With all the press the electronic cigarette has received lately a couple of things are obvious. First, smokers love the electronic cigarette. This is noted by all the testimonials and article comments that all news stories receive. Second, those who are considered experts in public health seem to be focused on the wrong things.
So what are they focused on? Their main arguments generally falls back onto the FDA testing of 2 brands of electronic cigarette. But they never mention any other e-cigarette testing or the fact that the FDA testing was never peer reviewed and didn’t follow even the most basic testing standards. Their second argument against allowing the electronic cigarette to continue being sold on the free market is the fact that no clinical trials have ever proven it is a quit smoking aid. But why does it have to meet this criteria? Why does a product with nicotine have to have the intended use of quitting smoking?
They (as in the FDA, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, etc.) seem to be so caught up in protecting the quit smoking market (owned by large pharmaceutical companies…..who also happen to give lots of money to all of these groups) that they have lost sight of health. If they really want to take issue with the electronic cigarette then they should do some testing of their own, do some surveys of users, perform some analysis, use some science. But instead they have chosen to bash the technology until everyone on their Christmas card list gets paid.
I can assure you that if the FDA has their way and the electronic cigarette is officially classified as a new drug / medical device that a big pharmaceutical company will pay the FDA their fees and all the public health organizations will line up praising the technology. There will be no more talk that e-cigarettes could lead to children smoking tobacco or that flavored e-liquid is being marketed to children or that “we don’t know what’s in it” (which we do).
But by that time it will be too late. Electronic cigarettes as medical devices will only be sold in pharmacies, will be more expensive than smoking, and the thriving market made up of hundreds of small American businesses will be dead. On the bright side, huge pharmaceutical companies will be making even more money….if that’s important to you.