
o Health is improving every day.
o While I am still consuming nicotine, I am not consuming the > 200 other nasties contained in tobacco.
o Have started a slow and controlled reduction of nicotine content (which is almost impossible to do with tobacco) with a view to quitting completely.
A quick search on Google shows that research is being done and shows promise, but that there is far more misinformation and vested interests out there that wants people to NOT have any alternative.
Consider the report published this week by the Royal College of Physicians . . .
“summarizes the growing body of science on e-cigarettes and finds that their benefits far outweigh the potential harms. It concludes resoundingly that, at least so far, the devices are helping people more than harming them, and that the worries about them—including that using them will lead young people to eventually start smoking traditional cigarettes—have not come to pass”.
Harm: Tobacco vs Vaping
A new paper published in Addiction concludes that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful compared to conventional cigarettes and it would be beneficial for smokers to switch rather than continue smoking. The authors suggest healthcare professionals to advice smokers unable or unwilling to quit through other methods to switch to e-cigarette use as an alternative to smoking.
As a aid to quitting tobacco
A randomized controlled trial evaluating e-cigarettes effectiveness in reducing cigarette consumption and quitting smoking was published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The study, led by Prof Frank Baeyens from the University of Leuven-Belgium, evaluated the efficacy of e-cigarette use in reducing smoking craving (in a laboratory session) and subsequently the 5-month smoking reduction or cessation rate in 48 participants (smokers who had NO intention to quit smoking). A control group of smokers not using an e-cigarette was included; they were given an e-cigarette 2 months after study initiation.
It shows that . . .
- Even in smokers with no intention to quit, e-cigarettes are very effective smoking substitutes.
- Restrictions in availability of nicotine-containing liquids can have devastating effects by causing a relapse back to smoking or by preventing smokers from using effective e-cigarette products.
Both messages should be seriously considered by regulators. At last, they must understand their ethical obligation to promote the interest and health of smokers. Any decision against that, and any regulations restricting availability, should make them accountable for the adverse health effects expected in smokers who relapse back to smoking, in smokers who are discouraged from switching to a less harmful alternative, and in smokers who are deceived into thinking that e-cigarettes are equally harmful to tobacco cigarettes.
I’m happy to discuss this, but only if it’s to be an INFORMED debate!