A new study has found that "regulations on electronic cigarettes may impact their effectiveness as a smoking cessation tool". Tell me something I don't know. The EU's Tobacco Products Directive has created reams of paperwork that make the production of some e-liquids uneconomical. Reducing the maximum size of e-liquid bottles to a measly 10 ml, means e-liquid is going to be more expensive. It should go without saying that if more burdens are placed on an industry, the less competitive it is going to be. If products start costing more, fewer people are going to buy them. In the case of e-cigarettes this means their effectiveness as a smoking cessation tool is going to be weakened.
As this new study published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research highlights, those countries that are actively hostile towards vaping and vapers have a lower take-up. As I have said in the title of this post, there are times when you have to state the bleeding obvious.
What concerns me even more is that this hostility towards e-cigarettes is also aimed at the whole tobacco harm reduction business. Those purists who regard smoking as a sin and want it expunged, also believe that anyone who enjoys nicotine in any form is equally as sinful. It is those people who are, unfortunately, driving public policy in many countries.
This is evidenced by the open hostility towards vaping from Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, the U.S. Surgeon General. The fact that they are at least 95 per cent safer than combustible tobacco appears lost on Dr. Murthy. He has also concluded that exposure to second hand vapour is harmful, despite studies proving the opposite. Of all the things that young people could mixed up with, e-cigarettes are likely to be the least harmful. Although I am not advocating the use of tobacco or nicotine, the elephant in the room is that if e-cigarettes did not exist, many of those young Americans who have tried them would have gone on to smoke cigarettes. He should be grateful that this is not happening and that those young Americans who have tried e-cigarettes are not experimenting with much more dangerous drugs. But these things are always lost on the evangelical proselytising purist. Their focus is so narrow that they completely fail to see the bigger picture.
We need to keep on stating the bleeding obvious until people like Dr. Murthy are replaced by those pragmatists with open minds. In some countries, I fear that we are in for a long wait.