1. Health

Discuss in my forum

Deborah Leader, RN

Alleged Study Claims No Proof E-Cigarettes Combat Smoking Addiction

By December 30, 2012

Follow me on:

Although tens of thousands of e-cigarette advocates will beg to differ, an alleged report issued by the Italian Health Ministry claims there is no proof that these odorless smoking alternatives are useful in combating an addiction to smoking. They add that, because e-cigarettes still deliver nicotine to the user and using it could lead to smoking the "real deal", it should not be used by young people.

According to Roberta Pacifici, director of Italy Observatory on Smoking, Alcohol and Drug Use at the National Health Institute:† "We can say that the electronic cigarette is less toxic, but we cannot say that it is totally innocuous." She added: "We have to have a prudent approach towards this product as we know little about its worth in stopping people smoking or how toxic it is." Pacifici did however, concede to the fact that e-cigarettes deliver less nicotine and toxic substances than traditional cigarettes which, when smoked, produce more than 400 carcinogenic substances.

Ray Story, CEO of The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, says that e-cigarettes don't claim to help people quit smoking in the first place. He points out that† there has never been any proof that e-cigarettes are harmful and that attacking the e-cigarette industry is less about public health and more about protecting the revenue generated by the sale of tobacco products.

Whether you support e-cigarettes or not, there is no doubt that controversy will always exist over their use. Why is this? Many agree with Story that they threaten revenue resulting from the sale of cigarettes and other products containing nicotine, including† Nicorette gum and other smoking cessation products. Public health agencies may never advocate for their use, in part because of the lack of scientific evidence supporting that they're not harmful. One thing is certain, however; while proof that they aren't harmful is lacking, so is proof that they are.

The Pros and Cons of E-Cigarettes
What Made You Decide to Try the E-Cigarette?

In order to verify the accuracy of the report issued by the Italian Ministry of Health and determine which scientific methods were used to form the study's conclusion, this writer was unable to find any information on their website in either English or Italian. If anyone has the actual link to the report, please leave it in the comment section.

December 30, 2012 at 5:11 pm
(1) Elaine Keller says:

The ISS has not conducted research of its own on human subjects, and Dr. Pacifici has ignored the published scientific journal articles on research conducted by asthma specialists in her own country. Dr. Riccardo Polosa and his colleagues have found the products to be a powerful tool for helping inveterate smokers to stop damaging their lungs.

My guess would be that the ISS relied mostly upon the FDA’s misleading press release. The FDA made reference to “toxins” and “carcinogens” with the goal of alarming the public. However, the Agency withheld the vital information that the trace levels detected were thousands of times lower than the toxins and carcinogens in cigarette smoke. In fact, the FDA-approved nicotine cessation products contain equivalent levels.

Elaine Keller, President
The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association

December 30, 2012 at 10:18 pm
(2) Xira says:

Worked for me.

December 31, 2012 at 2:06 am
(3) Riccardo Polosa says:

The report was commissioned end of september 2012 by the Ministry of Health. I doubt they have conducted (or commissioned) a study in such a short period of time…. It is more likely to be antismoking (antiecig) activists propaganda in response to the very positive Xmas sales of electronic cigarettes in Italy. The report is likely to be a collection of opinions rather than a proper study of adequate scientific quality.

LIAF have posted a formal request to the ISS to review the content and scientific accuracy of the report as there is no trace of such a document in their website!

Prof. R. Polosa
LIAF (Lega Italiana AntiFumo)
Chief Scientific Advisor

December 31, 2012 at 1:30 pm
(4) Deborah Leader says:

That’s veryinteresting, I am going to change the title to “alleged” report.

January 1, 2013 at 12:20 pm
(5) Elaine Keller says:

Thank you, Deborah!

I did a search on ClinicalTrials.gov for current and completed research.


I also found three clinical trials registered on the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry.

I’m in the process of updating CASAA’s free handout, “Electronic Cigarette Research” which started out a little over a year ago as a 4-page document and is now up to 8 pages with the inclusion of the updated list of clinical trials.

January 16, 2013 at 12:08 pm
(6) Tony says:

“We can say that the electronic cigarette is less toxic…”

This seemed like common sense to me when I was researching ecigs myself (I am not a scientific professional, and all of my “research” was done online for my own benefit). Compare an ecig that contains a handful of FDA-approved ingredients to a tobacco cigarette that, when burned, releases HUNDREDS of chemicals. It’s the difference between sitting in the stands at the Indy 500 and sucking on a car’s tailpipe… night and day!

“…we cannot say that it is totally innocuous.”

This goes without saying. And no one should be claiming that ecigs are healthy in absolute terms, ever. At least until more research is done. The only thing that anyone should be breathing is pure, natural air. That being said, there are millions of Americans, and millions more worldwide, that fell into cigarette addiction. Ecigs are a less toxic, less harmful ALTERNATIVE. If they can help some people quit smoking altogether, then so much the better.

February 10, 2013 at 2:12 am
(7) sleekhosting says:

E Cigarette as a product was primarily introduced in the market to help people quit smoking.
The primary targets for the product were the people who used to smoke tobacco already.

February 16, 2013 at 11:35 am
(8) Electronic Cigarette says:

E Cigarette as a product was primarily introduced in the market to help people quit smoking.
The primary targets for the product were the people who used to smoke tobacco already.
But the popularity of this product has spread so much that even those people have started smoking the e cigs,
who didnít used to smoke at all. But there are questions regarding the health benefits and disadvantages of using e cigs.
There are several
benefits of using an E Cigarette as it is a nicotine free alternative to tobacco cigarette.

February 20, 2013 at 2:34 pm
(9) e-cigarettes says:

Smokers are quite happy and elated with this facility. This device use battery for its operation usually high capacity battery is used. Mini lithium and standard lithium batteries are mainly used to run this electronic cigarette.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. COPD

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.