Electronic Cigarettes Risks and Benefits and Pros and Cons

“We have every reason to believe the hazard posed by electronic cigarettes would be much lower than 1% of that posed by [tobacco] cigarettes.”

—   Dr. Joel Nitzkin, Chair, Tobacco Control Task Force, American Association of Public Health Physicians (http://www.ecassoc.org/resources/quotes/)

“Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States today. Any alternative acceptable to addicted smokers should be taken seriously. Instead of condemning the e-cigarette, the FDA should be sponsoring studies to evaluate its safety and efficacy — leaving it on the market in the interim.”

—   Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, President, American Council on Science and Health (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/06/fda-smoke-screen-on-e-cigarettes/)

“They [people who use electronic cigarettes] are not going to die from an e-cigarette – but they could die tomorrow from a heart attack due to their smoking.  The carcinogens that we have found are in very, very small quantities, just above the level of detection.”

Switching to e-cigarettes with nicotine continued, can be expected to reduce lung cancer risk the same as altogether quitting cigarettes without e-cigarettes.

— Dr Murray Laugesen, Health New Zealand (http://www.healthnz.co.nz/)

Dr. Laugesen is New Zealand’s most experienced researcher on smoking policy and cigarettes. He founded Health New Zealand Ltd as his research and consultancy company in 1995, after 18 years as principal medical officer in the Department, (now Ministry) of Health, and Public Health Commission.He is an Honorary Life Member, Action on Smoking and Health, (ASH New Zealand, Auckland); received the Queen’s Service Order for public services, and the World Health Organization Tobacco or Health medal and citation “for achievements deemed worthy of international recognition in promoting the concept of tobacco-free societies.”

“An electronic cigarette would have to be so toxic to even come close to what cigarettes do to you, I’m not sure what all the belly-aching is about….

The [FDA] analysis found that several of the cartridges contained detectable levels of nitrosamines. Detectable levels of nitrosamines. Yes, there are nitrosamines in tobacco. Yes, we think nitrosamines–which you’re going to find in hot dogs and sausages–also might cause cancer, but not like cigarettes do!

“They’re going to have to beat me over the head to say it’s anywhere near as dangerous as cigarettes….

—   Dr. Dean Edell, host of America’s second most popular syndicated radio talk show, The Dr. Dean Edell Show, who has won numerous awards, including the American Cancer Society recognition award, the American Heart Association award, and other prestigious medical and media awards (transcribed from Dr. Edell’s radio program (http://www.tji-java-ide.com/e-cigarette/edell.html)

If there is anyone who believes cigarettes are no more hazardous than e-cigarettes I’d recommend a remedial course in basic sciences. For anti-nicotine campaigners who say we need to wait for more research I would point out the way they are proving Nietzsche correct – we take on the attributes of our enemies. Cigarette companies spent decades making spurious claims that we need ‘more research’ before we could move on policy measures, despite the already-existing basis for informed policy measures. They provide very poor role models.”

—   David Sweanor, Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa and former legal counsel for Nonsmokers Rights Association. He has worked with the International Union Against Cancer, the World Health Organization, and the Pan American Health Organization on the issue of tobacco harm reduction

“Though it is likely that the health risks of long term use of e-cigarettes are negligible, whatever small risk there is, is beside the point.  The point is that whatever risk there may be, that risk is so much smaller than that of smoking.  Smoking has so many health risks that any article about e-cigarettes that ignores the comparison impedes the progress toward a healthier population.”

—   Paul Bergen, M.Sc., M.L.I.S. is a Research Associate at the Public Health Sciences at the University of Alberta. His research explores health mis- and disinformation in the media concentrating on but not limited to tobacco issues. Together with Carl Phillips, he operates the TobaccoHarmReduction.org website.

“We of course know that long-term use of nicotine poses a small, a very small but non-zero risk of some cardiovascular diseases, so I suppose you could call that a side effect which is predictable for the long run, but that’s a total risk which is down in the range of drinking coffee, nothing remotely similar to the risk from smoking cigarettes.”

—   Dr. Carl V. Phillips, epidemiologist, health policy researcher, Associate Professor at the University of Alberta Department of Public Health Sciences (TobaccoHarmReduction.org)

“The FDA failed to mention in its press conference that the levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamines (the carcinogens) detected in electronic cigarettes were extremely low, below the level allowed in nicotine replacement products, such as nicotine patches, inhalers and gum. The agency is not threatening to take nicotine patches or gum off the market, although they too contain detectable levels of carcinogens.

The nicotine in electronic cigarettes and FDA-approved nicotine replacement products is derived from tobacco, which makes traces of some tobacco carcinogens essentially inevitable.

The level of the same tobacco-specific nitrosamines in conventional cigarettes is at least 300 to 1,400 times higher than what has been detected in electronic cigarette cartridges. In other words, you would have to smoke as many as 1,400 electronic cigarettes to be potentially exposed to the same amount of these carcinogens as smoking one conventional cigarette.”

—   Dr. Michael Siegel, professor at Boston University School of Public Health, who has more than 20 years of experience In tobacco control. (http://www.emailwire.com/release/26503-When-Smoke-Clears-ECigarette-Foes-Hazardous-To-Health.html)

“Dr. Thomas Stern treats emphysema patients at Carolinas Healthcare System in Charlotte. He says an e-cigarette is the best stop-smoking tool he’s seen. 
’Because it addresses two issues: One, is the nicotine replacement issue. And then the other is (the) behavioral issue. The gums, the patches, the inhalers do not have the same feel, look, quality of the device so that it would help with the behavioral aspects of smoking cessation.’”

—   National Public Radio, August 13, 2009 http://wfae.org/wfae/19_100_0.cfm?id=5343&action=display

“ASH supports a harm reduction approach to tobacco, that is, we recognise that whilst efforts to help people stop smoking should remain a priority, many people either do not wish to stop smoking or find it very hard to do so. For this group, we believe that products should be made available that deliver nicotine in a safe way, without the harmful components found in tobacco. Most of the diseases associated with smoking are caused by inhaling smoke, which contains thousands of toxic chemicals. By contrast, nicotine is relatively safe. Therefore, e-cigarettes, which deliver nicotine without the harmful toxins found in tobacco smoke, are likely to be a safer alternative to smoking. In addition, e-cigarettes reduce secondhand smoke exposure since they do not produce smoke.”

—   Action on Smoking and Health, U.K. (http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_715.pdf)

These e-cigarettes are at least 99.9 percent less deadly than cigarettes,”

he said.

“Let’s worry about the products that are actually killing people.’”

—   William T. Godshall, executive director of Smokefree Pennsylvania, from the Baltimore Sun (http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2009-05-18/news/0905170074_1_alternatives-to-smoking-cigarette-smoke-e-cigarettes/2)

Smokers smoke because they are addicted to nicotine in cigarettes, but it is the smoke, not the nicotine, which causes a long list of diseases, including lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and emphysema.”

—   New York State Health Commissioner, Richard Daines, M.D. (http://www.health.state.ny.us/press/releases/2008/2008-01-28_commissioner_petitions_fda_to_make_nicotine_therapies_easy_to_buy.htm)

Nicotine is the addictive ingredient in cigarettes that keeps smokers hooked, but it’s not the ingredient that harms smokers’ health,” emphasized Ursula Bauer, Ph.D., M.P.H, director of the state’s Tobacco Control Program. “With safe nicotine products, smokers can give up the smoke without giving up the nicotine.”

—   Ursula Bauer, Ph.D., M.P.H, director of the New York State Tobacco Control Program (http://www.health.state.ny.us/press/releases/2008/2008-01-28_commissioner_petitions_fda_to_make_nicotine_therapies_easy_to_buy.htm)

It really would be a cruel irony if smokers who had switched to E-cigarettes were … forced to revert to smoking regular cigarettes.”

—   Dr. Adrian Payne, Managing Director of Tobacco Horizons, a Tobacco Harm Reduction Consulting Agency

New e-cigarette study shows no-risk from environmental vapor exposure.


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