Marijke Vroomen Durning, Contributor
Proponents for e-cigarettes believe that people who want the option of using the devices should be able to. “E-cigarettes are part of a larger phenomenon known as tobacco harm reduction,” says Carl Phillips, PhD, scientific director of Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), a consumer and vendor* advocacy group that promotes the use of non-tobacco products. Phillips sees e-cigarettes as a desirable alternative to combustible cigarettes.
If the point of the e-cigarette is to replace the combustible cigarette, not to use it as a smoking cessation tool, then it appears to be working. Phillips claims that people who switch to e-cigarettes and no longer smoke combustible cigarettes are former smokers. “The key part of that word there is “smoke,” and using e-cigarettes, just like using smokeless tobacco doesn't involve inhaling smoke.” This results in a very close to 100% quit-smoking rate by people who switch to e-cigarettes and they can legitimately call themselves former or ex-smokers, according to Phillips. Some argue that this is a question of semantics. For example, water-delivery methods of inhaling tobacco, such as hookahs, are considered to be smoking by the medical community.
Read full story >
*NOTE: CASAA is a consumer advocacy group. Vendors are allowed to join, but CASAA has no financial or policy agreements with the electronic cigarette, tobacco or pharmaceutical industries. CASAA's bylaws strictly limit the number of retailers allowed on the board to 1/3 or less to prevent industry interests having a majority vote.