Lunes 05/12/2016.

La cara y la cruz de los 'e-cigarros'

Salud

Reino Unido fomenta los cigarrillos electrónicos y Estados Unidos los prohíbe

  • Los cigarrillos son menos perjudiciales para la salud y pueden evitar 10.000 muertes al año, según Reino Unido.
  • Estados Unidos quiere prohibirlos porque cree que emiten un vapor dañino para los ojos y la garganta.
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  • Los cigarros electrónicos podrían acabar con el tabaco tradicional

Mientras que el gobierno de Estados Unidos ha propuesto hoy la prohibición de este tipo de cigarrillos sin humo en los vuelos porque dicen que irritan los ojos y la garganta, en el Reino Unido quieren fomentar su uso porque creen que son menos perjudiciales para la salud y podrían evitar unas 10.000 muertes al año.

Los cigarrillos electrónicos no queman tabaco, pero emiten un vapor que contiene nicotina, según publica hoy el diario ‘USA today’. El Departamento de Transporte de Estados Unidos afirma que este vapor que expulsan los cigarrillos causa irritación en los ojos y en las vías respiratorias superiores.

“Los pasajeros de las líneas aéreas tienen derechos, y esta regla aumentará la comodidad de los pasajeros y reducirá la perturbación que supone el uso de los cigarros electrónicos en los vuelos”, ha señalado el secretario del Departamento de Transporte, Ray LaHood.

Por el contrario Reino Unido, busca fomentar este tipo de ‘e-cigarros’ porque cree que son menos perjudiciales y pueden evitar miles de muertes. Los expertos afirman que estos cigarros son menos dañinos que la cafeína de un café, según publica hoy el rotativo británico ‘The Guardian’.

“Muchos países está prohibiéndolos, creemos que es un error”, señalan fuentes del gobierno. Reino Unido ve estos productos como una alternativa más segura y atractiva para que la gente deje el tabaco convencional.

El profesor de epidemiología de la Universidad de Nottingham, John Britton, consultado por el periódico, ha señalado que algunas compañías no son partidarias de desarrollar la tecnología de los ‘e-cigarros’ para evitar los difíciles controles de salud que tienen que pasar al ser tratados como fármacos, por ser sustitutivos de los cigarros tradicionales.

Además, la proliferación de estos cigarros podría perjudicar los intereses de las grandes compañías tabacaleras.

Sin embargo, Reino Unido busca incrementar el uso de estos pitillos y está dispuesta a llevar esta opción a los estancos, donde estarían a la venta a precios más económicos.

 

La cara y la cruz delos cigarrillos electrónicos

Mientras que elgobierno de Estados Unidos ha propuesto hoy la prohibición de este tipo decigarrillos sin humo en los vuelos porque dicen que irritan los ojos y lagarganta, en el Reino Unido quieren fomentar su uso porque creen que son menosperjudiciales para la salud y podrían evitar unas 10.000 muertes al año.

Los cigarrilloselectrónicos no queman tabaco, pero emiten un vapor que contiene nicotina,según publica hoy el diario ‘USA today’. El Departamento de Transporte deEstados Unidos afirma que este vapor que expulsan los cigarrillos causairritación en los ojos y en las vías respiratorias superiores.

“Los pasajeros de laslíneas aéreas tienen derechos, y esta regla aumentará la comodidad de los pasajerosy reducirá la perturbación que supone el uso de los cigarros electrónicos enlos vuelos”, ha señalado el secretario del Departamento de Transporte, RayLaHood.

Por el contrarioReino Unido, busca fomentar este tipo de ‘e-cigarros’ porque cree que son menosperjudiciales y pueden evitar miles de muertes. Los expertos afirman que estoscigarros son menos dañinos que la cafeína del café, según publica hoy elrotativo británico ‘The Guardian’.

“Muchos países estáprohibiéndolos, creemos que es un error”, señalan fuentes del gobierno. Reino Unidove estos productos como una alternativa más segura y atractiva para que lagente deje el tabaco convencional.

El profesor deepidemiología de la Universidad de Nottingham, John Britton, consultado por elperiódico, ha señalado que algunas compañías no son partidarias de desarrollarla tecnología de los ‘e-cigarros’ para evitar los severos controles de salud alser tratados como fármacos, por ser sustitutivos de los cigarros tradicionales.

Además, laproliferación de estos cigarros podría perjudicar los intereses de las grandescompañías tabaqueras.

Sin embargo, Reino Unidobusca incrementar el uso de estos pitillos y está dispuesta a llevar estaopción a los estancos, donde estarían a la venta a precios más económicos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DOT proposes ban on electronic cigaretteson planes

The government wants to ban electroniccigarettes on airline flights because of concerns about health risks from thevapors.

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ByFrederic J. Brown, AFP/Getty Images

Various battery-powered smoking devicesare designed as an alternative to cigarettes, cigars and pipes, but concernover the safety of the products has prompted the Obama administration topropose a ban on use in flights.

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By Frederic J. Brown, AFP/Getty Images

Various battery-powered smoking devices are designedas an alternative to cigarettes, cigars and pipes, but concern over the safetyof the products has prompted the Obama administration to propose a ban on usein flights.

The Transportation Department is proposing the ban in a rule being published today in the Federal Register, the first step in government regulation.

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes,don't burn tobacco. The battery-operated devices offer users a vapor of liquidingredients, including nicotine.

But the department points to a lack ofresearch into the devices' ingredients that could irritate passengers' eyes andthroats as justification for the proposed ban.

"Airline passengers have rights, andthis rule would enhance passenger comfort and reduce any confusion surroundingthe use of electronic cigarettes in flight," Transportation Secretary RayLaHood says.

But Ray Story, chief executive of theTobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, says the effort is unfair whilethe possible risks of his products are unproven.

Story claims that competitors that makeregular cigarettes and products such as nicotine gum or patches were behind theproposed rule.

"Honestly, it's just insane,"Story says. "It clearly shows to me that it's motivated by whoever ispulling the biggest purse strings: big tobacco, big pharmaceutical."

A federal ban on smoking in airplanesbecame law in April 2000. But smoking continues on charter flights so long asthey provide a no-smoking section.

While several airlines already bane-cigarettes, the department proposed the law because of the growing use of theproducts that generate an estimated $100 million in annual sales.

Amtrak has banned the use of e-cigaretteswherever smoking is banned. The Navy has banned the devices below decks onships. And the Air Force surgeon general, Lt. Gen. Charles Green, has issued amemo highlighting safety concerns for airmen.

E-cigarettes vaporize propylene glycol,nicotine, water, coriander, citric acid and a fragrance from orchids.

"Propylene glycol is in lotion, it'sin makeup, it's in medicine — it's in everything because it allows your body toabsorb things faster," Story says.

But the department cites 2001 research in Occupationaland Environmental Medicine that found propylene glycol mist can cause acuteirritation to eyes and upper airways. The New England Journal of Medicine noted in a July article that inhaling propylene glycol hasn't beenstudied in people.

Fancy a smoke? Try an e-cigarette, says the government

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The government’s “nudge unit”wants to encourage the use of smokeless nicotine cigarettes, banned in manycountries around the world, in an attempt to reduce the numbers killed in theUK by smoking diseases each year.

The Cabinet Office’sbehavioural insight team – better known as the nudge unit – wants to adopt thenew technology because policy officials believe the rigid “quit or die”approach to smoking advice no longer works. Rather, they want nicotineaddiction to be managed to help smokers who otherwise won’t quit – an approachthe unit believes could prevent millions of smoking deaths. Ten million peoplein the UK smoke, and smoking claims 80,000 lives a year.

The nudge unit’s first annualreport, published today, says the unit – the first of its kind around the world– has, in the face of criticism, implemented a series of measures they believecould save thousands of lives a year, as well as £100m over the course of thenext parliament.

Ideas already being rolled outinclude “nudging” people to donate organs by asking someone to opt out ratherthan opt in when filling out an online driving licence application. The reportalso says the government is to change tax forms to tell people how many peoplein their area have paid their taxes ahead of them.

Now the unit wants to exploreand encourage new products that deliver nicotine to people’s lungs but withoutthe harmful toxins and carcinogens in tobacco smoke that kill.

The annual report reads: “Itwill be important to get the regulatory framework for these products right, toencourage new products. A canon of behaviour change is that it is much easierto substitute a similar behaviour than to extinguish an entrenched habit (anexample was the rapid switch from leaded to unleaded fuel). If alternative andsafe nicotine products can be developed which are attractive enough tosubstitute people away from traditional cigarettes, they could have thepotential to save 10,000s of lives a year.”

Current alternatives tosmoking range from smokeless tobacco to the Swedish snuff-like product Snus,which is illegal in the UK. Versions of smoke-free cigarettes are illegal inAustralia, and banned in Canada, Brazil, Singapore and Thailand becauseside-effects haven’t been tested.

But experts have advised theUK government that the nicotine contained in some new, smoke-free cigarettes isno more harmful than caffeine in coffee. A cabinet office source said: “A lotof countries are moving to ban this stuff; we think that’s a mistake.”

John Britton, professor ofepidemiology at the University of Nottingham, told the Guardian that on top ofthe current smokeless range – which includes electronic or “e-cigarettes” thatsimulate smoking by producing an inhaled mist – there are three or four devicesin different stages of development. But he said some companies have beenreluctant to develop this technology because they had expected it to be astightly controlled as pharmaceutical drugs.

Britton said: “If amanufacturer makes a health claim for anything then it becomes a drug, anddrugs have to be regulated with tight controls. The current nicotinereplacements are sold as drugs; however, e-cigarettes contain nicotine but getaround this by making no health claim and so can be sold freely, but withlittle or no information on safety or standards. What we’re asking for is aregulation change to bring all nicotine products into a light-touch regime thatwill guarantee reasonable purity and safety standards but make them asavailable as cigarettes in a shop.”

The Medicine and HealthcareProducts Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is looking into approving these devices foruse. If it finds in their favour, the government is likely to push for them tobe placed prominently in shops alongside tobacco cigarettes, where they wouldbe sold at a cheaper rate.

The unit is keen to engagewith those critics who believe its analysis and intervention in people’sbehaviour is “nanny statism”.

David Halpern, the unit’shead, told the Guardian: “As with seatbelts and the smoking ban, these ideaswere unpopular at first but after a while when you explain them to people, theyunderstand and say, ‘Yeah, alright then.’

“A year in,” Halpern added,“we’re much more confident about how well this can work, and the early trialshave also made us much more confident about public acceptability.”

 

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