Thursday, August 15, 2013

Chicago Tribune CASAA "Letters to the Editor"

Chicago Tribune
Local Voices
August 14,2013

Quitting smoking

In the Aug. 1 "Medical Edge From Mayo Clinic," Dr. Jon Ebbert advised a smoker not to use an e-cigarette, claiming there is not enough known about them, they are not proven safe and they are not effective in helping people stop smoking.

Ebbert needs to keep up with the growing body of survey research showing that e-cigarettes are serving as an acceptable substitute for smokers who want to reduce their risks, with up to 80 percent switching completely and no serious side-effects reported.

Furthermore, e-cigarettes are proving effective even for smokers who have no intention of quitting. A recent study recruited 300 smokers who had no desire to quit to determine whether e-cigarettes could help them reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke. At week 52, 12.5 percent, 8 percent and 4 percent were completely abstinent in the high, low and no-nicotine groups.

The Food and Drug Administration failed to point out that the "substances that are known to cause cancer" are present in same amount in an approved nicotine patch.

Most people who have smoked for years have already tried the FDA-approved products, and they didn't work. If Ebbert succeeds in persuading them not to try e-cigarettes, he is, in effect, advising them to continue smoking.

Michael Cozzi, director secretary, Consumer Advocates for Smoke Free Alternatives Association, Chicago

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