Tuesday, 7 December 2010

On e-cigs, snus and harm reduction

I've got an article up at Spiked today on the subject of the possible prohibition of e-cigarettes. With the exception of The Independent, the British media have ignored today's study in Tobacco Control which recommends taking e-cigarettes off the market while their safety is tested (and if you think they'll ever come back on the market, I have some magic beans you might be interested in). This being Tobacco Control, the study isn't available online, but I describe the main findings—which are few—in the article. Michael Siegel also discussed it on his blog yesterday.

The simple truth is that not one death has been attributed to the use or misuse of e-cigarettes since they appeared in 2004. Niche product though it may be, this is a sufficient length of time for any action against it now to be viewed as reactionary rather than precautionary. In the same six years, some stop-smoking drugs have been shown to have killed many people, and of course several million more have had their lives cut short as a result of cigarette smoking. And yet it is the e-cigarette that faces the chop.

Do have a read...


Randall said...

Also on the same subject (in french) : Cigarette électronique, tabac oral et science des machines à sous
Unairneuf.org, 13.10.2010

westcoast2 said...

Interesting article, nice characterization of a certain professor.

You mention that Canada and Australia have banned e-cigs. This depends on what an e-cig is.

In Canada, I believe, it is ok to sell an e-cig as long as the cart does not contain nicotine. If an e-cig has zero nic is it still an electro-fag?

So what do they do in the case of zero nic e-cigs (PVs)? How do you ban Atomizers, Carts, Batteries?

Also, I think the wording of the 2006 health act was aimed at 'lit' and capable of 'being smoked' because of things such as Asthma inhalers which it was feared could have been caught up in the smoking ban. So unless they change the definition of 'smoking' this could also be an issue.

So it would seem that ejuice or carts containing nicotine could possibly be targetted, hence the MHRA approach. Even this approach is tricky as there are, as you point out, already regulations on nicotine and packaging that reputable e-cig manufacturers follow.

Anonymous said...

Great article for Spiked.