Jag skrev tidigare om forskning i syfte att göra cigaretter mindre farliga, och undrade i en passus hur folkhälsodebattörerna ställde sig till sådana initiativ. Nu har den elektroniska cigaretten (e-cigaretten) kommit - från Physorg:
[E-cigarettens] boosters say it's the perfect way to quit smoking because the nicotine mist contains no tar or any of the host of cancer-causing agents of tobacco smoke -- yet has the touch and feel of smoking. That, they say, makes the e-cigarette superior to other nicotine-delivery systems such as patches, chewing gum, aerosol sprays and inhalers.
The levels of nicotine can be adjusted, from "high" to no nicotine at all. That, e-cig supporters say, allows smokers to wean themselves from nicotine, which most doctors say is highly addictive but not, as far as they know, a carcinogen.
The product's aficionados say that because it contains no tobacco, it can be used in bars, nightclubs, restaurants and other public places where states and localities have banned tobacco use.
Och då till responsen från folkhälsan:
But anti-smoking groups say that's [att den kan användas på ställen med rökförbud] exactly the problem. They fear that it will reintroduce a "smoking culture" into places where people no longer are used to seeing wisps of smoke and cigarettes hanging from people's mouths.
"If you had a serial killer who liked to stab people, would you give him a rubber knife?" asked Chen. "This just boggles the mind."
[T]he U.S. Food and Drug Administration now seems poised to pull e-cigs from the market because the agency considers them "new drugs." That means they need approval from the FDA, which requires companies to back up their claims with scientific data.
"It is illegal to sell or market them, and the FDA is looking into this," said Rita Chappelle, an agency spokeswoman.
Asked if that meant the FDA would crack down on the dozens of mall kiosks nationwide where the product is being sold like perfume and cellphone covers, Chappelle said: "This is an open case. Beyond that I cannot comment."
Och ifall någon mot förmodan skulle tvivla så har naturligtvis Årets förmyndare 2008 skrivit om e-cigaretten under rubriken "Varning för elektroniska cigaretter".