According to Elcaribe on October 9, a report released by the Latin American Association for the Prevention of Tobacco Harm (RELDAT) shows that electronic cigarettes are undoubtedly safer than traditional cigarettes, providing a risk reduction option for adult smokers. RELDAT is an organization of medical professionals from Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil, Chile and other countries working to promote the successful implementation of health policies related to tobacco consumption.
“Although e-cigarettes are not 100% harmless, they produce significantly less harmful substances than traditional tobacco. “It can provide smokers with the nicotine they rely on, but in a less harmful form because it produces airborne particulates that contain almost 98-99 percent of the compounds that are detectable in tobacco smoke.” Explains Dr. Hugo Cabrallero, a Colombian physician, pulmonologist, interventional pulmonologist, and director of pulmonary services at the Malley Clinic.
Dr. Cabrallero also pointed out that “people often mistakenly think that e-cigarettes are toxic because they contain nicotine. However, the scientific community has repeatedly and rigorously confirmed that nicotine is not the cause of lung cancer or other tobacco-related diseases. With tighter management of these products, their technological development could lead to new products with lower risks than current products.”
The report also explains that tobacco smoke produced by combustion contains about 7,000 compounds that have been detected, including hundreds of compounds known to be toxic, such as carbon monoxide, and 70 known carcinogens. The aerosols produced by e-cigarettes, however, are significantly less toxic and complex.
Researchers at the Institute of Nuclear Science of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Sussman, Boston University) believe that the aerosol of electronic cigarettes is a liquid particle, and its chemical composition is very low toxicity.
The report says e-cigarettes can help adults quit smoking. Every smoker should stop smoking altogether, with the help of a variety of tools, including medication, nicotine replacement therapy and psychological support. However, most healthcare systems in Latin American countries do not offer smokers these options, and this will have to change in the future. In the meantime, after a period of time, e-cigarettes can play this role to help smokers quit.
The entire report also highlights the role e-cigarettes play in the fight against adult smoking. It is only when doctors and health associations engage in public health policy making that it is possible to change the status quo and make decisions based on scientific evidence for the benefit of patients, especially smokers.