October 23, 2013

Public Health eCig Freakout Could Cost Lives

It likely comes as no surprise to you as a reader of this site that limiting access to e-cigarettes is akin to dooming smokers to keep on smoking. An article by Reason points that fact out to a wider audience. The article points out how fundamentally flawed much of the fears truly are and that these attempts at scare mongering can have real costs to public health.

No Smoke, Yet Ire

For instance, Maria Azzarelli, coordinator of the Southern Nevada Health District's tobacco control program, recentlytold the Las Vegas Sun ”no one can say right now whether e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to cigarettes.” Really? No one can say whether inhaling vapor containing nicotine, flavoring, and propylene glycol, which the FDA has approved as an ingredient in food and medicine, is safer than inhaling smoke?

Even the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which recently cited increased consumption of e-cigarettes while urging the FDA to regulate them, concedes“e-cigarettes appear to have far fewer of the toxins found in smoke compared to traditional cigarettes.” Boston University public health professor Michael Siegel, who supports vaping as a harm-reducing alternative to smoking, notes that “we actually have a much better idea what is in electronic cigarette vapor than what is in tobacco smoke.”

The author also points out how silly the gateway theories sound when you think about it. Even the CDC’s data shows that those kids who might have puffed an e-cigarette at least once in a month are largely existing smokers.

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