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Journal of Public Health Policy

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 132–134 | Cite as

A short note on e-cigarette issues: Harm reduction, re-normalization, and Big Tobacco

  • Mohammed Al-hamdani
Letter to the Editor

E-cigarette advocates neglect the inappropriateness of these products for harm reduction, the contribution of vaping to smoking re-normalization, and links between e-cigarette manufacturers and Big Tobacco. I comment on two pro e-cigarette articles and these issues, and then suggest caution in the rush to embrace e-cigarettes.

Background

E-cigarettes, a modern alternative to cigarettes, are a rapidly growing market.1 They are controversial due to the divergent views on their purpose. E-cigarettes can serve the purpose of harm reduction.2 They may constitute a public health threat with vaping promoting re-normalization of smoking.3 (Vaping is the act of using e-cigarettes, because they release vapor. Re-normalization refers to increasing the social acceptability of a product after it had come to be considered unacceptable behaviour.)

I find three concerns with the pro e-cigarette perspective:
  • Inaccurate harm reduction assertions.

  • Disregard of the importance of e-cigarette restrictions.

  • N...

References

  1. Ayers, J.W., Ribisl, K.M. and Brownstein, J.S. (2011) Tracking the rise in popularity of electronic nicotine delivery systems (electronic cigarettes) using search query surveillance. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 40 (4): 448–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cahn, Z. and Siegel, M. (2010) Electronic cigarettes as a harm reduction strategy for tobacco control: A step forward or a repeat of past mistakes? Journal of Public Health Policy 32 (1): 16–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Trtchounian, A. and Talbot, P. (2011) Electronic nicotine delivery systems: Is there a need for regulation? Tobacco Control 20 (1): 47–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cahn, Z. (2013) France acts on electronic cigarettes. Journal of Public Health Policy. doi: 10.1057/jphp.2013.32.Google Scholar
  5. Peeters, S. and Gilmore, A.B. (2013) Transnational tobacco company interests in smokeless tobacco in Europe: Analysis of internal industry documents and contemporary industry materials. PLoS medicine 10(9): e1001506, http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1001506.
  6. Proctor, R.N. (2012) Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition. Berkley, LA: University of California Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammed Al-hamdani
    • 1
  1. 1.Saint Mary’s UniversityHalifaxCanada

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