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

As seen here:

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

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World Health Organization needs to see e-cigarettes as part of the solution, not the problem, say leading specialists in nicotine science and public health…

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Over 50 leading scientists from 15 countries have written to Margaret Chan Director-General of the World Health Organization to ask WHO reconsider its intention to classify e-cigarettes the same as regular cigarettes, warning that they risk missing an opportunity to drastically reduce smoking and the illness and death associated with it.

Ahead of the WHO sponsored Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) meeting in Moscow this October, the scientists have reacted to a leaked document from a FCTC preparatory meeting indicating that the WHO considers e-cigarettes a “threat” to public health and intends to sideline their use as an accessible alternative to regular tobacco and cigarettes. Snus is already included in the FCTC.

In their letter to WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, the 53 signatories argue that tobacco harm reduction products could play a significant role in meeting the 2025 UN objectives to reduce non-communicable diseases. E-cigarettes and other safer nicotine products are part of the solution, not part of the problem, they say.

At issue is that the FCTC does not differentiate between the risks of different nicotine products. Applying FCTC measures to e-cigarettes would treat them the same as other tobacco products such as tobacco cigarettes and introduce bans on advertising, include them in smoke-free legislation, apply high taxes and large health warnings – all of which will be aimed to reduce their availability, attractiveness and acceptability.

The signatories warn that excessive restrictions on lower risk products will have the unintended consequence of protecting cigarettes from competition from less hazardous alternatives. “If the WHO gets its way and extinguishes e-cigarettes, it will not only have passed up what is clearly one of the biggest public health innovations of the last three decades that could potentially save millions of lives, but it will have abrogated its own responsibility under its own charter to empower consumers to take control of their own health, something which they are already doing themselves in their millions” said Professor Gerry Stimson, Emeritus Professor at the Imperial College in London, a signatory to the letter, and organiser of the upcoming Global Forum on Nicotine.

Globally 1.3 billion people smoke and the WHO estimates that up to one billion tobacco-related premature deaths are possible in the 21st Century – all totally preventable.

Tobacco control policy over the past three decades has successfully communicated the harms associated with smoking, encouraged measures to reduce smoking, and drastically cut smoking in some parts of the world – mainly developed countries (but at the same time that smoking is still increasing in many parts of the developing world).

After a decade of international tobacco control based on restricting and banning products it may be hard for WHO and public health leaders to change their mindsets and see the potential of safer nicotine products to help people shift from smoking: but this is what is needed.

The letter argues that WHO and FCTC must recognise that tobacco products are not all the same with regard to risk. They should recognise the significant reductions in death and disease that are achieved when smokers switch to lower risk nicotine products.

“For the WHO to suggest that e-cigarettes are as risky as other tobacco products would send an erroneous and bleak message to the millions of current e-cigarette users who have used them to quit smoking,” said Robert West, also a signatory to the letter and Professor of Health Psychology and Director of Tobacco Studies at University College in London. “It would discourage smokers from trying them and we would miss out on a major opportunity to reduce smoke related deaths globally.”

Scientists have known for some years that people ‘smoke for the nicotine, but die from the smoke’. The death and disease from smoking arises from the inhalation of tar particles and toxic gases drawn into the lungs.

The signatories to the letter strongly believe that tobacco harm reduction tools such as e-cigarettes, and other less harmful products such as snus, could be the solution. People who currently smoke will do much less harm to their health if they consume nicotine in low-risk, non-combustible form.

“E-cigarette use has been a consumer led revolution and grown as a bottom-up public health initiative that could save millions of lives”, said John Britton, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, UK. “It has moved at a speed that shows just how much smokers want and will choose nicotine products that don’t kill. I hope the WHO and all public health decision makers can recognise and harness the health opportunities that e-cigarettes can provide.”

The signatories argue that the WHO`s targets for reduction of tobacco consumption should be aligned with the ultimate goal of reducing disease and premature death. It is counterproductive to include the reduction of low-risk nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes, within these targets – as WHO has proposed – instead these products should have an important role in meeting the targets.

Links

  1. Letter to Dr Margaret Chan: ‘Reducing the toll of death and disease from tobacco – tobacco harm reduction and the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control’
  2. FCTC Bureau meeting minutes: ‘Draft summary record of the second meeting of the fifth Bureau of the Conference of Parties to the WHO FCTC Geneva, 13-14 November 2013’
  3. Media release: ‘World Health Organization must not extinguish e-cigarettes, say leading scientists’
  4. Commentary on WHO position: http://www.clivebates.com/?p=2011
  5. List of signatories and transparency declarations.

Note

The Framework Convention of Tobacco Control was agreed in 2003 and sets out a framework for controlling and reducing tobacco consumption. With the notable exception of the United States, most countries (178) are parties to the convention. The sixth session of the Conference of the Parties is due to be held in Moscow from 13-18 October http://www.who.int/fctc/en/

 

As seen on; http://nicotinepolicy.net/n-s-p/1753-who-needs-to-see-ecigs-as-part-of-a-solution

How Vaping Saved my Life: A Firsthand Account

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Of all people, I will be the first to testify to the destruction that tobacco cigarettes can cause. Some of my first memories were of my father sitting in our red recliner in the living room, chain-smoking his Pall Mall full flavor cigarettes. Up until I was a teenager, this is where I saw my father most times at home. He always seemed fine. It seemed as though cigarettes had no real impact on who he was or his health.

 

MY TEEN YEARS

Once I reached my teen years, drugs and alcohol began to enter the picture, as they do for almost any sociable teenager. I saw my friend smoking a cigarette at the age of 15, and I felt compelled to try it myself. Almost everyone I knew was doing it; so why not? I asked for a cigarette and was enthusiastically handed one by another young, naïve friend. I lit the cigarette, and by the time I had finished it, I felt sick to my stomach. Trying to remain cool, I attempted to cover my sickness up by telling everyone I had to use the restroom. I vomited in the lavatory and spent the rest of the day feeling terrible. This should have been a sign the moment where I decided that smoking just wasn’t for me.

I became a regular smoker by the age of 17 once I had passed the phase of smoking socially with my friends (and occasionally feeling sick from doing so). Smoking cigarettes still didn’t seem harmful to me; the only side effects I noticed were the occasional smoker’s cough and that I had to spend more time caring for my teeth.

THE EFFECTS OF SMOKING LATER IN LIFE

As the years wore on, I continued to smoke and developed a nasty, chronic smoker’s cough and an ease for getting winded. In my 40’s, I became worried for my health when I found it very difficult to catch my breath in various situations. Even at times when I was merely resting, I would find myself suddenly short of breath. I knew it was time to visit the doctor and find out what was going on with my body.

A series of doctor’s appointments, lab results, and blood work revealed that I was dealing with precancerous cells in my lungs. Distraught with this news, I knew it was time to make a change. I had attempted and failed to quit smoking many times before that, but when my own mortality had been sized up before me in a doctor’s office, it suddenly became very real.

MAKING THE SWITCH TO VAPING

Around the time of quitting cigarettes after discovering the precancerous cells in my body, electronic cigarettes had just made their way onto the scene. I’d heard of smoking e-cigarettes (or “vaping”), but never gave them any thought because I was too pre-occupied with tobacco cigarettes.

I quickly bought my first electronic cigarette kit, and never looked back. Because my electronic cigarette disperses nicotine without the harmful toxins and chemicals that tobacco cigarettes emit, I never thought twice about switching back from vaping to tobacco cigarettes. I get the nicotine fix that my body craves, without the negative side effects associated with traditional cigarettes.

Now that I am an official vaper, I think about what would have happened if I had kept going on my journey to destruction with tobacco cigarettes. Vaping is a very viable alternative to smoking real cigarettes, and in some cases, it can be the difference between life and death for you. I’d recommend that anyone begin vaping; it can be the best decision you ever made for your health and body.

 

– A Proud Vaper