Big Win For E-Cigarettes: Study Says Nicotine No More Dangerous Than Coffee

By Guy Bentley

Nicotine is no more dangerous to health than coffee, but 90 percent of the public still consider it harmful, according to a report from the U.K.’s Royal Society for Public Health.

The study heaps praise on e-cigarettes with the chief executive of the RSPH, Shirley Cramer commenting “getting people on to nicotine rather than using tobacco would make a big difference to the public’s health.”

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that simulate smoking by heating e-liquids allowing users to inhale nicotine vapor. The RSPH, however, doesn’t disregard all concerns surrounding nicotine addiction. It argues instead that nicotine substitutes like e-cigarettes are far more preferable to regular tobacco.

“Clearly there are issues in terms of having smokers addicted to nicotine but this would move us on from having a serious and costly public health issue from smoking-related disease to instead address the issue of addiction to a substance which in and of itself is not too dissimilar to caffeine addiction,” said Cramer.

While the health consequences of long-term e-cigarette use are still unknown, evidence to date suggests there are few if any health consequences. E-cigarettes do not contain many of the chemicals in regular cigarettes associated with lung cancer and emphysema.

A recent study concluded that inhaling vapor from E-cigarettes was as safe as breathing air. The study compared two E-cigarettes with regular cigarettes and air using smoking robot with respiratory tissue.
(RELATED: New Study Claim E-cigarette Vapor No More Dangerous Than Air)

The RSPH wants to see shops that sell regular tobacco compelled to sell e-cigarettes and other nicotine replacement products such patches. In a recommendation more focused on the public relations battle, they added that e-cigarettes should be renamed vaporizers or nicotine sticks to detach any association in the public’s mind between regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

Despite the good intentions of the RSPH, not everyone is happy with the recommendations. Simon Clark, director of smokers’ rights group Forest said, “renaming e-cigarettes is a silly idea. It ignores the fact that e-cigs are popular because they mimic the act of smoking.

“The name is part of their appeal. Calling them nicotine sticks or vaporizers suggests a medicinal product and that misses the point,” he added.

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