M.O.V.E. – Medical Organizations supporting Vaping & Electronic cigarettes

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CALL FOR DOCTORS, HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS AND SCIENTISTS IN SUPPORT OF ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES.
 
As physicians and health professionals we see everyday patients who are severely affected by tobacco smoking, many of whom will eventually die or have their health severely affected despite our help and advice. Tobacco smoking remains the most serious public health issue in the world.
People smoke for the nicotine but die from the chemicals produced when tobacco is burned.i Unfortunately, currently available smoking cessation medications have limited efficacy and acceptability for the majority of smokers. However, we believe that there is a solution: the use of electronic cigarettes clearly has huge potential to help many smokers turn their backs on tobacco.
To this end, we strongly believe that ethically and scientifically speaking it is our responsibility to draw attention to the following:
  • It is the combustion of tobacco and the 4000 chemical substances that are produced when smoking cigarettes that are harmful to health of smokers, not the nicotine.
  • The dangers of electronic cigarettes are considerably lower than those of tobacco. From analysis of the constituents of e-cigarette vapour, e-cigarettes can be expected to be at least 95 to 99% safer than smoking tobacco cigarettes in terms of long-term health risks.ii
  • The vapour exhaled from e-cigarette users is highly unlikely to be harmful to bystanders; nicotine concentrations in exhaled vapour are too low to have pharmacological effects on bystanders.iii
  • Randomised controlled trials show that e-cigarettes are effective in smoking cessationiv and studies of the use of e-cigarettes in real world settings show that they are more effective than other means for stopping smoking including Nicotine Replacement Therapy.v
  • It is estimated that for every one million people who switch from smoking to electronic cigarettes, some 6000 premature deaths a year would be averted.vi
E-cigarettes do not ‘renormalise smoking’ – ‘vaping’ is not smoking.  In many countries the rise in e-cigarette use has been accompanied by a continued decline in tobacco sales and prevalence of smoking.vii
The characteristics of electronic cigarettes should always be compared to those of conventional cigarettes, and discussion about the absolute long-term safety of electronic cigarettes must be contrasted ethically and scientifically with the absolute certainty of the harmfulness of smoked tobacco.
Already estimated 29m consumers in Europe use e-cigarettes.viii But we believe that the individual and public health gains associated with electronic cigarette use are held back by misconceptions about the product.
In light of the numerous studies undertaken to date we – as health professionals – cannot remain passive in the face of the clear public health benefits of electronic cigarettes.
We therefore recommend that our colleagues actively learn more about electronic cigarettes as a new public health tool in the ongoing global health campaign against tobacco-related diseases.
We call on our colleagues to sign this declaration in support of the merits of electronic cigarettes based on scientific evidence and ethical debate.
Yours faithfully,
Group of professionals who support this statement.
If  you  agree  with  the  M.O.V.E  statement  please  click  on  the  image  below  to  add  your  support.

i Russell, M. A. Low-tar medium-nicotine cigarettes: a new approach to safer smoking (1976) BMJ  1 (6023) 1430-1433

ii Farsalinos, K. E., & Polosa, R. (2014). Safety evaluation and risk assessment of electronic cigarettes as tobacco cigarette substitutes: a systematic review. Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety, 5(2), 67–86. doi:10.1177/2042098614524430

iii Hajek P, Etter J-F, Benowitz N, McRobbie H (2014) Electronic cigarettes: review of use, content, safety, effects on smokers, and potential for harm and benefit. Addiction.

iv McRobbie, H., Bullen, C., Hartmann-Boyce, J., & Hajek, P. (2014). Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation and reduction. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 12, CD010216. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD010216.pub2

v Brown, J. et al (2014).  Real-world effectiveness of e-cigarettes when used to aid smoking cessation: a cross-sectional population study. Addiction doi:10.1111/add.12623

vi West, R. B. J. (2014). Electronic cigarettes : fact and fiction. British Journal of General Practice, (September), 442–443.doi:10.3399/bjgp14X681253

vii West R, Brown J, Beard E. Trends in electronic cigarette use in England. Smoking Toolkit Study 140122. 2014.www.smokinginengland.info/latest-statistics

viii Vardavas, C.et al (2014). Determinants and prevalence of e-cigarette use throughout the  European Union: a secondary analysis of 26 566 youth and adults from 27 Countries.  Tobacco Control, 1–7. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2013-051394

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https://sciencecig.wordpress.com/move/

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Benefits of E-Cigarettes May Outweigh Harms: Study Findings run counter to recent calls for strict regulation

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By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, July 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Strict regulation of electronic cigarettes isn’t warranted based on current evidence, a team of researchers says.

On the contrary, allowing e-cigarettes to compete with regular cigarettes might cut tobacco-related deaths and illness, the researchers concluded after reviewing 81 prior studies on the use and safety of the nicotine-emitting devices.

“Current evidence suggests that there is a potential for smokers to reduce their health risks if electronic cigarettes are used in place of tobacco cigarettes and are considered a step toward ending all tobacco and nicotine use,” said study researcher Thomas Eissenberg, co-director of the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

The study, partly funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, was published July 30 in the journal Addiction.

Whether e-cigarettes should be regulated, and how strictly, is being debated by regulatory agencies around the world. Several medical organizations have called for restrictions on use of the increasingly popular devices.

Although long-term risks of e-cigarettes remain unknown, the new study concluded the benefits of e-cigarettes as a no-smoking aid outweigh potential harms.

“If there are any risks, these will be many times lower than the risks of smoking tobacco,” said senior author Dr. Hayden McRobbie, from the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at Queen Mary University of London.

“We need to think carefully about how these products are regulated,” he said. “What we found is that there is no evidence that these products should be regulated as strictly as tobacco, or even more strictly than tobacco.”

No evidence has shown that the vapor produced by e-cigarettes is harmful to users or bystanders in contrast to cigarette smoke, he added. It’s not the nicotine in cigarettes that kills people, he said. (Nicotine is the addictive agent in cigarettes).

“Use of e-cigarettes by people who don’t smoke is very rare,” McRobbie said. Furthermore, there is no evidence to support arguments that e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking tobacco, he added.

“There is evidence that e-cigarettes enable some users to quit smoking or reduce their consumption,” McRobbie said. “If there is evidence that e-cigarettes reduce smoking-related harm, then they need to be easily obtainable and not regulated more strongly than tobacco products.”

Dr. Norman Edelman, a senior medical consultant for the American Lung Association, disagrees. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration should have authority over all tobacco products and e-cigarettes, said Edelman, a professor of medicine and physiology and biophysics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

“It is imperative that the FDA finalize proposed e-cigarette regulations by the end of 2014,” he said. “The FDA needs to crack down on quit-smoking and other health claims that e-cigarette companies are making,” Edelman said.

Edelman said it’s too soon to know if e-cigarettes will cause long-term damage. “So far there hasn’t been very much chronic use of e-cigarettes. So it’s not possible to say there will be no harm,” he said.

“Since we are talking about a recreational drug — it’s not essential to life, it doesn’t cure any illness — it would only make sense to regulate it rigorously until we find out whether it’s good or bad,” Edelman said.

Earlier this month, the Forum of International Respiratory Societies, which includes more than 70,000 members worldwide, urged governments to ban or limit e-cigarettes until more is known about their health effects.

And this month, the American Medical Association requested tighter restrictions on the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes.

The AMA’s recommendations include a minimum age of purchase; childproof packaging; restrictions on flavors that appeal to young people, and a ban on unsupported claims that the devices help people quit smoking.

Preventing the marketing of e-cigarettes to minors is another priority, the medical association says.