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Researchers: Electronic cigarette alternative solution for smokers, reduces the risk of diseases

Researchers: Electronic cigarette alternative solution for smokers, reduces the

Quitting smoking is definitely an achievement for some users, but a more challenging process for others. Every year in Italy 80% of users who have tried to quit smoking have not reached their goal. This claim has been confirmed by a study by PASSI, a surveillance system of the Ministry of Health in Italy. According to PASSI, only 10% of users managed to quit smoking more than 6 months ago.

The head of Otolaryngology at the local health center (ASL) in Turin, Fabio Beatrice, also gave his perspective in a round table organized on this topic.

"Smoking and reduced risk products" published by Il Giornale newspaper in Italy sparked a public debate recently. The consumption of e-cigarettes in Italy is prejudiced because there is misinformation. According to data reported by Beatrice, a source of the Ministry of Health, 24.2% of the population are smokers and 91% of them do not want or are unable to quit smoking. In fact, it is estimated that in Italy alone there are over 93 thousand deaths per year caused by smoking.

Furthermore, the misinformed audience believes that there is no scientific evidence of harm reduction from the use of alternative products. But, this is not true.

Studies conducted in 2022 by Cochrane, a British international organization that focuses on providing medical information that helps doctors, patients, researchers and policy makers to expand knowledge and make health care decisions, proved that e-cigarettes help people quit tobacco more effectively than pharmaceutical products containing nicotine. The study was conducted with 22,052 participants, of which 40 were randomized.

Another study from Harvard University and King's Hospital in London was published in the journal Nature Medicine, which found that electronic cigarettes are 95% less harmful than combustible cigarettes.

"From the evidence published by Nature, it is clear that smokers are more likely to quit if they switch to e-cigarettes.

Oncologist and director of the Tumor Center of the TMG Clinic in Piodenone, Umberto Tirelli sees this transition as a revolutionary change.

"There has been a revolutionary change, people have given up cigarettes and have trusted alternative products which are less harmful. Sales of traditional cigarettes have dropped significantly by 50% in just 7 years," he said while asking why it is necessary to discuss the effectiveness of alternative products.

"Why is the success and safety of alternative products for smokers still being debated?

'Nicotine is not the cause of the tumor, combustion is the problem'. - emphasizes Umberto Tirelli.

Even the medical specialist in Public Health and the President of the National Prevention Agency, Dr. Giacomo Mangiaracina supports this thesis. He also recalls the alarming figures as a result of traditional cigarettes.

"Twenty cigarettes a day for a year deposit approximately 100 grams of tar in the respiratory tract. If a smoker were to completely switch to alternative products, we would have a reduction in overall carcinogenicity, as well as a decrease in the incidence and prevalence of lung cancer in 10-20 years," argues the specialist.

However, with the latest cigarette budget law in Italy, an increase of 1% per year in 2025 and 2026 is foreseen for liquid products with nicotine and for those without nicotine. An increase in taxation of heating products is expected in 2024 and 2025. In 2026 there will be a subsequent increase of one percentage point. Marco Osnato, chairman of the Finance Committee in the Chamber of Deputies, spoke precisely about the reduction of the excise duty.

"If there are situations that lead to risk reduction, they should be encouraged. Lifestyles should be rewarded, not penalized. The national health system would benefit.” - he concludes.