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Scholars Argue That Information Could Be The Key To Quit Smoking

Scholars Argue That Information Could Be The Key To Quit Smoking

Scholars Argue That Information Could Be The Key To Quit Smoking

Year after year, surveys show that a majority of American smokers want to quit. Yet even though diseases related to smoking are still the most preventable cause of death in America, for some reason millions of us remain trapped under the thumb of Big Tobacco. One scholar argues that American regulations imposed by the Food and Drug Administration are keeping smokers from learning valuable information about e-cigarettes that could be their first step on the road to quitting.

In a recent paper Jonathan H. Adler, a professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, called e-cigarettes “the most promising smoking alternative to enter the market to date,” according to a report published by Regulatory Review. He argues a case for harm reduction, underpinning his argument with a belief that e-cigarettes neither contain tobacco nor require combustion—the principal sources of exposure to toxic contaminants from normal cigarettes.

Social Behavior

Adler went on to compare the successes of e-cigarettes with other nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs). He says that NRTs only address part of the problem with their addiction to combustible cigarettes by offering people a supplement for their nicotine craving. E-cigarettes, however, are far more successful at helping people get over their addiction because they simulate the social aspects surrounding the habit of cigarette smoking.

The way that I’ve always thought about this is in the context of peer pressure surrounding urban bars in places like my hometown of New York. A smoker will get up and ask the rest of the table if they want to smoke with them. A former smoker might be compelled by dual cravings for both nicotine and more intimate social interaction to indulge in this "one measly cigarette," because how could that possibly hurt? Going outside the bar and sharing a cigarette has become a staple of social interaction and temptation that’s led many ex-smokers back to a life of smoking cigarettes full time again for about as long as people have been trying to quit.

E-cigarettes, however, offer the opportunity to simulate the social experience associated with smoking cigarettes -going back to our example, vapers can go outside and share in the experience of "having a smoke" without actually smoking.  

The FDA and Information

After making his observations regarding the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as a cessation tool, Adler went on to take issue with the way that the Food and Drug Administration treats e-cigarettes. In particular, he expressed problems with the “deeming rule” that, among other things, prohibits e-cigarette companies from making factual claims about their products’ relative risk without first getting approval from the FDA.

This ability to share the findings of numerous clinical trials, he claims, is important for smokers looking for a way to quit, while the FDA has recognized that smoking poses a much greater health risk than the use of e-cigarettes.

Adler recognizes that e-cigarettes pose some safety concerns, including those from possibly dangerous chemicals in certain e-liquid flavors, as well as inconsistent nicotine dosages, but he still argues that these risks shouldn’t keep retailers or small independent brick and mortar shops from being able to market the fact that their products have proven in many instances to be useful to current smokers looking to drop a cigarette habit.