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The first organisation to publish a report on cigarettes and lung cancer in 1963 has recommended that e-cigarettes should be promoted by physicians and Public Health bodies.
LONDON, U.K. — A new report released today from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), Nicotine without smoke: tobacco harm reduction, should provide reassurance and encouragement to smokers that vaping is a viable option for quitting. The 200-page report concludes that in the interest of public health it is important to widely promote vapour products and other non-combustion tobacco / nicotine products as substitutes for cigarettes. The extensive analysis also estimates that vapour products are likely pose no more than 5% of the risks associated with cigarettes, with the authors further noting that the actual figure may be substantially lower.
Among the key messages in the exhaustive report is that any potential risks of vapour products must be compared against those posed by smoking.
“Some harm from sustained exposure to low levels of toxins over many years may yet emerge, but the magnitude of these risks relative to those of sustained tobacco smoking is likely to be small,” writes the RCP. “However, the absolute magnitude of any risk attributable to e-cigarette use is likely to be very small in absolute terms, and hence substantially smaller than that arising from tobacco smoking.”
The report, which was produced by the RCP’s thirteen-member Tobacco Advisory Group, is a review of the latest evidence on the subjects of smoking, nicotine, and alternative products.
The RCP also finds:
“This pronouncement by the RCP is historic. In 1962, while the U.S. government was being bullied by tobacco companies into virtual silence on the dangers of smoking, it was the RCP that released the first comprehensive analysis linking smoking to lung cancer. It was only after the RCP published its report that the U.S. Surgeon General began work on what would eventually become the landmark 1964 Report on Smoking and Health.
“There are striking parallels to the debate that is occurring now on vapor products. Decades ago, it was the tobacco industry that was seeking to suppress the truth from the public. Today, the biggest barrier to accurate information about nicotine is not tobacco companies, but perceived protectors of public health like the CDC and the American Lung Association.
“When the RCP told the truth about cigarettes in 1962, it took two years for the U.S. government to play catch up and release its own report. It should not take two months, let alone two years, for American public health authorities to correct their past misstatements about vaping. The FDA and CDC must seriously consider the RCP’s guidance before moving forward on any new regulations or public campaigns about smoke-free nicotine products.
“For those in mainstream tobacco control, the question for them is, how can you dismiss this report out of hand? The authors are credible experts without financial conflicts of interest in tobacco or vapor products. At some point, these groups will have to realize that the science has long outpaced their rhetoric.”
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