Last updated on November 20th, 2019
Stop Banning E-Cigarettes, Harm Reduction Must Prevail Not Political Self-Interest
One of the most uplifting articles supporting electronic cigarettes I’ve seen to date comes out of the Columbia University School of Public Health.
The subject is the ever escalating public health dispute over e-cigarettes and whether they are safe. The arguments abound, demonstrating a total disregard of Harm Reduction – an important buzzword now heard regularly within pro-vaping circles.
In a nutshell, three prominent doctors are on the side of e-cigarettes, saying that banning the product is “nonsensical” and to dismiss it as a viable smoking alternative demanding absolute safety, is archaic.
“An unwillingness to consider e-cigarette use until all risks or uncertainties are eliminated strays dangerously close to dogmatism”.
Cut the Political Posturing – Stop Banning E-Cigs
2013-14 has seen many fiery debates over ecigarettes; – the revolutionary electronic nicotine and vapor delivery device. Regulators insist the product should be banned from public spaces and even discredited on the grounds that it looks and performs like a real cigarette. The debate will certainly continue into the new year.
[pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]“An unwillingness to consider e-cigarette use until all risks or uncertainties are eliminated strays dangerously close to dogmatism”.[/pullquote]
The sad thing is that regulators continually choose to ignore the fact that ecigs contain none of the 4000+ toxic chemicals in tobacco cigarettes and yes, they are a powerful alternative to smoking tobacco.
It seems public officials as well as many uninformed members of the medical community (Columbia U's authors excluded), are happy to ignore the science behind e-cigarette products. For example, independent studies are taking a closer look at second hand vapor. Critics even ignore the fact that all ingredients in an e-cigarette are FDA approved.
Sorry for the Inconvenience Councilman
There are several key reasons why regulators are getting so worked up. One, is that they’re terrified of the “renormalization” of smoking in the form of “vaping” which threatens to destroy years of anti-smoking campaigns. The other is that all this regulation stuff is inconvenient. How does law enforcement distinguish between public cigarette smokers and public ecig vapers? Should or shouldn’t we teach kids e-cigarettes are just as dangerous as cigarettes? It's so much easier to just say they are.
To bad Senator if supporting Harm Reduction is bothersome. You didn't bother to ban car air bags when they were shown to have negative side effects. No one is siding with Big Parma to ban drugs that actually do have serious side effects.
Nevertheless, it’s refreshing to hear more members of the medical community rebuking public officials for taking such an archaic, counter-productive stance against e-cigarettes; one that stands in the way of Harm Reduction.
Recently, WebMD endorsed the use of e-cigarettes as an effective way to reduce the risk of getting cancer from smoking.Right now some 6 million people die globally from tobacco related deaths each year.
It's good news that more and more medical professionals are saying, “quit postulating and start testing e-cigarettes for safety, so the world finally sees just how ‘harmful' they are…or not.” When it comes to world health, the endgame of needs to be about saving lives, not executing political appeasement.