Tag Archives: michael siegel

Michael Siegel Corrects Misleading Opinions

Since the introduction of electronic cigarettes into the US market, many public health groups have went on the offense against their use. Arguments have ranged from “we just don’t know what is in them” to “they come with flavors so kids will start using them”. In recent months a new talking point has been taken up by anti e-cigarette organizations such as Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Americans for Non-Smokers’ Rights, and the American Legacy Foundation. The new objection is one dealing with the social acceptance of smoking. They argue that electronic cigarettes continue the action of smoking and normalize it again, reversing years of anti-smoking propaganda.

But Michael Siegel, Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health has issued a blog post to offer counter points to the misleading information being presented by those organizations with a vested interest. In his post named Blinded by Ideology, Anti-Smoking Advocates are Widely Misleading the Public into Thinking that Electronic Cigarette Use is a Form of Smoking, he correctly states that “By definition, using electronic cigarette use reduces cigarette use. Far from promoting smoking, advertisements that promote electronic cigarette use are urging smokers not to smoke — but to switch to electronic cigarettes instead.”

Semantics aside, Dr. Siegel is correct; vaping may be like smoking in many ways, but IT IS NOT SMOKING!  And equating it to smoking in order to apply the same laws to vaping and smoking, it unfair, unscientific, and helps no smokers.  What it does do, is keep those involved in industries against e-cigarettes; namely pharmaceuticals and tobacco, in business.

These so called “public health” organizations should be ashamed of bashing e-cigarettes, a product in direct competition with the most deadly product on the market.  If public health was their number one goal, e-cigarettes would be on their list of ways to quit smoking.

Leaked: European Union May Be Planning To Ban E-Cigarettes

According to Michael Siegel from “The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary” blog, the Tobacco Journal International received information indicating that the European Union may have plans to ban the electronic cigarette unless it is marketed by a pharmaceutical company as a nicotine replacement therapy product.  This was the same position that the FDA in the United States took until is was challenged in court.  The US court determined that absent any health claims, the electronic cigarette with nicotine is a tobacco product.  So what is the difference?

Well, as a tobacco product, the e-cigarette can be sold wherever cigarettes are sold.  This makes the most sense to have an impact on current smokers since getting e-cigarettes in front of smokers is key.  Also as a tobacco product, there are less stringent rules and regulations to enter the market.  This is beneficial to everyone because it means increased competition and product innovations.

Now as an NRT (nicotine replacement therapy) the e-cigarette would be treated as nicotine gum or the patch.  This means they would only be allowed to be sold in pharmacies as a quit smoking product.  This limits their market exposure and gives smokers the impression that e-cigarettes are solely meant to help them quit smoking.  But what about those smokers who like smoking, but want to simply “try something else”?  This is the same case when a smoker walks into a gas station to buy cigarettes and sees the smokeless tobacco product Snus.  They may not be thinking about quitting smoking, but rather just trying some other form of tobacco.  This may lead to reduced consumption of tobacco cigarettes; and isn’t that the point?

I hope the European Union bases their decision on facts and science rather than which existing industry has the most pull.  Keep choice alive, especially when that choice is an alternative to a known killer.