In a position statement released on it’s website, the ACS rightly pointed out that while smoking is responsible for the deaths of millions, current research keeps indicating that e-cigarettes are safer than regular cigarettes. The organization added that although it primarily recommends FDA-approved cessation aids, it recognizes that some smokers are not interested in trying these products to quit. Hence, these smokers should be redirected to switching to the safer alternatives.
“Some smokers, despite firm clinician advice, will not attempt to quit smoking cigarettes and will not use FDA approved cessation medications. These individuals should be encouraged to switch to the least harmful form of tobacco product possible; switching to the exclusive use of e-cigarettes is preferable to continuing to smoke combustible products,” said the ACS.
The ACS aims to keep updating itself on upcoming e-cig scientific data
The organization added that since the long-term health effects of vaping are still relatively unknown, it will be monitoring any emerging scientific research and changing its stance accordingly. The ACS is also urging the FDA to regulate all tobacco products including e-cigarettes, in order to prevent initiation as much as possible.
“The ACS strongly recommends that every effort be made to prevent the initiation of e-cigarettes by youth. The use of products containing nicotine in any form among youth is unsafe and can harm brain development.”
Urging the FDA to regulate tobacco products in relation to their risks
On the other hand it is also encouraging the agency to determine the absolute and relative harms of the different tobacco products, rather than putting all “tobacco products” under the same umbrella, adding, “The FDA should assess whether e-cigarettes help to reduce tobacco-related morbidity and mortality, and the impact of marketing of e-cigarettes on consumer perceptions and behavior.”
“Any related regulatory regime should include post-marketing surveillance to monitor the long-term effects of these products and ensure the FDA’s actions have the intended health outcome of significantly reducing disease and death,” concluded the ACS.
FDA encouraged to work on reducing toxicity in all tobacco products
Finally, concluded the position statement, the FDA should do its utmost to reduce the toxicity and addictiveness of all tobacco products available on the market. In line with this, last December the FDA listed a number of issues that it aims to address in 2018, and at the top of the list was, “the nicotine addiction crisis”.
Additionally, the agency also mentioned once again that it aims to “facilitate innovation in products that can deliver satisfying levels of nicotine to adults”, so that smokers are able to switch to safer alternatives.