The e-cigarette has had some poor press recently.
Poor in both senses of the word as the piece was:
- badly researched
- one sided
'Electronic Cigarettes Are Unsafe'
But the safety of e-cigarettes is not the point.
Almost everything, by definition, is unsafe. Coffee, although much safer than cigarettes, is considered unhealthy. And that's an appropriate comparison, because scientists like Professor Carl Phillips equate e-cigarettes to the risk level of coffee.
It's worth repeating David Sweanor here:
Everything has risks, so simply pointing out that something is ‘not safe’ shows a person to be either ignorant or disingenuous ... Rather than the unattainable standard of ‘safe’ we should be thinking in terms of ‘safer’. Despite the risks associated with soccer, I would, for instance, prefer my children play soccer rather than play with live hand grenades.So the real question should be:
Are electronic cigarettes safer than tobacco cigarettes?
And, according to scientists, yes, they are - between 100 and 1000 times so.
'They trick them into thinking they are smoking an ordinary cigarette...'
Yep, we sneak out into the street, and just as smokers are about to puff on their lovely tobacco cigarette, we sneakily insert an electronic version into their hand.
Just for the fun of it.
'...at present the devices - which are all imported from China - do not have to undergo any safety checks before being put on sale in high street chemists.'
Here we come back to the lie that e-cigarettes are not regulated.
I know that some, mostly offshore, companies do not comply with regulations, but that is not the same as saying there are no regulations.
There are lots. And for the members of the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association there are even more. Here are some of the regulations we have to comply with. At the time this included compulsory testing of e-liquid, usually by international Swiss testing group SGS - this has now been replaced by testing in UK government approved laboratories.
'Certain brands have also been found to contain Diethylene glycol, a poisonous chemical which is fatal in exceptionally high doses'
No, not brands - ONE e-cigarette of ONE US brand (Smoking Everywhere) was found to have ONE percent diethylene glycol in just ONE of all the analyses carried out on e-cigs. (See: Diethylene Glycol in E-Cigarettes: What Every Smoker Needs To Know)
I'm not saying that's good - but let's not tar us all with the same brush.
'We certainly wouldn’t want smokers to think it’s better to go back to using cigarettes rather than e-cigarettes'
My goodness, a sensible comment at last - and from ASH too! Even if it was quickly followed by the allegation that the device is not regulated.
But my main worry is that these one-sided stories (why didn't they bother to ask one of the many experts on ecigs what THEY thought) is that it is the start of negative spin, the start of a campaign to remove this threat to tobacco tax revenue and the profits generated by ineffective pharmaceutical quit smoking aids.
What do YOU think?