Monday, March 23, 2009

From the land of lead-based children's toys...

comes the E-Cigarette. Touted as a "healthy alternative to smoking," the e-cigarette has been heavily marketed to smokers trying to quit for the past few months. They are marketed as healthier because most of the harmful material produced by the combustion of tobacco in traditional cigarettes is not present in the atomized liquid of electronic cigarettes.

Despite marketers' claims however, there have been no scientific tests to examine the overall "healthiness" of the e-cigarette. Some e-cigarette companies have posted information and quotes from the World Health Organization, giving the impression that the WHO endorses this product. In fact, the WHO has disclaimed all knowledge of the e-cigarette's therapeutic benefits as a cessation aid. That said, WHO does not "does not discount the possibility that the electronic cigarette could be useful as a smoking cessation aid. The only way to know is to test."

In a press release from the WHO, Douglas Bettcher, Director of WHO's Tobacco Free Initiative stated, "If the marketers of the electronic cigarette want to help smokers quit, then they need to conduct clinical studies and toxicity analyses and operate within the proper regulatory framework...Until they do that, WHO cannot consider the electronic cigarette to be an appropriate nicotine replacement therapy, and it certainly cannot accept false suggestions that it has approved and endorsed the product. "

Is the e-cigarette a safe alternative to smoking? Perhaps. We here at Tobacco Free Michigan are not completely discounting its potential benefits but, we're also not endorsing the product. The e-cigarette's current "scientific proponents" sound a lot like some other "scientific proponents" from yesteryear...

See if you can identify which statement was made by an e-cigarette company and which was made by a tobacco company:

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