In a series of press recent releases, the National Tobacco Reform Initiative (NTRI) is officially endorsing vaping as a less harmful alternative to smoking. The NTRI is comprised of a team of world-class physicians, public health advocates, and political representatives whose primary mission is to “reignite the nation’s tobacco control efforts.”
Some of its more noteworthy members include the Tom Miller, the Attorney General of Iowa, Derek Tach formerly of the World Health Organization (WHO), and Dr. K. Michael Cummings of the Hollings Cancer Center in Charleston, South Carolina. These dedicated professionals have spent much of their careers fighting to end tobacco addiction, and many have even published their own research to refute less reputable studies funded by anti-vaping groups.
‘E-cigarettes are saving lives’
One of the press releases includes the attention-grabbing headline “E-cigarettes save lives.” The NTRI makes the case that vaping should be encouraged rather than demonized by medical professionals and public health organizations as a safer and healthier alternative to combustible cigarettes.
The NTRI also states that it came to this conclusion after analyzing multiple peer-reviewed studies that compare the toxicity levels of vaping versus smoking. One of the more prominent studies mentioned is the recently released report by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) which concluded that while e-cigs are not completely harmless, they are significantly less harmful that conventional smoking.
NTRI issues a Call to Action
According to the NTRI, now is the time that Americans should act to promote vaping as a valuable tool for tobacco harm reduction. They also issue a three-point Call To Action. First, they suggest that public health agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulate “tobacco products” (which according to the FDA deeming regulations now includes vaping and e-liquids) based on the relative associated health risks rather than lumping all nicotine-infused products into a single category.
Secondly, the NTRI emphasizes a critical need for education of the general public regarding the many different types of tobacco products. They suggest that teaching smokers about modified nicotine consumption through vaping without the tar and chemical-filled smoke of combustible cigarettes is substantially healthier while also satisfying smokers’ cravings. However, the NTRI again notes that different products will always having varying levels of associated health risks.
Lastly, the NTRI suggests that any government regulations regarding tobacco use, be they in the United States or elsewhere, should make it easier for smokers to purchase e-cigs and other tobacco alternatives. They call for a more “rational” regulatory framework that is easily “adaptable to the increased speed of innovation in new technology development.”