ECigaretteDirect Responds to ASH Attack

ECigaretteDirect wrote an open letter to The Peninsula, criticising the inaccuracies of their claims regarding the electronic cigarette. ASH then responded with an open letter of their own directly attacking ECigaretteDirect. This is the response from ECigaretteDirect.

ECigaretteDirect: ASH is Dodging the Issues

Perhaps an attack on ECigaretteDirect is not surprising following our blog post highlighting the extremist actions of ASH i.e. accusing smokers of child abuse and of murdering “thousands of children.”

However, following both our blog post and our press release directed at the Peninsula Qatar, ASH also wrote an open letter to the Peninsula (update: link has now been removed) attacking our ‘nasty’ letter.

Unfortunately, ASH did not deal directly with the letter’s points.

“…the Peninsula’s allegation that cigarettes contain 40 times as much nicotine as electronic cigarettes is wrong.”

These included:

  1. That the Peninsula’s allegation that cigarettes contain 40 times as much nicotine as electronic cigarettes is wrong. The actual quantity of nicotine contained according both to the official government report and to Health New Zealand reports is less than that contained in a cigarette.
  2. That according to evidence in the FDA commissioned report the electronic cigarette is far safer than regular cigarettes when the ingredients are compared. ASH itself argues that the FDA report is impartial, despite the fact that the commissioning body is currently being sued by two electronic cigarette companies.
  3. That highly respected scientists such as Dr Joel Nitzkin, Chair of the Tobacco Control Task Force for the American Association of Public Health Physicians, estimated that the risk of electronic cigarettes is between 1% and 1/10th of one percent of the risk of cigarettes.

Instead their response attacked us because:

Our managing director is not a scientist. This is true, but our letter was partially informed by direct email correspondence regarding the Peninsula’s letter with Professor Michael Siegel, an expert in preventive medicine who is highly active in Tobacco Harm Reduction and who has testified in numerous cases against tobacco companies.
We would also hope that John Banzhaf III, who is a lawyer, would appreciate that one does not have to have a medical background in order to have a basic understanding of the issues.
Another lawyer, David Sweanor, who has advised numerous companies on the dangers of the electronic cigarette – including the International Union Against Cancer, World Health Organization, World Bank and the Pan American Health

Organization, on the issue of tobacco harm reduction, has stated:

“If there is anyone who believes cigarettes are no more hazardous than e-cigarettes I’d recommend a remedial course in basic sciences.” (Source: Electronic Cigarette Interview with David Sweanor.)

We are a commercial company. Again this is true, and this is why we previously invited ASH to join us in dialogue and research[LINK] to try and test the safety of the electronic cigarette. We also invited ASH UK by email and by telephone to oversee a survey into the electronic cigarette. We had no response from either organisation.

When the public health organisations are attacking the electronic cigarette without conducting any research of their own into the device, despite the overwhelming support of scientists involved in Tobacco Harm Reduction, commercial companies have no choice but to commission their own research and to defend an alternative to a product that kills over 400,000 smokers a year in America alone.

Why did ASH not deal with the issues raised?

We believe, quite simply, that ASH did not deal with the issues we raised simply because theere is no logical response to be raised. We challenge Ash to deal directly with the points mentioned.

Other ASH Claims

ASH went on to claim:

“There is research to suggest that electronic cigarettes can reduce nicotine cravings and increase the level of nicotine in the blood.”

1. That the electronic cigarette could prevent smokers from giving up. although there is no research to suggest that electronic cigarettes can’t help smokers to quit. There is research to suggest that electronic cigarettes can reduce nicotine cravings and increase the level of nicotine in the blood.

There are also word of mouth reports that smokers have quit using the electronic cigarette. In fact, Murray Laugesen, who has carried out an analysis of the Ruyan electronic cigarette, told us that his main concern was that electronic cigarettes did not contain enough nicotine to satisfy smokers – which would suggest electronic cigarettes are likely to be less addictive than real cigarettes.

We have avoided making the claim that electronic cigarettes can help smokers quit as no long term studies have been conducted on this. It’s a shame ASH can’t refrain from saying the opposite until there has been definitive research into the topic.

“There is research to suggest that electronic cigarettes can reduce nicotine cravings and increase the level of nicotine in the blood.”

2. ASH claims that electronic cigarettes could endanger children.

However:

  • Electronic cigarettes are more expensive than cigarettes and therefore less of an obvious choice for children hoping to look cool. As British Expert Dr Adrian Payne told us, “E-cigarettes are not ‘pocket-money’ devices.”
  • Unlike numerous lethal products sold over the counter, most e-cigarette companies sell refills in child-proof containers. Indeed, this is one of the Electronic Cigarette Association‘s requirements for membership.
  • ASH has never argued for the banning of potentially lethal nicotine replacement aids, despite the fact that a school boy recently overdosed on nicotine gum.

“E-cigarettes are not ‘pocket-money’ devices.”

In conclusion, we remain completely confused as to why a so called anti-smoking organisation would attack a product so much better and so much safer than the very lethal cigarettes they are supposed to be campaigning against – and, in the process, risk the lives of thousands of smokers.

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