Wednesday, 7 May 2014

The ASH study covered in Norwegian Media

On Tuesday, Norwegian newspaper VG published a story ( on the ASH study I've written about earlier ( The article sums up the results of the study, which you can read more about in my previous post, and also has a couple of interesting sub-headings:
  • Norwegian expert rejoice in the development
  • Can expect the same development in Norway
The expert in question is of course again Research Director for the SIRUS (Norwegian institute for drug and alcohol research) tobacco unit, Karl Erik Lund. He says to VG that he thinks we will see the same development here in Norway if the ban on over-the-counter sales is lifted. Today there is around 50.000 e-cigarette users in Norway.

"Despite the fact that some people are worried that e-cigarettes will re-normalize smoking, we have not found anything that supports this. On the contrary the use of e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking as many use them to help quitting.", Robert West, professor and head of The Smoking Toolkit Study, is quoted. And Karl Erik Lund supports this. He says the development is undoubtedly positive from a public health view, and he adds that we have studies indicating that the use of e-cigarettes is not harmful at all from a physiological perspective.

Lund is very negative towards todays ban on over-the-counter sales in Norway. He says there has been observations of some products that contains toxins that can be harmful in high concentrations and over time, and therefore it is urgent to get regulations in place that will ensure a higher grade of consumer safety. However, "it is the long term effects of keeping the ban that will prove fatal", he says.

In Denmark, the use of e-cigarettes has also exploded, and their minister of health, Nick Hækkerup, has said that he wants to intervene, mainly because he is worried about the rising popularity among children and young people. (Read my post on this here: Commenting on this Lund says that "all user surveys - in Norway as well - shows that e-cigarettes has little appeal to non-smokers. But as the use of e-cigarettes increases, we have to expect that a segment of young non-smokers will be recruited." And he goes on to make a very important point that I've mentioned a lot of times on this blog: "The question is if the experience these young people has with e-cigarettes will increase their desire to switch to conventional cigarettes. There is not much that suggests this. Why should someone abandon the e-cigarette in favor of conventional cigarettes that tastes rancid compared to e-cigarettes, is perceived as a lot more dangerous, are a lot more expensive, has a negative symbolic effect and can only be used outdoors?"

photo credit: MonicaGrigsby via photopin cc 

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