Thursday, August 27, 2015

What Should Public Health Officials Be Doing About E-Cigarettes?

Blog_Maa

What Should Public Health Officials Be Doing About E-Cigarettes?

by John Maa  // Health Affairs Blog

Are electronic cigarettes a safer alternative to combustible cigarettes, or are they a new gateway to a lifetime of nicotine addiction? In the past month, the editors of The New York Times noted the opposite conclusions from the British agency Public Health England that reported e-cigarettes can reduce the health risks of smoking by 95 percent, compared to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which showed that ninth graders who tried e-cigarettes were far more likely to then use regular combustible tobacco within a year.
In a step that may help resolve this controversy, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is soon expected to pass federal e-cigarette “deeming” regulations, which are so named because the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 grants the agency oversight authority for additional tobacco products that it “deems to be subject” to the Act.
But while the debate they have ignited is new, electronic cigarettes themselves are not. The patent for their first prototype was issued in 1963, and the tobacco industry was approached decades ago with this technology as an alternative to cigarettes. Not until nearly a decade after the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement did the tobacco industry become interested in e-cigarettes, best displayed by their recent acquisition of many of the smaller e-cigarette manufacturers.
This delay leaves some to wonder: why didn’t Big Tobacco champion e-cigarettes much earlier if they truly believed them to be “harm reduction” devices? In the following blog post, I suggest five key steps that policymakers, regulators, and public health advocates should take on e-cigarettes.

1 comment:

  1. After doing some online research, I've ordered my first electronic cigarette kit on VaporFi.

    ReplyDelete