More Scientists Support Vaping


The five internationally respected health professionals profiled in a previous blog post here have collectively done a great deal to advance a very important cause.

That cause is to have electronic cigarettes accepted and embraced by government health authorities and charitable organizations such as the Cancer Council – who have so far largely acted to discourage (and even ban!) the use of these revolutionary devices.

This is despite overwhelming evidence that electronic cigarettes are both less harmful than tobacco cigarettes, and have been used successfully as quitting aids by thousands of ex-smokers.

Vaping certainly has some stiff opposition, and it will likely be years before those with the power to affect change will be brought around to seeing it favourably. The silver lining is that vaping as a form of tobacco harm reduction has also attracted some high profile supporters.

Here are five more distinguished scientists who see the tremendous public health potential of electronic cigarettes, and are not afraid to make their pro-vaping voices heard.


Dr. Joel L. Nitzkin (MD, MPH, DPA)

With doctorates in medicine and public administration, a master degree in public health, and a forty-year career in public health and tobacco control policy, Dr Joel Nitzkin has both the education and the experience to back up his support of electronic cigarettes.

While serving as the Chair of the American Association of Public Health Physicians’ (AAPHP) Tobacco Control Task Force, Dr Nitzkin strongly advocated the adoption of policies aimed at tobacco harm reduction (THR) via less dangerous alternatives to smoking, vs. the “quit or die” approach favoured by public health powers.

Now an expert adviser to the R Street Institute, a public health policy “think tank”, Dr Nitzkin continues to promote the message that e-cigarettes and similar smokeless products should be seen as part of the cure to the global epidemic of smoking-related diseases – and definitely not as part of the problem!

Quotes on Electronic Cigarettes:

“E-cigarettes can and should be marketed as a substitute for conventional cigarettes for smokers unable or unwilling to quit.”

“E-cigarettes deliver the same nicotine found in the pharmaceutical products, with no more contamination by toxic substances than the pharmaceutical products already approved by the FDA.”

“… we have every reason to believe that the hazard posed by e-cigarettes would be much lower than one percent, probably lower than one tenth of one percent, of the hazard posed by regular cigarettes.”


Dr. Carl Phillips (MPP, PhD)

A Harvard doctorate in public policy and a post-doctorate in public health are among Dr Carl Phillips’ credentials in the field of tobacco control. He is generally recognized as one of the world’s top two academic experts on tobacco harm reduction (THR), which he defines as “the public health strategy of encouraging smokers to switch to low-risk alternatives like smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes.”

While an associate professor of public health at the University of Alberta, Dr Phillips co-founded the TobaccoHarmReduction.org education and research program, and conducted multiple studies that pointed to the health advantages of vaping vs. smoking. He has also built a reputation for “naming and shaming” individuals and organizations that spread fear-mongering misinformation about e-cigarettes on his blog Anti-THR Lies.

Dr Phillips currently serves as Scientific Director on the board of the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), a United States-based group dedicated to protecting vapers’ rights, and educating the public about electronic cigarettes.

Dr Phillips' Quotes on Electronic Cigarettes:

“E-cigarettes are not just a huge public health breakthrough. They are one of the most impressive examples of People Power of recent times, and should be mentioned alongside the Arab Spring and Occupy … e-cigarettes seem to have mobilized an unstoppable push-back against the failed “quit or die” approach that those in power are trying to impose on an unwilling population.”

“Nicotine has about the same implication for health as coffee and fries.”

“Three months of additional smoking poses a greater risk to someone’s health, on average, than a lifetime of using a low-risk alternative.”


Dr. Brad Rodu (DDS)

Alongside his colleague Carl Phillips, Dr Brad Rodu is the world’s foremost authority on tobacco harm reduction. He has devoted over 20 years to the study and analysis of THR, during which time he has acted as the lead researcher on multiple THR clinical trials, and published over 150 scholarly articles on the subject.

Coming from a background in oral medicine, Dr Rodu’s early THR research focused on chewing or smokeless tobacco. In 1995, he published the book For Smokers Only: How Smokeless Tobacco Can Save Your Life, described as “An explanation on the advantages of smokeless tobacco to cigarettes and as a better alternative to the nicotine patch”.

Following the invention and rise of electronic cigarettes, Dr Rodu noted that vaping was certain to “play a major role” in the evolution of THR. As the Professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville, where he holds an Endowed Chair in tobacco harm reduction research, Dr Rodu continues to champion the use of e-cigarettes and other less harmful alternatives to smoking.

Dr Rodu's Quotes on Electronic Cigarettes:

“Sadly, the potential of tobacco harm reduction is threatened by opposition from many major medical organizations and government agencies. Obsessed with a myopic vision of a tobacco-free society, they have transformed a legitimate war on smoking into a moral crusade against tobacco, a mistake that was tragically made with alcohol almost 100 years ago.”

“There is no public health justification for denying smokers information about and access to safer sources of tobacco and nicotine.”

“There is substantial and compelling scientific research documenting that consuming the ingredients in e-cigarettes (nicotine, propylene glycol, water and flavors) is vastly safer than burning tobacco and inhaling 3000+ toxic by-products.”


Dr Adrian Payne (PhD, BSc)

adrian-payneWith a doctorate in pharmacology and bachelor of science from the University of London, Dr Adrian Payne has held numerous senior level research and management positions at multinational companies in the pharmaceutical and tobacco industries, with a focus on corporate social responsibility and tobacco harm reduction.

In addition to his work in the private sector, Dr Payne is an Adjunct Professor of Global Citizenship at the Hult International Business School in London. He has also lectured on tobacco harm reduction at the University of Geneva and George Washington Business School, and published numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles.

In 2007, Dr Payne drew on his two decades of experience as a pharmacologist specializing in tobacco harm reduction to found Tobacco Horizons, THR consultancy agency. In his capacity as managing director, he presented at Harm Reduction International on the urgent need for electronic cigarettes and other smokeless non-pharmaceutical nicotine products to be globally recognized as low-risk alternatives to conventional tobacco cigarettes.

Dr Payne's Quotes on Electronic Cigarettes:

“Certainly large pharmaceutical companies with interests in stop-smoking medicines provide very substantial financial support to some of the ‘public health’ groups that are calling for e-cigarettes to be banned.”

“Some detractors claim that making E-cigarettes available encourages dual-use in combination with cigarettes and thus delays quitting smoking. But the same criticism could equally well be directed towards medicinal nicotine products marketed to relieve cravings during temporary abstinence from smoking.”

“… it really would be a cruel irony if smokers who had switched to E-cigarettes were forced to revert to smoking regular cigarettes.”


Dr Robert West (PhD, BSc)

With a doctorate in psychology and over 30 years of experience in smoking cessation research, Dr Robert West currently serves as Professor of Health Psychology and Director of Tobacco Studies at the University College London. In line with his decades-long professional interest in smoking behaviors, he is also the editor-in-chief of the scientific journal Addiction.

During his academic career, Dr West has conducted intensive research and numerous laboratory studies in the areas of smoking addiction and cessation. The outcomes of his research have lead Dr West to become an advocate of THR, particularly in regard to electronic cigarettes, which have been shown to satisfy not only the chemical (nicotine) aspect of smoking addiction, but the behavioural (hand-to-mouth motion) aspect as well.

Having investigated the ingredients of e-cigarettes and e-liquid (propylene glycol, glycerin and flavourings), Dr West is dismissive of unfounded claims that vaping poses any non-trivial risk to human health. Instead, he is hopeful that global health authorities will unite behind the electronic cigarette and its unique, powerful potential to advance THR goals.

Dr West's Quotes on Electronic Cigarettes:

“E-cigarettes could substantially improve public health because of their widespread appeal and the huge health gains associated with stopping smoking.”

“We have such a massive opportunity here. It would be a shame to let it slip away by being overly cautious. E-cigarettes are about as safe as you can get.”

“If those young people are people who would have smoked but instead they’re using e-cigarettes, then that’s a huge public health gain. If they’re people who would never have smoked but they’ve taken up e-cigarettes, frankly in public health terms it’s not really an issue – it’s like drinking coffee or something, there’s no real risk associated with it.”

The Future of Vaping?

There are many health authorities who remain fervently opposed to the use of e-cigarettes for THR or any other reason. It’s a tragic, ironic side effect of the anti-tobacco movement doing its job so well for so long: some simply can’t see vapour, but only smoke.

For the most part their arguments against vaping are based not in scientific evidence, but in ignorance (mistakenly believing that e-cigarettes pose a health threat), or ideology (believing that anything that physically resembles the act of smoking is just as bad as smoking).

In the uphill battle that we as vapers face to correct the unfair and unfounded negative perception of e-cigarettes in public health circles, we can at least take encouragement from having the influential voices of Drs. Nitzkin, Phillips, Rodu, Payne and West (among others) on our side.


Quotes Sources:













Re-Print Source: Alisha Young | GenEcigs.com.au

Image Source: vaporawareness.org

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