Quotes provided specially for World Vaping Day
“E-cigarettes are not just a huge public health breakthrough. They are one of the most impressive examples of People Power of recent times, and should be mentioned alongside the Arab Spring and Occupy. I worked for years to promote smokeless tobacco as an alternative to smoking, but outside of a few populations, it never reached critical mass. But e-cigarettes seem to have mobilized an unstoppable push-back against the failed “quit or die” approach that those in power are trying to impose on an unwilling population.
The story is still being written, with new smokeless nicotine products, including improved e-cigarettes, coming out every year, but it seems pretty clear how it will play out. Smokeless tobacco paved the way, and gave us evidence, including my lab’s calculation that it is about 99% less harmful than smoking. While it will be years before we know if vaping has risks that are quite that low, we can be quite confident it is pretty close, and when combined with the popularity, that makes it a public health miracle that has come despite the efforts of the “Public Health” community to stop it.”
– Prof Carl Phillips
“E-cigarettes deliver the same nicotine found in the pharmaceutical products, with no more contamination by toxic substances than the pharmaceutical products already approved by FDA.”
– Dr J Nitzkin, Chair, Tobacco Control Task Force, AAPHP
American Association of Public Health Physicians
“If we get all tobacco smokers to switch from regular cigarettes to electronic cigarettes, we would eventually reduce the US death toll from more than 400,000 a year to less than 4,000, maybe as low as 400.”
– Dr J Nitzkin, AAPHP
“Three months of additional smoking poses a greater risk to someone’s health, on average, than a lifetime of using a low-risk alternative.”
– Prof Carl Phillips
Interviewer: “The position taken by most public health groups in the US is that these devices should not be used until they have undergone further extensive testing. Is this a position you agree with?”
ML: “With prescription drugs, we would agree. But nicotine is one of the safest of drugs, and is being sold as the alternative to the most dangerous consumer product – the tobacco cigarette. Low risk compared to cigarettes is the real world risk that smokers face.”
– Dr Murray Laugesen
“ASH supports a harm reduction approach to tobacco, that is, we recognise that whilst efforts to help people stop smoking should remain a priority, many people either do not wish to stop smoking or find it very hard to do so. For this group, we believe that products should be made available that deliver nicotine in a safe way, without the harmful components found in tobacco. Most of the diseases associated with smoking are caused by inhaling smoke which contains thousands of toxic chemicals. By contrast, nicotine is relatively safe. Therefore, e-cigarettes, which deliver nicotine without the harmful toxins found in tobacco smoke, are likely to be a safer alternative to smoking. In addition, e-cigarettes reduce secondhand smoke exposure since they do not produce smoke.”
– ASH UK
2010-8, Electronic Cigarettes – Briefing
“Certainly large pharmaceutical companies with interests in stop-smoking medicines provide very substantial financial support to some of the ‘public health’ groups that are calling for e-cigarettes to be banned.”
– Dr Adrian Payne
“They [people who use electronic cigarettes] are not going to die from an e-cigarette – but they could die tomorrow from a heart attack due to their smoking. The carcinogens that we have found [in e-cigarettes] are in very, very small quantities, just above the level of detection.”
“Switching to e-cigarettes with nicotine continued, can be expected to reduce lung cancer risk the same as altogether quitting cigarettes without e-cigarettes.”
– Dr Murray Laugesen
Health New Zealand
“These e-cigarettes are at least 99.9 percent less deadly than cigarettes,” he said. “Let’s worry about the products that are actually killing people.”
– Bill Godshall, Smoke-Free Pennsylvania
2009-05-18, Baltimore Sun
E-Cigarettes are, “exactly what the tobacco companies have been afraid of all these years” – a tobacco-free cigarette alternative.
– J Kline / Prof David Sweanor JD
“AAPHP favors a permissive approach to e-cigarettes because the possibility exists to save the lives of four million of the eight million current adult American smokers who will otherwise die of a tobacco-related illness over the next twenty years.”
– Dr J Nitzkin, AAPHP
“Smokers smoke because they are addicted to nicotine in cigarettes, but it is the smoke, not the nicotine, which causes a long list of diseases, including lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and emphysema.”
– Dr Richard Daines, New York State Health Commissioner
2008-01-28, NY State Health PR
“Nicotine is the addictive ingredient in cigarettes that keeps smokers hooked, but it’s not the ingredient that harms smokers’ health,” emphasized Ursula Bauer, Ph.D., M.P.H, director of the state’s Tobacco Control Program. “With safe nicotine products, smokers can give up the smoke without giving up the nicotine.”
– Ursula Bauer, Ph.D., M.P.H, director of the New York State Tobacco Control Program
2008-01-28, NY State Health PR
“Conventional cigarettes account for about 80% of nicotine consumption in the United States, but more than 98% of the illness and death. This harm is not caused by the nicotine, but by toxic products of combustion. A cigarette smoker can reduce his or her risk of future tobacco-related death ….. by 99.9% or better by switching to a nicotine-only delivery product like one of the pharmaceutical products or e-cigarettes.”
– Dr J Nitzkin, AAPHP
“I’m not saying that e-cigarettes are safe, but those who have exaggerated the health/safety risks of e-cigarettes in an attempt to scare the public are far greater threats to public health than are e-cigarettes.”
– Bill Godshall, Smoke-Free Pennsylvania
“THR has been described as having “the potential to lead to one of the greatest public health breakthroughs in human history by fundamentally changing the forecast of a billion cigarette-caused deaths this century.”
– Prof Brad Rodu
2011-07-29, The Scientific Foundation for Tobacco Harm Reduction, 2006-2011
“…..our estimate is that [the e-cigarette] is probably in the order of 99 percent less harmful than smoking, I think there’s little doubt that it’s down in the neighborhood.”
“[if we banned e-cigarettes based on their carcinogen content] We’d have to ban half the foods that are available. I mean, the FDA study really didn’t find any cancer risk. That study was basically pure propaganda.”
“We of course know that long term use of nicotine poses a small, a very small but non-zero risk of some cardiovascular diseases so I suppose you could call that a side effect which is predictable for the long run, but that’s a total risk which is down in the range of drinking coffee, nothing remotely similar to the risk from smoking cigarettes.”
“The health benefits of switching are almost exactly the same as the health benefits of quitting, and this applies to electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and pharmaceutical nicotine. …..Switching is so close as good as quitting that from a health point of view there is no point in worrying about the difference.”
– Prof Carl Phillips
“Perhaps the most interesting example of the dependence upon ideology rather than science and a strong evidence base is the issue of electronic cigarettes. The major national anti-smoking groups have asked the FDA to take these products off the market.
This is despite evidence that electronic cigarettes are much safer than conventional cigarettes and much more effective than traditional nicotine replacement therapy products in keeping smokers off cigarettes. It really comes down to ideology vs. science.
The anti-smoking movement’s ideology – which is guided by an abstinence-only type of philosophy – just doesn’t have room for a product that looks and acts like a cigarette but happens to be orders of magnitude safer. In this case, the science – the health effects – just don’t matter. The ideology is too deeply ingrained to allow the product to be given a chance of saving lives.”
“…..determining that a tobacco-free nicotine delivering product is safer than a product that delivers nicotine with thousands of tobacco smoke constituents is a fact of basic science, and anyone who challenges such a notion would probably benefit from a remedial course in basic sciences.
Whether electronic cigarettes are safer than conventional cigarettes is really a non-issue. The real questions are how effective the product is in helping smokers keep off cigarettes, how electronic cigarettes could figure into a long-term strategy for promoting smoking cessation, and what specific messages about electronic cigarettes and health would be appropriate to communicate to the public.”
– Prof Michael Siegel
“In exposure terms, quitting equates to switching to the e-cig.”
“The status quo in smoking cessation presents smokers with just two unpleasant alternatives: quit or die. But, there is a third choice for smokers: switching to the e-cig. The use of e-cig allows smokers to introduce nicotine from a much safer source than a lit cigarette and to keep the gestures associated with smoking.”
“…..it is much safer than a lit cigarette. Working in the area of nicotine dependence for many years has convinced me that we, as health professionals, should also take care of the smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit. To this end, the e-cig is an opportunity not to be missed.”
“I think that e-cig is a good solution to reduce the use of traditional cigarettes and their associated risk. Other valid options for tackling nicotine dependence in smokers exist, but it is still a personal choice how to introduce nicotine in his/her body. Each individual smoker should find a best way to reduce or eliminate his or her own smoking. In theory, at least for westernized cultures, vaping is a far better option than smoking. And it could save millions of lives.”
– Prof Riccardo Polosa
Electronic cigarettes may prove to be the most promising solution for the reduction in the use of traditional cigarettes and their associated risk, with the positive features of these products clearly outweighing the negative features.
– Caponnetto P, Campagna D, Papale G, Russo C, Polosa R.
The Emerging Phenomenon of Electronic Cigarettes
Expert Reviews in Respiratory Medicine. 6(1), 63-74 (2012)
“Now the safest of the tobacco products are what they call Snus. And the literature on Snus, which is evaluated on our website, basically shows that in the best of the epidemiological studies available today Snus do not increase any cause of death. In other words, if there is a health hazard from Snus it is smaller than can be measured with these studies. With that in mind we would figure that a tobacco product that is delivered with just the nicotine and without any of the other toxic chemicals should be at least as safe.
So if we can figure that the nicotine in the e-cigarettes is basically a generic version of the same nicotine that is in prescription products, we have every reason to believe that the hazard posed by e-cigarettes would be much lower than one percent, probably lower than one tenth of one percent of the hazard posed by regular cigarettes.”
– Dr Joel Nitzkin
Smokers should be aware of the variability among and within brands, so they won’t reject this cigarette alternative on the basis of one e-cigarette experience. Smokers should talk with consumers who have made the switch; learn about e-cigarette options and observations on the Internet; and try several products, if necessary, to find one that is satisfying.
– Prof Brad Rodu
“There is also no longer any scientific doubt that combustion-based products are massively more hazardous than non-combustion products such as Swedish Snus.”
“Had there been greater awareness of relative risks and a less risk-averse mentality Snus could have been seen the way auto safety advocates saw Volvos – an agent of change for the marketplace.”
– Prof. David Sweanor J.D.
“In many regards the e-cigarette or other low-risk nicotine containing products offer the same solution that the NRT products currently do, and that is why some of the pharmaceutical companies are working diligently to keep these products off the market.
If it is not the nicotine that is the primary health problem (and it is not), then we need to be clear on what kinds of products we as a nation are going to accept or not accept.
– Scott Ballin
“If the usual quit smoking alternatives such as the gum and the patch were judged on how successful they were in long term quit rates, many people might argue that they should be taken off the market. There is a pressing need for better alternatives for smokers and to the distress of the anti-tobacco crowd the best and most effective alternatives in the market right now appears to be smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes. The former we have plenty of data that shows it is safer and that people can switch, and the latter less data but positive indications that it might end up as safe and maybe even more effective since it mimics smoking so well.”
“I don’t think the ‘suppression of information’ [by governments, about e-cigarettes] is that effective or influential but rather the lack of the product being commonly available. We need these products to be sold where other tobacco products are sold and to be seen on the streets and in the bars and on planes and anywhere smokers might notice them, and then consider switching.”
– Paul Bergen
To adapt an analogy first made by Jacob Sullum, the anti-smoking ideologues would advise victims of a shipwreck not to use the lifeboats because they haven’t been fully tested to ensure their safety. And if thousands of victims of that shipwreck were successfully keeping afloat because of the lifeboats, the anti-smoking ideologues would advise them to abandon the lifeboats and stick to “government approved” survival methods [i.e. swimming].
– Dr. Michael Siegel
The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary
E-cigarettes are cigarette substitutes. If they can take nicotine market share from cigarettes, and that is the big question, they will improve smoker and population health.
– Dr. Murray Laugesen
Health New Zealand
RuyanR E-cigarette Bench-top tests, Poster 5-11
Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) Dublin
“If you’re one of the millions of people out there addicted to smoking, there may finally be some hope for you – the electronic cigarette. It gives you nicotine but it doesn’t give you any of the other 4000 chemicals that can cause cancer among other problems.”
– Dr. Travis Stork
from “The Doctors”
“An electronic cigarette would have to be so toxic to even come close to what cigarettes do to you, I’m not sure what all the belly-aching is about….
The [FDA] analysis found that [some] of the cartridges contained detectable levels of nitrosamines. Detectable levels of nitrosamines. Yes, there are nitrosamines in tobacco.
Yes, we think nitrosamines – which you’re going to find in hot dogs and sausages – also might cause cancer – but not like cigarettes do!
They’re going to have to beat me over the head to say it’s anywhere near as dangerous as cigarettes….”
– Dr. Dean Edell, transcribed from radio
The Dr. Dean Edell Show
Thanks to the collated quote sources at:
ECigaretteDirect UK – www.ecigarettedirect.co.uk
Vapers Network – www.vapersnetwork.org
CASAA – www.casaa.org
Midwest Vapers – www.midwestvapersgroup.org/quotes-from-the-experts.html
List of persons quoted above
Prof. Carl V. Phillips, MPP PhD
Associate Professor at the University of Alberta School of Public Health. Much of his research focuses on tobacco harm reduction, including epidemiology, economics, public perception, communication and education, public policy, and ethical aspects. He works as a consultant and advisor for various organizations and companies involved with tobacco harm reduction. His university research group produces the education and research website, TobaccoHarmReduction.org. Prof. Phillips is also an award-winning researcher in epidemiology methods, focusing on making epidemiologic research more useful and honest. He teaches on these topics as well as how to use epidemiologic data to make optimal policy decisions. Prof. Phillips received his PhD in public policy from Harvard University and completed fellowships in health policy at the University of Michigan and philosophy of science at the University of Minnesota, has additional degrees in math and history, and was on the faculty of the University of Texas Medical School’s Center for Evidence-Based Medicine. His blog at http://antithrlies.com is famous for specifically naming medical professionals who publish lies about Tobacco Harm Reduction.
Dr. M Laugesen
New Zealand’s most experienced researcher on smoking policy and cigarettes. He founded Health New Zealand Ltd as his research and consultancy company in 1995, after 18 years as principal medical officer in the Department, (now Ministry) of Health, and Public Health Commission. He is an Honorary Life Member, Action on Smoking and Health, (ASH New Zealand, Auckland); received the Queen’s Service Order for public services, and the World Health Organization Tobacco or Health medal and citation, “For achievements deemed worthy of international recognition in promoting the concept of tobacco-free societies.” Dr Laugesen was probably the first well-known medical professional to publicly recognise the value of e-cigarettes as a tool to reduce smoking harm.
Prof. M Siegel
Dr. Siegel is a Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health. He has published nearly 70 papers related to tobacco. He has 25 years of experience in the field of tobacco control, with two years at CDC in the Office on Smoking and Health, where he conducted research on ETS and cigarette advertising. He testified in the landmark Engle lawsuit against the tobacco companies, which resulted in an unprecedented $145 billion verdict against the industry. He teaches the Masters of Public Health program. He has the distinction of being the first world-renowned expert in public health to fully support e-cigarettes.
Dr. Brad Rodu
Professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville, holding the endowed chair in tobacco harm reduction research, member of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at UoL. Fifteen years involvement in tobacco harm reduction (THR). His research has appeared in a broad range of medical and scientific journals. He is regarded as the world’s leading authority on the oral pathology of tobacco consumption and is a specialist in the epidemiology of tobacco-induced oral disease.
William T Godshall
Executive Director of Smokefree Pennsylvania. Bill Godshall has worked tirelessly for decades to reduce the harm from smoking, and probably qualifies as the world’s most committed and longest-serving campaigner in this field. He has presented at countless committee hearings, conferences, and court cases. He is a respected supporter of the e-cigarette community.
Prof. R Polosa, MD, PhD
Director of the Institute for Internal Medicine and Clinical Immunology of the University of Catania, Italy. He is also in charge of the University Centre for Tobacco Research (CPCT, University of Catania) and Honorary Professor of Medicine at Southampton University, UK. He is author of more than 200 peer reviewed articles and books mainly covering respiratory medicine, clinical immunology, and tobacco addiction. As a respiratory specialist and specialist in tobacco diseases, his full support for e-cigarettes is invaluable.
Scott D Ballin is a tobacco and health policy consultant in Washington, DC and has spent more than 30 years involved in issues related to tobacco and health. He was the VP for Public Policy and Legislative Counsel at the American Heart Association and Chairman of the Coalition on Smoking or Health (ASC, ALA, AHA).
Dr. J Nitzkin
Joel L. Nitzkin, MD, MPH, DPA is Chair of the AAPHP’s Tobacco Control Task Force. The American Association of Public Health Physicians: ‘The voice of public health physicians, guardians of the public’s health’.
Paul Bergen MSc MLIS
Research Associate in Public Health Sciences at the University of Alberta; Alberta School of Health’s Tobacco Harm Reduction project.
Prof. David Sweanor J.D.
Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa. Special Lecturer, Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Nottingham. He has worked with the International Union Against Cancer, World Health Organization, World Bank, Pan American Health Organization and numerous governments, foundations, law firms, companies making smoking cessation products and health agencies. The organization where he did most of his Canadian work in his capacity as counsel, the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association, received significant international recognition for many ground-breaking public health advances. He has received various awards for his work, including a ‘Public Health Hero’ lifetime achievement award from the Pan-American Health Organization.
Dr. Adrian Payne
PhD, Pharmacology, University of London. During a post-doctoral career spanning more than thirty years, he has worked for both tobacco and pharmaceutical companies.
Dr. D Edell
Host of America’s second most popular syndicated radio talk show, The Dr. Dean Edell Show. He has won numerous awards, including the American Cancer Society recognition award, the American Heart Association award, and other prestigious medical and media awards.