A former surgeon general has joined the board of a US electronic cigarette company. Dr Richard Carmona, who has long highlighted the health dangers presented by second hand smoke has given resounding support to the vaping industry. Dr Carmona has been a long-time supporter for a ban on all tobacco products and plans to scrutinise the benefits of electronic cigarettes.
Dr Carmona means to investigate the e cigarette’s worth as a beneficial alternative to traditional cigarettes. He revealed:
“Definitely there’s an argument that can be made for harm reduction, but clearly more research needs to be done. I’m probably going to be (the) biggest critic. ... I still look at my job as being a doctor of the people and I’m going to look at the science. ... If we can find a viable alternative that gave us harm reduction as people are withdrawing from nicotine, I’m happy to engage in that science and see if we can do that.”
The doctor was the United States’ senior public health official between 2002 and 2006 and will bring additional legitimacy to the industry. This is another boon for the rapidly growing and developing industry that looks to challenge the tobacco market. Dr Carmona will spearhead the research into battery-powered devices designed to heat liquid nicotine.
This move into the electronic cigarette is another battle in Dr Carmon’s war against tobacco. In 2006, he published a full and comprehensive report into the effects of passive smoking. The report concluded that tobacco smoke harms non-smokers and played a pivotal role in the smoking bans in the US.
Dr Carmona strives to become a legitimate advocate for the electronic cigarette industry and its benefits. The Doctor is keen to provide an alternative to the tobacco cigarette and the 4,000 chemicals found within. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 25 million smokers try to quit the habit every year in the United States alone.
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