Italy’s National Institute of Health Attacks E-Cigs

Klaus Kneale
by Klaus Kneale
19 Comments
January 3, 2013

Anti-electronic cigarette industry sentiment struck one last blow in 2012 before much of the industry and its advocates could properly respond.  On December 28th, Italy’s National Institute of Health provided a report to the country’s health minister.  The Ministry of Health commissioned the report back in September in an attempt to get answers about the new products.  Just 3 months later, the ISS (Italy’s leading technical and scientific public body) provided a report damning the new devices.

The report seemed of questionable origins at best.  In three months, solid clinical evidence can’t really be expected.  Dr. Riccardo Polosa operates out of the University of Catania in Italy.  He’s been researching electronic cigarettes for a couple years now and can at this point be regarded as an advocate for the industry.  According to Polosa, his attempts to find information about the Institute of Health’s report have been fruitless.  There appears to be no information about the scientific methods or the sources used to arrive at the report’s conclusions.

“It is more likely to be anti-smoking (anti-e-cig) activists’ propaganda in response to the very positive Xmas sales of electronic cigarettes in Italy,” says Polosa.  ”The report is likely to be a collection of opinions or a collection of biased references rather than a proper study of adequate scientific quality.”

Polosa’s organization LIAF (the Italian Anti Smoke League) filed a formal request for the document a week ago, but has yet to receive any sort of response.  Coverage of the report focuses primarily on its insistence that there is no evidence that electronic cigarettes can help people quit and concerns that the new fashion gadgets will serve as a gateway to conventional smoking.  The report mirrors previous statements from other organizations around the world unwilling to admit the devices show promise.

“It is clear that ISS experts have deliberately ignored the published scientific journal articles on research conducted by our research group…” says Polosa.  ”…which show that these products may be powerful tools for helping inveterate smokers to stop damaging their health.”  Polosa’s work and that of others in the field have already proven much of the ISS’s report false or obviously biased.

It is a little surprising to see a national-level health organization outside the U.S. slam e-cigs with unsubstantiated, damning claims.  Admittedly, it’s sometimes all too easy to see the FDA as the only regulatory agency in the world bogged down with biased, slanted, unsubstantiated propaganda and fear-mongering over the new devices that offer up so much promise.  So much of the negative atmosphere comes from misguided concerns for the sake of the children!

If research into the market has taught us anything so far, it’s that e-cigs don’t operate as a gateway, they don’t disproportionately appeal to young consumers (or hardly at all), and they don’t do nearly the harm necessary to warrant the massive amount of guilty-before-innocent assumptions regulators and adversaries exhibit.

Luckily, Italy has a resident e-cig expert on hand to fix these misconceptions: Dr. Polosa.  Hopefully, they’ll call him back.

Comments

19 Responses to “Italy’s National Institute of Health Attacks E-Cigs”

      robovape on January 4th, 2013 3:03 am

      “It is a little surprising to see a national-level health organization outside the U.S. slam e-cigs with unsubstantiated, damning claims”

      no, not really, that’s government 101…

        slap_maxwell on January 4th, 2013 6:51 am

        Indeed; to me, it seems like government bureaucrats cannot *stand* to have people making their own informed choices and doing their own research. And the reason is, because if such a thing were to catch on, people might suddenly realize the emperor has no clothes. Some might begin to question the usefulness of all that bureaucracy and …well, not a pretty picture for those who Enjoy Power.

        It’s kinda too late in this instance, however. Too many vapers are already wise to the attacks by charlatans and control freaks, and too much *real* science has already commenced. I’m betting this condemnation kinda disappears after a few weeks and and the power freaks will try to pretend it was all an error. Just watch….

          fabio on January 4th, 2013 1:36 pm

          very good cigarettes “categoria” hello

            fabio on January 4th, 2013 1:38 pm

            very good cigarettes CATEGORIA

              Chad on January 4th, 2013 3:42 pm

              Good article…I agree with Robovape though.

                Adam on January 4th, 2013 5:30 pm

                Good article. I agree with slap_maxwell too.

                  saboinia on January 5th, 2013 7:36 pm

                  shakes head……………..good article though still shakes head

                    unclerj on January 5th, 2013 8:28 pm

                    More head shaking here.

                    How very nice to be so powerful that you can just publicly damn something without any research to prove out your statements?

                      Dahcwon on January 5th, 2013 11:55 pm

                      I wish people would stop bashing e-cigs already.

                        Mike on January 6th, 2013 11:29 pm

                        Government claims are supposed to mean what these days?

                          Donald Hammond on January 8th, 2013 12:36 am

                          This is just awful.

                            Esigarettanews on January 9th, 2013 10:10 am

                            Thanks for this article guys.

                            Fortunately, our mutual friend Dr. Riccardo Polosa, supports research on electronic cigarettes and makes its authoritative voice even at high levels

                              Lincoln Pennell on January 9th, 2013 10:32 pm

                              freedom of choice dies in Italy :(

                                Steve Mitchell on January 10th, 2013 5:58 am

                                Good article

                                  GhOsT DoGg 79 on January 10th, 2013 1:45 pm

                                  Slap summed it up real proper like.

                                    Steve Mitchell on January 11th, 2013 5:57 am

                                    ^^I agree^^

                                      Christian on January 11th, 2013 6:17 am

                                      It’s all politics!

                                        Philippe Caron-Boutin on January 11th, 2013 2:23 pm

                                        Another country doesnt understand effiency of ecig! Sad

                                          RCO67 on March 20th, 2013 4:22 am

                                          Agree with Robo and Slap. Gov’ts cannot stand for adult citizens to think for themselves even a little. To damn a product woth no research to back up the argume only causes the citizenry to further lose confidence in it’s so called leadership.

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