“New” US study finds E-cigarettes “lower cancer risk”
A study released on Wednesday found that smokers who switch completely to electronic cigarettes “significantly reduce” their exposure to carcinogens and other harmful substances found in cigarette smoke. The team, led by Professor Maciej Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and including researchers from the notoriously anti-vaping University of California, San Francisco, found that while nicotine intake remains the same exposure to a wide range of toxic chemicals falls substantially.
In fact the headline understates the effect found. While the researchers talked in terms of how switching “may reduce” cancer risk, and “lower levels” of carcinogens, the study’s actual finding was far more dramatic – the reduction in toxicant levels was similar to that found in smokers who quit without switching to vaping. In other words, the risk from tobacco-related toxins was effectively eliminated.
Vapers probably won’t be surprised that positive findings have been played down. What does raise eyebrows is that this research was carried out in early 2011 – but has only been released now. Such strong findings by respected US institutions could have had a major influence on lawmakers in the United States, potentially stemming the flood of draconian anti-vaping legislation.
A Vaping Post reporter has emailed Prof Goniewicz to ask why this potentially life-saving research was kept quiet for so long.
Australian vapers stand up to fight oppressive laws
Vapers in Australia face more official hostility than in any other advanced country, with legislators and health groups seeming determined to completely stamp out any alternative to lit tobacco. Among the latest assaults on e-cigarette users is a proposed law in the state of Victoria which treats vaping products exactly the same as cigarettes. From now on vape shops won’t be allowed to display their wares, or even recommend anything to a customer; buyers will have to ask for a product by name. Vapers are determined not to take this lying down, however, and on Tuesday hundreds of them gathered outside the state parliament to make their feelings known.
Organised by the New Nicotine Alliance Australia, the rally highlighted the growing scientific consensus that vaping is orders of magnitude safer than smoking and perhaps the best tool yet for helping smokers quit. Speakers included Dr Attila Danko, Prof Colin Mendelsohn and parliamentarian Fiona Patten.
Victoria legislators are debating the new law this week; so far there’s no indication of how they will be influenced by the public show of support for vaping.
Survey suggests FDA vaping law will be widely ignored
Following last week’s FDA crackdown on e-cigarettes, an online survey into vapers’ intentions has thrown up some alarming results. As VapingPost reported, only 17.5% of American vapers intend to buy FDA-approved devices; almost as many – 15% – will return to smoking, while more than 65% plan to buy from the black market or overseas suppliers.
Just over a week after the Deeming Regulations came into effect it’s already clear that the most vulnerable people in society are being worst affected. There are anecdotes – and even videos – circulating online discussing how vape shops have been unable to provide simple services for customers. Elderly or disabled people, and those affected by mental illnesses, can need help with tasks like changing coils or even refilling tanks. Unfortunately, any vendor who assists them with this is now breaking the law unless they’re registered as a manufacturer.
The people who need the most assistance are also the ones who’re least likely to be able to source products from overseas or from unofficial supply channels. The ugly truth is that these are the people who’re most likely to be forced back to smoking – by a law that’s allegedly designed to protect them.
French TPD implementation faces legal challenge
The French government has begun to take a more positive approach to vaping in the past few months, but its hands are tied by the harsh TPD restrictions imposed by the EU. Now a group of five consumer and industry groups are planning a legal challenge aimed at striking down France’s EU-mandated ban on advertising vapour products.
A consortium made up of SOVAPE, Federation Addiction, RESPADD, SOS Addictions and Tobacco & Freedom is arguing that the TPD rules on advertising violate Article 11 of the Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees free speech. They are pointing out that there is no evidence of harm from vaping that could justify restricting this right. The plan is to crowd-fund the necessary legal fees, with fundraising beginning in September.
If the legal challenge succeeds it will leave the French government in an awkward position – required under its own laws to end the ban, but forbidden from doing so by the EU.