The ground-breaking review article "Health impact of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Current and emerging evidence" published in Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine discusses existing and future options for COPD smokers who have difficulty quitting smoking. It also systematically reviews the current literature about e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. The article is authored by CoEHAR researchers of the University of Catania together with British respiratory physicians at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospitals in London.
The research covered 25 studies comprising 1,810 participants who smoked. The authors found that nearly two thirds of the tests analyzed showed e-cigarettes do not bring any additional harm to a smoker’s health, specifically in relation to heart rate, blood pressure and cardiovascular test. In fact, researchers evaluated evidence from two clinical studies that showed that the use of e-cigarettes could lead to a potential benefit. For example, participants with hypertension experienced a clinically significant reduction in systolic blood pressure after one year of electronic nicotine delivery systems use.
A record that is associated with another incredible scientific result of the CoEHAR team which closes 2022 with a record: the group of scientists affiliated with the research center in Catania has managed to achieve, in just 4 years, 128 scientific publications in prestigious journals dedicated to Harm Reduction.
Although the numbers of harm reduction supporters are growing, there are still too many smokers attracted to cigarettes: with over 1.1 billion smokers worldwide and more than 8 million smoke-related deaths each year, the smoking emergency is still a long way off from being in check.
In their Commentary “A tale of flawed e-cigarette research undetected by defective peer review process” published in Internal and Emergency Medicine, top harm reduction researchers Riccardo Polosa, Founder of the CoEHAR, and Konstantinos Farsalinos, from University of West Attica, denounce the danger of an escalation in the promotion and dissemination of an anti-vaping narrative supported by evidence of the lowest quality.
The E-Cigarette Summit will be held at the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) in London on Friday 9th December 2022. Alongside a milestone anniversary for the Summit, it is also 60 years since the RCP first published its ground breaking report “Smoking and Health”, which laid the foundations for tobacco control.
Riccardo Polosa: "In Italy, even today, we don't have a health policy that takes care of these people. Risk reduction represents the solution, an extraordinary opportunity for change and acceleration in terms of individual and public health. I consider it serious to insist on hiding from citizens the real opportunities offered by potentially low-risk instruments, even pointing them out as dangerous on a par with conventional cigarettes.
According to a qualitative analysis that involved the health personnel responsible for accompanying patients with schizophrenic spectrum disorders in their therapeutic paths, tobacco addiction is highly harmful and widespread among patients suffering from these disorders: doctors, psychologists and healthcare professionals in general have a positive view of smokeless instruments, which are considered an excellent substitute for smoking.
"Policy narratives are socially constructed stories produced within belief systems that narrate the reality of the policy problem and assign blame. The purpose of policy narratives is persuasion, to influence the framing of a policy problem and shape policy beliefs - said dr. O'Leary - So long as the narratives in the state arena about vapour devices are only stories of threats, any potential opportunity vapour devices may offer for tobacco harm reduction is automatically lost".
The third phase of the Replica project is in the prime of its activity: CoEHAR researchers successfully replicated the study published by Rudd and colleagues in 2020 and the data obtained not only show slight or no cytotoxic, mutagenic and genotoxic effects induced by the e-cigarette aerosol, but the work by researchers of Catania covered some methodological gaps and limitations in the original work.