Li Volti (CoEHAR Director): “No more doubts: ecigs are 95% less harmful than conventional cigarettes“
On one side, scientific data lead to the evidence that alternative nicotine-containing products can help quit smoking, reducing the risk to human health; on the other side, the prejudices and mistrust towards this new paradigm in the fight against smoking addiction.
Adressing this challenge was the goal of the 4th Scientific Summit on Tobacco Harm Reduction: Novel products, Research & Policy, an online event promoted by Scohre, International Association on Smoking Control & Harm Reduction, which brought together international scientists and experts. According to the experts “those who can’t quit smoking must not be abandoned by health policies” and where there is a repeated failure “the use of less harmful alternative devices will have a positive effect for many smokers“.
“Scientific evidence – according to the scientists who study ecigs and harm reduction strategies- are currently strong enough to confirm that there are alternative products that are less harmful than conventional cigarettes“, so “we believe that harm reduction strategies should be adopted as complementary policies to those on tobacco control“.
According to Giovanni Li Volti, director of CoEHAR, the Center of Excellence for the Acceleration of Harm Reduction in Catania, “there is an underlying problem in studies on electronic cigarettes: the standardization and harmonization of international researches. Replication studies are very difficult to implement, especially in terms of coordinating protocols and harmonizing different studies.
For the first time – Li Volti recalled in his speech – the ‘Replica’ project, conducted at the laboratories of the University of Catania, is “replicating” and therefore evaluating, all the studies that have had a profound impact on the topic of the effectiveness of e-cigarettes. To date, the results that have emerged confirm that there are no longer any doubts: electronic cigarettes are more than 95% less harmful than conventional cigarettes“.
“The main challenge in studying low-risk products is that there are countless variables that come into play when researchers try to scientifically quantify the cytotoxicity and the effects of exposure to the vapor produced by electronic cigarettes in the lungs – noted Massimo Caruso, researcher in Biochemistry at CoEHAR and co-project leader of “Replica” – Despite the difficulties, we have demonstrated, with two studies already published on this topic and conducted at CoEHAR, that switching to e-cig can reduce the harm to lung cells of smokers“.
As stated several times “the increase in the number of scientific evidence, including the independent verification of data that come from companies, the greater awareness at all levels and the dissemination of the latest scientific data, is a crucial step to really help smokers quit smoking and achieve the Beating Cancer Plan objectives“.