PHE Reports E-Cigarettes are Around 95% Less Harmful Than Smoking. FDA Takes Offense.
Mid to late summer, traditionally marked by slowdowns, did not affect electronic cigarette and vaping news. Stories appeared on both sides of the Atlantic with Europe taking a surprising turn in favor of vaping as a viable strategy for Tobacco Harm Reduction.
Perhaps the Most Widely Publicized News Came From Public Health England’s E-Cigarette Research Forum.
The government agency made electrifying headlines when it said:
“E-cigarette Use is Around 95% Less Harmful to Health Than Smoking.”
Public Heath England, together with Cancer Research UK presented their report on e-cigarettes and health, based on “sound evidence” from some of the UK’s leading researchers.
The review also showed evidence that 44.8% of the population do not realize e-cigarettes are much less harmful than smoking. Subsequently, smokers have avoided switching in the belief that e-cigarettes are too dangerous.
The main findings cited increased usage of electronic cigarettes along with decreased usage of adult and youth tobacco smoking, showing e-cigarettes can be effective in helping people to quit smoking.
Regarding the risks associated with vaping several points were outlined:
- E-cigarettes pose no risk of nicotine poisoning to users, but e-liquids should be in ‘childproof’ packaging.
- Although vaping may not be 100% safe, most of the chemicals causing smoking-related disease are absent and the chemicals present pose limited danger.
- E-cigarette use is around 95% less harmful to health than smoking.
- E-cigarettes release negligible levels of nicotine into ambient air with no
identified health risks to bystanders.
- Over the last year, there has been an overall shift among adults and youth towards the inaccurate perception of e-cigarettes being as harmful as cigarettes.
- Public Health England wants e-cigarettes to be prescribed to smokers by Britain's National Health Service, but only when the products are medicinally regulated.
The review was commissioned by PHE and led by Prof. Ann McNeill of King's College London and Prof. Peter Hajek of Queen Mary University of London.
Elsewhere in the United Kingdom…..
Several health organizations and government agencies issued statements and reports concerning the safety of electronic cigarettes and other vapor products.
Test Shows Vaping No More Harmful Than Breathing
British American Tobacco teamed with the MatTek Corporation scientists to test e-cigarette vapor and determine whether it was safer on human lungs than tobacco smoke. The results were not only in favor of e-cigarette vapor, they indicated that vaping is no more harmful to human lungs than air.
E-Cigarette News in the United States
With the release of pro-ecig evidence from the UK government, the bomb dropped on government agencies and anti-e-cigarette groups in the United States.
The US Food and Drug Administration(FDA), scheduled to release regulations on e-cigarettes, immediately went on the attack. A new campaign against e-cigarettes was launched which indicated the FDA will likely be categorizing electronic cigarettes as tobacco products. This, despite the fact that e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, nor do they produce combustable smoke.
Vaping advocates believe the FDA’s proposed regulations against e-cigarettes are an attempt to keep competitive products off the market, favoring pharmaceutical companies who sell nicotine replacement therapies. Some experts predict the courts will question the constitutionality of such regulations.