I recently picked up a copy of the Fort Lee Traveller (Vol. 70 # 46 dated November 18, 2010) – a newspaper for soldiers transiting through or based at Fort Lee, Virginia near Petersburg. Page 12 included an article by Jean Davis R.N under the heading Kenner’s Corner titled; Are Electronic Cigarettes Safe, Effective? It wasn’t a surprise to read the points made; namely;
Their safety and effectiveness is not proven.
The FDA has concerns and is classifiying them as a drug delivery device requiring regulation.
E-cigarettes contain carcinogens and diethylene glycol.
They are not an effective cessation device.
They are not endorsed by DoD, the Department of Veterans Affairs or the US Public Health Service.
All of the above is accurate and correct. Nevertheless you may like to know that;
Although not proven to be safer, because the research has not been done, it is likely that they are considerably less harmful than cigarettes. Why; because e-cigarettes don’t burn tobacco which is the major cause of most harmful constituents in tobacco. Finding some carcinogens is also not a surprise, look hard enough and you’ll find them almost anywhere. The real point is what was the dosage and how does it compare to cigarettes? It is likely to be substantially less than cigarettes a point not generally shared with the public. Why not? Because rather than migrate to something less harmful (like e-cigarettes) most public health community advisors would prefer you to quit. Period.
If you really want to quit, not just say you do – you can do it; but most smokers don’t choose to quit because they really don’t want to quit. That’s leaves them in a pickle as the public health community advises no good alternatives; but there are…
Almost any non-combustible tobacco product is less harmful than cigarettes. This includes products like snus, moist snuff and other oral tobacco products.
E-cigarettes are a non-combustible product. They don’t burn tobacco as a result they are likely to be considerably less harmful than cigarettes (albeit unproven.) They can be bought with a variety of nicotine levels and even without nicotine or tobacco!
They provde a similar sensory reward to smoking a real cigarette – there is almost no tar, only a smoke vapor and little or no sidstream smoke – to annoy / pollute your colleagues.
So why the fuss?
Big-Pharma is conerned. E-cigarettes have the potential to take market-share of their lucrative NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) market. This is highly profitable and generally does little to help smokers quit so you keep buying these relatively costly products for quite a while. Some members of FDA’s scientific advisory committe (TPSAC) are accused of favoring Big-Pharma as some of its most anti-tobacco panel members are, or have been, Big-Pharma paid consultants. More on this at another time….
As usual comments welcome…………..