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E-cigarettes could reduce death toll

Re: “E-cigarettes pose a variety of very real dangers,” comment, Dec. 12.

Re: “E-cigarettes pose a variety of very real dangers,” comment, Dec. 12.

Why is our chief medical health officer so opposed to our health?

Faced with mounting evidence that e-cigarettes are displacing tobacco smoking, and in the absence of any real evidence of harm caused by their use, our chief medical health officer wants to ban them. Why? Because of “very real dangers” that don’t actually exist.

Dr. Richard Stanwick argues that even if e-cigs help smokers to quit, we need to worry about youth, non-smokers and ex-smokers, who might start using e-cigs and then become addicted and then become tobacco smokers. There is no evidence for this.

There are about 4.8 million smokers in Canada. We can expect 2.4 million of them to die of smoking-related diseases. If a third of all smokers switched to e-cigarettes, and if e-cigs are just 80 per cent safer (rather than the 98 to 99 per cent safer that current science suggests), the death toll drops to about 1.6 million.

But Stanwick is worried about non-smokers using e-cigarettes. How many new e-cig users would it take to get us back to a death toll of 2.4 million? We’d need to convince 6.3 million non-smokers (25 per cent of the population) to take up e-cigarettes. Hands up, everyone who thinks that can happen.

Stanwick is frightening smokers away from a safer alternative.

Chris Lalonde


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