The European Association of Preventive Cardiology (EAPC) believes the use of e-cigarettes for adult smoking cessation could be a “sensible argument”, but argues that more scientific evidence is needed.
However, in a research paper published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the association warns that the role of vaping is less well defined among young people, who see e-cigs as “a new and safe ‘trend’ and as a part of a ‘healthy life’.” And it says flavours that are attractive to minors – such as fruit, menthol, mint, candy, and desserts – should be banned.
The report acknowledges some “knowledge gaps” in available scientific data and research on the field.
The cardiologists highlight the lack of reliable data on the impact of e-cigarettes on smoking cessation and calls for further research on the matter, including studies of the effects of vaping on clinical cardiovascular health.
“Whether different patterns of e-cigarette smoking (with respect to the age of onset, frequency and cumulative duration of use) exert differential cardiovascular effects is largely unknown,” the report says.
The role of social media
The EAPC also believes further longitudinal studies should be conducted to figure out the role of social media in the initiation of e-cigarette use among adolescents and young adults.
The paper notes that legislation for e-cigarettes is new and “there is no consensus on how to legislate the sales, packaging, taxes and public use”.
The EAPC also says that the general population does not have enough access to relevant up-to-date information about electronic cigarettes. “There is no information at general population level regarding their acceptance of different measures to legislate e-cigarette use,” it says.
The paper also says there is “little or no evidence” on the impact that different regulatory measures may have on the uptake and prevalence of e-cigarette use.
What This Means: The EAPC’s view that e-cigarettes might help smoking cessation among adults diverges somewhat from the position of the World Health Organization (WHO). The official stance of the UN agency is that there is a lack of clarity as to whether vaping can have any role to play in smoking cessation.
– Antonia di Lorenzo ECigIntelligence contributing writer