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War on Electronic Cigarettes Causing Rise in Smoking?

29th October 2014

Experts in Italy are concerned that continuous, disproportionate alarmism and regulations against e-cigs is leading to a recovery in conventional, much more harmful tobacco smoking.

"A recent statement made by Giovanni Risso, president of the Federation of Italian Tobacconists, which revealed that tobacco cigarette sales have risen 3 percent in the first seven months of 2014 compared to the same period of last year, has convinced Italian public health experts that the Government’s war on e-cigarettes has had the worst possible result. See more."

The study adds to evidence that vaping does not trigger new addiction or increase smoking rates, and is doing exactly what it was meant to do - help smokers switch to a vastly safer alternative. Attacking e-cigarettes is expected to be more harmful to public health, than supporting this option, or at least tolerating it.

Whilst there are still some areas that e-cigarette manufacturers - particularly the more high powered systems, need to improve on for further risk reduction, the findings from Italy are shocking to the anti-vaping community and show that health-care worries should be focused not on bans but on tighter manufacturing regulations and standards to bring everyone up to the highest levels of safety. The risks of some badly made products are still low, on the whole, when compared to the toxicity of the alternative cigarette.

The data follows more research showing that alarmism i.e. by government agencies aggressively reported in the media towards a product, does cause a reduction in user uptake of it, and therefore since it is existing smokers using e-cigarettes, the only logical outcome of this is a rise in smoking. And when that alarmism leads to disproportionate regulations, the outcome can be expected to be even worse. It's not at all surprising that conventional tobacco manufacturers are lobbying to increase e-cig regulations whilst trying to capture what they can of the remaining e-cig market.

Italy is the first country to detect a trend indicating this. It will be hard for the anti-vaping campaigners to explain how vaping is not a very effective form of harm-reduction and is not in line with their own ultimate health goals.

“At the European Institute of Oncology, we have conducted a clinical trial using electronic cigarettes totally free of nicotine. Our results were exceptional in terms of cessation, and no toxicity was detected. Certainly, in a not yet fully regulated and controlled market, you can find electronic cigarettes that do not meet the required quality standard, but the advice would be to refer to products with original packaging bearing the CE mark of approval.”