Try as I might, I couldn’t ignore this subject tonight. Spurred on by the UK’s Faculty of Public Health (FPH). Just in case you didn’t know, our benevolent friends at FPH call themselves “the standard setting body for specialists in public health in the United Kingdom.” I read that as purely bureaucratic.
Oh, I forgot to mention they are a registered charity. Of course they are, why is it that only charities have anything to say these days?
So the FPH, dear reader is specifically claiming in this statement that electronic cigarettes are not as effective as supported NHS nicotine replacement therapy. They cite that there is not enough evidence that people quit smoking when using e-cigs.
In fact, the argument that e-cigarettes are a form of harm reduction is undermined by evidence that it does not reduce the chances of ‘dual users’ getting heart disease, and may mean people smoke for longer
OK then, that makes about as much sense as I do after a few too many drinks. Let me draw your attention to the next part of the statement.
A key concern for everyone in public health is that children and young people are being targeted by mass advertising of e-cigarettes. There is a danger that e-cigarettes will lead to young people and non-smokers becoming addicted to nicotine and smoking. Evidence from the US backs up this concern.
Firstly dear FPH, e-cigarette advertising is strictly controlled and you may remember that a few of them have already been banned by the ASA. Advertising is pretty much restricted to online and in some printed materials. That’s about it. Secondly, this statement is about quitting smoking, which makes me wonder why advertising has even been mentioned at all. It must be those pesky kids again.
It has taken decades of lobbying by public health related organisations to get tobacco controls, which have transformed the health of thousands of people. The public health community is deeply concerned that electronic cigarettes will undermine the hard work that led to the smoking ban and tobacco control legislation
“Decades of lobbying by public health related organisations”, well that’s a pretty way of putting the continuous harassment that smokers undergo by “public health related organisations” isn’t it?
Pay special attention to this part folks as it is pretty telling:
The public health community is deeply concerned that electronic cigarettes will undermine the hard work that led to the smoking ban and tobacco control legislation
To be honest, I missed this on the first read through. It looks like they are claiming that e-cigarettes will undermine everything they’ve done so far. You know, the bullying tactics, the plain packs debacle, smoking bans etc. If they had an ounce of sense, they’d embrace this technology as it could be used to play a role in their continued “war on tobacco”. But then, this is the FPH, led by none other than the anti-ecig, anti-smoking J. Ashton. How quaint. The pieces of this puzzle are clicking into place, and it isn’t a picture that I particularly like, no it isn’t a spider.
“For now, the best thing anyone who wants to stop smoking can do is to talk to their GP or ring the national quitline to get a referral to safe, evidenced-based services. We just don’t know enough yet about e-cigarettes to be sure that they are a safe alternative to this proven method of quitting smoking for good.”
Finally we get to their “advice”. Which boils down to “see your GP” or speak to the quitline as they just “don’t know enough yet about e-cigarettes to be sure that they are a safe alternative to this proven method of quitting smoking for good.”
So, in a sordid little nutshell they don’t know if e-cigs are safe, but they also don’t have enough evidence relating to e-cigs as a cessation method so you’ll have better luck quitting smoking by talking to your GP, or using NRT than you would if you used an e-cig.