For several months now your body has been behaving outside of its norm, so you decide to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Weeks pass and finally you are able to sit down to explain all of your symptoms, which immediately prompts a health screening. After undergoing several tests, your doctor reveals that you are in fact, an alien. Cue X-Files theme music. No, just kidding. After several tests, you come to find out that you have severely high levels of bad cholesterol— shocker! Your doctor recommends a low-fat diet by avoiding saturated fats, particularly eggs, dairy and red meat. You follow the doctor’s orders, adhere to his/her recommendations and voilà, you lower your bad cholesterol and restore the vitality you once enjoyed. You even manage to knock a few outstanding projects off that long list of yours.
For years, decades, centuries even, we have put our health in the hands of our doctors. At the first sign of a life-threatening emergency, it is not the government or the politicians that we run to for help, but rather the medical professionals. This is why it’s about time we heeded the recommendation of Menzies School of Health researcher Dr. Marita Hefler, who has called for a total ban on cigarettes as a new study finds millions of deaths could be prevented if smokers switched to electronic cigarettes.
“Any other consumer product that kills up to two-thirds of its long-term users remaining legal is unimaginable. Even if the political will had existed for a sales ban, until recently, no products could match the nicotine delivery efficiency of combustible tobacco with substantially less harm, rendering a sales ban a non-viable option due to the risk of a black market.”
Hefler says the rapid evolution of alternative nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes, means that outlawing combustible tobacco, including cigarettes, is now possible.
“Even under the worst-case scenarios, where e-cigarettes turn out to be more harmful than currently believed, researchers argued 1.6 million premature deaths would still be avoided.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking causes about one of every five deaths in the United States each year, which equates to a staggering 480,000 deaths annually. According to projections from cancer researchers at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, up to 6.6 million cigarette smokers could live a combined 86.7 million years longer under policies that encourage them to swap their smokes for e-cigarettes.
Personally, I think it’s time we set aside the politics, implement the doctor’s orders and allow electronic cigarettes to do what they were created to do.
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