Today, 3 out of 5 French people believe that vaporising is at least as dangerous as smoking, a mistrust that contradicts the scientific consensus. The crisis of confidence around the electronic cigarette is unjustified for the Academy of Medicine. According to the institution's wise men, the e-cigarette is an effective risk reduction and prevention tool that is better controlled in France than in the United States.
Smokers considering switching to electronic cigarettes "instead of tobacco should not hesitate", the Academy of Medicine said on Thursday, stressing that this product "useful to quit smoking" is better controlled in France than in the United States.
The institution is concerned about the perverse effects that could be caused by the "crisis of confidence" in vaporisation, linked to the sudden epidemic of lung disease observed in the United States and the World Health Organisation's (WHO) cautionary report that e-cigarettes are "probably less toxic than cigarettes" but considered "undoubtedly harmful".
A crisis of confidence in the face of scientific consensus
According to a BVA survey conducted in September for the pro-vaping association Sovape, 3 out of 5 French people now believe that vaporising is at least as dangerous as smoking, contrary to the scientific consensus. "This crisis of confidence could cause the death of thousands of smokers, while tobacco kills half of its loyal consumers," the academy fears in a statement.
She argues that in France "electronic cigarettes are subject to quality and safety standards unlike in the United States" and that the main cause of the lung disease epidemic in the United States is a diversion of the use of electronic cigarettes with harmful contents - probably vitamin E oil added to cannabis refills sold on the black market.
The propotage goes up to the battlement line
The Academy adds that vaporisation helps to stop and reduce tobacco consumption and stresses that in France we are not faced with "abuse" of this product by minors, as is the case on the other side of the Atlantic due to a "lack of regulation". Most liquids contain nicotine. This highly addictive substance, also found in tobacco, can affect brain development before the age of 25 and, according to some studies, affect adult brain development.
Vaporised liquids, on the other hand, do not contain many of the dangerous substances found in smoking tobacco, such as tar (a carcinogen) or carbon monoxide (a factor in cardiovascular disease).
But the vapour contains fine particles that enter the lungs. There are "many potentially toxic substances", concludes a report published in 2018 by the American Academies of Science. However, it will take several decades of studies to determine with certainty the long-term effects of these substances on the body's cells.