E-cigarettes to reduce traditional smoking– no good evidence
27th November 2017
In response to the article ‘Vape, don’t smoke – expert’ published on Newshub on 24 November 2017 stating “A professor of public health has claimed smoking rates would be dramatically reduced if misinformation wasn’t being spread about e-cigarettes.”
“As far as we’re aware, there is no good evidence demonstrating that using e-cigarettes will reduce the incidence of smoking normal tobacco cigarettes,” says Letitia O’Dwyer, Chief Executive of the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ).
“However, we recognise that for some individuals who struggle to give up using current smoking cessation aids, the use of e-cigarettes may be beneficial, but we need to make sure that we’re targeting that group,” says Dr Jones, Medical Director of ARFNZ.
“Restricting the sale of e-cigarettes to only those people who are smoking and want to use e-cigarettes to give up or reduce harm is something that should be considered – and perhaps a subsidy would help in that situation, and being part of a smoking cessation program,” says Dr Jones who is also the local branch President of the Thoracic Society.
“But what we don’t want is our younger generation of New Zealanders using e-cigarettes or vaping thinking they are not harmful. We just don’t have enough information on the long-term effects of these products,” says Dr Jones.
This stance of caution is in alignment with the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS), an organisation comprised of the world’s leading international respiratory societies representing 70,000 members globally. Their position is that health and safety claims regarding electronic nicotine delivery devices should be subject to evidentiary review.
The FIRS standing point on e-cigarettes and vaping has been presented by leading international experts at The Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR) Congress 2017 in Sydney (23-26 November 2017).
FIRS comprises of American Thoracic Society (ATS), American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), Asociación Latinoamericana De Tórax (ALAT), Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR), European Respiratory Society (ERS), International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) and the Pan African Thoracic Society (PATS).