GlaxoSmithKline Warns EU Lawmakers That E-Cigs May Be Tobacco Gateway

Klaus Kneale
by Klaus Kneale
3 Comments
February 16, 2014

china-accuses-glaxosmithkline-of-enormous-and-elaborate-bribery-networkLeaked correspondence between major pharmaceuticals company GlaxoSmithKline and EU regulators have revealed that the company is seeking harsh regulations against electronic cigarettes.  This comes as no surprise to many electronic cigarettes community members and business leaders who have long suspected major pharmaceuticals companies would view the products as a threat to their smoking cessation profits.

As reported by British daily newspaper The Times, Glaxo is arguing that electronic cigarettes could serve as a gateway to smoking.  It’s their hope that all e-cig companies be required to obtain medicines licences — which is very nearly a death sentence for most small- and medium-sized companies.  All in all, it’s clear this is a measured effort designed to impede the electronic cigarette industry so that other cessation products can continue to sell.

Glaxo just happens to produce nicotine patches, gums, and lozenges for smoking cessation.  Though these are all “approved” therapies for smoking cessation, many experts now say that these options are barely more successful than quitting cold turkey and don’t foster long-term quitting.  Relapse into smoking eventually occurs for almost all former smokers.  These revelations have been hitting smoking cessation product sales pretty hard.

Meanwhile, electronic cigarettes are rapidly proving to be more successful than approved cessation methods (which offer, at best, a 3% success rate over quitting cold turkey).  Recently, e-cigs did better than patches in a small study.  While quit rates between patch and e-cig users were the same, many e-cig users that didn’t manage to quit did significantly cut down on their traditional smoking (thus reducing the harm done to them by the habit).

STRAATSBURG-VLAGGENIn Europe, e-cigs have been taking off — so quickly that already they appear to be selling more than cessation products.  This is exactly what pharmaceuticals companies are worried about.  There’s not as much money in helping people quit as there is in helping people attempt to quit (repeatedly).  E-cigs seems to defeat this notion by offering long-term replacement for smoking — and without the easily orchestrated monopoly massive pharmaceuticals companies can set up behind the wall of government regulation.

At the moment, the European Union is headed towards regulation of electronic cigarettes where companies can choose to be regulated as traditional cigarettes or medicine.  Neither is ideal, and major tobacco and pharmaceuticals companies are both pushing for the harshest rules possible for the industry.

Only time will tell if they are going to get what they want.

There’s one quick note to be made on the concern that electronic cigarettes might be a gateway to tobacco.  Many experts actually believe that e-cigs are more likely to act as a gateway away from smoking rather than to it.  The gateway effect as it is more popularly portrayed, has been mostly debunked as a concern for risky behavior.

Comments

3 Responses to “GlaxoSmithKline Warns EU Lawmakers That E-Cigs May Be Tobacco Gateway”

      BOB FIDDAMAN (@Fiddaman) on February 17th, 2014 9:03 am
        harleyrider1778 on February 19th, 2014 7:52 pm

        JOINT STATEMENT ON THE RE-ASSESSMENT OF THE TOXICOLOGICAL TESTING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS”
        7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18
        November 2004.

        http://cot.food.gov.uk/pdfs/cotstatementtobacco0409

        “5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke – induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease.”

        In other words … our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can’t even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact … we don’t even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does.

        The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.

          harleyrider1778 on February 19th, 2014 7:52 pm

          This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

          http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/28/16741714-lungs-from-pack-a-day-smokers-safe-for-transplant-study-finds?lite

          Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

          By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

          Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

          What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

          “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study………………………

          Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

          The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

          Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.

          146,000 CIGARETTES SMOKED IN 20 YEARS AT 1 PACK A DAY.

          A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

          Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

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