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Iowa Attorney General Says Ecigs are 95 Percent Safer than Smoking

Over the holidays, it seems the ecig community received a surprising gift as Iowa’s Attorney General Tom Miller released a public endorsement for ecigarettes, calling them 95 percent safer than smoking. This marks the first time an attorney general has taken a pro-ecig stance and it’s a historic change that could impact the coming regulatory movement in 2016. In his statement, Miller cautioned that ecigs are not cigarettes and the two should not be regulated with the same rules. He even defended ecigs as a safer alternative that could help many smokers finally kick the tobacco habit.

“The harm of the combustible cigarette is dramatically greater than the harm of the e-cigarette. The combustible cigarette is by far the most harmful consumer product known to mankind, killing 480,000 people each year in the United States alone. This is largely due to the many deadly toxins created and released by combustion.”

Miller cited recent research that exposes just how much safer ecigs could be. “A panel of experts estimates that the ecigarette is 95 percent less harmful. Some push back on this study, in part questioning the ability to put an exact number on it. Another estimate is 90-98 percent less harmful. But whatever number is correct, e-cigarettes are dramatically less harmful than combustible cigarettes.”

In 2015, we’ve seen an almost continual attack on ecigarettes from the media, public health agencies, and especially the FDA and CDC. But Miller said these agencies need to go back to the drawing board and really study the research before they make any official changes to regulations.

“There has been an effort to say that combustible cigarettes and ecigarettes are equally harmful, that their companies are equally evil, and that they should be strongly regulated the same way. This view is incorrect, but it has gotten significant traction. Polling indicates that 32 percent of Americans believe that combustible cigarettes and e-cigarettes are equally harmful. This means that as many as 13 million adult smokers believe them to be equally harmful, and are very unlikely to switch when switching may save their lives.”

Will Miller’s public defense of ecigarettes cause other state attorney generals to speak out? Could this spark a chain reaction where public health officials actually take time to read the latest research before they endorse ecig regulations?

Electronic Cigarettes • April 5, 2017

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