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Two recent articles featured on The Parliament Magazine suggest that vaping products will play a key role in solving Europe’s smoking problem. By offering smokers a significantly safer alternative to combustibles, vaping devices could cause a disruption significant enough to change public health throughout Europe and beyond.


Dr. Riccardo Polosa, Director of the Institute for Internal and Emergency Medicine at the University of Catania and Chief Scientific Advisor to LIAF (the Italian Anti-Smoking League), is a prolific writer and leading expert on vaping safety. Dr. Polosa has tracked over a decade of research on vaping products, and his own groundbreaking 3.5-year study published in Nature established that there were no signs of injury from even heavy e-cigarette use by never-smokers. From Dr. Polosa’s perspective as a scientist, there is little reason for skepticism regarding the safety of vaping. Studies that claim adverse effects, he explains, often focus on extreme conditions that would never occur during normal use and that this causes misleading results. He draws a comparison to toasting bread:

If you heat a slice of bread in a toaster at a standard temperature and for a limited time, the toast will be perfectly golden brown. However, if you heat the bread in a toaster for much longer and at a temperature that is too high, the toast will be burnt and full of carcinogenic elements.”

Fighting misinformation and making sure that regulations do not stifle innovation will be big challenges, but not insurmountable ones. To Giovanni La Via, a member of the European Parliament’s environment, public health and food safety committee, vaping devices have the potential to join medical “game changers” like vaccines and birth control. They have already proven themselves as one of the most important tools in the fight against tobacco with policies that have already been demonstrated on national levels offering established templates for the EU to follow.  The UK, in particular, has seen success with a government tobacco control plan and campaigns from charities like Cancer Research UK working in tandem to help make vaping products accessible for the public and explain why they are a safer choice than combustibles.


For La Via, the future of European health policy hinges on making sure accurate information and safe options are well-known and widely available. Millions of lives are at stake from smoking-related deaths, and even more citizens stand to see benefits in health and longevity. In his own words:

It is time for the EU to take the lead on this issue and set out a comprehensive health strategy based on the latest scientific evidence on eCigarettes in order to take full advantage of the opportunity they present in helping people quit smoking, thereby improving their quality of life and saving millions of lives.”


More information:

Article: eCigarettes are safer than smoking tobacco by Riccardo Polosa

Article: eCigarettes are part of the solution to one of Europe’s most serious health problems: tobacco smoking by Giovanni La Via

Study: Health impact of E-cigarettes: a prospective 3.5-year study of regular daily users who have never smoked