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 many years, filters falsely convinced millions of smokers that they were reducing their contact with harm and so could keep smoking.
We had the lights and milds fiasco – which saw 80% of Australian smokers select those misleadingly labelled brands, which the ACCC outlawed from 2005 as 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, however, not a blip in the incidence of tobacco caused disease in those that still smoked.
Due to harm-reduction arguments, countless smokers continued smoking who might otherwise have quit. The tobacco industry drove these arguments and was maintained by many in public places health who innocently thought these were no-brainers. Nigel Gray, a huge of global tobacco control, later admitted that this decades-long, well-intentioned low-tar harm-reduction policy had been a disaster.
Meanwhile, we continued with the core policies of attempting to prevent uptake, encourage quit attempts and denormalise smoking via smoke-free policies to protect non-smokers. Together, these objectives have delivered Australia the best smoking prevalence on the planet.
For 35 years considering that the early 1980s, we now have seen continually falling incidence rates of tobacco-caused disease. Female lung cancer seems likely to never reach even half the peak we saw in males. Awkwardly for a few, Australia has developed into a world leader in cutting smoking with no mass cessation clinic network or major embrace of e cig reviews.
Today, demands are now being designed to rush in soft-touch regulation to enable e-cigarettes to get manufactured, flavoured, promoted and used virtually without restriction.
This can be all being carried out on the shoulders of your argument that insists that after half a century of tobacco control, there remain many smokers who can’t or don’t want to quit their nicotine dependence, which in a several years, sufficient evidence has now accumulated to demonstrate that e-cigarettes both are benign and perfect for cessation.
However the “can’t quit” argument has received remarkably little critical interrogation. We realize that countless countless often heavily dependent smokers have quit because the early 1960s, most without any assistance at all.
We understand that today’s smokers smoke fewer cigarettes per day than at any time in the past, exactly the opposite of just what the hardening hypothesis would predict.
The needs in the “we don’t desire to quit/we love nicotine” vaping activists for unregulated usage of e-cigarettes and also to use them without restrictions should be balanced up against the hazards of what these demands might mean izzert population-wide progress toward the objective of keeping smoking heading south.
Comprehensive tobacco control is not just concerning the preferences of vapers. It really is most importantly about continuing to starve the tobacco industry of new recruits and ensure that smoking is made history.
Whenever we think about e-cigarettes as being a transformative genie in a bottle, we need to think meticulously before allowing it to out, because putting genies in their bottles is more difficult than impulsively letting them out. If they turn out to be benevolent, all’s good. But if they bring false hopes and keep lots of people smoking, we may be studying the early days of any third major false god of tobacco harm reduction.