Are Electronic Cigarettes Safer Than Regular Cigarettes?
In the March 2011 issue of the Journal of Public Health Policy there was an article about electronic cigarettes, comparing them to tobacco cigarettes. The article authors came to the conclusion that electronic cigarettes are not nearly as harmful as tobacco cigarettes, and that they should be considered a valuable asset in reducing tobacco-related illness and death.
The article discusses a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) study examining scientific evidence, and quotes the authors of that study as saying, “Few, if any, chemicals at levels detected in electronic cigarettes raise serious health concerns… “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.”
Analyzing sixteen separate studies that identified the components of electronic cigarette nicotine liquid as well as the vapor created by heating it the report stated that levels of carcinogens in electronic cigarettes are 1,000 lower than tobacco cigarettes. Professor of community health at BUSPH, Michael Siegel is quoted as saying, “The FDA and major anti-smoking groups keep saying that we don’t know anything about what is in electronic cigarettes. The truth is, we know a lot more about what is in electronic cigarettes than regular cigarettes.” Siegel’s statement counteracts the concern of anti-smoking groups as well as the FDA who apparently oppose electronic cigarettes simply on the basis of a lack of scientific study. They want more proof of electronic cigarette safety before recommending the units as an approved stop-smoking device.
Who wants to know about electronic cigarettes?
And they are not alone. Based on the fact that children could be attracted to the novelty of electronic cigarettes, many major anti-smoking organizations are opposed to them. The list of detractors includes the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Legacy Foundation, and Action on Smoking and Health. However, Siegel made an excellent point when he said, “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.”
It would appear that the tobacco industry has the most to lose as electronic cigarettes gain popularity. Cigarette smokers, their families and the public in general are already reaping the benefits of a decrease in the consumption of tobacco cigarettes by former smokers who now use electronic cigarettes.
Simon Wright enjoys everything from a good night out on the town to a quite fishing trip over the weekend. He has been a smoker for more than 20 years. Since finding out about the electronic cigarette it has become a focul point of Simons life and has made it his ambition to make sure as smokers as possible get to see the electronic cigarette.
Filed under: Electronic Cigarettes
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