Consumer Choice Center
21. February 2018
American Cancer Society Finally Recognizes Benefits Of E-Cigs
WASHINGTON, DC – The American Cancer Society acknowledged yesterday that e-cigarettes can appropriately help smokers quit, and the Consumer Choice Center (CCC) applauds said recognition.
ACS, in a clinical recommendation, tepidly endorsed e-cigarettes in their statement:
"Many smokers choose to quit smoking without the assistance of a clinician and some opt to use e-cigarettes to accomplish this goal. The ACS recommends that clinicians support all attempts to quit the use of combustible tobacco and work with smokers to eventually stop using any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes. Some smokers, despite firm clinician advice, will not attempt to quit smoking cigarettes and will not use FDA approved cessation medications. These individuals should be encouraged to switch to the least harmful form of tobacco product possible; switching to the exclusive use of e-cigarettes is preferable to continuing to smoke combustible products."
Given the growing body of evidence in the U.S. and around the world that suggests the need to support the use of lower-risk nicotine products to quit smoking, the ACS was forced to either stubbornly continue its opposition to e-cigarettes, or lose their scientific credibility.
CCC Senior Fellow Jeff Stier said that "the ACS took a step in the right direction by recognizing this important harm-reduction method."
"I continue to call on the American Heart Association and other major health organizations to reverse course and support smokers who wish to quit smoking with the use of e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn tobacco, or smokeless tobacco, all of which are significantly less harmful than smoking," said Stier.
In a June 2016 piece for Morning Consult, Stier called out the ACS by name for failing to support smokers – and their healthcare providers – by not only refusing to endorse the use of e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking but for actively distorting the science to oppose it.
"It's no wonder that American doctors are doing a poor job helping their addicted patients make better decisions about how to get nicotine if they can't or aren't ready to get off of it completely. Public health groups in the U.S. have been indoctrinating providers with misinformation," said Stier.
In contrast, in the U.K., the government has been constantly evaluating e-cigarette use. Just this month, Public Health England issued an update to its landmark 2015 review where it concluded: "that e-cigarettes are around 95% safer than smoked tobacco and they can help smokers to quit."
Physician specialty groups must do a better job of educating their members and standardizing harm reduction advice. There's barely a body part or function which isn't compromised by smoking. From medical schools to credentialing organizations, the entire American medical establishment needs to kick the habit of providing politically correct quit-smoking advice and replace it with up-to-date medically validated harm reduction advice. They should do so as if their patients' lives depend on it.
***CCC Senior Fellow Jeff Stier is available to speak with accredited media on tobacco & e-cig regulations and consumer choice issues. Please send media inquiries HERE.***
The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.