Irresponsible pseudo-medical warning about a safe way to quit smoking

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In a recent op-ed in the UK's Guardian, a Tom Riddington ostensibly a physician condemns in no uncertain terms the increasing uptake of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) by hundreds of thousands of desperate, addicted UK smokers (soon to be millions in all likelihood). A similar trend in the e-cigarette market has been documented in both Europe and here in the U.S.

Despite the fact of such enormous use, and the fact that e-cigarettes contents consist, in their entirety, of water vapor, nicotine in various concentrations, flavorings and evaporants including vegetable glycerin or propylene glycol (recognized as safe by regulatory agencies for decades), the writer confabulates scare stories and resorts to citing the thoroughly discredited FDA analysis of 2009 to warn smokers away from the devices. He points out, accurately (the only accurate assertion in this remarkably off-target essay) that there have not yet been any long-term studies of e-cigarette safety. As is often the case, people like him advise smokers to stick to the known "safe" methods of helping smokers quit.

As is always the case, the warning never address the fact that the tried-and-true, tested and approved cessation aids fail to help smokers quit much, much more often than they work. In fact, an article in a respected journal by authors known to be generally supportive of the FDA dogma exposed the fallacy of the ineffective drugs: which concluded thusly: "This study finds that persons who have quit smoking relapsed at equivalent rates, whether or not they used NRT to help them in their quit attempts." Translation: smokers trying to quit did just as well with, or without, the approved nicotine replacement products.

ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross added this perspective: It would be sad indeed if British smokers or Americans for that matter took this writer's alarmist tripe as authoritative and avoided or stopped using e-cigarettes to help them quit. We do know the long-term effects of cigarette smoke, and the picture is not pretty: fully one-half of long-term smokers die as a result of their habit. Any method to help get them off their deadly addiction should be welcomed, not trashed based on nonsense and hyper-precaution.