Prof. Riccardo Polosa, founder of the CoEHAR, and Carmine Canino, President of ANPVU, signed an open letter to reply to the European Commissioner Stella Kyriakides statement regarding the effectiveness of ecigs as a smoking cessation tool.
Hard times for the e-cigarettes front: the effectiveness of low risk products in helping smokers who struggle to quit is questioned.
Less than a month ago, the European Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides replied to a formally submitted parliamentary question by the Swedish member of the European Parliament Sara Skyttedal (Group of the European People’s Party) regarding e-cigarettes and snus.
In the parliamentary question, Skyttedal wondered if the Commission share Parliament’s view that other nicotine products play a role in reducing the use of cigarettes.
Commissioner Kyriakides replied:
“As regards a role of other nicotine products, the Commission is determined to follow up on the most robust scientific evidence in establishing a regulatory approach fully reflecting the objectives of the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.
The Commission will draw, among others, on the Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) scientific opinion on electronic cigarettes, which found, on the one hand, supporting evidence for the harmful consequences of e-cigarettes consumption, and, on the other hand, weak evidence for the support of electronic cigarettes’ effectiveness in helping smokers to quit.
The SCHEER opinion also underlined the important role e-cigarettes play in smoking initiation, which supports the careful and precautionary approach taken so far and will continue to support the Commission’s risk management and legislative decisions on e-cigarettes.”
An answer that prompted an immediate reply from prof. Riccardo Polosa, founder of CoEHAR, Center for Excellence for the acceleration of harm reduction and Carmine Canino, President of the ANPVU Association, National Association of e-cig Consumers.
Both astonished to the reply that “reaffirming the now consummate approach of the precautionary principle towards vaping products, it does not take into consideration that even the US health authorities (i.e. Food & Drug Administration – FDA) have begun to certify them as useful tools for quit smoking“.
Regarding Scheer’s opinion, the experts underline that: “according to the scientists of the Center of Excellence for the acceleration of harm reduction (CoEHAR), SCHEER’s opinion is blatantly misleading, as remarked by a paper recently published in the Harm Reduction Journal, which underlines how the conclusions advanced by SCHEER are conditioned by the omission relating to the benefits for individual health and at the population level deriving from the replacement of smoking with electronic cigarettes“.