There is enough evidence that support the use of electronic cigarettes as an aid for smoking cessation in adults, says Kenneth E. Warner, PhD, professor emeritus of Department of Health Management and Policy, School of Public Health, University of Michigan.
Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are hand-held, battery-operated devices that heat a liquid containing propylene glycol and/or glycerin, flavoring compounds, and typically nicotine to produce an aerosol that users inhale, or vape.
“E-cigarettes are not the magic bullet that will end the devastation wrought by cigarette smoking, but they can contribute to that lofty public health goal,” says Warner. “For adults who want to quit smoking, e-cigarettes serve as an important less-hazardous alternative to continued smoking,” he adds.
The study published in Nature Medicine by Kenner E. Warner, PhD from the Department of Health Management and Policy, School of Public Health, University of Michigan with co-authors, Neal L. Benowitz of the Department of medicine, University of California, Ann McNeill of National Addiction Centre, King’s College, London, and Nancy A. Rigotti of Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School in Boston, examined health consequences of e-cigarettes and reviewed different countries that regulate or support e-cigarettes.
Each of the authors have engaged in substantial research and have conducted thorough review of e-cigarettes – its potential to increase smoking cessation among adults, its health consequences and evidence for clinical care adopted by governments and medical authorities internationally on e-cigarettes’ role in smoking cessation. Professor Warner’s research focuses on ascertaining the effects of tobacco control policies, tobacco harm reduction, the use of reduced-risk nicotine delivery products as alternative to smoking cigarettes and regulatory policy regarding e-cigarette, and potential benefits and ability to help adults quit smoking.
The study further states: “acceptance of the promotion of e-cigarettes as a tool for smoking cessation will likely depend on continuing efforts to reduce access to, and use of, the products by young people who have never smoked. The two objectives can and should co-exist.”
The study recognized both the United Kingdom and the United States for their good success rates in quitting cigarette smoking. Vaping was acknowledged as the more effective alternative compared to other products in the market. Both the US National Academies of Sciences and Engineering and Medicine and an independent review commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care in England concluded that e-cigarette is less harmful than traditional cigarettes.
The health experts and examiners revealed that government agencies in the United States and Canada acknowledge the potential benefit of e-cigarette use. Conversely, government health agencies and medical societies in England and New Zealand, openly support and advocate vaping as smoking cessation tool. The study even identifies public education campaigns promoting smoking cessation.
“We believe that governments, medical professional groups and individual healthcare professionals in countries such as US, Canada and Australia should give greater consideration to the potential of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation,” says Warner.
In the Philippines, tobacco control is considered a public health priority and a key development issue which affects overall health and wellbeing.
“Globally, the ever-increasing scientific evidence in favor of vaping and the growing number of medical experts who support vaping can no longer be disregarded. Today, there are 17.3 million Filipino smokers. As a medical practitioner, it is my duty to encourage them to find alternatives, like vaping, that are proven to be safer than conventional cigarettes,” says Dr. Christian Luna, an established ophthalmologist and former medical director of the Tulay Lingap Ni Padre Pio Surgicenter. Dr. Luna lost relatives who failed to stop smoking cigarettes.