Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tobacco Harm Reduction Non-Profit Announces Merger, New Director

The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) is pleased to announce that it has joined forces with TobaccoHarmReduction.org (THRo).
it is time for the tobacco control and scientific communities to embrace tobacco harm reduction as a strategy that will have a profoundly positive impact on public health
THRo started as a project of the University of Alberta Department of Public Health Sciences and was for many years the world's largest research and public education organization devoted toTobacco harm reduction. Tobacco harm reduction is an approach that helps smokers by advocating for low-risk alternatives to smoking, such as smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes.CASAA is a grassroots, nonprofit organization that works to ensure the availability of reduced-harm alternatives to smoking and to provide truthful and accurate information about those alternatives so that people can make informed decisions.

As part of the merger of THRo with CASAA, the founder and director of THRo, Carl V. Phillips, PhD., joins the CASAA board of directors as the chief scientist and editor of the THRo unit. "After leaving the University of Alberta School of Public Health, we published some of our best work, but we were without institutional support," observed Dr. Phillips. "Working as part of CASAA will allow us the support necessary to update our core material and produce much more than we have been able to do for the last year."

Elaine Keller, the president of CASAA, noted that the merger is a perfect fit because THRo has been "the only scholarly group focusing on tobacco harm reduction that puts the consumer first, treating nicotine product users as rational people whose welfare matters."

As part of CASAA, THRo will continue to produce a website focused on consumer education about the science of tobacco harm reduction, scientific publications, and blog and social networking content. The organization's immediate goals include modernizing its website, updating its frequently asked questions pages, and some research publications that will be announced soon. Some of the scholarly and scientific analyses done by CASAA will be moved to the THRo unit, while the advocacy role played by THRo will be carried out by CASAA.

"Most members of the public, upon hearing that smokers can achieve basically the same health benefits from switching to smoke-free alternatives as they can from quitting entirely, immediately embrace the idea," observed Phillips. "Despite all efforts, the reality is that smoking cessation rates have stagnated, and it is time for the tobacco control and scientific communities to embrace tobacco harm reduction as a strategy that will have a profoundly positive impact on public health."

"Formally uniting our efforts will allow us to achieve so much more than we could have accomplished separately," noted Keller.


Elaine Keller
2094 Myrtlewood Drive
Montgomery Alabama, 36111


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cohasset citizens smarter than their health board

The citizens of Cohasset, MA voted Monday to reject a proposal from their board of health that included prohibiting retail stores with pharmacies from selling electronic cigarettes and a ban on the use of electronic cigarettes in public places where traditional cigarettes are prohibited.

The proposal also recommended  prohibiting stores with pharmacies from selling traditional tobacco products, so it is unclear to which ban the public was most opposed. It could be that the ban on pharmacy tobacco sales failed due to the proposal's inclusion of the public use ban of e-cigarettes, which have been gaining popularity with smokers and unprecedented social acceptance by the general public as a very effective, low-risk alternative to smoking.

Unfortunately for Cohasset e-cigarette consumers, according to Cohasset health inspector Tara Tradd, regardless of what is decided at town meeting, the town health board has the power to impose certain health policies. Hopefully, the Cohasset board of health will come to the conclusion that its citizens seem to have already - that communities should be encouraging smokers to switch to these reduced harm products, rather than removing a strong incentive that inspires many smokers to quit.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cardiologist to be interviewed about his e-cigarette study

This Wednesday, May 16th at 9:30pm EST, Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, a cardiologist at Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, will appear on "The Vape Team" internet show to discuss his study, "Smoking and vaping effects on cardiac function and coronary flow."

The study was presented at the EuroPRevent 2012 in Dublin Ireland, which is an annual conference aimed to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe. The broadcast is open to public questions and a recorded replay will be posted after the show.

Watch the show here: http://vapeteam.com

Friday, May 11, 2012

FDA should look to EU/Swedish statistics when considering smoke-free regulations

Death by regulation: the EU ban on low-risk oral tobacco

By Clive Bates
Is it right to ban certain types of smokeless tobacco from sale in the European Union?  The short and unequivocal answer is  ’no’.
But surely banning any type of tobacco can only reduce the size of the overall tobacco market and therefore be good for health?  No, not at all, it just isn’t that simple…

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Physician Urges Public Not to Use Electronic Cigarettes, Claiming that They Involve Combustion

by Dr. Michael Siegel

In an article about electronic cigarettes at the KTLA (Los Angeles) web site, a physician is quoted as cautioning the public about the use of these products because they involve combustion.

According to the article: "some doctors say not enough is known about the cigarettes to determine if they pose a health risk. 'We don't know if they offer any potential health risk or not,' said Dr. Clark Fuller of Saint John's Health Center. 'What we do know is it involves a combustion and a release of a vapor that is inhaled in the lungs. The chemical makeup of that vapor is unknown.'"

Wrong on both accounts.

First of all, electronic cigarettes do not involve combustion. The juice is heated with an electric element to vaporize the nicotine, but there is no combustion. You do not "light" an electronic cigarette. Since there is no combustion, there is no smoke. Most importantly, there is no tobacco involved.

Second of all, we do know the chemical makeup of electronic cigarette vapor. There are a number of laboratory studies in which the composition of electronic cigarette vapor was analyzed using gas chromatography mass spectrometry. I have summarized the major findings of these studies in the review article I co-authored with Zachary Cahn, which was published in the Journal of Public Health Policy.

This story illustrates two important points.

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