Friday, March 14, 2014

The Escalating Debate Over E-Cigarettes

Follow the bouncing ping-pong ball.

“E-cigarettes are likely to be gateway devices for nicotine addiction among youth, opening up a whole new market for tobacco.”
Lauren Dutra, postdoctoral fellow at the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.

“You’ve got two camps here: an abstinence-only camp that thinks anything related to tobacco should be outlawed, and those of us who say abstinence has failed, and that we have to take advantage of every opportunity with a reasonable prospect for harm reduction.”
Richard Carmona, former U.S. Surgeon General, now board member of e-cigarette maker NJOY. 

“Consumers are led to believe that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to cigarettes, despite the fact that they are addictive, and there is no regulatory oversight ensuring the safety of the ingredients in e-cigarettes.”
—From a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) signed by 40 state attorneys general.

“E-cigarettes need more time to develop and to out-compete deadly conventional cigarettes, but they have the potential to end the tobacco epidemic. So if regulators decide to ban them or submit them to stricter regulations than conventional cigarettes, this would be detrimental to public health.”
—Professor Peter Hajek, director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine. 

“There is no scientific evidence that e-cigarettes are a safe substitute for traditional cigarettes or an effective smoking cessation tool. In fact, they may entice young people into trying traditional cigarettes.”
Russ Sciandra, New York State Director of Advocacy, American Cancer Society.

“I firmly believe that the [New York] City Council’s bill restricting e-cigarettes is a major blow to people who are trying to stop smoking and will end up accomplishing the opposite of advocates’ intended goals of improving people’s health and reducing smoking-related deaths.”
Tony Newman, director of media relations for the Drug Policy Alliance.

“Once a young person gets acquainted with nicotine, it’s more likely that they’ll try other tobacco products. E-cigarettes are a promising growth area for the tobacco companies, allowing them to diversify their addictive and lethal products with a so-called ‘safe cigarette.’”
Alexander Prokhorov, head of the Tobacco Outreach Education Program, University of Texas.

“What would constitute a final victory in tobacco control? Must victory entail complete abstinence from e-cigarettes as well as tobacco? To what levels must we reduced the prevalence of smoking? What lessons should be drawn from the histories of alcohol and narcotic-drug prohibition?”
Amy L. Fairchild, professor of sociomedical sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. 

Photo Credit: St. Paul Pioneer Press (Chris Polydoroff).


Mark said...

This reminds me of the definition of alcoholism/addiction. Only in the human brain can two conflicting ideas both be right. No wonder the public is confused, so is science.

Rosa Hall said...

As much as I do agree that it could lead to teenagers wanting to try nicotine (though honestly, as reckless teenagers that doesn't take much), there's the flip side: I used an e-cigarette religiously for a few months after smoking for nearly ten years and it helped tremendously in successfully weaning me off of nicotine.

RickyWard said...

E-cigarette emergence was just a stepping stone to give market to tobacco businesses. If ever a younger person will use E-cig, he/she will have a higher chance of trying tobacco products. By then, number of smokers will rise. And who produces the E-cig? Its not actually a diversion tactic to quit smokers to smoke but a redirection tactic to give the "newbie" E-cig smokers to ask for more and try traditional cigarette.

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