The paper begins from the premise that ‘we don’t know enough about them’, something that hasn’t been used as a reasonable argument for a number of years given the tsunami of research conducted and published every month.
On vaping, they write: “Their exact benefit/risk ratio is unknown due to a lack of clear data and evidence regarding their efficacy as a smoking cessation tool, the level of risk of their use compared with evidence-based smoking cessation treatments and to the continuing use of combustible tobacco.”
Ivan Berlin, Isabelle Jacot-Sadowski, Jean-Paul Humair, and Jacques Cornuz say they gathered the views of 268 people from 15 countries. They claim these people are international tobacco control and smoking cessation experts. They contacted them in a series of surveys carried out between December 2018 and March 2020. They obtained responses from just 92 participants in the first round and 55 in the second round.
“Replies about e-cigarettes showed a consensus of agreement that the components of e-liquids should be provided on the product, there should be a defined upper limit of nicotine concentration and there should be a stated warning on the lack of evidence about long term safety and the addiction potential of these products.
“In addition, they said e-cigarettes should not be regulated as consumer products but either as a new category of nicotine delivery or tobacco products with or without specific regulation, while the products should not be sold in general stores but either in specialised shops, shops selling tobacco or in pharmacies with sale restrictions for minors.”
The “experts” recommended:
- The components of e-liquids should be defined
- An upper limit of nicotine concentration should be defined
- A warning on the lack of evidence in long-term safety and addiction potential should be stated on packaging
- They should be regulated as a tobacco product with similar warning messages as cigarettes
- Vape products should not be regulated as consumer products but either as a new category of nicotine delivery or tobacco products
- Vape products should be banned from sale in general stores, restricted to specialised shops, shops selling tobacco or in pharmacies with restriction on sale to minors
The “experts” believe:
- The administration of illegal drugs is likely with vape product use
- Heated Tobacco Products (HTP) have the same addictive potential as cigarettes
- Vaping should not be allowed in indoor public places
- A specific tax should be implemented for vape kit
- Taxation on HTP should not be lower than those for cigarettes
- Smoking is more likely with when using vape products or HTPs
These experts appear to be more concerned about things other than evidence and facts.
- International expert consensus on electronic nicotine delivery systems and heated tobacco products: a Delphi survey - https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/11/9/e045724