A group of doctors, professors and health advocates are calling on the Canadian federal government to authorize the sale in Canada of e-cigarettes containing nicotine.
Writing in The Gazette on behalf of the group, Gaston Ostiguy said e-cigarettes offered a safer and more acceptable alternative to regular cigarettes for smokers to appease their addiction.
No doubt, tremendous strides had been made over the years to impose a strict regulatory framework on regular cigarettes, he said, and more could be done. But it was wishful thinking that one day nicotine use would be eradicated. The vast majority of smokers wanted to quit, but studies showed that only 10 percent of them were still abstinent after trying to quit during the previous year.
“In such a context, we believe that the time has come for tobacco control to move beyond the usual approaches of education, total nicotine cessation and prevention,” Ostiguy said. “In a landmark report published in 2007, the Royal College of Physicians makes a compelling case why harm reduction should no longer be ignored by health authorities to lower the death and disease caused by tobacco use.”