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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Aw shucks! Please find here everything you need to make your stomach turn!

Dr. James Aw is the medical director of the Medcan Clinic, a leading private health clinic in Toronto.

"They claim the devices can even help people stop smoking. But a recent editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal took a more troubling line, wondering whether the products are “a Trojan horse that will allow the tobacco industry to reverse decades of global progress in reducing smoking prevalence.

>>>>>>>>>>>Here, then, are three reasons I’m concerned about e-cigarettes:

1. The intense marketing push  According to newspaper reports, something resembling e-cigarettes were first patented in 1963, but they didn’t come to market in North America until 2006 — and since 2011, they’ve been the subject of an enormous marketing push, one that seems to have gained traction this year. The gift bag given to guests at last year’s Oscars included an e-cigarette starter pack. Celebrities such as Katherine Heigl and Leonardo DiCaprio have been seen using them, and the devices were all over New York’s Fashion Week. This sort of marketing seems calculated to make the act of smoking “cool” again. The products even come with their own lingo — rather than smoking, you’re apparently supposed to refer to the act of using an e-cigarette as “vaping” — a reference to the fact you’re inhaling vapour instead of smoke. The potential upside for manufacturers is enormous, with an e-cigarette market estimated to reach $10-billion in five years — and possible spillover effects related to greater sales of traditional cigarettes.

2. Don’t believe the hype  The marketing thrust seems to be two-fold: E-cigarettes are being spun as smoking cessation products that likewise provide smokers with a safe and convenient way to indulge their habits in the company of others. Are they completely safe? Not according to the FDA, which found carcinogens in e-cigarette’s aerosol mist, as well as a toxic chemical, diethylene glycol, that’s also used in antifreeze. And a study published earlier this year in the online, interdisciplinary journal PLoS ONE, found metal and silicate nanoparticles in one leading e-cigarette manufacturer’s aerosol mist.

What’s more, evidence is slim that “vaping” will lead to smoking cessation. One recent double-blinded study concluded that e-cigarettes are only about as effective as a nicotine patch at encouraging people to quit smoking.

Worse still, the marketing of e-cigarettes tacitly encourages people to continue behaviours associated with cigarette use. The marketing leverages and perpetuates a perceived “coolness” of smoking, with lots of images of attractive and fashionably dressed people with cigarettes between their lips.

The youth cohort is responding by taking up e-cigarettes in troubling numbers. A U.S. survey reported use among youths doubled between 2011 and 2012, from 4.7% to 10% among high school students and, more worryingly even, from 1.4% to 2.7% among middle-schoolers.
 
Studies have shown that peer pressure and family role-modelling influence smoking behaviour on youth and that smokers who start at a young age are more likely to be heavy smokers later in adulthood.  Will future studies show that young e-cigarette smokers end up transitioning to harmful tobacco smoking?

3. Complementing rather than supplanting smoking  The U.S. survey found that 76% of e-cigarette users also smoked conventional tobacco-burning cigarettes. What also concerns me is the way e-cigarettes make it so much more accessible for smokers to indulge a nicotine addiction. Smoking is banned everywhere but the great outdoors. E-cigarettes, by contrast, are able to be used anywhere — on the subway, in an office, at a restaurant or nightclub. My fear is that e-cigarettes will be used by smokers in conjunction with cigarettes, to perpetuate nicotine addiction.

I’m wary of any consumer device, regardless of how clean the delivery mechanism, that represents a way for people to indulge in an addiction such as nicotine use, particularly in young people. Parents should talk to their children about the dangers of so-called “vaping.” And more studies are required, period, on the health effects of e-vapour.

One of the great public health victories of the 20th century was the way groups from all aspects of society co-operated to marginalize smoking. Now, e-cigarettes could incrementally reverse this trend by normalizing the set of behaviours associated with lighting up. The industry markets e-cigarettes to consumers as healthy alternatives to actual smoking. But a device that forms a gateway to a deadly habit is anything but healthy."
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They claim the devices can even help people stop smoking  - well they do!

E-cigarettes are being spun as smoking cessation products - I thought they were usually spun as a substitute for smoking?

What’s more, evidence is slim that “vaping” will lead to smoking cessation  Mmm - not according to the hundreds of letters I get on my You Tube Channel.

Worse still, the marketing of e-cigarettes tacitly encourages people to continue behaviours associated with cigarette use  Oh dear - what behaviours would thise be? Inhalation? Pleasure?

 This sort of marketing seems calculated to make the act of smoking “cool” again. Well no actually - it would be nice if it made vaping "cool".

Will future studies show that young e-cigarette smokers end up transitioning to harmful tobacco smoking?  Mmm, that's a hard one, more likely the other way round. Smoking has been so demonised it's a good rebellion tool.

What also concerns me is the way e-cigarettes make it so much more accessible for smokers to indulge a nicotine addiction. Yup - that is the rub. It's about smokers finding pleasure.
 
One of the great public health victories of the 20th century was the way groups from all aspects of society co-operated to marginalize smoking. AAAAAARRRRGH!


 Now, e-cigarettes could incrementally reverse this trend by normalizing the set of behaviours associated with lighting up. Well I hope they bloody well do!

Now, excuse me, I'm going to be sick.