Heart Association Carefully Concedes e-Cigarettes Role
In a week of much news about e-cigarettes, the American Heart Association (AHA) has carefully conceded that e-cigarettes might have a role as a last option for quitting smoking. Specifically, the AHA statement says:
If a patient has failed initial treatment, has been intolerant of or refuses to use conventional smoking cessation medication, and wishes to use e-cigarettes to aid quitting, it is reasonable to support the attempt.
This guarded concession comes n the context of the first ever AHA scientific statement on e-cigarettes, published this week in Circulation. And the rest of the statement makes it clear that AHA has very mixed feelings about e-cigarettes. The AHA calls for eight restrictions upon sales use and marketing of such products:
- Prohibit the use of e-cigarettes anywhere that use of conventional cigarettes is prohibited.
- Prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone who cannot legally buy cigarettes or in any venues where sale of conventional cigarettes is prohibited.
- Subject e-cigarette marketing to the same level of restrictions that apply to conventional cigarettes (including no television or radio advertising).
- Prohibit cobranding e-cigarettes with cigarettes or marketing in a way that promotes dual use.
- Prohibit the use of characterizing flavors in e-cigarettes, particularly candy and alcohol flavors.
- Prohibit claims that e-cigarettes are effective smoking cessation aids until e-cigarette manufacturers and companies provide sufficient evidence that e-cigarettes can be used effectively for smoking cessation.
- Prohibit any health claims for e-cigarette products until and unless approved by regulatory agencies to scientific and regulatory standards.
- Establish standards for regulating product ingredients and functioning.
The subject of e-cigarettes is stirring strong feelings, both for and against them. It helps to have a thorough review of the objective science, such as this new AHA scientific review provides.
“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” — Nelson Mandela
The End of an e-Cigarette, photograph © Li Tsin Soon / flickr
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