What are the pros and cons of E-Cigarettes ?

Electronic vapourisers are a tremendous gain for the individual;

a huge and almost unprecedented boost for public health;

and a potential economic disaster for the State.

They are a mixed blessing.

There are benefits and drawbacks in equal measure, weighted toward the individual but with disadvantages to the State.

The advantages include:

  • Ecigs are a life-saver for the individual who cannot or will not quit smoking.
  • They can succeed for smoking cessation when nothing else works.
  • Ecigs are the single greatest health advance of the last 80 years.
  • If all smokers switched to ecigs, the smoking-related death rate would be reduced by 99.99%.
  • If only 50% of smokers switch, the death rate will be reduced by almost 50%.
  • Ecigs will eventually save more lives than even vaccines do.


But the drawbacks include:

  • Ecigs are an economic timebomb and the results of widescale uptake may be devastating.
  • National economies benefit hugely from smoking - the UK makes at least double the cost of EU membership from the smoking revenues and cost savings. Removing smoking will put a significant strain on national economies as a result, and in the UK there will be a shortfall of at least £20 billion if/when smoking eventually ceases to exist.
  • In a socialised state such as the UK, prolonging millions of lives for an additional 10 years into old age creates an immense financial burden.
  • US State economies are fuelled by tobacco tax revenues and MSA payments. Removing those funds will cause significant problems.
  • Some US cities are effectively bankrupt and supported by tobacco tax revenues. Removing that revenue stream will cause severe problems.
  • Ecigs will eventually turn off the money tap from smoking: a $1 trillion a year micro-economy that supports thousands of jobs. General retail, pharmaceutical industry, and health industry incomes and jobs will suffer.
  • The cigarette trade will be destroyed, although the tobacco industry will survive by repurposing and by buying out the ecig industry if allowed to by law.
  • If 1 billion deaths will occur from smoking in this century as is suggested, but all those smokers switch to ecigs instead, then nearly 1 billion (early) deaths will not occur. Many would, perhaps with some justification, see that as a planetary disaster in an era of massive over-population.


On nicotine-related topics

"Smokers are harmed by the deadly tar and toxins in tobacco smoke, not the nicotine. While it's best to quit completely, I realise that not every smoker can and it is much better to get nicotine from safer sources such as nicotine replacement therapy."
- Prof S Davies, UK Government Chief Medical Officer

"The current optimal plasma cotinine cut-point to distinguish smokers from non-smokers in the general US population is 3 ng ml. This cut-point is much lower than that established 20 years ago, reflecting less secondhand smoke exposure due to clear air policies and more light or occasional smoking."
- Benowitz et al 2009
Nicotine Chemistry, Metabolism, Kinetics and Biomarkers
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC295385...
This quote reveals a common misconception and and in someone other than Benowitz, a lack of medical knowledge: everyone tests positive for nicotine and its metabolytes such as cotinine, since everyone consumes nicotine in the normal diet (in vegetables). Here, we assume this erroneous statement is made due to some form of warped ideology and/or a commercial COI. Equating plasma nicotine measurements to ETS exposure is a fallacy normally indicating regrettable lack of knowledge in persons claiming expertise in this field. Less vegetables in the modern diet are the principal reason for lower measurements now; the 'ETS source' of nicotine for non-smokers is a fabrication, as is obvious from modern measurements.