E-cigarettes: harm reduction or rehabilitation of the tobacco industry?
In recent years, there has been a marked increase in e-cigarettes popularity among young people. Data from adolescents in the USA show that e-cigarettes have become the number one tobacco product used by this population, with past-month use among high school students reaching 27.5% in 2019 (FDA 2019). While still investigated, the recent epidemic of acute lung injuries and fatalities associated with e-cigarette use underscores the importance of identifying e-cigarette-associated risks and enacting policies to protect young people. In 2014, an IJPH editorial posed the fundamental question “To e-smoke or not to e-smoke,” showcasing some of the key pros and cons of e-cigarettes and highlighting the limitations of evidence needed to settle this debate (Kuenzli 2014). A lot of evidence has appeared since, yet the debate is still stuck on that original question.
I argue in this piece that one of the main reasons for this stalemate is how this debate has been diverted from the...
The author acknowledges Stan Shatenstein, Editor & Publisher, STAN Bulletin (Smoking & Tobacco Abstracts & News) for his help on this manuscript.
This manuscript is not funded.
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Conflict of interest
The author has no relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject material or materials discussed in the manuscript. This includes employment, consultancies, honoraria, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, grants or patents received or pending, or royalties.
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