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The American Heart Association issued a 20-page policy statement on vaping today (read the whole statement here). The statement didn’t contain many surprises. It painted vaping in a generally negative light. The report repeatedly pounded away at the belief “that e-cigarettes that contain nicotine are tobacco products and should be subject to all laws that apply to these products.”
The report went on to call for “strong new regulations to prevent access, sales and marketing of e-cigarettes to youth and for more research into the product’s health impact.”
If there was any glimmer of good news in the report it was given grudgingly at best. The AHA conceded that e-cigarettes as a method of smoking cessation were “likely equal to or slightly better than nicotine patches without behavioral support.” It went on to counsel physicians to “use proven smoking cessation strategies as the first line of treatment,” but if (when) those methods fail and the patient wants to try vaping the doctor “may support the patient’s attempt to quit using e-cigarettes.”
I understand that vaping hasn’t been around long enough to allow for any kind of long term studies. But I also know many people who picked up an e-cig one day and never returned to using tobacco, myself included. Some of these people haven’t had a tobacco cigarette in years. And while these anecdotal reports may not pass scientific muster, I know from my own experience and the experiences of others that e-cigarettes are extremely effective as a smoking cessation method.
As the vaping industry gets ever closer to that $10 billion a year marker the calls for regulation, legislation and bans will only grow stronger. The AHA and other like-minded groups continue to call for more research, but in the meantime they will also continue to call for more restrictive measures by state and federal governments. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a little tired of government interference in my life, especially when they (the government) prove time and time again that they’re incapable of operating above mediocrity in the areas they’re already trying to control.
Thankfully there are several organizations taking up the cause of vaping. You can find out more, and even get more actively involved, at these websites: