This is the time of research on electronic cigarettes. Every day the number of scientific publications around the world seems to proliferate and, although opposing views on the efficiency of these products continue to feed the scientific debate, the interest on these issues is higher than ever and the combustion-free products continue to be chosen by millions of people.

Good quality research will be increasingly important to establish tolerability, safety and efficacy. And technological innovation will allow revolutionary quality improvements” – said the CoEHAR director, Riccardo Polosa, commenting on his recent editorial in the most prestigious magazine of Internal Medicine in the world.

Internal and Emergency Medicine” has recently published a special editorial series, in collaboration with SIMI – Italian Association of Internal Medicine, entitled “Health impact of electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco systems” dedicated to the health impact of free-combustion products used.

The series, launched last August 14, presents an editorial signed by prof. Riccardo Polosa (director of the CoEHAR), prof. Kostantinos Farsalinos (member of the LIAF Scientific Committee) and prof. Domenico Prisco, Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Florence.

Among the seven studies highlighted in the series, there are also two studies conducted by Greek researchers that underline the growing evidence that vaping products can help to stop or reduce the number of cigarettes smoked and that the most important motivation lies precisely in the possibility of using e-cig as consumer products, and not as medicines.

Indeed, the typically recreational nature of these products makes it a simpler choice. Using the e-cig to “quit smoking”, a recreational process is started in which the smoker can enjoy by replacing the harmful habit of smoking with the beneficial habit of vaping, the same stimuli or the same sensations of cigarette smoking.

It should also be remembered that electronic cigarettes do not represent more than 5% of the risks derived from smoking a conventional cigarette.

From the qualitative point of view, the continuous evolution of the products can also allow a greater release of nicotine, which we remember is not a problem. Recently, for example, nicotine salts have increased sensory properties and increased the satisfaction of the vaper in using the product. And although more scientific evidence is needed, it is important to work more and more on the appeal of low-risk products.

The editorial also pays attention to another important issue concerning the reduction of the risk of lung cancer thanks to the use of e-cig: “Assessing the lung cancer risk reduction potential of candidate modified risk tobacco products

The interest of the entire scientific community in these issues gives us hope that, over the next few years, the focus on the possibilities offered by these products will be ever increasing” – said Riccardo Polosa.

Not surprisingly, in an attempt to fill the many knowledge gaps, some scientists have recently designed and launched an ambitious randomized, multicenter and controlled clinical study.

Evolving research over the past few years further supporting the lower harm potential of e-cigarettes compared to smoking, something that we addition of heated tobacco products into the tobacco harm reduction arsenal may help even more smokers quit. Research should be intensified particularly for heated tobacco products which have been marketed more recently and are thus lacking the level of evidence available for electronic cigarettes” thus concludes Kostantinos Farsalinos.


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