Fear on the city

By seriniti , on 17 November 2022 - 8 minutes to read

November 2022, like every year, is the month without tobacco and this year we will be at the 7th edition. The various speakers have prepared their weapons well in advance praising here the benefits of nicotine substitutes in all its forms (patches, gums, lozenges), there hypnosis, acupuncture, the Allen Carr method, behavioral and cognitive therapies, some medical treatments prescribed as Zyban or Champix, without forgetting the phone calls that put, if necessary, smokers in contact with a tobaccologist.

But not a word about the vapoteuse! It is however, as we mentioned earlier, the surest way for an addicted smoker to stop his addiction.

So why is it not mentioned ? This would not be serious if we were content with a scornful silence, but the attacks against the “e cigarette” are not at their trial run. Let us judge.

Alliance Contre le Tabac (ACT)

Alliance Contre le Tabac (ACT)

The ACT (Alliance Against Tobacco) with, very recently, the words of Professor of Public Health Loïc Josseran, its President, who asks the ban pure and simple Puffs, these disposable electronic cigarettes with sweet flavors, which sometimes contain nicotine, already prohibited to minors to prevent the escalation and the transition to smoking and should be prohibited to all. So yes, we had deviated, by these Puffs, the use of the e-cigarette and tried, through this, to interest minors in smoking, which remained highly questionable without forgetting their environmental impact very questionable (ecological aberration with their lithium battery and their plastic structure). The Senate has just voted in first reading a dissuasive tax on these disposable e-cigarettes that has little chance of being retained. But the Pandora’s box is reopened for the e-cigarette, the “real”, which is intended, let’s not forget, to help smokers who fail to stop smoking. It seems obvious that this attack on the ACT will not be without consequence on the use of the latter. If, in addition, such a step seems justified for puffs, no study to date (17 years of hindsight for the electronic cigarette) does not go in the direction that states the ACT, namely a tendency to facilitate the passage of the e-cigarette to tobacco while the e-cigarette realizes an effective method to stop the addiction in dependent subjects who have not managed to stop smoking by another method.

Department of Health Services (DHS)

Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS)

The attacks for the e-cigarette are not limited to these reproaches. So much so. It all starts in July 2019 in Wisconsin. The DHS (Department of Health Services) mentions 9 cases of serious lung disease in teenagers, all vapers. On August 14, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues a press release stating that it is investigating the case of 94 people with lung problems in the country, all patients using vape products. An 18-year-old American girl, Maggie Nelson, tells on Facebook about her acute pneumonia, her plunge into a coma and the fact that vaping has something to do with it according to her. On August 23, the first death was reported. Fear spreads throughout the states and the press makes headlines on this case accusing the electronic cigarette of all evils despite the millions of vapers who exist in the world and are doing well. On September 10, 6 deaths are reported and the Secretary of Health, Lee Norman, asks users of e-cigarettes to stop the vape. The deaths continue and the world press takes the case with headlines often racy while the investigation continues. On September 27 we finally discovered that it is the THC cartridges (Tetrahydrocannabinol) that play a role in these health problems, but the damage is already done. Andre Cuomo, Governor of the State of New York, banned the sale of flavored vape products , following the ban in Michigan. These poisonings, which have nothing to do with flavored e-liquids, are however accused of all the evils by the anti-vape arguments that try to pass measures banning their sale, or even the e-cigarette in its entirety. Gradually, after dozens of alarmist articles, the storm calmed on November 8, after the publication of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) which announced that ALL samples tested, responsible for these serious accidents and deaths contained vitamin E acetate, an illegal diluent additive used in refills sold under the cloak and containing THC. Agnes Buzyn in a radio interview on RTL had, a little earlier, calmed the game, stating that these serious events in the USA came from the use of essential oils with pulmonary toxicity, impossible in France where the legislation was much more severe. The damage was done and we witnessed a drop in sales of e-liquids even if all countries, after having fanned the fears, had “recognized their mistake” with the exception of South Korea, which would not have informed its inhabitants and for which an association of defense of vapotage filed a complaint against the government, accusing the Ministry of Health to have damaged its reputation and its interests by spreading false information about the e-cigarette.

– From 2009 to 2014, these are the risks of explosion that are the headline of all newspapers. Yet on the 25 accidents noted with the use of the vapoteuse, none is serious, these accidents occurring during the charging of devices (which is the fact of many electrical devices and especially a time i-phones, in connection with lithium batteries), leading to a risk noted 0.0000001% of minor injuries.

World Health Organization (WHO)

World Health Organization (WHO)

In 2010, the WHO (no less), at an international conference in Uruguay in Punta del Este, recalls the programs of aid to stop smoking and announces at the same time that the e-cigarette sabotages the fight against tobacco after having stated in April 2009 for the vapoteuse that real cigarettes was better than fake drugs! arguing that nicotine is a very addictive drug (which is true) and that it is used to convey propylene glycol, a toxic substance for humans (which is false).

We could go on endlessly on the repeated attacks of the ACT or even the media or even some scientific “luminaries” on the e-cigarette. However, 17 years after the emergence of steam that comes to us from the Middle Kingdom, who will deny the effectiveness of this weapon that must be added without doubt to the arsenal available and which has undoubtedly proved its worth, allowing thousands of smokers to FINALLY stop their addiction. This does not mean that this mechanism is completely harmless, but as stated by many tobacco specialists (and Professor Dautzenberg in particular), comparing the risks of e-cigarettes and tobacco is like comparing the risk of a car driving at 140 on the highway to that of driving at 130 on the wrong way.

Finally, let us specify that the pregnant woman, contrary to the untimely statements of some, can very well use the vapoteuse during her pregnancy (as nicotine substitutes of course) to avoid smoking.

So why this incomprehensible attitude ?

I repeat, without changing a comma, the words of Robert Molimard who mentioned the ban on oral tobacco (snus) in Europe:

I would be tempted to see in the decision of the European Court of Justice one of the avatars of a real economic war between powerful interests where the tobacco multinationals, those of the Pharmacy, the fiscal policies clash and where the real interest of public health does not weigh much.

Robert Molimard

In the case of the e-cigarette, it seems useful to remember that it is not a product derived from tobacco (even if nicotine is added). And that’s where the problem lies !

The VAT of the e-cigarette is 20% against more than 80% for tobacco products ! This is a significant loss of revenue for the state although it reaps since 2018 with the increase in the price of tobacco, 3 billion in additional revenue in its coffers without the number of smokers has really moved (about 30% good year, bad year), only the black market and the use of electronic cigarettes have slightly bent the curves. The benefits for the French state in 2018 being 18 billion euros with tobacco when the total cost of the effects of smoking is 12 billion with therefore an estimated gain of 6 billion euros in 2018.

A “straw” as some would say.

Bibliographical references :

• Vap’News : weekly newspaper of the Net for the use of vapoteurs.

• Manual for the use of inveterate smokers. Jean-Jacques Hubinois, Les éditions du Net, September 2013.

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