For some time now, electronic cigarettes have been at the heart of the debate. A true anti-tobacco solution for some, a toxic product for others, the multiplicity of e-cigs and therefore compositions complicates the analysis. Jacques Le Houezec, a consultant specializing in tobacco addiction, explains how, despite everything, electronic cigarettes save lives.
Why is vape kits is a “good” way to quit smoking?
We now know that electronic cigarettes are a smoking cessation solution that works. It is a very good nicotine substitute, especially because it allows you to quit smoking for fun. When smokers discover that they experience pleasure differently with flavours than with a cigarette, they are more motivated to quit. Is that not replacing one addiction with another? Yes, it is, absolutely. But addiction should not be confused with addiction. Addiction is an addiction that causes harm. If electronic cigarettes reduce health risks, I believe it is good for the individual. For me addiction is not a problem, the most important thing is to quit smoking. In addition, it seems that addiction decreases over time, according to user surveys.
Some electronic cigarettes contain nicotine. Isn’t that a health problem?
The most harmful is the inhalation of tobacco smoke, nicotine does not kill. Governments must support the electronic cigarette, which must remain a common consumer product. I am not saying that the electronic cigarette is safe, but compared to cigarettes it is infinitely less dangerous.
But two studies contradict the effectiveness of electronic cigarettes in stopping smoking?
These two studies were carried out with 1st generation e-cigs that we know to be ineffective. Nowadays, we are talking about 3rd generation electronic cigarettes, far from the 1st generation and its batteries which lasted less than an hour. A study was launched last year, but it takes 1 or 2 years before the conclusions are known. The electronic cigarette has developed considerably in a very short time. Yet few studies exist. Why? Why? Public funds are difficult to obtain. So much so that Doctor Farsalinos, a Greek cardiologist, has to use participative funding to conduct his experiments! However, there are many studies on electronic cigarettes. AFNOR is in discussion with manufacturers and distributors to propose its standards which should allow a better control of the products.
Should you prohibit vaping at work?
It should first be recalled that to obtain a nicotine level equal to that of a cigarette smoked in 5 minutes, it is necessary to vaporize between half an hour and one hour, depending on the vaporizer used. It is therefore understandable that imposing a 2-hour delay between two cigarette breaks is insufficient for the smoker to have his nicotine dose only with the electronic cigarette. To avoid the urge to smoke, the smoker must be able to spray regularly. Some point to the fear that the development of electronic cigarettes will attract young people who will then become smokers. At the moment, all the data overturn this fear. In England, the United States or France, young people are increasingly using electronic cigarettes and turning away from tobacco. It makes you wonder if you really want people to stop smoking!