Two New Scientific Articles Recognize the Potential of Electronic Cigarettes as Smoking Cessation and Reduction Aids
Electronic cigarettes have been under fire lately, from anti-smoking groups, questionable experts and the media, but the tide seems to be turning, as more and more positive studies and articles get published. Just last week, two new scientific journal articles acknowledging e-cigs as promising solutions in tobacco harm reduction were published on the same day.
The first article, by Brent Caldwell, Dr.Walt Sumner, and Julian Crane, is set to appear in this month’s edition of Nicotine and Tobacco Research. The authors start by pointing out the modest long-term results of classic nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs), and the advantages of inhaled nicotine over other delivery methods of addictive substance. The study’s aim was to “systematically review clinical trials of nicotine inhalers, determine whether they delivered nicotine via the lung, and identify ways that pulmonary delivery of medicinal nicotine might be achieved and the technical issues involved.” The results showed that of all commercially available products tested, electronic cigarettes are the most promising.
A second article, scheduled to appear in the journal Internal and Emergency Medicine, Dr. Pasquale Caponnetto, Elaine Keller. Dr. Cosimo M. Bruno, and Dr. Riccardo Polosa review a series of strategies to handle relapse in smoking cessation. Their approach includes using electronic cigarettes as a tobacco harm reduction aid. The conclusion of their study is: “Recent research with electronic cigarettes, battery-operated products designed for the purpose of nicotine delivery has found them to be safe and effective in helping smokers remain abstinent. … Thus, advising smokers who cannot (or do not want to) quit to switch to either low-nitrosamine snuff or electronic cigarette could be an equally effective way to help smokers to become abstinent. This new emphasis on tobacco harm reduction as an exit strategy for smokers unable (or unwilling) to quit is a key paradigm shift in the management of relapse, which could save millions of lives world-wide.”
These two articles, although relevant to the issues of tobacco harm reduction and smoking cessation, probably won’t get as much attention as those tackling questionable topics like e-cigarettes increasing lung resistance, but it’s nice to see scientific acknowledgement of electronic cigarettes from respectable physicians and scientists. Just a few months ago, when negative articles about the effects of e-cig vapor on human health popped up almost every week, it seemed impossible for two positive scientific articles to be published on the same day, yet here we are. And if you count the IVAQS study, that’s three supporting pieces in a very short time. Who knows, maybe the tides are really turning in favor of these revolutionary devices…
Maybe Dr. Michael Siegel is right when he says the messages of tobacco harm reduction advocates, electronic cigarette advocacy groups, and most importantly those of hundreds of thousands of dedicated e-cigarette users are finally starting to be heard. Financial and political barriers can only hold back the opinions of so many for so long, and their voices can’t be ignored forever. We’ll just have to wait and see if that’s true, but for now, I rejoice in knowing the science and medical worlds are finally acknowledging the potential of electronic cigarettes of saving millions of lives.