Commentary

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Nicotine Science & Policy | 17 January 2014

On January 16, 2014, a group of eminent scientists in the field of tobacco and e-cigarettes sent the following letter to the EU Commission, directing their attention to a number of scientific errors in the proposed Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). Their concerns also extend to the misinterpretations and misuse of some data from individual pieces of research.

 

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Jacques le Houezec | 12 January 2014

Nicotine is the major alkaloid found in tobacco, but it can be found in lower concentrations in plants of the same family, potatoes, tomatoes or eggplants. Humans have always been curious to find plants that can have pleasurable or medicinal effects. Tobacco has been used in South America from pre-Colombian times to the present for magico-religious, medicinal and recreational purposes.

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Scott D. Ballin | 5 January 2014

For most, it is obvious that the tobacco and nicotine environment is changing and changing rapidly. The 'tobacco wars' as we traditionally fought them for the last 40 years still exist in some form but the issues, challenges and more importantly opportunities to develop a more comprehensive and rational approach to the regulation of all tobacco, nicotine and alternative products is at our doorstep.

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Matt Ridley | 28 December 2013

E-cigarettes are mainly used to quit smoking - don't stifle them. My recent speech in the House of Lords on the dangers of too much regulatory precaution over electronic cigarettes has sparked a huge amount of interest among "vapers". I am reprinting the speech here as a blog.

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Nicotine Science & Policy | 28 December 2013

In the wake of all the debates about new nicotine products and regulation in 2013, NSP asked leading commentators to let us have short statements on their hopes and aspirations for policy and practice in the coming year. Below are some of the responses we received.

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Clive Bates | 20 December 2013

As the final negotiation over e-cigarettes in the tobacco products directive drew to a close. a nameless ‘senior diplomat involved in the negotiations’ was quoted in The Guardian. They were talking about e-cigarettes:It’s inhaled. It’s direct inhalation of nicotine into the lungs. That creates an addiction very fast… I t encourages a switch to real cigarettes.”

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 Hazel Mabe | 14 December 2013

As in the rest of Europe, e-cigarettes were first introduced in Germany around 2007. Since then there has been a massive increase in their use and it is estimated that there are two million vapers in Germany. It is estimated that around 7% use first generation cigalike products, and 93% second and third generation.

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Karl Fagerstrom | 14 December 2013

We used to believe that nicotine is very dependence producing, but the evidence suggests that there are a number of problems with this statement. For example, animals do not self-administer nicotine as readily as they do other dependence producing drugs such as amphetamine, cocaine, and heroin (Villegier et al. 2003); nicotine is a relatively weak reinforcer in human laboratory studies (Perkins et al. 2001); abstinent smokers seem to prefer a much reduced or nicotine free e-cigarette rather than other - often stronger - nicotine-containing products like gum; and although nicotine replacement treatment is an effective aid for quitting smoking, its efficacy is moderate even in doses that replace most or all nicotine from the cigarettes formerly used (Dale et al. 1995). There is very little to no evidence for the abuse of nicotine when not delivered in a tobacco vehicle.

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Gilbert Ross | 8 December 2013

Smoking is a leading cause of death, and cessation treatments are largely ineffective, yet regulation threatens a promising new technology that might help smokers quit. 

Anyone with a modicum of knowledge regarding public health will agree that the most important, devastating, and preventable issue facing America is the human toll of cigarettes.

 

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Jon Spring | 1 December 2013

All quotes attributed in the following piece are from the transcripts of the E-Cigarette Summit, held at the Royal Society in London, on November 12, 2013 [i] The Summit provided a vital and timely meeting for scientists, policymakers, public health professionals and e-cigarette stakeholders to come together and debate the future of e-cigarettes in context of health, efficacy and regulation.