Thursday, May 02, 2013

Pennsylvania Department of Health Says It Does Not Support Smokers Quitting, Will Not Acknowledge that Smoking is More Harmful than Non-Tobacco E-Cigarettes

According to an article in the Johnstown (PA) Tribune-Democrat, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, with all of its scientific expertise, is not sure that smoking cigarettes - which kills more than 400,000 Americans each year - is any more hazardous than using non-tobacco e-cigarettes, which have not been reported to ever have killed a single person.

According to the article, the Department of Health was quoted as stating: "Consumers may believe this is a safer way to smoke when, in fact, there is a lack of long-term studies that have been done on the product, therefore leaving the long-term effects unknown."

Not only did the Department of Health deny that vaping is any safer than smoking, but it also stated that it does not support smokers quitting using e-cigarettes.

According to the article: "The state Department of Health says that while there is currently no regulation on this, the department does not support their use for a number of reasons."

The Rest of the Story

This position of the Pennsylvania Department of Health is shameful for two reasons.

First, it is based on politics and not science. If the Department of Health is not sure that a non-tobacco product which merely heats propylene glycol and nicotine is any safer than cigarettes, which burn tobacco and emit thousands of chemicals and scores of carcinogens, then it needs to review some basic biology and chemistry textbooks.

Second, this position is untenable with protection of the public's health because a public health department should not oppose smokers quitting and potentially saving their lives simply because the method they used to quit simulates smoking behavior.

What an insult to the thousands of Pennsylvania smokers who have successfully quit smoking using e-cigarettes. The state Department of Health is telling them that have done a bad thing. What does the Department want these ex-smokers to do? Return to smoking their Marlboros?

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