The Coordinates Institute has ensured that "flexible" legislation on the consumption of electronic cigarettes, such as that of the United Kingdom, Denmark or the Netherlands, has shown that a "real alternative" to reduce smoking.
In addition, the organism has commented that there is "sufficient evidence" in several European countries to consider the electronic cigarette alternative as a way to reduce tobacco addiction and reduce its negative health effects.
"Including the electronic cigarette in government anti-smoking actions is harmful and, on the contrary, in view of the experience of several countries, we must address all the opportunities that the electronic cigarette can provide to reduce tobacco dependence," he said. .
In the case of Spain, the Institute of Coordinates has lamented that the current Minister of Health in functions, María Luisa Carcedo, be "very belligerent" with electronic cigarettes, to the point of equating them to tobacco in a recent institutional campaign. A position that, in his opinion, can be a "serious mistake" that causes "confusion" in users to the point that "there are those who return to snuff in the face of doubts caused by lack of rigor in the campaign."
"Used correctly, the electronic cigarette is an effective and real alternative for smokers who want to get out of hand, but do not get it, and it is important to take it into account and support it, along with other measures, from institutional control and regulation, "the agency has apostilled.
Therefore, he has ensured that any initiative that contributes to alleviate and reduce a national problem that currently causes more than 56,000 annual deaths in Spain, with a generalized consumption of more than 23 percent of the population and that implies a health expenditure above 7,000 million, it must be valued in a "balanced and enhanced" way for users who need new tools in the fight against tobacco .
"It is necessary to value the electronic cigarette as another option that the smoker has in order to achieve the cessation of tobacco. Currently, smoking is a major social and health problem that needs new ways of approach more in line with the reality of smokers and that contributes to the success in quitting tobacco. The Ministry must analyze, from the scientific evidence and international experiences, the real contribution that electronic cigarettes can have in the anti-smoking strategy in our country, "said the executive vice president of the Coordinates Institute, Jesús Sánchez Lambás.
Less harmful than conventional
In addition to institutional campaigns with "lack of precision and inefficient", the organization has warned that there is a "pressure" on the electronic cigarette in Spain that is impacting on the freedom of choice in the options for many citizens who see it as an alternative
"Nobody doubts that no method of tobacco cessation is harmless, be they pills, patches or vapers, but all of them well used are showing greater benefits than risks and clear advantages over tobacco. The latest reports show that health problems in the United States that were initially related to vaping could be related to an ingredient that contains THC, derived from cannabis, and they have to do with liquids acquired in the black market", has argued the Institute of Coordinates.
In this regard, he has referred to various scientific studies published in specialized media that state that electronic cigarettes are 95 percent less harmful than conventional cigarettes. Other studies show that almost 70 percent of those who used electronic cigarettes to quit tobacco managed to quit smoking. There are also statistics stating that 80 percent of those who resort to these devices do so with the goal of not smoking tobacco.
"The European Union has very clear and rigorous legislation on vaping, with a directive that has been applied since May 2017. In all EU countries, vaping is allowed and, mostly, its use is restricted to the areas where it is used. allows smoking, "he stressed.
United Kingdom in favor
Of the member states of the European Union, the United Kingdom is one of the biggest advocates of vaping as a method to quit tobacco in the world and, it is even proposed to make the legislation "more permissive" once they are outside the EU, after Brexit.
In the case of France there is a "more restrictive" policy, although vaping has an "excellent acceptance" and there are positions of scientific groups in its favor, despite the reluctance of the Gallic Ministry of Health.
Italy is also one of the countries where there are the largest number of vapers at European level. They are governed by EU directives in the field of health, but since the end of 2017 "very hard" tax measures are applied that make vaping more expensive than smoking; Portugal has taken Italy as an example when it comes to imposing high taxes on vaping products, the biggest restriction being marked by prices.
Among the 'vaper friendly' countries are Iceland, Austria, Sweden and Denmark. In these last two countries, until three years ago, vapers were considered as medical products to quit smoking, which made it difficult to buy electronic cigarettes, but by changing the regulations, with the 2017 directive, it has expanded from " Remarkable form "the use of vapers, as the points of sale proliferate, where the only restriction is to be of legal age.
Germany is also governed by EU regulation and the use of vapers has the restrictions that also apply to conventional cigarettes. The use of these devices and the authorities, for the moment, is very widespread "They have not led to debates either for or against."
In the case of the United States, the agency has ensured that, although the debate is "tense", the media point out that the scientific evidence that circumscribes problems to the use of devices acquired on the black market and the use of illegal substances are becoming "clearer".
"Around this phenomenon of vaping there have been conflicting information and public positions, which requires an assessment of the status of the issue on the situation in comparative terms in the West and the evolution after the alarming news generated in the United States and taken as truth revealed in Spain, without the rigorous and scientific verifications required by any subject that affects the health and quality of life of citizens ", has settled.