“Success is the sum total of all efforts repeated day in or day out.”
Quitters, reducers, and failures.
Take your pick.
Life is about choices, and the chances we make depends on the choices we take.
Studies after peer-reviewed studies have indicated that people can get rid of their nicotine addiction if given an escape hatch to a healthier, tobacco-free lifestyle.
As in all other tests, not all people who try to quit the habit pass the smoking cessation challenge.
Some make it, others make some progress, and the rest simply flunk it.
Quite thankfully, remedial aids and tools are available.
And most encouraging is the fact that these tools and protocols have shown demonstrable positive results in terms of quality of life.
Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos presented two studies at the recent multi-stakeholder summit which showed that smokers with asthma and hypertension experienced improved lung function and lower blood pressure after switching to electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes or personal vaporisers).
Farsalinos was among the representatives from the government, academia and consumer advocacy groups who converged at the 1st Summit on Harm Reduction organized by The Vapers Philippines at the Sulo Riviera Hotel in Quezon City.
“The 1st Summit on Harm Reduction aims to promote meaningful dialogue and awareness on the potential of e-cigarettes to reduce the harms caused by tobacco and save lives,” said Peter Paul Dator, Board of Trustees member and President-elect, The Vapers Philippines.
A research fellow at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Athens, Greece, and at the Department of Pharmacy, University of Patras, Greece, and at the Greek National School of Public Health, Farsalinos has been conducting research on e-cigarettes as principal investigator since 2011. As of 2018, he has published more than 60 studies and articles in international peer-reviewed scientific journals about smoking, tobacco harm reduction, and e-cigarettes.
A two-year study by Italian researchers looked at 18 smokers with mild to moderate asthma. All smokers switched to e-cigarettes but two eventually relapsed and resorted to dual use of combustible cigarettes and e-cigarettes. At the start of the study (prior to switch to e-cigarettes), researchers assessed the subjects’ respiratory symptoms, lung function (through spirometry), airway hyper-responsiveness (level of irritation and constriction), asthma control, asthma exacerbations (asthma attacks) and tobacco consumption. Measurements recorded at baseline prior to switching were compared with those at the follow-up visits at 6, 12, and 24 months.
Significant and stable objective improvements in respiratory symptoms, lung function, airway hyper-responsiveness, asthma control, and tobacco consumption were observed in the 16 e-cigarette users with asthma, but no significant changes in exacerbation rates were reported. Similar findings were found in the dual users. Based on the study results, the researchers concluded that e-cigarette use improves asthma outcomes and its beneficial effects may persist in the long-term benefits. They also concluded that, in asthma patients who smoke, switching to e-cigarettes can reverse harm from tobacco smoking.
A one-year study by Greek and Italian researchers compared the blood pressure and heart rate of 300 smokers who switched to e-cigarettes. There were three types of study participants: quitters (completely quit smoking), reducers (50% or more reduction in smoking consumption) and failures (less than 50% or no reduction in smoking consumption).
“The study showed that smokers with elevated BP who reduce or quit smoking by using e-cigarettes may lower their systolic blood pressure in the long term, and this reduction is particularly apparent in quitters,” said principal investigator Dr. Konstantinos E. Farsalinos. “By showing blood pressure reductions when reducing or stopping smoking for a sufficient period of time, this study adds to the current evidence that e-cigarette use appears to be a less harmful alternative to tobacco smoking.”
Established in August 2016, The Vapers Philippines is a group of e-cigarette consumers committed to educate the Filipino public about the potential of e-cigarettes in reducing the harms caused by regular tobacco cigarettes. The consumer advocacy group currently has more than 1,200 members from all over the Philippines.
“Congratulations to The Vapers Philippines for organizing the 1st Summit on Harm Reduction, which provides a venue for scientists to present accurate scientific information on e-cigarettes to policymakers and legislators, as well as for stakeholders to have frank and informed discussions on tobacco harm reduction,” said Farsalinos,.
City Administrator Aldrin Cuña, speaking on behalf of Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, gave an overview of the city government’s current regulations on e-cigarettes. Cuña welcomed continuing dialogue with all stakeholders.
In her brief remarks, Ms. Nancy Sutthoff, Asia Pacific Regional Coordinator of the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organizations, lauded efforts to promote local stakeholder discussion on e-cigarettes and tobacco harm reduction. The Vapers Philippines is a member of INNCO, the biggest international organization of e-cigarette consumer organizations in the world.
Several local studies on e-cigarettes were also presented at the forum, the general consensus of the researchers being that e-cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarette products.
A representative from the office of Congressman Rodel Batocabe (AKO Bicol Party List) discussed pending and proposed national and local legislation on vaping. Batocabe is the author of House Bill 532, which seeks to regulate e-cigarettes in the same way as conventional cigarettes
Behold God’s glory
and seek His mercy
Pause and pray, people.