10 Health Experts who endorse E-Cigarettes

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Dr. Murray Laugesen (MBChB), Director at Health NZ Ltd

Dr Murray LaugesenRegistered as a medical practitioner since the 1960s, Dr Murray Laugesen is New Zealand’s most respected tobacco policy and health researcher. After 18 years of service in the New Zealand public health sector, Dr Laugesen was awarded a medal of recognition by the World Health Organisation for his contribution to the concept of tobacco-free societies.

Dr Laugesen currently acts as the director of Health New Zealand Ltd, where he works to advance New Zealand’s health goal of becoming a smoke-free nation by 2025. Having conducted extensive laboratory tests on the safety and efficacy of electronic cigarettes as smoking cessation aids, he is optimistic about the role they could play in achieving this goal.

Quotes on Electronic Cigarettes:

“Inhaling mist from the e-cigarette is rated several orders of magnitude (100 to 1000 times) less dangerous than smoking tobacco cigarettes.”

“… nicotine is one of the safest of drugs, and is being sold as the alternative to the most dangerous consumer product – the tobacco cigarette. Low risk compared to cigarettes is the real world risk that smokers face.”

“E-cigarettes are caught in a two-box regulatory trap. Nicotine products are in law usually either tobacco products or medicines. From a smoker’s viewpoint, however, it belongs in a third box, as a lifestyle choice or cigarette alternative. Big Tobacco controls Box no. 1, Big Pharma and the white coat health professional prescribers and dispensers control Box no. 2, while many smokers addicted to nicotine, the ones most likely to be sitting on death row, are powerless. They would like to buy from Box no. 3, but it is empty.”

Dr. Michael Siegel (MD), Professor at Boston University School of Public Health

Michael-SiegelWith a career in tobacco control and research spanning over 25 years, Dr Michael Siegel is a vocal supporter of electronic cigarettes as tools for tobacco harm reduction. Prior to becoming vaping advocate, he contributed to significant advances in United States policy reform on tobacco advertising and smoke-free workplaces.

In addition to teaching at Boston University’s School of Public Health, Professor Siegel writes about the latest developments in smoking related research and policy at his blog. He claims that the tobacco control movement regularly misleads the public with junk science or outright false claims about the “dangers” of vaping.

Quotes on Electronic Cigarettes:

“This is an important effort that could result in saving countless lives. I find it interesting and quite informative that while anti-smoking groups are promoting nicotine replacement therapy via pharmaceutical products – which have dismal efficacy – they are seeking a ban on nicotine replacement therapy via e-cigarettes, which appear to actually be reasonably effective.”

“The anti-smoking movement’s ideology – which is guided by an abstinence-only type of philosophy – just doesn’t have room for a product [the e-cigarette] that looks and acts like a cigarette but happens to be orders of magnitude safer. In this case, the science – the health effects – just don’t matter. The ideology is too deeply ingrained to allow the product to be given a chance of saving lives.”

“[The electronic cigarette] is substantially safer than the conventional cigarette. Inhaling nicotine cannot be nearly as dangerous as inhaling nicotine plus thousands of other chemicals, including more than 40 carcinogens. It doesn’t take long-term studies to make that determination … determining that a tobacco-free nicotine delivering product is safer than a product that delivers nicotine with thousands of tobacco smoke constituents is a fact of basic science, and anyone who challenges such a notion would probably benefit from a remedial course in basic sciences.”

Dr. Riccardo Polosa (MD, PhD), Professor at Italy’s University of Catania

riccardo-polosaOne of Europe’s foremost experts on tobacco addiction, Dr Riccardo Polosa lead the world’s first randomised controlled trials on electronic cigarettes as smoking cessation devices. The results of the trials deeply impressed Dr Polosa, as they proved both safe and highly effective as quit aids – even on trial subjects who were unwilling to quit smoking!

Professor Polosa leads the University of Catania’s Centre for Tobacco Research, where he frequently publishes academic papers on aspects of nicotine addiction, tobacco harm reduction, and the impact of smoking on respiratory health. He also promotes the use of e-cigarettes as a low risk smoking alternative in his capacity as a director of the Italian Anti-Smoking League.

Quotes on Electronic Cigarettes:

“Clearly, the rapidly expanding popularity of e-cigs represents a threat to the interests of many, including national governments – because of the fat revenues generated by tobacco excise taxes. Only if these obstacles can be overcome, a truly sensible and rational regulation of e-cigs will be agreed upon, and millions of lives saved.”

“The status quo in smoking cessation presents smokers with just two unpleasant alternatives: quit or die. But, there is a third choice for smokers: switching to the e-cig. The use of e-cig allows smokers to introduce nicotine from a much safer source than a lit cigarette and to keep the gestures associated with smoking.”

“Working in the area of nicotine dependence for many years has convinced me that we, as health professionals, should also take care of the smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit. To this end, the e-cig is an opportunity not to be missed.”

Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos (MD), Researcher at Greece’s Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center

dr_farsalinosFrom a distinguished medical background as a practicing cardiologist, Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos has been actively studying the impact of tobacco smoking on cardiac health since 2010. From 2011, he lead some of the world’s first clinical and laboratory trials on the use, safety and harm reduction potential of electronic cigarettes.

In 2013, Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos conducted a ground-breaking global survey of over 19,000 electronic cigarette users. The results indicated that switching from smoking to vaping had “significant health benefits”. He founded the website E-Cigarette Research Advocates Group to keep the public informed the survey outcomes, plus other important developments in electronic cigarette research and legislation.

Quotes on Electronic Cigarettes:

“I believe most of the people expressing negative opinion about e-cigarettes don’t really have any deep knowledge about the products. If you’re expressing your opinion about e-cigarettes in public you should know what you’re talking about, because the things we say as scientists influence a lot of people.”

“I know a lot of smokers who were put off right at the point of trying an e-cigarette. Even worse, I’ve seen a lot of vapers go back to smoking after hearing scientists discuss the potential hazards of e-cigarettes – the problem is that they often forget to mention the dangers of smoking.”

“Most authorities simply do not like the name e-cigarettes. And they do not like that they have nicotine, they mimic smoking and they provide pleasure to the user. However, these are the main reasons for their success, and these features are not present in any other medicinal smoking-cessation product. That is why every other product has failed…”

Dr. Jean-François Etter (PhD, MPH), Professor at University of Geneva

EtterWith an academic background in public health, political sciences and epidemiology, Dr Jean-François Etter has worked in the field of smoking addiction and treatment for nearly two decades, and has written over 120 peer-reviewed papers on the physical, psychological and social impacts of tobacco use. His extensive research on electronic cigarettes has made him a firm advocate of vaping as less harmful alternative to conventional smoking.

In 2013, Professor Etter published The Electronic Cigarette: An Alternative to Tobacco?, a short book summarising his e-cigarette research findings in easy-to-understand language. The same year, he presented alongside other public health professionals at The E-Cigarette Summit in London, which was the world’s first large-scale gathering for the discussion and debate of electronic cigarette science, safety and regulation.

Quotes on Electronic Cigarettes:

“This is one of the very first studies of vapers with 12 months follow-up. We found that very few ex-smokers relapsed to smoking, and that many smokers (i.e. dual users) either reduced or quit smoking after 12 months.”

“Even if there are long-term vapers, this is not a problem, as long as they quit smoking. The problem is combusted tobacco, not nicotine. At the dosage used by vapers or users of nicotine gums or patches, nicotine is not toxic. Long term vaping is not a public health problem; not any more than long term use of nicotine gums.”

“Our data (and other studies) suggest that e-cigs are not very addictive, much less addictive than tobacco cigs. The conventional definition of addiction has two components (compulsive use in spite of harm). Because e-cigs do not cause harm, it is more appropriate to talk about compulsive use rather than of addiction in the case of e-cigs.”

Dr. Joel L. Nitzkin (MD, MPH, DPA)

joel-nitzkinWith doctorates in medicine and public administration, a master degree in public health, and a forty-year career in public health and tobacco control policy, Dr Joel Nitzkin has both the education and the experience to back up his support of electronic cigarettes.

While serving as the Chair of the American Association of Public Health Physicians’ (AAPHP) Tobacco Control Task Force, Dr Nitzkin strongly advocated the adoption of policies aimed at tobacco harm reduction (THR) via less dangerous alternatives to smoking, vs. the “quit or die” approach favoured by public health powers.

Now an expert adviser to the R Street Institute, a public health policy “think tank”, Dr Nitzkin continues to promote the message that e-cigarettes and similar smokeless products should be seen as part of the cure to the global epidemic of smoking-related diseases – and definitely not as part of the problem!

Quotes on Electronic Cigarettes:

“E-cigarettes can and should be marketed as a substitute for conventional cigarettes for smokers unable or unwilling to quit.”

“E-cigarettes deliver the same nicotine found in the pharmaceutical products, with no more contamination by toxic substances than the pharmaceutical products already approved by the FDA.”

“… we have every reason to believe that the hazard posed by e-cigarettes would be much lower than one percent, probably lower than one tenth of one percent, of the hazard posed by regular cigarettes.”

Dr. Carl Phillips (MPP, PhD)

carl-phillipsA Harvard doctorate in public policy and a post-doctorate in public health are among Dr Carl Phillips’ credentials in the field of tobacco control. He is generally recognized as one of the world’s top two academic experts on tobacco harm reduction (THR), which he defines as “the public health strategy of encouraging smokers to switch to low-risk alternatives like smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes.”

While an associate professor of public health at the University of Alberta, Dr Phillips co-founded the TobaccoHarmReduction.org education and research program, and conducted multiple studies that pointed to the health advantages of vaping vs. smoking. He has also built a reputation for “naming and shaming” individuals and organizations that spread fear-mongering misinformation about e-cigarettes on his blog Anti-THR Lies.

Dr Phillips currently serves as Scientific Director on the board of the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), a United States-based group dedicated to protecting vapers’ rights, and educating the public about electronic cigarettes.

Quotes on Electronic Cigarettes:

“E-cigarettes are not just a huge public health breakthrough. They are one of the most impressive examples of People Power of recent times, and should be mentioned alongside the Arab Spring and Occupy … e-cigarettes seem to have mobilized an unstoppable push-back against the failed “quit or die” approach that those in power are trying to impose on an unwilling population.”

“Nicotine has about the same implication for health as coffee and fries.”

“Three months of additional smoking poses a greater risk to someone’s health, on average, than a lifetime of using a low-risk alternative.”

Dr. Brad Rodu (DDS)

brad-roduAlongside his colleague Carl Phillips, Dr Brad Rodu is the world’s foremost authority on tobacco harm reduction. He has devoted over 20 years to the study and analysis of THR, during which time he has acted as the lead researcher on multiple THR clinical trials, and published over 150 scholarly articles on the subject.

Coming from a background in oral medicine, Dr Rodu’s early THR research focused on chewing or smokeless tobacco. In 1995, he published the book For Smokers Only: How Smokeless Tobacco Can Save Your Life, described as “An explanation on the advantages of smokeless tobacco to cigarettes and as a better alternative to the nicotine patch”.

Following the invention and rise of electronic cigarettes, Dr Rodu noted that vaping was certain to “play a major role” in the evolution of THR. As the Professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville, where he holds an Endowed Chair in tobacco harm reduction research, Dr Rodu continues to champion the use of e-cigarettes and other less harmful alternatives to smoking.

Quotes on Electronic Cigarettes:

“Sadly, the potential of tobacco harm reduction is threatened by opposition from many major medical organizations and government agencies. Obsessed with a myopic vision of a tobacco-free society, they have transformed a legitimate war on smoking into a moral crusade against tobacco, a mistake that was tragically made with alcohol almost 100 years ago.”

“There is no public health justification for denying smokers information about and access to safer sources of tobacco and nicotine.”

“There is substantial and compelling scientific research documenting that consuming the ingredients in e-cigarettes (nicotine, propylene glycol, water and flavors) is vastly safer than burning tobacco and inhaling 3000+ toxic by-products.”

Dr Adrian Payne (PhD, BSc)

adrian-payneWith a doctorate in pharmacology and bachelor of science from the University of London, Dr Adrian Payne has held numerous senior level research and management positions at multinational companies in the pharmaceutical and tobacco industries, with a focus on corporate social responsibility and tobacco harm reduction.

In addition to his work in the private sector, Dr Payne is an Adjunct Professor of Global Citizenship at the Hult International Business School in London. He has also lectured on tobacco harm reduction at the University of Geneva and George Washington Business School, and published numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles.

In 2007, Dr Payne drew on his two decades of experience as a pharmacologist specializing in tobacco harm reduction to found Tobacco Horizons, THR consultancy agency. In his capacity as managing director, he presented at Harm Reduction International on the urgent need for electronic cigarettes and other smokeless non-pharmaceutical nicotine products to be globally recognized as low-risk alternatives to conventional tobacco cigarettes.

Quotes on Electronic Cigarettes:

“Certainly large pharmaceutical companies with interests in stop-smoking medicines provide very substantial financial support to some of the ‘public health’ groups that are calling for e-cigarettes to be banned.”

“Some detractors claim that making E-cigarettes available encourages dual-use in combination with cigarettes and thus delays quitting smoking. But the same criticism could equally well be directed towards medicinal nicotine products marketed to relieve cravings during temporary abstinence from smoking.”

“… it really would be a cruel irony if smokers who had switched to E-cigarettes were forced to revert to smoking regular cigarettes.”

Dr Robert West (PhD, BSc)

robert-westWith a doctorate in psychology and over 30 years of experience in smoking cessation research, Dr Robert West currently serves as Professor of Health Psychology and Director of Tobacco Studies at the University College London. In line with his decades-long professional interest in smoking behaviors, he is also the editor-in-chief of the scientific journal Addiction.

During his academic career, Dr West has conducted intensive research and numerous laboratory studies in the areas of smoking addiction and cessation. The outcomes of his research have lead Dr West to become an advocate of THR, particularly in regard to electronic cigarettes, which have been shown to satisfy not only the chemical (nicotine) aspect of smoking addiction, but the behavioural (hand-to-mouth motion) aspect as well.

Having investigated the ingredients of e-cigarettes and e-liquid (propylene glycol, glycerin and flavourings), Dr West is dismissive of unfounded claims that vaping poses any non-trivial risk to human health. Instead, he is hopeful that global health authorities will unite behind the electronic cigarette and its unique, powerful potential to advance THR goals.

Quotes on Electronic Cigarettes:

“E-cigarettes could substantially improve public health because of their widespread appeal and the huge health gains associated with stopping smoking.”

“We have such a massive opportunity here. It would be a shame to let it slip away by being overly cautious. E-cigarettes are about as safe as you can get.”

“If those young people are people who would have smoked but instead they’re using e-cigarettes, then that’s a huge public health gain. If they’re people who would never have smoked but they’ve taken up e-cigarettes, frankly in public health terms it’s not really an issue – it’s like drinking coffee or something, there’s no real risk associated with it.”

Quotes Sources:

http://www.healthnz.co.nz/Dublin.htm
http://www.ecigarettedirect.co.uk/interviews/murray-interview.html
http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com.au/2009/04/electronic-cigarettes-feature-of-los.html
http://www.ecigarettedirect.co.uk/interviews/michael-siegel.html
http://saveecigs.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/lets-face-the-truth-decisions-in-the-area-of-tobacco-products-are-always-and-exclusively-made-for-financial-and-not-health-reasons/
http://www.ecigarettedirect.co.uk/ashtray-blog/2011/10/electronic-cigarette-interview-professor-riccardo-polosa.html
http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/infozone/news/exclusive-ecf-interview-dr-konstantinos-farsalinos.html
http://ecigarettereviewed.com/jean-francois-etter-interview-long-term-vaping-is-not-public-health-problem
http://www.ecigarettedirect.co.uk/interviews/joel-nitzkin-electronic-cigarette.html
http://electroniccigarettespot.com/book/export/html/658
http://www.ecigarette-politics.com/is-nicotine-addictive.html
http://www.world-vaping-day.com/quotes.html
http://www.ecigarettedirect.co.uk/ashtray-blog/2013/12/electronic-cigarette-quotes.html
http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/06/the-electronic-future-of-cigarettes/277057/
http://www.ecigarettedirect.co.uk/campaign/TFK-to-kill-millions.html
http://www.ecigarettedirect.co.uk/campaign/scientists-dispel-ASH-junk-science.html
http://www.ecigarettedirect.co.uk/interviews/adrian-payne-interview.html
http://www.addictionjournal.org/press-releases/e-cigarette-use-for-quitting-smoking-is-associated-with-improved-success-rates-
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/jun/04/e-cigarettes-health-revolution-smokers
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23196369

Originally Published by Alisha Young – GenEcigs

http://genecigs.com.au/5-famous-health-experts-who-endorse-e-cigarettes
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  1. […] Dr. Murray Laugesen (MBChB), Director at Health NZ LtdRegistered as a medical practitioner since the 1960s, Dr Murray Laugesen is New Zealand’s most respected tobacco policy and health researcher.  […]