Dr M. Goniewicz: There is no doubt Ecigs are less harmful than smoking
Dr Marciej Goniewicz, researcher at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo (New York, USA), accepted to answer to Vaping Post's questions in an interview caught during ECIG Symposium at La Rochelle, France.
Vaping Post: Now we are in 2017, what do you retain from the year 2016?
Marciej Goniewicz: There have been many interesting findings, this year. We know more and more about the users, the motivations, the efficacy of the products, more surveys, more cross-sectional data and more cohorts studies. This allows us to follow the users in time and see understand they use the products and why they change their patterns of use. We also know more about the use by youth.
“What, I think, is really exciting is to try to understand the role of flavorings in e-cigarettes.” -Dr M. Goniewicz
What, I think, is really exciting is to try to understand the role of flavorings in e-cigarettes. It seems to be very important for the smokers who switch to e-cigarettes and there might be some concerns about the toxicity of some flavorings. But we need to look beyond the nicotine because e-cigarettes are not simply nicotine delivery devices.
The sensations from the flavorings seem to be a very important factor and I think we are just at the beginning of our understanding of the role of the flavorings.
Vaping Post: Does vaping still represent a hope for smokers?
“There is no doubt that e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking” -Dr M. Goniewicz
Marciej Goniewicz: All around the world, where the e-cigarettes are popular, we see decreasing trends in smoking. There is unlikely a negative effect otherwise we would see an increase or a plateau in smoking prevalence. There is no doubt that e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking. Scientific data are all showing the same thing: tobacco smoke is the most toxic.
Vaping Post: What are your expectations for 2017?
Marciej Goniewicz: My expectations will be a stronger role of the tobacco industry. I think that for many years we thought tobacco industry was behind, they missed the opportunity to market and make money with vaping products. There will be new products, among which e-cigarettes but also heat-not-burn cigarettes, even hybrid systems on the market. I think the role of the tobacco industry will be really strong and we will see them increase in the marketing of the products.
Vaping Post: Do you think that scientists need to talk to them again, or shall we be afraid of them?
” We care about the health, we care about the outcomes, about the society” -Dr M. Goniewicz
Marciej Goniewicz: I don’t know if they are changing. Tobacco industry is motivated by the profit and it is a completely different motivation than what we are, as scientists or public health advocates. We care about the health, we care about the outcomes, about the society. The major factor that drives the tobacco industry is the new market of vaporized nicotine.
Vaping Post: Do you agree when Derek Yack, at the end of the documentary Beyond the Cloud, in which you also appear, says: “We don’t need to trust the tobacco industry, we just need require independent verification”?
“We know we need to be careful about that with the tobacco industry.” -Dr M. Goniewicz
Marciej Goniewicz: Yes, absolutely. We do some studies that are really similar to what the tobacco industry has done, we need to verify it. It is the same with the pharmaceutical industry, they do the clinical trials that are transparent and after that, they drive the medicines to the market. There are independent studies to verify the efficacy of the products and post-marketing side-effects. We know we need to be careful about that with the tobacco industry.
It might be different as it used to be many years ago, but we still need to be careful. The more data we get, the better. We need verification, we need to replicate the studies and this is what science is about.