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A great article about the “case for tolerating e-cigarettes” was published today (12/9/13) in the New York Times. It talks about the balance between e-cigarette legislation and the possible health benefits seen by users. It continues to talk about how big tobaccos involvement in the industry now causes a knee jerk reaction to legislators to govern them identically to cigarettes, despite evidence suggesting they are clearly not the same.
Here is a great excerpt. Check out the article for more…
“DEBATE over e-cigarettes — battery-powered cigarette look-alikes that heat liquid nicotine but emit a harmless vapor — is raging. New York City and Chicago are considering adding e-cigarettes to their bans on smoking in bars, restaurants and parks, and Los Angeles is moving to restrict e-cigarette sales, even though e-cigarettes don’t generate smoke and, while not proved to be entirely safe for users, are undoubtedly less hazardous than tobacco cigarettes.
The evidence, while still thin, suggests that many e-cigarette users, hoping to kick the habit, use e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to tobacco. Research also suggests that e-cigarettes may be better at helping to sustain smoking cessation than pharmaceutical products like nicotine patches or gums. No one believes nicotine addiction is a good thing, and our qualified support for e-cigarettes is not one we reach lightly. Although some e-cigarette manufacturers have no links to the tobacco industry, Big Tobacco is consuming an ever-greater share of the e-cigarette market. It is hard for public health advocates like us to look favorably on anything the industry wants. But history shows that harm reduction — the doctrine that many risks cannot be eradicated and that efforts are best spent on minimizing the resulting harm — has had an important place in anti-smoking efforts and suggests that regulation is better than prohibition” SOURCE: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/09/opinion/the-case-for-tolerating-e-cigarettes.html
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E-cigs deliver an authentic smoking experience. More importantly, people smoking traditional cigarettes are using e-cigs as a way of quitting even though e-cigs are not considered by the FDA to be an “approved method of quitting smoking”. Also, e-cigs are a better bargain as they are not regulated. A 2 pack a day smoker could spend $14 and up on traditional cigarettes depending on what state that smoker lives in. That $6.50 per day in average savings in taxes alone equals $195 per month. Cheaper and similar to a conventional cigarette, e-cigs are an alternative for those who smoke.
Goldman Sachs has estimated that e-cigs could reach $10 billion in retail sales over the next several years, accounting for more than 10% of the whole tobacco industry volume and 15% of profit. This is not a fantasy. It’s a projection based on current growth rates and the low penetration of the product.
E-cigs have doubled the past two years and are on their way to reaching over $1 billion in sales by 2013. And there’s plenty of room for growth, because according to Gallup, as much as 74% of smokers want to quit. And e-cigs continue to offer an option to smokers that are concerned about the amount of additives in regular cigarettes (There are almost 600 additives producing some 4000 different chemical compounds when burning a tobacco cigarette!, click to learn more).
The September 2013 Lancet Medical Journal prints the following:
“The rapidly expanding popularity of e-cigarettes is a threat to the interests of both the tobacco and pharmaceutical industry and to their associated stakeholders. The large revenues generated by tobacco excise taxes are needed by national governments to run their countries and sponsorship for the marketing of anti-smoking drugs and those intended to treat tobacco-related diseases are much needed by pharmaceutical regulatory bodies, health authorities, and medical societies for the running of their statutory activities.” - The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Volume 1, Issue 7, Page e26, September 2013
While the FDA has repeatedly tried to claim that we CANNOT say that electronic cigarettes can help you to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes (declaring it an unsubstantiated medical claim), So, we haven’t said that. However, findings just published in the Lancet Medical Journal now say that “Electronic cigarettes work about as well as nicotine patches in helping smokers kick the habit”. The study is the first major piece of research to show that the products, which deliver a nicotine mist using a cigarette-shaped pipe, can actually benefit smokers.
For the study, Chris Bullen of the University of Auckland in New Zealand and colleagues recruited 657 smokers who wanted to quit. They divided them into three groups, to get either 13 weeks’ supply of e-cigarettes, nicotine patches or placebo e-cigarettes that contained no nicotine.
After six months, 5.7 percent of the volunteers had managed to completely quit smoking. It was slightly more in the e-cigarette group, but not in a way that was statistically significant, Bullen reported.
It’s very difficult to quit smoking, but the e-cigarettes also appeared to have helped people cut back on real tobacco. Bullen’s team found that 57 percent of volunteers given real e-cigarettes were smoking half as many cigarettes a day as before, compared to 41 percent of those who got patches.
“While our results don’t show any clear-cut differences between e-cigarettes and patches in terms of quit success after six months, it certainly seems that e-cigarettes were more effective in helping smokers who didn’t quit to cut down,” Bullen said in a statement.
“It’s also interesting that the people who took part in our study seemed to be much more enthusiastic about e-cigarettes than patches, as evidenced by the far greater proportion of people in both of the e-cigarette groups who said they’d recommend them to family or friends, compared to patches.”
Dr. Cheryl Healton, president and CEO of the anti-tobacco Legacy Foundation said “…..it may be that for some people, this will be a better way to quit, and there may be people who’ve tried other things and haven’t been able to quit who will quit with this……..It (the study) does also suggest consumer acceptability of the product is higher”. (Ed note* when compared to nicotine patches)
“E-cigarettes are increasingly used as substitutes for tobacco cigarettes, with some suggestion that the rapidly increasing popularity of e-cigarettes brought about a decrease in tobacco cigarette sales in the USA at the start of 2013. The main reason for regulation of these products is said to be to ensure that consumers are protected. However, the consumers’ perspective has been largely overlooked. For consumers, safety is a concern, but is secondary in view of the hazards of the product (ie, tobacco cigarette) being replaced.5 Most consumers would be content with regulations that helped to ensure product consistency and prevent contamination, but see no need to apply the strict regulations used for pharmaceutical products that would lead to unnecessary increases in the price of e-cigarettes.6 Our experience suggests that many former smokers who transitioned to an e-cigarette believe that the main goal for regulators should be to keep e-cigarettes available and acceptable as a cigarette replacement. Excessive and ill-conceived regulation will conflict with these basic requirements; it will marginalize e-cigarettes by making them unattractive to smokers and less competitively priced compared with tobacco products.Future regulatory measures should primarily address quality standards of liquids used in e-cigarettes (e-liquids) and should require 1) evidence that good manufacturing practices have been followed; 2) official documentation reporting contents and concentrations in e-liquids to regulators; and 3) clear, accurate, and detailed labeling about the contents and possible dangers of inappropriate handling (eg, accidental poisoning) associated with e-cigarette use.”
- Learn more about electronic cigarettes by reading the pages of our blog located in the upper right of your screen. -
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Sign This! Prevent the FDA from regulating or banning the sale and use of electronic cigarettes, accessories and associated liquids
The FDA has repeatedly stated its intent to propose a “deeming” regulation to apply Chapter IX of the FSPTCA to e-cigarettes. But Sections 905 and 910 would ban all e-cigarettes, and other provisions of Chapter IX would also decimate the e-cigarette industry, protect cigarette markets and otherwise threaten public health. The FDA should NOT propose or approve any regulation that would deny cigarette smokers legal or affordable access to less hazardous smokefree alternatives. ~ Bill Godshall
E-cigarettes and associated accessories and liquids are less hazardous than cigarettes and can reduce the risks of smoking. With the use of these devices millions have successfully reduced the use of cigarettes. Don’t let the FDA deny us access to these alternatives to smoking.
A Federal Judge previously ruled that the FDA has no authority in this matter. Read More Here
In a new report that bucks the concerns raised by the Food and Drug Administration, a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researcher concludes that electronic cigarettes are much safer than real cigarettes and show promise in the fight against tobacco-related diseases and death. The review, which will be published online ahead of print this month in the Journal of Public Health Policy, is the first to comprehensively examine scientific evidence about the safety and effectiveness of electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, said Michael Siegel, professor of community health sciences at BUSPH. The battery-powered devices provide tobacco-less doses of nicotine in a vaporized solution.”Few, if any, chemicals at levels detected in electronic cigarettes raise serious health concerns,” the authors said. “Although the existing research does not warrant a conclusion that electronic cigarettes are safe in absolute terms and further clinical studies are needed to comprehensively assess the safety of electronic cigarettes, a preponderance of the available evidence shows them to be much safer than tobacco cigarettes and comparable in toxicity to conventional nicotine replacement products.”The report reviewed 16 laboratory studies that identified the components in electronic cigarette liquid and vapor. The authors found that carcinogen levels in electronic cigarettes are up to 1,000 times lower than in tobacco cigarettes.”The FDA and major anti-smoking groups keep saying that we don’t know anything about what is in electronic cigarettes,” Siegel said. “The truth is, we know a lot more about what is in electronic cigarettes than regular cigarettes.”Since coming onto the market in the United States more than three years ago, electronic cigarettes have proven to be controversial. The FDA has threatened to ban the sell of e-cigarettes and six national anti-smoking groups – the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Legacy Foundation, and Action on Smoking and Health – have also called for the removal of electronic cigarettes from the market.Their concerns are that the FDA has not evaluated any e-cigarettes for safety or effectiveness, that the devices contain dangerous chemicals, and that they are marketed toward children. In December, however, a federal appeals court ruled that the FDA should regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products rather than as drug-delivery devices, such as nicotine-replacement patches or gum. The latter undergo much more stringent FDA regulations.”Taking these products off the market would force thousands of users to return to cigarette smoking,” Siegel said. “Why would the FDA and the anti-smoking groups want to take an action that is going to seriously harm the public’s health? The only ones who would be protected by a ban on e-cigarettes are the tobacco companies, as these new products represent the first real threat to their profits in decades.” The report also reviews preliminary evidence that electronic cigarettes can be effective in suppressing the urge to smoke, largely because they simulate the act of smoking a real cigarette. E-cigarettes might also offer an advantage over traditional nicotine delivery devices, the authors argue, because smoking-related stimuli alone have been found capable of suppressing tobacco abstinence symptoms for long periods of time. Provided by Boston University Medical Center.
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