Academics Grilled By UK Politicians and Find Burned Toast Is More Dangerous Than Vaping!
UK MPs were left in no doubt this week that e-cigarettes and vaping are a force for good and the very best way to quit smoking.
A sitting of the Science and Technology Committee met on Tuesday and received a ‘gentle’ yet extremely effective lecture from a group of pro vaping academics.
The powerful committee is currently looking into all things vape from the effect on human health – financial implications to the NHS and UK economy and the suitability of the current legislation – namely the TPD and the UK’s adoption of it the TRPR.
Chaired by Norman Lamb MP the session was split into two areas – the first looking at if e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking lit tobacco – whilst the second tackled the subjects of vaping ‘normalizing smoking’ and if e-cigs were appropriate as smoking cessation tools.
The experts being grilled were:
- Professor Peter Hajek, Professor of Clinical Psychology, Queen Mary University of London
- Professor Mark Conner, Professor in Applied Social Psychology, University of Leeds
- Professor Riccardo Polosa, Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Catania
The session kicked off with Professor Polosa leaving the MPs in no doubt that vaping was far safer than smoking.
This guy should know a thing or two about lung function given he has studied e-cigs for the past 9 years – specializes in asthma research and has published 50 peer review research papers – indeed he is the most published academic in this field including a 3.5 year study into the effects of vaping on human health.
He told the committee that his research had showed smokers with lung diseases switching to e-cigs had massive improvement in lung function and those with high blood pressure saw a major reduction when switching:
In the area of COPD we also discovered continued and regular use of these products reduced by 50% the number of respiratory exacerbation…
I almost cheered when he talked of vapers who had never smoked and three and a half years later had scans of their chests to reveal they were completely clear and certainly no evidence of so called ‘popcorn lung’!
Countries Where Vaping Is Banned Or Illegal Take Note
Professor Peter Hajek made his feelings and research very clear saying:
None of the chemicals in an e-cigarette poses a major health harm…it’s a massive difference in risks…
And he tackled the tricky issue of other countries – such as Australia – banning and even criminalizing vaping leaving them in doubt how ridiculous they are:
Some countries trying into stop e-cigs until they are 100% safe is illogical and counterproductive.
As far as the TPD and regulation goes goes Professor Polosa didn’t hold back:
There was nothing rational about TPD…
He also called on the UK Government to be ‘bold and challenge the provisions in TPD.’
Let’s hope they do – I have to say of all the experts Polosa was bloody brilliant – extremely engaging obviously knowledgeable and left the MPs in no doubt vaping was considerably safer than smoking both for vapers and passers-by – let’s hope it sinks in!
Just look at his answer to the question about so called passive vaping:
I would be more concerned to go out to breathe the air in Westminster than have a vaping person next to me.
Ha! Excellent – but I digress.
Still on the subject of the regulations Hajek called the nicotine warning labels on products ‘nonsensical’ adding:
There’s a lot of regulations that regulates e-cigarettes much more strictly than conventional cigarettes…which makes no sense whatsoever…
He reasoned that less regulation would make vaping more attractive to smokers – sentiment I think many of agree with.
Biased Fake Vaping News – Fancy A Slice Of Toast?
The fake news and sexed up science found in the mainstream media also came under fire – literally.
In particular the scare stories around vaping and aldehyde emissions with Polosa bringing his breakfast to the committee!
Holding up a burned piece of toast to explain at what temperature e-liquids would need to be heated [making them un-vapable] to achieve the toxic levels.
It was a very clever yet simple graphic demonstration that surely left an impression of the ridiculousness of some of the vaping research media hyped scare stories out there.
In effect there are more carcinogenic properties in that piece of burned toast than a vape tank or dripper…
This has been used many many times by the English media to scare potential smokers from switching…what happens is too many scientists around the world do not know very very well these products…
Couldn’t have put it better myself 😉
Final word in the first session has to go to ‘star of the show’ Professor Polosa who said:
I think tobacco smoke is so dangerous…because it’s a cocktail of 7,000 chemicals not in isolation they interact between themselves…at the moment the priority is for as many smokers as possible to switch to less harmful products …
Give that guy a medal!
The experts were:
- Dr Lion Shahab, Senior Lecturer Health Psychology, University College London
- Dr Jamie Brown, Deputy Director, Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group University College London
- Professor Paul Aveyard, Co-ordinating Editor, The Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group
This session looked at the viability of using e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool.
The tone was set early on by Professor Paul Aveyard who said:
If you smoke and switch you’re better off – there’s no doubt of that…we also mustn’t think that people switch and then go on to be life time users…
The bad press vaping has received was also slammed and Dr Shahab used the recent ‘vaping causes heart attacks‘ [since rebutted]story as an example pointing out that arterial stiffness can also be brought on by exercise.
However news hungry reporters ignored that concentrating solely on e-cigs and literally ‘sexed up’ the study – not the first time that’s happened or the last I’m guessing.
He slammed such studies by saying:
Often people use unrealistic use conditions…there’s a study that looks at the formation of formaldehyde that’s very toxic…but this is only produced at very uncomfortable levels – dry taste ‘dry puffing’ conditions [note he means high temperature dry hits – high enough to be completely un-vapeable] – which is unlikely to occur in real life conditions and models not based on humans…
As far as the benefits of using e-cigarettes to quit smoking Dr Jamie Brown said there was still no long term evidence of the effects they have on cessation but was still upbeat at their worth:
There is some monitoring from Public Health England that suggest they have quite high success rates…I certainly support PHE’s recommendation its wise for those sorts of services to support smokers who are interested in using e-cigarettes and being friendly towards them…
The panel also addressed the effectiveness of e-cigs against other stop smoking aids such as gums and patches.
Professor Aveyard left the MPs in no doubt:
…what we see there is e-cigarettes roughly double the chances of people being successful…
That says it all really – you are far more likely to quit the killer habit by switching to vaping it’s as simple as that.
So Was This All Just Hot Air?
Not at all in fact it’s fantastic news for both smokers and vapers.
For the first time ever real academics who really do know what they’re talking about have given UK MPs the true facts behind the vaping phenomena.
Sure they’ve also received a number of anti e-cig written forms of evidence – but these guys absolutely nailed it.
If this committee doesn’t go away and burn the TRPR in a defunct ashtray then they really are a joke.
I feel sure the UK will continue to lead the way in sensible e-cig legislation and that can only benefit we the vapers and smokers desperate to quit.
As always we’ll keep you informed.
You can watch the full two hour plus debate below: