Electronic cigarette: the false good idea?

On the forums, the rumour runs… The electronic cigarette would be the miracle solution to stop smoking! It is suggested by several companies marketing these products. But in turn, the French and the World Health Organization health authorities recommend caution.

The electronic cigarette reproduced the form and the sensations of a classic cigarette. It is inside this small achievement of miniaturization: a battery, a microprocessor, a spray and a cartridge designed to be sprayed and comprising a liquid which may contain nicotine or aromatic substances in food additives or artificial flavours based. At each puff, liquid mixed with the inspired air is released as steam, which reproduced the smoke of a cigarette is inhaled by the user.

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WHO has never endorsed electronic cigarettes
Companies selling electronic cigarettes generally describe these as a way to help smokers to get rid of their dependence on tobacco. Some have even been up to suggest that the world Organization of the health (who) considered this technique as legitimate as Nicotinic substitutes (gum, lozenges and patches to nicotine).

A surety as yet no official who has never granted to1electronic cigarette. “Who has no scientific evidence to confirm the safety and efficacy of the product.” Companies that the market should immediately withdraw their sites Web and other information material any indication suggesting who considers these cigarettes as a smoking cessation sure and effective means (…) “The electronic cigarette did not proven as a therapy nicotine replacement” so said Dr. Ala Alwan, Assistant Director-general responsible of the group non-communicable diseases and mental health at who.

Electronic cigarette: not proven effectiveness!

WHO does not rule out for the possibility that the electronic cigarette may be useful as a means of weaning. But the only way to know is to carry out tests. “If the companies marketing the electronic cigarette want to help smokers to quit, they must imperatively carry out clinical studies and toxicity analyses and operate in a proper regulatory framework” said Douglas Bettcher, acting Director of the Initiative for the who tobacco free. As long as this is not done, who can not consider the electronic cigarette as an appropriate therapy nicotine replacement.

Met from 12 to November 14, 2008, the Group of the who study on the regulation of tobacco products should examine the particular case of the electronic cigarette. Electronic cigarette: the more conservative France again.

In France, the French Agency of sanitary safety of health products (Afssaps) and the Directorate General of health (DGS) 2 made a first analysis of the potential risks in July 2008. Findings: electronic cigarettes contain chemical substances such as propylene glycol, a solvent to irritating power, or terpene derivatives, which may have an impact in history of epilepsy.

Their finding thus differed little from that of the who: “waiting for additional data, and that to date no product of this type has an authorization to market (AMM) or marking, the Afssaps and the Directorate-General of health (DGS) recommend caution users to electronic cigarettes”. In particular, they warned that the use of these electronic cigarettes is to be avoided in women who breastfeed because of the toxicity of certain substances and the absence of data relating to their passage in the milk.

For the moment, to quit smoking, so it’s better to stick to drugs that have received an authorization to market in this indication: Nicotinic substitutes in all their forms (gum, lozenges, patches, inhalers…), Champix┬« and Zyban ┬« or other methods that have proven their effectiveness (cognitive-behavioural therapy including). But to stop smoking, it is above all, your motivation that will make the difference!

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