Philippine vapers welcomed the release of a new U.S. expert report which concluded that “although e-cigarettes are not without risk, compared to combustible tobacco cigarettes, they contain fewer toxicants; can deliver nicotine in a similar manner and might be useful as a cessation aid in smokers who use e-cigarettes exclusively”.
The expert review from the National Academies of of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) stated that, “e-cigarettes appear to pose less risk to an individual than combustible tobacco cigarettes.” It also found that more frequent use of e-cigarettes increases the likelihood of smoking cessation.
“Scientific findings from independent experts continue to emerge, all affirming that e-cigarettes are a less harmful alternative to tobacco and a viable smoking cessation tool,” said Tom Pinlac, President of The Vapers Philippines.
“The Department of Health (DoH) should follow the lead of the U.K. and U.S. health agencies, and take a serious and objective look at the emerging evidence and expert consensus on e-cigarettes. It should be wary of critics and naysayers who, lacking any scientific data to back up their irresponsible statements, resort to fear-mongering and black propaganda,” said Pinlac.
He also cited recently released U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA) 2018 Strategic Policy Roadmap, which expressed its commitment to “take a fresh look” at electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), which include e-cigarettes, “that can deliver satisfying levels of nicotine to adults who want access to it without burning tobacco.”
“We have always looked at the US for guidance when it comes to health positions and the latest NASEM report on e-cigarettes being a cessation aid in smokers is a welcome development. “, said Joey Dulay, president of Philippine E-Cigarettes Industry Association (PECIA).
“This latest independent expert report supports previous studies that show how e-cigarettes, when used as a smoking cessation tool, can reduce smoking-related harms. Its findings are also aligned with the U.S. FDA’s nicotine strategy, a key element of which involves adult smokers switching to lower-risk products,” said Edward Gatchalian, owner of an e-liquid manufacturing company, HS Liquids Inc.
“Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes”, is a consensus study report of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). NASEM provide expert advice on some of the most pressing challenges facing the U.S. and the world. They produce groundbreaking reports that help shape sound policies, inform public opinion, and advance the pursuit of science, engineering, and medicine.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioned NASEM to complete a review of the science that can inform the understanding of public health risks and benefits of e-cigarettes. NASEM formed the Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) Committee, which systematically reviewed 800 peer-reviewed scientific studies.
Based on this systematic review the committee came out with their consensus study report, which presented 47 conclusions related to outcomes of e-cigarettes, including their key constituents, human health effects, initiation and cessation of combustible tobacco cigarette use, and harm reduction.
Key findings of the NASEM report include:
“Overall, e-cigarette aerosol contains fewer numbers and lower levels of toxicants than smoke from combustible tobacco cigarettes. Nicotine exposure can mimic that found with use of combustible tobacco cigarettes, but it is highly variable. The exposure to nicotine and toxicants from the aerosolization of flavorings and humectants depends on device characteristics and how the device is used.”
“Overall, the evidence reviewed by the committee suggests that e-cigarettes are not without biological effects in humans. For instance, use of e-cigarettes results in dependence on the devices, though with apparently less risk and severity than that of combustible tobacco cigarettes. Yet the implications for long-term effects on morbidity and mortality are not yet clear”.
“Overall, the evidence suggests that while e-cigarettes might cause youth who use them to transition to use of combustible tobacco products, they might also increase adult cessation of combustible tobacco cigarettes…Across a range of studies and outcomes, e-cigarettes appear to pose less risk to an individual than combustible tobacco cigarettes.”
The NASEM report findings are aligned with the latest U.S. FDA policy roadmap released in January 2018, which pointed out that “nicotine…is not directly responsible for the cancer, lung disease, and heart disease that kill hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. It is the other chemical compounds in tobacco, and in the smoke created by setting tobacco on fire, that directly and primarily cause the illness and death – not the nicotine.” In line with its new approach, the U.S. FDA expressed its commitment to “take a fresh look” at ENDS such as e-cigarettes “that can deliver satisfying levels of nicotine to adults who want access to it without burning tobacco.”
E-cigarettes are now the most popular smoking cessation aid in the U.K. and U.S. According to reports “an estimated 2.9 million adults in Great Britain currently use e-cigarettes and of these, 1.5 million people have completely stopped smoking cigarettes.