CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The following is a statement from Jason Healy, President of blu Cigs. This post in its entirety can be found at http://www.blu.net/category/from-the-president/.
What does the future hold for Electronic Cigarettes?
Much discussion and misleading information has been published on the topic of electronic cigarettes – their health aspects, their effectiveness as a tobacco alternative and their use as a cessation device. This article is not meant to add to this clutter or misinformation but rather to add some clarity.
There is no arguing that the tobacco industry made no (or very little) attempt to inform its consumers and the community at large of the dangers of traditional cigarettes despite available research – until required by law. Let’s make sure this lesson does not fall on deaf ears to all of us in the electronic cigarette industry. While we have great potential in front of us we also have the same potential for error if we focus purely on revenue without morality. We have the opportunity to help millions of people, so we must continue to fund research provide as much information as possible, so the final decision can ultimately be left up to the consumer, rather than decisions made for them through untruths and selective reporting.
I have been extremely disappointed in anti-smoking groups’ attitude towards e-cigs, not only as a brand owner but also as a smoker. I take exception to health advocates who take a hard line against the very product that could answer their directive at its core. Even as studies demonstrate the potential for e-cigs to dramatically reduce nicotine intake, and in some cases enable smokers to completely remove nicotine from their daily routine, health alliances and anti-smoking groups and other health advocates continue to rally against e-cigarettes. Ironically, this opposition is not exactly in the best interest of their «public health» directive. In fact, their methods are downright counterintuitive, since they’re in direct conflict with their charters – aimed at helping consumers stay tobacco free and to help smokers quit successfully. So why continue down this path?
In my opinion the answer is simple; they are heavily influenced by politics, and the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries – plain and simple. Many of the same companies that hide under the guise of public safety are partly funded by these very same industries. I don’t claim that electronic cigarettes are 100% healthy, although that is still largely unknown, or are the answer to all our problems when it comes to smoking. What I am saying is they have shown undoubtedly the potential to be, so why not investigate and be proactive considering the possible rewards?
It is no secret that politicians receive contributions from big business like pharma and tobacco. To add to the conflict of interest they also have the added benefit of the taxes raised by traditional cigarettes sales – taxes that they claim are designed to partly discourage smokers through higher prices, but this move only stands to make tax an even larger (and more depended upon) part of the revenue stream for both federal and state governments. In essence it is feeding their addiction to this type of tax for survival. Tell me, have you ever seen a toll removed from a highway or exit ramp, even after its revenue has paid for its construction? If consumer health is their primary concern, than pushing for pre-mature bans or hiking taxes without truly examining the facts is not the proper perspective.
Now while I’m obviously an advocate for electronic cigarettes and openly have a dog in the fight, I completely support the fact that e-cigs need to have some regulations associated with their sale and I strongly believe that further testing has to be done to ensure the safety of the consumer, of which I am one. In the end, consumers should be their own best advocates and the steady rise in popularity shows that many are. Anti-smoking advocates and governments would be well advised to take notice, and not simply fold in the face of zealots.