Emilia Crighton, a former medical registrar and now the interim director of public health for Glasgow and Clyde, is resolute. The NHS health chief firmly believes that Scotland will become entirely tobacco-free by 2034. Her vision of a healthier future within twenty years is based on findings that smoking in Glasgow has dipped from 37.5% to 25% in a ten-year period. This is coupled with a reduction in the number of patients presenting at hospital with hearts attacks, a reduction in the incidence of childhood asthma admission and pregnancy complications being slashed.
Crighton gives support to the use of electronic cigarettes in order to achieve this vision of a smoke-free future. Although tempered, she believes that e-cigs really work as a stopgap in order to help people out of smoking and into a healthier future. She recognises that the financial benefits of vaping instead of smoking are there too as an additional incentive – something those who would like to tax vaping have yet to appreciate.
Meanwhile, in Canada, David Sweanor has spoken out once again in favour of common sense. The professor at the University of Ottawa slammed the Canadian government for taking the wrong direction in its approach to vaping.
Sweanor said: “My goal is to reduce death and disease. The problem is smoke, not the nicotine. If we can give people nicotine without the smoke we largely solve the health problem.”
He continued: “There’s a lot of people who have an abstinence-only moralistic view. They see smoking and smokers as sin and sinners. It’s very much like the war on drugs or trying to deal with teenage sexuality by saying no sex outside of marriage. An abstinence-only view kills people instead of saves people. Any barrier in the way of people using a less hazardous product has to be firmly based on science and human rights.”
The call for harm reduction instead of prohibition (as a result of unfounded fears) is a message he has been consistently trotting out over a prolonged period of time. In light of the protests, Ottawan politicians quickly backtracked from their aggressive anti-ecig stance. Maybe with Sweanor adding to the clamor they can review the legislation and introduce a greater depth of common sense.