keskiviikko 17. helmikuuta 2016

Translation: Level of harm reduction discourse in Finland. here's the original, in finnish. Below is a translation of the text. I won't analyze this for now, so just reporting it as is.

Nicotinemerchants’ new clothes

Why public health experts are opposed to electronic cigarettes, which according to the current knowledge are less harmful than tobacco after all? Medical specialist Kristiina Patja answers.

Electronic cigarettes are defended furiously. One of the premises is that it helps smokers of smoke containing tobacco quit smoking. It has now been shown as false information in many studies, most recently in the prestigious Lancet-journal.
Another premise is that the aerosol-like electronic cigarette is less harmful than smoke containing tobacco (sic, the finnish phrase is essentially the opposite of “smokefree”). Studies, in which this harmlessness has been measured, are however few. Electronic cigarettes have been brought on the market without studying it’s health effects. Smoke containing tobacco contains 50-60 carsinogens, snus 20-30 and apparently electronic cigarettes a few. Then however we should ban at once the most harmful ones and with strict oversight only leave a few products on the market. This was done when lead was no longer needed in fuel.
Why then those opposing tobacco industry and tobacco products are also opposed to electronic cigarettes? Why are they not celebrating a harmful, but less harmful new product? The reason is that people who have been following the actions of the tobacco industry for a long time know the drill. There’s no need to go back to the light cigarettes of the 1970s anymore, but we can see what happened with snus.
Bringing snus to Finland followed the exact same paths as electronic cigarettes.  It was told to be less harmful than regular cigarettes. In addition it was supposed to help to stop smoking, for good that is. Marketing snus as a cessation product enabled Sweden to decrease smoking cigarettes.
Health people tried to resist and reported how new nicotine products enticed new users. In fact, this has happened in Sweden already: over 40 percent of men were tobacco product users, when the number in Finland was closing in on 20 percent. Snus was not effective in cessation, but smokers simply switched to using it. In addition, snus was more addictive and systemic nicotine doses were larger. Physiologically it led to stronger dependence than before.
We tried to warn that the phenomenon starts with children and youth, as in those who we were trying to protect from nicotine addiction. We reported that snus is even more addictive than cigarettes and nicotine doses are larger. We reported that snus is not harmless: it’s a cancer hazard and in addition strains the heart. Teeth suffer. Epidemiological study had already shown this, even though data is accumulating slowly.
The pace has been even more wild with electronic cigarettes. Stores enable minors to get equipment and candyliquids (word used is a derogatory version, no idea how to translate it properly) and then off they go online shopping with friends. Half of teenagers have already tried electronic cigarettes. Many of them would not have tried smoke containing tobacco, since it has been out of fashion for a long time now – even before electronic cigarettes.
Where in the world can we need 500 different electronic cigarette brands and over 7000 different flavorings? Why are popstars marketing electronic cigarettes specifically in Instagram, that’s popular with youth? New products have been directed at youth, they play music and blinking lights. Liquids taste like marshmallow, vanilla and strawberry. Not likely they are directed at <sic> (term meaning set in their ways) adult smokers.
It’s known that nicotine dependence can be formed already by using two smoke containing cigarettes a week. Electronic cigarette nicotine content varies a lot, so the number of experimentation instances can be a little larger, but is it worth it to take the risk? Are we supposed to study separately, if nicotine in this form is somehow addictive in a different way?

If our goal is a tobacco free Finland, is increasing the prevalence of nicotine addiction the correct way? You electronic cigarette user, how many more new nicotine dependent children do you want in this country?

1 kommentti:

  1. As an user AND an advocate of ecigs I do not feel being a nicotine merchant at all. In 3-4 years Finland would be getting close to 10-12% of smokers if they allow the ecig market to reasonably mature rather than killing it.