Substance abuse expert Dr Neil McKeganey has come out in support of e-cigarettes as a harm reduction device. In a recent op-ed published on political news site The Hill, Dr McKeganey discussed the impact of the FDA’s ‘Nicotine Steering Committee’ and praised the decision to ‘modernize the way that the FDA treat nicotine when not accompanied by dangerous smoke’.
The op-ed goes on to discuss how by admitting that the original FDA policy on nicotine is flawed, there can now be a greater understanding of safe alternatives and their effect on smokers trying to quit.
Dr McKeganey expressed his options towards many of the regulations that are already in place, stating that regulations such as flavour bans only increase the public belief that e-cigarettes are more dangerous than they actually are. Recent studies have shown that e-cigarettes are a lot less dangerous than traditional cigarettes and McKeganey reiterated that recent studies show that flavoured liquids help improve the chances of quitting smoking successfully.
New FDA Commissioner, Dr Scott Gottlieb, said in his confirmation that he “wonders how best balance the ability of e-cigarettes to help smokers quit, with the inevitable attraction of some smokers to the not altogether harmless act of vaping” The creation of the Nicotine Steering Committee appears to be the results of Gottlieb’s commitment to working with researchers to find the best way forward when regulating e-cigarettes.
Read Dr McKeganey’s full op-ed piece here.