E-cigarettes Could Be The New Nicotine Patch
This follows the brand of injury reduction theory: Encouraging smokers to change the source of nicotine to a healthier way is better than forcing users to go cold turkey. “Those who don’t say e-cigarettes are 100 percent safe; We say that smoking can only be deadly and can reduce their damage,” said Jamie Hartmann-Boyce, senior research member at the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford.
Much of the debate about e-cigarettes can be boiled down to: Can we help adults quit smoking, or are we defending young people from the beginning? “I think that’s just a totally false dichotomy of virtue,” said Hartmann-Boyce. “When we’re talking about each other as an exclusive, we lack a really big fraud, and we don’t even know any damage that is caused, especially to kids less beneficial – combustible tobacco use.”
The prescription initiative is notably at odds with the substance of the World Health Organization that e-cigarettes are harmful to health. The agency’s procrastination has come much to the chagrin of many tobacco governance researchers: In October, hundreds of global experts submitted a patent letter to WHO’s agency, and called on the body to “modernize” its approach to tobacco control.
“The World Health Organization is looking into a fairly narrow problem,” said Rees, who welcomes the movement in England. “I think sending out a valid signal that e-cigarettes represent something more than recreational devices,” he says of the inception of prescription. “This is great news, and I think it’s something that the UK got right and we’re happy to see it proliferate in other parts of the world.”
But the phrase also presents an ethical quagmire: Many big e-cigarette products are actually manufactured by tobacco firms. Vuse is owned by RJ Reynolds, one of the world’s largest cigarette companies; Altria, which is a division of US Philip Morris, the largest multinational tobacco company in the world, has a 35 per cent stake in Juul, the giant vapingi. “One concern about the tobacco control community is that the e-cigarette market will be dominated by the tobacco industry, which has a long and sordid history of distorting science and damaging public health,” says Hartmann-Boyce. Jumping through the hoops to seek out medical licenses takes a lot of money, time, and research opportunities – and the tobacco industry is much more likely to be able to survive than independent e-cigarette companies. “So we put an end to the situation in which, inadvertently, tobacco products are developed in the industry.”
On the other hand, Rees argues, perhaps there can be no problem if tobacco manufacturers sell combustible cigarettes and will pass on to something like e-cigarettes. “If this is the next option, I believe, I will willingly embrace it,” he said.
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