E-cigarettes are the latest innovation in nicotine delivery products to fly the harm-reduction flag. They follow the huge failures of cigarette filters. Over years, filters falsely reassured countless smokers that they were reducing their being exposed to harm and so could keep smoking.
We had the lights and milds fiasco – which saw 80% of Australian smokers select those misleadingly labelled brands, that the ACCC outlawed from 2005 as a consumer fraud.
As you go along we saw reduced carcinogen brands as well as asbestos filtered cigarettes.
There was clearly massive publicity about harm reduction from filters and low tar, and massive consumer uptake, although not a blip within the incidence of tobacco caused disease in people who still smoked.
Because of harm-reduction arguments, countless smokers continued smoking who might otherwise have quit. The tobacco industry drove these arguments and was maintained by many in public places health who innocently thought they were no-brainers. Nigel Gray, a huge of global tobacco control, later admitted that the decades-long, well-intentioned low-tar harm-reduction policy was a disaster.
Meanwhile, we continued with all the core policies of attempting to avoid uptake, encourage quit attempts and denormalise smoking via smoke-free policies to guard non-smokers. Together, these objectives have delivered Australia the best smoking prevalence in the world.
For 35 years because the early 1980s, we now have seen continually falling incidence rates of tobacco-caused disease. Female cancer of the lung seems prone to never reach even half the peak we saw in males. Awkwardly for many, Australia has become a world leader in reducing smoking with no mass cessation clinic network or major embrace of e-cig reviews.
Today, demands are being created to rush in soft-touch regulation to enable e-cigarettes to be manufactured, flavoured, promoted and used virtually without restriction.
This is all being done on the shoulders of your argument that insists that after 50 years of tobacco control, there remain many smokers who can’t or don’t want to quit their nicotine dependence, and that in a several years, sufficient evidence has accumulated to demonstrate that e-cigarettes are both benign and ideal for cessation.
Nevertheless the “can’t quit” argument has brought remarkably little critical interrogation. We know that countless an incredible number of often heavily dependent smokers have quit since the early 1960s, most with no assistance at all.
We realize that today’s smokers smoke fewer cigarettes per day than at any time previously, precisely the opposite of just what the hardening hypothesis would predict.
The requirements in the “we don’t desire to quit/we like nicotine” vaping activists for unregulated access to e-cigarettes and to make use of them without restrictions must be balanced from the perils of what these demands might mean izzert population-wide progress toward the objective of keeping smoking heading south.
Comprehensive tobacco control is not only about the preferences of vapers. It really is above all about continuing to starve the tobacco industry of brand new recruits and make sure that smoking is produced history.
Whenever we consider e-cigarettes being a transformative genie in a bottle, we must think meticulously before allowing it to out, because putting genies back in their bottles is a lot more difficult than impulsively letting them out. Should they prove to be benevolent, all’s good. But if they bring false hopes whilst keeping lots of people smoking, we may be looking at the early days of a third major false god of tobacco harm reduction.