The Emperor’s New Electronic Cigarette!
By Paul Bergen of tobaccoharmreduction.org
CN Creative have announced that they are moving forward with plans to finish Nicadex, “a nicotine replacement therapy product for use as part of medically supervised smoking cessation programmes”.
E-Cigarettes and Nicotine Replacement Therapy
This sounded like very good news, another alternative for smokers. However, whereas there are several studies which find smokers can successfully switch to electronic cigarettes, the data tells us something very different about NRT aids. Basically, nicotine replacement therapy doesn’t work!
Plus, and as I’ve argued in the past, there’s a perception that e-cigarette users get and non-smokers don’t – e-cigarettes aren’t just a medicine, they are fun and enjoyable too!
Finally, I also find it a little confusing since the described product seems to be identical to existing e-cigarettes, with the only difference being in a regulatory sense.
But what would a vaper think?
That being so, I thought perhaps it would be best to get the reaction of a typical vaper. I found Charles (not his real name), and sought his opinions on this news.
Q: Charles, how long have you been vaping?
A: I’ve been vaping for about three years. Like just about every vaper I know I am an ex-smoker. I smoked daily for about 15 years, tried to quit a few times but was unsuccessful until I tried my first e-cigarette. Since then I’ve been vaping.
Q: And you haven’t smoked since?
A: Every now and then somebody offers me a cigarette and I think, why not, and every time I’ve ended up stubbing it out before its half done. I much prefer vaping.
Q: So you’ve heard this news. What do you think?
A: So it’s a better e-cigarette?
Q: They describe it as being “a hand-held device that delivers purified nicotine to the user through the vaporisation of a pharmaceutical-grade solution of nicotine. A rechargeable lithium battery powers the vaporiser that instantly turns the nicotine solution into a vapour that is inhaled by the user. Many users report that the sensation of using the Nicadex device is similar to smoking, but the vapour contains no smoke and none of the carbon monoxide, tar or thousands of toxic impurities that make smoking tobacco products so damaging to health. In addition, since there is no smoke, there are no smoke by-products that can cause “second-hand” harm to others”. Does that sound like something you would try?
A: It sounds like what I’ve been using.
Q: Yes but they say this product will help you quit smoking.
A: I’ve quit smoking using my e-cigarette.
Q: Maybe. But since you haven’t done it under a controlled setting with a medically endorsed product, you can’t really say you’ve quit. This cigarette would undergo the tests that would let the MHRA and the FDA approve it being labeled as a cessation device. And then the NHS could promote it to smokers. They want to build a user support system around it.
A: So it would be cheaper?
Q: Maybe. It might then be covered by the NHS but the point is you would also be able to attend meetings, call a quit line and see doctors as well as just vaping. You would be able to get the benefits of being part of a quitting smoking and eventually quitting nicotine community.
A: You know, as soon as I started vaping, I found I was part of a community and one that sounds like a little more fun than that one. But as far as these services, won’t my taxes end up paying for this? Someone has to pay for all these people and services and regulating. So, just to see if I have this right, instead of just buying my e-cigarette, I could buy one just like it but maybe pay a little more tax or have more of my tax go toward being supervised while I’m using it?
Q: That’s a little cynical.
A: And some of that tax will go toward a doctor calling me every now and then to remind me to quit nicotine entirely at some point?
Q: The press release calls this a “game-changer”.
A: I think they need to look up the definition for that phrase. I’ve been vaping for three years and don’t smoke any more. You know there might be an upside to this.
Q: What’s that?
A: If this Nicodex is no different from Intellicig, then if Nicodex is accepted as a cessation device then that acceptance should generalize to other e-cigarettes. But I just can’t help being concerned about this emphasis on medicalising something that is already working. It’s a little like saying you can’t be a good person unless some authority declares you to be a good person.
What do YOU think?