E-cigarettes are definitely the latest innovation in nicotine delivery products to fly the harm-reduction flag. They follow the massive failures of cigarette filters. Over years, filters falsely convinced an incredible number of smokers that they were reducing their being exposed to harm and so could keep smoking.
We had the lights and milds fiasco – which saw 80% of Australian smokers select those misleadingly labelled brands, that the ACCC outlawed from 2005 being a consumer fraud.
Along the way we saw reduced carcinogen brands and even asbestos filtered cigarettes.
There is massive publicity about harm reduction from filters and low tar, and massive consumer uptake, but not a blip in the incidence of tobacco caused disease in those who still smoked.
Thanks to harm-reduction arguments, countless smokers continued smoking who might otherwise have quit. The tobacco industry drove these arguments and was supported by many in public areas health who innocently thought these were no-brainers. Nigel Gray, a giant of global tobacco control, later admitted the decades-long, well-intentioned low-tar harm-reduction policy was a disaster.
Meanwhile, we continued using the core policies of trying to avoid uptake, encourage quit attempts and denormalise smoking via smoke-free policies to guard non-smokers. Together, these objectives have delivered Australia the best smoking prevalence on the planet.
For 35 years because the early 1980s, we have now seen continually falling incidence rates of tobacco-caused disease. Female lung cancer seems prone to never reach even half the peak we saw in males. Awkwardly for some, Australia has developed into a world leader in lessening smoking without the mass cessation clinic network or major embrace of disposable electronic cigarette review.
Today, demands are designed to rush in soft-touch regulation to permit e-cigarettes to be manufactured, flavoured, promoted and used virtually without restriction.
This can be all being carried out on the shoulders of an argument that insists that after fifty years of tobacco control, there remain many smokers who can’t or don’t want to quit their nicotine dependence, which in just a several years, sufficient evidence has accumulated to exhibit that e-cigarettes are both benign and perfect for cessation.
Nevertheless the “can’t quit” argument has gotten remarkably little critical interrogation. We know that hundreds of countless often heavily dependent smokers have quit since the early 1960s, most without the assistance at all.
We know that today’s smokers smoke fewer cigarettes each day than whenever you want in the past, precisely the opposite of what the hardening hypothesis would predict.
The demands in the “we don’t desire to quit/we like nicotine” vaping activists for unregulated use of e-cigarettes and also to utilize them without restrictions should be balanced up against the risks of what these demands might mean izzert population-wide progress toward the aim of keeping smoking heading south.
Comprehensive tobacco control is not just concerning the preferences of vapers. It is actually most significantly about continuing to starve the tobacco industry of brand new recruits and make certain that smoking is produced history.
Whenever we consider e-cigarettes being a transformative genie in a bottle, we must think meticulously before letting it out, because putting genies in their bottles is a lot more difficult than impulsively allowing them to out. If they prove to be benevolent, all’s good. But when they bring false hopes whilst keeping many people smoking, we could be looking at the beginning of the third major false god of tobacco harm reduction.