What’s Not to Like?

What’s Not to Like?

Michael Siegel is a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health. He also writes a tobacco policy blog called “The Rest of the Story.”

August 20, 2013

Many anti-smoking advocates have argued that electronic cigarettes don’t help smokers quit but merely prolong their addiction to nicotine. In other words, the hundreds of thousands of electronic cigarette users in the United States are smokers who, if only they stopped using e-cigarettes, would successfully quit smoking.

This is a ridiculous argument and those advancing it are not living in reality. The truth is that only 3 percent of smokers who want to quit will do so successfully in any given year. Thus, the vast majority of smokers who try to quit using electronic cigarettes are people who would not have otherwise quit.

Many anti-smoking groups oppose e-cigarettes because they find it difficult to endorse a behavior that looks like smoking, even though it is saving people’s lives. (more…)