E-cigarettes are 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 countless 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.
In the process we saw reduced carcinogen brands and also asbestos filtered cigarettes.
There was clearly massive publicity about harm reduction from filters and low tar, and massive consumer uptake, however, not a blip inside the incidence of tobacco caused disease in people who 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 areas health who innocently thought they were no-brainers. Nigel Gray, a huge of global tobacco control, later admitted that this decades-long, well-intentioned low-tar harm-reduction policy was actually 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 safeguard non-smokers. Together, these objectives have delivered Australia the lowest smoking prevalence in the world.
For 35 years since the early 1980s, we now have seen continually falling incidence rates of tobacco-caused disease. Female cancer of the lung seems very likely to never reach even half the peak we saw in males. Awkwardly for many, Australia has become a world leader in lessening smoking without any mass cessation clinic network or major embrace of best electronic cigarette reviews.
Today, demands are made to rush in soft-touch regulation to enable e-cigarettes to become manufactured, flavoured, promoted and used virtually without restriction.
This is all being done 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 give up their nicotine dependence, which in a few years, sufficient evidence has accumulated to exhibit that e-cigarettes both are benign and great for cessation.
However the “can’t quit” argument has received remarkably little critical interrogation. We know that numerous countless often heavily dependent smokers have quit since the early 1960s, most without any assistance whatsoever.
We realize that today’s smokers smoke fewer cigarettes daily than at any time previously, precisely the complete opposite of just what the hardening hypothesis would predict.
The requirements in the “we don’t wish to quit/we like nicotine” vaping activists for unregulated access to e-cigarettes as well as utilize them without restrictions should be balanced against the perils of what these demands might mean izzert population-wide progress toward the goal of keeping smoking heading south.
Comprehensive tobacco control is not just regarding the preferences of vapers. It really is most importantly about continuing to starve the tobacco industry of the latest recruits and ensure that smoking is made history.
If we consider e-cigarettes being a transformative genie in a bottle, we need to think thoroughly before letting it out, because putting genies in their bottles is a lot more difficult than impulsively letting them out. If they prove to be benevolent, all’s good. But when they bring false hopes and keep lots of people smoking, we could be exploring the early days of any third major false god of tobacco harm reduction.