Dr Farsalinos’ radio interview about e-cigarettes


Dear audience, goodmorning.
On Sunday May 31 we celebrate the World No Tobacco day.
I am not going to talk again about the adverse heatlh consequences of smoking.
I will discuss about a potential alternative solution to smoking…
if they cannot quit smoking by themselves
We will discuss about e-cigarettes
and whether they can be considered alernatives to smoking
We have with us Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos, a researcher at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center
We will discuss about the potential advantages of e-cigarettes compared to smoking
Good morning Dr Farsalinos
– Good morning
The e-cigarette has entered dynamically into the life of smokers, and of passive smokers too.
and i would like to ask: will they make the life of smokers easier or they will create more problems?
– It is almost certain that the life of smokers will become easier…
– as for passive vaping, there is no passive vaping
– so there is basically no problem with those who are exposed to e-cigarette vapor in the environment
– Especially in Greece, we have a huge problem with passive smoking…
– but there is no problem with passive exposure to e-cigarettes
How does the e-cigarette work?
And what kind of chemicals are used?
How can we characterize these chemicals in terms of harmful effects to smokers?
– The e-cigarette is basically an electronic device,
– consisting of a battery device which provides electrical current to an atomizer,
– the atomizer is the place where liquid is stored, and also contains a resistance and wick…
– The liquid is heated, evaporated and inhaled by the user.
– This is the mode of function of all e-cigarettes…
– irrespective of the variability in device size, shape and characteristics.
– As for the chemicals used…
– the chemicals are approved for use in food,
– all basic ingredients and flavorings,
– and, of course, nicotine, which substitutes nicotine intake from smoking.
– As for the risk, we think that, based on current knowledge,
– e-cigarettes are about 95% less harmful than smoking.
– It is not absolutely safe and we do not recommend it to non-smokers,
– but it is by far less harmful than smoking.
I accept that until recently e-cigarettes were considered less harmful than smoking but…
but, to play devil’s advocate, a new study published in New England Journal of Medicine
mentioned that e-cigarettes release huge amounts of formaldehyde…
which makes the risk of developing cancer 5-15 times higher with e-cigarettes compared to smoking.
What is your opinion about this study?
– I will not respond to this study on a theoretical basis, but i will respond based on our own study…
– with which we completely debunked the New England Journal of Medicine publication.
– In fact, it is my opinion that this study must be retracted…
– Because it generated a lot of publicity
– but they used a protocol which is completely unacceptable
– showing that the research team had no background and limited understanding on how e-cigarettes work.
– Think about this:
– If you put a piece of meat in the oven and cook it for 5 hours at 300oC…
– the meat will be full of carcinogens.
– However, none will be able to eat this meat, because it will basically become a piece of coal.
– This is exactly what the New England Journal Of Medicine authors did…
– They took a device, set it at maximum power and overburned the atomizer and liquid
– So, they basically produced as much formaldehyde as they wanted (it is easy to do this)
– But these conditions are never used in normal daily vaping by consumers.
– We performed a study which was published in “Addiction” journal
– and we proved that, under normal vaping conditions,
– The levels of formaldehyde and other aldehydes are 30-250 times lower in e-cigarettes compared to smoking.
The data seem to be valid since you have already performed the study.
– The study is already published in the journal Addiction, which is a very respected international journal.
– We directly responded to the New England Journal of Medicine study.
– And i would like ot thank you for the question, because that study generated a lot of publicity….
– resulting in gross misinformation of the society, …
– Especially the smokers, who are potential future e-cigarette users,
– but also the vapers, because i think it is tragic for a vaper who has quit smoking
– to throw away the e-cigarette and relapse to smoking after hearing these “news”.
– And we are seeing this happening.
– In my opinion this is tragic, it is a crime.
What you say is very important
At least we are giving some hope to smokers, to substitute smoking with e-cigarettes
I would like to thank you for all this information and for the interview.
– Thank you very much

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