Is France going to ban the public use of e cigs?
The a group led by Bertrand Dautzenberg (Professor pneumology and President of the Office for tobacco) asks for a ban for pregnant women and minors to smoke in France.
Furthermore, they suggest that e-smoking should be banned in public places such as restaurants and cafes. These recommendations were written in a study ordered by the French authorities. According to the OFT, a ban would be a clear signal that smoking in any form (healthy or unhealthy) is not longer accepted.
The public reacts very surprised as recent studies (including two French and British studies) showed that the electronic cigarette improves the health of the smokers.
But another study, done by the University of Athens, should say that the vapor of certain e-cigs may contain harmful substances. The amount of these substances was still very low, but this is according the OFT irrelevant.
Several skeptics question the research methods used at the University of Athens. They should have dry-smoked the cartomizers until the atomizer inside got burned. In real, this does not happen as the e-smoker will immediately taste it and knows this is a signal to change the cartomizer.
The Greek researchers found that the safety was not always optimal with some low-cost e-cigarettes, especially when atomizers started to burn or when the e-cigarette was boosted to a higher temperature at which some e-liquid plant can release harmful substances.
In order not to cause too much panic, the OFT group declared that the doses in the traditional tobacco cigarettes are multiple times higher and more harmful than those found in the electronic cigarette.
It is noticeable that you never see a response from the OFT group when favorable results of the e cigarette are being published. But as soon as something negative rises in the news, you suddenly see them pointing their fingers.
Need for supervision by an official authority
Dautzenberg and his group did recognize that more research is needed. He added that it's still better to follow their precautionary recommendations. Supervision over the safety and quality of ecigarettes are urgently needed. When an official party can do inspections on all devices, we are a big step forward. We do share his opinion.
Currently the the Minister of Health, Mr. Touraine has to decide about the ban. The manufacturers of electric cigarettes are fighting the recommendations. They are not reluctant against rules and inspections, but see no point in prohibiting the e-cigarette in public places. There is also the fact that in America, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not impose any restrictions on use.