This show aired on Phildelphia's NPR station WHYY yesterday.
What do we know about e-cigarettes? | Radio Times | WHYY
Guests: Andrew Strasser, Michael Siegel
E-cigarettes are gaining popularity fueled by images of stars and hipsters puffing on them. Electronic cigarettes contain a battery that heats the liquid nicotine turning it into a vapor which the smoker inhales. Manufactures claim that “vaping,” as it’s called, is safer than regular cigarettes but the FDA has warned that the health effects of these relatively new products are still unknown and some studies have found carcinogens present in the vapor. Currently the FDA is deciding how to regulate e-cigarettes. So what do we know about e-cigarettes? How are they being marketed? And can they be a useful tool for public health? Marty is joined by ANDREW STRASSER, associate professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, where he is the director of its Biobehavioral Smoking Laboratory and MICHAEL SIEGEL, a professor of Community Health Services at Boston University School of Public Health.
- See more at: What do we know about e-cigarettes? | Radio Times | WHYY
I didn't know it was airing until I tuned in for the late night replay, so I could not call in. In general, it seems pretty positive and balanced, Siegel is great in it. Strasser harps on the "problem" with people dual using ecigs while still smoking a few real ones a day, but does not acknowledge that harm reduction is a good thing. Nor does he address the normal dual use that takes place with NRTs, or say anything about the psychological risks of Chantix. One caller asked him about his NYT article denigrating ecigs because flavors will attract children, and how his funding comes from Pfizer, which sells Chantix. His response to the first was flavored cigarettes are now illegal because of fears they would attract children, but does not bring up the fact that flavored cigs were never shown to attract children.
One thing I was not fond about with the show was that Strasser kept talking about ecigs as possible smoking cessation devices, not alternatives to smoking. It was all black and white to him, and cutting down on smoking, something most of us went through even if we did switch entirely, is considered just as bad as smoking full time. Harm reduction was not a part of his vernacular at all. That all said, he was, perhaps reluctantly, supportive of people vaping instead of smoking.
All in all, a very good show, and I was glad to hear it aired in my home city, which so far has been very hands off about trying to ban ecigs. Ecigs are very common in convenience stores here, and we now have a handful of vaping B&Ms in the greater Philly region.