WBOY out of WV ran a archetypical electronic cigarette piece recently. We have all your basic components for a local e-cigarette news story here. There’s the opening mentioning e-cigarettes are more popular, and an interview with someone using an ecig (cue the footage). Then we get into the mention of the FDA and the “hidden danger” ending everyone loves so much along with a soundbite from a local expert. This time the expert isn’t necessarily against e-cigarettes, she’s just unsure.
Catherine Whitworth said she would like to see the e-cig tested to see if it could be something that could help smokers quit.”Until it has gone through an approval process where it is tested for safety, then I really can’t say one way or the other,” said Whitworth. “We just don’t know and the FDA doesn’t know, and neither does the CDC. But there are concerns that it does contain carcinogens. Whether it’s safer, I just can’t say.”
I understand the scientific process needs to prove or disprove some notion. Beyond the theoretical, with people actually practicing on the ground, I’m just not sure why there needs to be such a high standard of proof. The lack of combustion means that by extrapolation e-cigarettes have to be inherently less harmful even if it had all the same chemicals as cigarettes which it doesn’t. Then there’s anecdotal evidence, while it’s not as scientific, it does provide clues to how something actually works in reality.