In a recent interview proposed by our colleagues at Atlantic, Gérard Dubois, a member of the National Academy of Medicine, where he serves as chairman of the Addictions Commission gives his opinion on e-cigarettes, heated tobacco, dependence and use among young people.
In his interview, the Atlantico site asks three questions to Gérard Dubois Member of the National Academy of Medicine, where he holds the position of President of the Commission Addictions. He is the co-author of the "Five Wise Men" report to the Minister of Social Affairs on Public Health at the origin of the Evin law.
How can stopping the electronic cigarette be as difficult as smoking? In comparison, which product is most likely to develop an addiction?
Gerard Dubois: The e-cigarette (better name than electronic cigarette) removes the exposure to hazardous substances produced by heating or burning tobacco because it simply does not contain tobacco. Tars, simplifying, are at the origin of many cancers, the best known, that of the lung. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that causes cardiovascular disease (the best known is myocardial infarction). Tobacco killing one of its faithful consumers out of two, we understand that vaping strongly reduces risks. As a comparison, vaping is driving at 140 km / h on the highway, smoking tobacco is rolling against the clock! Tobacco dependence (or addiction) is attributed to nicotine, which in the smoker has virtually no other negative effects. Other substances in tobacco also contribute to addiction and are therefore absent from vapers. Vomers that do not contain tobacco should not be confused with the heated products marketed by the tobacco industry with varying degrees of success, which in turn contain tobacco.
The United States has seen an increase in e-cigarette consumption among young people. Do we see the same phenomenon in France?
No, not that I know of. It should be noted that in the United States, the nicotine limit of vapers is much higher than in Europe (5,9% against 2%). In addition, young people have been targeted by the manufacturers of vapers, very aggressively even by one of them appeared in 2017 and which occupies today near the 3 / 4 of the American market. Its shape in USB key has made it a phenomenon of fashion amplified by social networks and its "facilitators". In addition, it produces little smoke, allowing a discreet use in all places (even in class!). The FDA has reacted strongly though late. This e-cigarette, which has just been put on the internet market in France, is being investigated by the FDA on its commercial practices and its premises were searched in September 2018. Under the threat of banning its products, it has withdrawn from the American market products with flavors particularly popular with young people (mango, crème brûlée, cucumber).
Should the supervision of the consumption of electronic cigarettes be strengthened?
The partial redemption of 35% of the shares of the leading manufacturer of vaping machines in the United States by Altria (owner of Marlboro!) For 12,8 billions of dollars while it has also just bought 45% from a Canadian cannabis producer for 1,8 billion dollars must worry. This tobacco maker was among those condemned in severe terms 12 years ago for mafia type practices (RICO law). French and European legislation on vaping must make it possible to limit its negative effects, provided that it is not circumvented by those who have made it a renewed exercise for decades. In France, the electronic cigarette has so far accompanied a decrease in exposure to tobacco and nicotine in young people. It must be ensured that this continues and opposes the pernicious steps of some dubious business practices designed to make massive investments that demand quick profits profitable.