Saturday, December 10, 2011

Boston Globe publishes CASAA letter

The Boston Globe published CASAA President Elaine Keller's Letter to the Editor, which is responding to the editorial that chided e-cigarette manufacturers for "resisiting FDA regulation".

E-cigarette makers have devised smoking substitute that works

THE DEC. 3 editorial “Banned in Boston, for now’’ blames manufacturers of e-cigarettes for resisting “efforts at regulation by the federal Food and Drug Administration by labeling e-cigarettes as devices for smoking pleasure, not therapeutic devices for nicotine replacement.’’ Why would the Globe want manufacturers to misrepresent the intended purpose of the products? Technically speaking, there is no such thing as a therapeutic product for nicotine replacement.

Nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, and prescription inhalers should more properly be referred to as “nicotine weaning therapy’’ products. Directions instruct consumers to use the products for a specified length of time, reduce the dosage of nicotine, and then discontinue use. Unfortunately, they don’t work well. By the time treatment is completed, most consumers have already relapsed, and a year after treatment, 95 percent have resumed smoking.

The idea behind e-cigarettes is to provide the nicotine that a smoker craves while eliminating nearly all of the smoking-related hazards. Medicinal drugs and devices must undergo years of testing, costing as much as $800 million, and receive FDA approval before they can be sold for therapeutic purposes. E-cigarettes are intended to serve as a replacement for smoking, and they appear to work extremely well for this purpose.

More than 90 percent of consumers who switch to e-cigarettes report better lung health, better markers of cardiovascular health, and improved stamina. In view of the fact that those who directly inhale the nicotine vapor are enjoying better health, how could the vapor they exhale, having been filtered through their lungs, be harmful to bystanders?

The Consumer Advocates for Smokefree Alternatives Association
Springfield, Va.

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