5,205 guests

A dirty dig on e-cigs

  • Written by Dennis F. Fetalino
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 195

To settle the score once and for all, the government must make a categorical statement: are they one and the same thing?

In short, are they identical, not distinct from each other?

This should end all arguments, debates, and discussions on electronic-cigarets.
    
Absent this the agency has no moral right to foreclose “transitioning“ options for smokers trying to quit.
    
It is no different from a case of a panicky resident desperately trying to make a dash for the nearest fire exit in a burning building.
    
Would he or she care if the exit has an escalator, metal staircase, or simply a rope to rappel down with?
    
The important thing I, he or she lands safely on the ground and away from a fiery peril.
    
In short, better close to a burning bush than being fried on a smoldering stake.
    
This basically sums up the defense of a thriving community of smokers in transit to an alternative platform on the way to a completely tobacco-free life.
    
And so Ped Xing opens a lane to the vaping community to ventilate their frustration and outrage over ” baseless, careless” statements of the Department of Health regarding electronic cigarets.
    
Local consumer groups strongly denounced as “irresponsible and grossly inaccurate” the recent statements of Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial who said that electronic cigarets (e-cigarets or “vapes”) contain the same chemicals used in cigarets and can lead to more serious addiction to tobacco.
    
“It is both alarming and disappointing to hear an experienced physician and the highest health official of the land issue statements that directly contradict scientific evidence showing e-cigarets are overwhelmingly less harmful than conventional cigarets and can help smokers quit,” said Tom Pinlac, president of The Vapers Philippines.
    
“Instead of adding to the fear mongering, inaccurate information and propaganda on e-cigarets, the Health Secretary should read the numerous independent studies supported by reputable organizations and published in respected scientific journals that show e-cigarets are a less harmful alternative to conventional cigarets and are viable smoking cessation aids,” said Joey Dulay, president of the Philippine E-Cigaret Industry Association.    
    
Speaking before students of Felipe G. Calderon High School in Tondo on June 14, 2017 as part of the country’s observance of June as “National No Smoking Month”, Ubial said, “We released an advisory from the Food and Drug Administration that the products and components used in vape are still tobacco. So it still contains the 7,000 dangerous chemicals that are found in cigarets.”
    
Ubial said groups promoting e-cigarets are trying to mislead the public by marketing these as safe alternatives to cigaret smoking. “They say that [e-cigarettes] are a safer alternative but we in the health sector say there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke. So even if it has a small amount of tobacco, it is still not safe.”
    
According to Pinlac, Ubial blindly follows the World Health Organization’s opposition to tobacco harm reduction without even considering the growing body of evidence supporting e-cigarets as a less harmful alternative to conventional cigarets. “The WHO believes that the only way to reduce smoking is for smokers to ‘quit or die’, and is therefore highly skeptical of the potential for new technologies, such as e-cigarettes, to reduce smoking-related harms. Secretary Ubial has swallowed the WHO’s misguided position hook, line and sinker.”

95% less harmful
    
Expert independent evidence review by Public Health England published in August 2015 concluded that e-cigarettes are around 95 percent less harmful than smoking and that e-cigarettes may be contributing to falling smoking rates among adults and young people in the UK.
    
The Public Health England review found that almost all of the 2.6 million adults using e-cigarettes in Great Britain are current or ex-smokers, most of whom are using the devices to help them quit smoking or to prevent them going back to cigarettes. It also provides reassurance that very few adults and young people who have never smoked are becoming regular e-cigarette users (less than 1% in each group). Public Health England is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the UK Department of Health.

Quitting aide
    
A new report released in April 2016 by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) entitled “Nicotine without smoke: tobacco harm reduction” concluded that e-cigarets are likely to be beneficial to UK public health. Smokers can therefore be reassured and encouraged to use them, and the public can be reassured that e-cigarettes are much safer than smoking. The RCP is the leading professional membership body for physicians in the UK and internationally.

Look at evidence
    
“E-cigarettes are now part of the comprehensive tobacco control program of several countries where they are viewed as a viable smoking cessation tool for smokers who want to quit. We hope that the Department of Health considers the current available evidence on e-cigarettes, which can help inform the government’s anti-smoking policies,” said Pinlac.
    
“Smokers who find it hard to quit, are looking for a safer alternative, and have found one in vaping should be given access to accurate information from the DOH and other government agencies,” said Dulay. “These agencies should protect smokers who are trying to quit and provide them with clear, accurate messages on e-cigarettes rather than confusing them with misleading information. Let us protect minors and non-smokers from the hazards of smoking while providing smokers with products and information that can help them reduce the harm caused by smoking and eventually quit smoking.”
    
Behold God’s glory and seek His mercy.
    
Pause and pray, people.