In a March 2 counterpoint (“E-cigarette fright is uninformed”), we were told that fear of these devices is uninformed. To become more informed, I decided to check out the pivotal study cited from Drexel University. In a short time, I learned the following:
1) The study was funded by the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA).
2) Based in Virginia, the CASAA has an executive board with a scientific adviser and also a director who is a lawyer-lobbyist for smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes and who has started an e-cigarette company.
3) The lead physician/author of the study acknowledged the input of the scientific adviser on the board of CASAA, but assured that he had no editorial powers.
4) The CASAA publications and funding appear to support smokeless tobacco as well as e-cigarettes as being relatively safe.
Nicotine is addictive. Highly. Nicotine by itself offers cardiovascular disease risks. Smokeless tobacco is by far riskier than nicotine alone for fatal vascular events and some cancers. Nicotine substitutes offer the addiction without the smoke. So have no fear — only the users will suffer. Contact your local lobbyist for more information.
Jerrol Noller, Anoka
The writer is a retired physician.