A GROUP of eminent tobacco control leaders have made an unprecedented call for vaping to be embraced more widely in the global campaign to cut deaths from smoking.
In a ground-breaking report, 15 past presidents of the USA’s Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) urge lawmakers to recognise e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to combustible cigarettes that could save millions of lives.
The public image of vaping has been poisoned by powerful interests who exaggerate the risks of e-cigarettes to young people and largely ignore the potential benefits of vaping for adults who smoke, they say.
Their paper, published in the American Journal of Public Health, represents the most organised and forthright endorsement of alternative nicotine products by such scholars to date.
The authors are among the most respected in the tobacco control field. Their literature-review paper concludes:
- Clinical and population studies provide increasing evidence that vaping helps smokers quit cigarettes
- Recent drops in cigarette sales correspond with increases in the adoption of vaping
- Higher taxes that deter people from vaping lead to an increase in cigarette smoking
- Vaping likely diverts more young people from smoking than encourages them to smoke
“While evidence suggests that vaping is currently increasing smoking cessation,” say the authors, “the impact could be much larger if the public health community paid serious attention to vaping’s potential to help adult smokers, smokers received accurate information about the relative risks of vaping and smoking, and policies were designed with the potential effects on smokers in mind. That is not happening.”
Joe Magero, chairman of the Campaign for Safer Alternatives (CASA), said: “This is a momentous report for anyone serious about reducing the 8,000 annual deaths in Kenya caused by smoking.
“For too long, tobacco control in Africa has been driven by Bloomberg-funded propaganda that excludes any safer alternatives from their abstinence-only agenda.
“Now we have unquestionable experts in the field demanding that lawmakers treat alternative nicotine products as the lifesavers that they really are. Their report should be essential reading for anyone shaping our public health policies.”