Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Norwegian Institute of Public Health completely missing the point

Per Schwarze, Department 
director for Air Pollution 
and Noise, Norwegian Institute 
of Public Health, who published,
the answer to Dr. Farsalinos
Last week the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) published their report on "Health risks associated with the use of electronic cigarettes". The biggest problem with the report is their focus on nicotine and their claims that since the amount of nicotine in the air in an e-cigarette users home and and a smokers home are statistically similar, we can expect that nicotine from passive vaping and passive smoking will cause similar harm. This in itself is actually true. It will cause the same amount of harm: NONE! It is not the nicotine in passive smoking that causes harm, and it does not cause bystanders to get addicted.

Dr. Farsalinos tried to explain this to NIPH last week, and yesterday NIPH published an answer to Dr. Farsalinos. As you can see they are completely missing (or ignoring) the point made by Dr. Farsalinos here, and keep focusing on how the data from different reports are different and that there is a chance that vaping exposes bystanders to similar amounts of nicotine as smoking does. They refuse to retract their report. But this is all completely irrelevant. Dr. Farsalinos did not want the NIPH to retract the whole report, but simply to retract the part where it says that this nicotine exposure causes harm.

I'm glad to see that Dr. Farsalinos does not give up, and that he published another answer to the NIPH on his blog. I think this one makes it pretty clear what he meant the first time, and I hope that the NIPH will have the guts to publicly admit that their focus on nicotine from passive vaping (and smoking) is in fact irrelevant and should not cause any worries. As I've said earlier, the rest of their report is pretty well balanced, even though I do think they use too much time and effort explaining possible harm from substances that they later conclude are probably present at levels so low that they will not cause any harm anyway. So in a way they have shown that they are reasonable people and acknowledge that one has to look at the levels of the substances when you consider the risks associated with them. Hopefully they will be able to see this when it comes to nicotine as well.

Let me make this very clear: There are studies indicating that passive vapers will absorb similar levels of nicotine to those absorbed by passive smokers, but that does not mean it will cause them any harm, or in fact affect them at all.

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  1. A puff machine set up for other study than passive exposure tests, is used for reference for the FHI´s conclution....Terrible.... than now we know why our roads arent better eiether,,, they are not scientific done for cars,etc.... but for bicycles....someone felt it was similar......

  2. I got my first electronic cigarette kit at VistaVapors, and I enjoy it a lot.