Electronic cigarettes get a lot of negative exposure through bad reporting and mainstream media features that spread disinformation. However, this week some good news surfaced as doctors defended vaping at a London Summit and even recommended that smokers use electronic cigarettes if they can’t give up nicotine on their own. According to this report, doctors praised vaping technology for helping smokers quit and argued that it could potentially save millions of lives.
There are currently around 7 million smokers residing in Europe, so it’s obvious that tobacco is a major problem. The World Health Organization estimates that 1 billion people will die from smoking-related causes in the next 100 years. With so many lives hanging in the balance, there is no room for error in determining whether e-cigarettes are an acceptable alternative for people that cannot kick the cigarette addiction.
During the recent London meetings, Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos from the University Hospital Gathuisberg in Belgium was quick to defend electronic cigarettes. After devoting months to detailed research on the impact of e-cigs, he concluded that risks were minimal. He estimates that smoking only poses 1/1000th of the danger to public health as tobacco cigarettes. With this information on hand the scientific data to back it, he said, “We can recommend that smokers who cannot quit should switch to e-cigarettes.”
Dr. Farsalinos went on to say that e-cigs were the best option for smokers that wanted to quit and he has observed high success rates in his research. While nicotine replacement therapy does not usually work, e-cigs are helping the majority of people that give it a real effort. “The best alternative before was around 20%. In my research up to 80% of participants using e-cigarettes have quit,” he said.
Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of UK health charity Action on Smoking and Health agreed that e-cigs were a good option for many smokers. “It’s the smoke that kills you – not the nicotine – so for smokers who are heavily addicted, switching to safer sources of nicotine could literally be a lifesaver,” she said.
These statements are really important for the e-cig industry, with many nations fighting vapers with strict regulations. Most recently, the European Parliament voted in strict new regulations for ecigs including plans to treat them as tobacco products. These actions could lead people back to tobacco, if lawmakers are not careful. “Regulation puts the businesses under threat, which could mean users are forced to smoke regular cigarettes again,” said Nigel Hislop from Save Ecigs advocacy group.
Even with regulations looming, the ecig industry is growing rapidly. “It’s a consumer revolution, led by word of mouth rather than advertising,” said Chris Snowdon, from the British Institute of Economic Affairs.
We can all agree that Dr. Farsalinos and his colleagues are making big strides for the vaping industry by spreading the truth about how effective ecigs can be for struggling smokers. Hopefully we will hear more stories in the future about physicians embracing ecigs and encouraging patients to put down tobacco cigarettes in favor of a smoke-free alternative