This week, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been a hot topic among vapers after the supposed global health experts condemned electronic cigarettes as dangerous. Now a world renowned cardiologist from Greece is speaking out about the lies from WHO and calling for responsible reporting in future statements. Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos has had enough of the lies and now he is speaking out with the actual facts about vaping according to legitimate scientific research.
Earlier this summer, a WHO representative made public claims on Philippines national television that vaping was toxic and ecigs were actually more dangerous than analog cigarettes. Dr. Florante Trinidad urged people to avoid ecigs as a substitute for smoking. “The most dangerous thing about this product is that the nicotine goes directly to the lungs while regular cigarettes have a filter.”
While Trinidad’s logic seems reasonable at first glance, Dr. Farsalinos said that his remarks are completely false and misleading. In fact, such damaging statements could put thousands of lives in jeopardy. “The biggest issue is that this statement is scientifically false, misleading, and dangerous for the health of e-cigarette users who may be intimidated and relapse to smoking,” he said.
Farsalinos chastised WHO officials for releasing health warnings with no legitimate research to back their claims. He went on to provide scientific evidence that vaping is not harmful and completely debunked the statements made by WHO in recent months. He explained that while ecigs do not utilize a filter, that really is irrelevant in terms of nicotine exposure. The typical cigarettes contain 10mg of nicotine, but some is removed through the filter and some is destroyed through heat and combustion. The remaining nicotine is released in the smoke.
Tobacco companies provide nicotine levels on cigarette packaging, but Farsalinos said that this number refers to levels found in the smoke, but the actual nicotine content is much higher. In fact, studies show that cigarettes sometimes actually release twice as much nicotine as stated on the packaging because the techniques used to measure nicotine in smoke are highly unreliable.
So how does that compare to nicotine content in ecigs? Farsalinos pointed out that the typical ecig liquid contains 18mg of nicotine. Research has shown that using 18mg e-liquid does not increase nicotine levels in the blood. Furthermore, studies suggest that e-liquid must be a minimum of 21mg to provide the equivalent nicotine found in one standard cigarette. More importantly, nicotine exposure depends on how the nicotine is absorbed. Trinidad claimed that ecigs were dangerous because nicotine was released directly into the lungs, but Farsalinos pointed out that there is no solid proof that the lungs even absorb nicotine. Instead, scientists believe it is absorbed through the oral cavity or possibly even the upper respiratory tract.
Even for ecig users that prefer advanced devices with higher concentrations of nicotine, research shows that their nicotine blood levels remain far lower than the nicotine levels found in an average smoker. Farsalinos said that after examining the evidence of nicotine levels in vapers, it would likely be more effective for smoking cessation if ecig companies offered more potent nicotine concentrations.
While WHO officials allege that nicotine is a dangerous and toxic substance, Farsalinos argued that nicotine is actually not the concerning agent for smokers. It does not cause cancer and studies show that it has very minimal impact on cardiovascular risks. Tobacco is the deadly substance that makes cigarettes so lethal and ecigs are designed to be tobacco-free as a harm reduction strategy. Instead of spending so much effort attacking ecigs, Farsalinos said WHO should be concentrating on eliminating tobacco products.
In a final word of warning, the cardiologist challenged Trinidad to provide some scientific data to back his claims that ecigs are more dangerous than cigarettes. Farsalinos believes that no such evidence exists. “We are reaching a point where several e-cigarette consumers are discouraged from using them. There is a high chance that these people will relapse to smoking (some have already done that). Someone may be held responsible for the adverse effects on their health in the future. Scientists should remember that they have the ethical and legal responsibility to inform the society about the truth and the scientific data available. That should be done without misinterpreting the results and without introducing personal ideology or preference in order to distort the truth.”
Do you worry that vapers will turn back to smoking after hearing such concerning reports from WHO and other health officials?