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Teens and E-cigarettes: Smoke without Fire?

Canada’s ham-fisted approach to electronic smoking products continues

BY LAURA CONZO BRADY
Editor, eCigs HQ
Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Teens and E-cigarettes: Smoke without Fire? photo 1.

 

Earlier this week CBC Montreal published an article entitled, “E-cigarette teen popularity prompts concerns.” However, the article and the accompanying video report were both woefully short on facts and laden with unsubstantiated conjecture.

No statistics or studies were produced or cited supporting the claim of e-cig popularity amongst teens, although CBC did manage to locate a mother who was upset that her 15-year-old son had purchased an e-cigarette. They also interviewed a 15-year-old tobacco smoker who had “tried” e-cigarettes. 1.5 teens is an anecdote, not an epidemic.

The report also includes a brief interview with Floury Doucas of the Quebec Coalition for Tobacco Control, who pronounces, “…there is call (sic) for concern.”

There are however, some in the academic and medical communities that have been more thoughtful in their statements concerning e-cigarettes and their potential for good. While also advocating regulation, Prof John Britton, chair of the Royal College of Physicians Tobacco Advisory Group, said, “Electronic cigarettes are probably positive and if everyone switched to e-cigarettes it could potentially save millions of lives…”

Noted UK physician, Dr. Hilary Jones said, “Imagine how many lives could be saved if everybody gave up tobacco altogether. That’s not going to happen of course, but there are many ways we can help people to make that habit less damaging, and one is electronic cigarettes…”

Across the pond in the U.S., some American medical experts are also taking a stand for e-cigarettes. Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, president of the American Council on Science and Health, said in an article for The Daily Caller defending Katherine Heigl’s use of an electronic cigarette as a smoking alternative, “Again, it’s not the nicotine that’s so dangerous about regular cigarettes, but the toxins and carcinogens in the “products of combustion” — the smoke — that’s inhaled deep into the lungs and then into the general circulation. There’s no reason to think e-cigarettes present the same risks, since there’s no combustion.”

The American Association of Public Health Physicians included the following in their statement on e-cigarettes: “AAPHP favors a permissive approach to E-cigarettes because the possibility exists to save the lives of four million of the eight million current adult American smokers who will otherwise die of a tobacco-related illness over the next twenty years.”

While eCigs HQ does not support the sale of smoking products — electronic or otherwise — to minors, we believe that the protect-the-children-at-all-costs stance being adopted by ham-fisted government regulators and anti-smoking activists in order to justify their efforts to ban the sale of e-cigarettes, is short sighted, ignorant, and harmful to the public good.

We feel it is important for Canadian health authorities and their media lackeys to take a step back and remember that electronic smoking products hold the potential to save the lives of literally millions of tobacco smokers worldwide; and that every day their ever-so-enlightened e-cigarette ban continues, another 101 Canadians die from tobacco-related illnesses.

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