The expense of vaping needs to be decreased for smokers in developing countries as an urgent “human rights issue”, researchers have told a pro-tobacco conference in London.
Addressing a 300-strong audience of tobacco and vaping industry representatives, Helen Redmond, an expert in substance use at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, said individuals poor countries should not be priced away from nicotine-based items that may potentially help them to to quit smoking.
Redmond compared the medicinal qualities of nicotine with cannabis and stressed “the want to get vaping towards the poorest, who need it most”.
“It’s a human rights issue – as being a harm reduction device, prices have to fall,” she said. “Nicotine is not really a dirty drug, it helps with depression and anxiety.”
Academics at the 2018 global tobacco and nicotine forum called for more research to the possible medical benefits associated with nicotine and a focus on the development of innovative nicotine-based products which will give you a “smoke-free society” and lower the harmful effects of cigarettes.
Viscount Matt Ridley, an author and member of the House of Lords, joined the chorus of experts promoting vaping as a type of harm reduction, arguing that subjecting top rated electronic cigarettes to the same workplace restrictions as smoking could be viewed as an infringement of the individual’s human rights.
“We should treat vaping in the same way that we treat access to cell phones,” said Ridley. “The best practice to get people to give up [smoking] is to innovate with technology”.
Ridleytold the conference that, despite the industry’s continued concentrate on promoting nicotine-based products as a type of harm reduction, public opinion was moving far from vaping because of media “scare stories”. He compared the industry’s plight, specifically in the united states, to that faced by “bootleggers and baptists during prohibition”.
Clive Bates, director of advocacy group Counterfactual, described the views of anti-tobacco campaigners as “hostile and focused”, accusing them of having rival commercial interests having a goal of “annihilating” the industry. Warning from the damage due to “those with a vested fascination with causing alarm”, he said that while critics laboured to generate evidence to “maintain the narrative of harm”, technological advances meant the transition to vape-type products was likely to become mandatory rather than voluntary.
You can find 1.1 billion smokers worldwide and 6 million die each year being a direct consequence of smoking. A further 890,000 people annually die prematurely due to second-hand smoke, in accordance with the World Health Organization.
A single cigarette contains greater than 200 carcinogenic chemicals, and also the addictive stimulant nicotine. Scientists and academics have so far failed to reach agreement on advantages and disadvantages of long term nicotine use.
In a plenary session, clinical psychologist Karl Fagerström called for research to the positive advantages of nicotine, that he believes can aid people experiencing Alzheimer’s and depression. Also, he advised wgferg the market should move from combustible to nicotine-based products.
“No the first is considering establishing what the benefits of smoking nicotine are,” Fagerström said.
Martin Jarvis, professor of health psychology at University College London, saidthe US was moving towards prohibition-type enforcement, with all the Food and Drug Administration eager to reduce the level of nicotine in cigarettes.
“Society doesn’t understand nicotine,” said Jarvis, “because they believe that it is particularly bad.”
But Jarvis said “describing nicotine to be addictive is justified”, adding that “80% of smokers wished they never started”.