August 20, 2015
“The first official recognition that e-cigarettes are less damaging to health than smoking tobacco.”
Sometimes you find yourself wondering “What happens next?”
It has been one busy week in the vaping world. One that culminated yesterday with a landmark recommendation by Public Health England that has sent shock waves throughout the electronic cigarette debate. I’ll be discussing these stories in more detail in upcoming blogs. But for now, in case you haven’t had the time to read the dozens of media reports that have been published in the last week, here are a few of the highlights.
August 13, 2015
The British Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) released a report calling for a program to educate the public regarding the health risks associated with smoking, versus the health risks of nicotine addiction without combustible tobacco.
RSPH Chief Executive Shirley Cramer:
“Clearly there are issues in terms of having smokers addicted to nicotine, but this would move us on from having a serious and costly public health issue from smoking-related disease to instead addressing the issue of addiction to a substance which, in and of itself, is not too dissimilar to caffeine addiction.”
RSPH membership consists of more than 6,000 public health professionals.
August 18, 2015
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) publishes the findings of a study titled “Association of Electronic Cigarette Use With Initiation of Combustible Tobacco Product Smoking in Early Adolescence”.
The key conclusion of the study:
“Among high school students in Los Angeles, those who had ever used e-cigarettes at baseline compared with nonusers were more likely to report initiation of combustible tobacco use over the next year.”
The JAMA report was picked up by the Associated Press and subsequently published by dozens of media outlets nationally and worldwide. Media journalists had a contest to see who could come up with the most alarming headline. Many were quite imaginative. Most were not even remotely supported by the conclusions of the study. But the rules were simple – if it bleeds it leads.
Public health and the media pitched this report as the smoking gun they’ve been waiting for. This is the study. The one that proves e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking. Even the authors of the study acknowledge that it proves nothing. It was clearly and carefully designed to launch yet another anti-vaping media campaign. Mission accomplished.
The study was conducted by the University of Southern California’s Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS). One of fourteen TCORS established at universities across the country. USC has a five year, $20 million grant. Funded by the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products through the National Institutes of Health.
August 19, 2015
Public Health England (PHE) issues a press release stating emphatically and unequivocally, vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking. Based on an independent evidence review, PHE goes on to say:
“There is good-quality evidence that e-cigarettes can be effective in helping people quit smoking.”
This is the crown jewel in the evolution of the electronic cigarette debate. Imagine the CDC suddenly doing an about face and telling the world that vaping is dramatically safer than smoking. For the first time ever, a high level government agency has endorsed the use of vaping for harm reduction and smoking cessation. The government of the second largest vaping market in the world.
Prof. Ann McNeill from King’s College London:
“At the moment, 80,000 people [in England] die every year as a result of cigarette smoking. If everybody who was smoking switched to e-cigarettes that would reduce to about 4,000 deaths a year. That’s the best estimate at the moment. It may well be much, much lower than that.”
Prof Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing, Public Health England:
“E-cigarettes are not completely risk-free but when compared to smoking, evidence shows they carry just a fraction of the harm. The problem is people increasingly think they are at least as harmful and this may be keeping millions of smokers from quitting.”
Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive, Action on Smoking and Health:
“This timely statement from Public Health England should reassure health professionals, the media, and the public, particularly smokers, that the evidence is clear: electronic cigarettes are very much less harmful than smoking.”
The U.S. has long been the undisputed leader of the free world in matters of public health. Then along comes a Chinese pharmacist with the unmitigated gall to offer a potential solution to the greatest public health crisis the world has ever known. Millions of lives hang in the balance.
U.S. public health responds not with science and objectivity, but with ego and greed. Somebody needed to take the lead. History will record that another great nation, England, made a clear statement to the U.S. and to the world – enough is enough.
The clash of the vaping titans has begun.
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Dave Coggin has a Master’s Degree in business and spent 35 years in corporate America. He is a co-founder and partner in DIYELS. He has spent the last five years actively researching and following the evolution of the e-cigarette industry. He is a strong proponent of e-cigarettes as the most promising option currently known for tobacco harm reduction. He may be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The opinions presented here are exclusively those of the author. Vaper’s Vortex is offered as a service to our customers and followers. Anyone considering e-cigarettes as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes should seek qualified advice from a medical professional.