Opposition by public health officials to e-cigarettes encouraging smokers to keep on smoking

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ByeBye-cigs-Hello-e-cigs-225x130There are currently about 42 million American smokers. And smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death, with 480,000 people each year dying from smoking-related illnesses. Despite recent studies showing that smokers trying to quit are more successful when using electronic cigarettes as opposed to other over the counter therapies, numerous studies showing that e-cigarettes are not in fact encouraging teen smoking and others finding that e-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes, these devices continue to be met with opposition from many in public health.

Well, these views promoted by public health officials may actually be inadvertently bolstering the tobacco market with their strong stand against e-cigarettes,according to some financial analysts at Germany s Berenberg bank. An unintended consequence of public health officials voicing concerns about the safety of e-cigarettes with no scientific data to back their claims, as well as their attempts to regulate e-cigarettes as cigarettes, eliminates the threat to the tobacco industry. David Sweanor, an adjunct law professor at the University of Ottawa and long-time anti-smoking advocate says, You can't attack a safer option to something without invariably aiding the more risky option. But in any abstinence-only campaign, people miss that.

The message being portrayed to smokers trying to quit from public health officials opposed to e-cigarettes is absolutely that smokers should keep on smoking or stick to the worthless FDA-approved products and die trying. Pushing to regulate e-cigarettes as strictly as cigarettes is not warranted on current evidence. The facts are that e-cigarettes are 99 percent less hazardous than cigarettes and are used almost exclusively by smokers and former smokers who quit by switching to e-cigarettes. Yet, if those in the public health sphere continue to promote these unscientific viewpoints, smoking will remain the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.