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Should poorer nations medicalise e-cigarettes to prevent corruption?

Holding Curve 2 Mini E-cig TECC

A recent article from E-cig Intelligence, a company that monitors and analyses the e-cigarette market discusses the way that developing nations are being urged to adopt pharmaceutical regulations for electronic cigarettes.

The level of a nation’s wealth is a defining factor in this, with low to middle income nations (LMIC’s) highlighted as the ones that are being urged to adopt the regulations. E-cig Intelligence has taken their information from an academic paper produced by Stanford University, California called “The global health implications of e-cigarettes”. The paper seems to be alluding to the fact that these LMICs, many of which have “governments with high levels of corruption or poor law enforcement capabilities cannot execute control and regulation of both legal and illegal markets of tobacco and ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery System) products”.

The conclusion drawn by the academics is that to control the e-cigarette market, governments should use the pharmaceutical model and “place e-cigarettes under the purview of their medical and pharmaceutical regulatory boards”.

E-cig Intelligence conclude their article with the following, “To take two examples among many where the authors seem over-keen to hypothesise possible public-health harms from e-cigarettes in developing nations, Chang and Barry muse that “the health effects of ENDS can stress LMIC health systems relatively more than health systems in high-income countries”, and that “uncontrolled population growth of cities in many LMICs also introduces the variables of air pollution and crowded urban living conditions, amplifying the potential second hand vapor exposure”.

But if there are no deleterious health effects (or at least – as the emerging “95% safer” consensus holds – very few compared with the tobacco cigarettes which nearly all e-cig users are giving up or cutting down on), and no risks in second hand exposure (as seems highly likely), these are utter non-issues.”

27th August 2015, 12:31