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Letter: Proposed vaping ban unwise

letter to the editor

The perspective on e-cigarette use presented recently in the Chronicle is not held by all Duke faculty, nor is it supported by many tobacco treatment investigators. According to the CDC, the recent outbreak of respiratory illness among e-cigarette users has mainly been linked to contaminated sources of illicit street products containing THC or CBD. The U.S. Surgeon General’s report of 2010 and many other experts have concluded that the diseases from smoking are caused mainly by combustion products of cigarettes, not nicotine. Studies of e-cigarette users have shown that they take in far less toxins than cigarette smokers. A study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine showed that e-cigarettes were nearly twice as effective at helping smokers quit than nicotine replacement therapy. Therefore, it is misguided and counterproductive to ban vaping because it is an important, less harmful alternative to combustible cigarettes for addicted smokers who cannot quit. A ban on vaping products may also drive students to seek out illicit products, increasing rather than lowering their risk. Moreover, e-cigarette use is already prohibited in all Duke buildings. Education about risks, including addiction, is a wiser approach than more extensive bans.

Jed E. Rose, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Duke University Medical Center

Edward D. Levin, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Duke University Medical Center

Alexey G. Mukhin, MD, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Duke University​ Medical Center

Scott Swartzwelder, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
Duke University Medical Center

Alex Wodak M
Emeritus Consultant
Alcohol and Drug Service, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, Australia

David G. Gilbert, PhD​
Professor, Department of Psychology
Southern Illinois University​

Riccardo Polosa, MD PhD​
Director of the Institute for Internal Medicine and Clinical Immunology
University of Catania​, Sicily​

Scott Ballin​, JD
Health Policy Consultant​

Frank Baeyens, PhD​
Professor of Experimental Psychology
University of Leuven​, Belgium

​Louise Ross​
National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training, United Kingdom​

Brad Rodu​, DDS
Professor of Medicine
University of Louisville

Natalie Walker, PhD
Associate Professor in Population Health
The University of Auckland, New Zealand

Roberto A Sussman, PhD
Institute of Nuclear Sciences
National Autonomous University of Mexico 

Christopher E. Lalonde, PhD
Professor of Psychology
University of Victoria, British Columbia

Editor's Note: According to his Scholars@Duke page, Jed Rose has industry relationships with JUUL Labs, Inc. and Philip Morris International, to whom he sold a patent in 2011.

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