Dr. Colin Mendelsohn even wrote a book on the topic: Stop Smoking Start Vaping: The Healthy Truth About Vaping, and is also taking up the matter with caner councils in Australia. “In its 2021 report, the UK Royal College of Physicians concluded ‘e-cigarettes are an effective treatment for tobacco dependency and their use should be included and encouraged in all treatment pathways’. And this is something all Australian cancer councils should consider,” he said.

“Vaping is available at a time when, worldwide, there have been 100 million smoking related deaths over the last 15 years. “Switching from smoking to vaping dramatically reduces your risk of cancer. The cancer risk from vaping nicotine has been estimated to be more than 200 times less than the cancer risk from smoking,” added Mendelsohn.

Alecia Brooks, from NSW’s Cancer Council NSW, has recently said that the council does not recommend the use of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation because the evidence on the matter is inconclusive. Responding to this, Mendelsohn said that this is actually not the case. “But this is incorrect,” said Mendelsohn. “There’s growing evidence that vaping helps many smokers to quit. A Cochrane review, recognised internationally as the highest standard in evidence- -based studies in health care, was published in September 2021, showing vaping is 53 per cent more powerful as a smoking cessation therapy than nicotine replacement therapy,”

He added that Australian cancer groups need to reassess their stance just like the UK and New Zealand health groups did. “So I believe it’s time for the Australian cancer councils to reassess their thinking, the same way that the UK’s Cancer Research and New Zealand’s Cancer Society have.”

Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan

Meanwhile in February 2022, the European Parliament voted to adopt Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan as proposed by the Special Committee on Beating Cancer. This is the first time that the European institution had publicly acknowledged the potential of vaping products as smoking cessation tools. On the other hand, a press release by the World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA), had highlighted that however the MEPs did not rule out possible future flavour bans. This despite the fact that science has proven that flavoured products are key in enticing smokers to switch from cigarettes to safer alternatives.

Commenting on this, WVA Director Michael Landl, said that this first step was instrumental in creating a shift towards tobacco harm reduction. “Finally, an EU institution acknowledges that vaping helps smokers to quit. That is a significant step forward in our fight to save lives by reducing the harms caused by smoking. It shows the power of the voice of individual consumers coming together. Now it is the Commission’s turn to no longer ignore science and the experience of millions of consumers.”

The European Parliament’s Special Committee on Beating Cancer Draft Report

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