One of the major Italian national newspapers, Repubblica.it, published today the news on the announcement of the first International Scientific Committee supporting research on e-cigs related to public health. Together to support the diffusion of the electronic cigarettes as less harmful product for public health, the most influential scientists, at a national and international level including Prof. Umberto Veronesi, under the impulsion of the LIAF and Prof. Riccardo Polosa will combine the expertises to support research and correct information to consumers, based on scientific evidences.
The Committee is now composed of twelve internationally renowned researchers, some of them already signatories of the letter of 2014 addressed to WHO to reconsider its position on electronic cigarettes. For Italy: Prof Umberto Veronesi Scientific Director of the IEO (European Institute of Oncology in Milan – Italy), Prof. Umberto Tirelli, Istituto Nazionale Tumori in Aviano (Italy), Dr Fabio Beatrice of the Italian Society of Tabaccologia (Italy), Dr Carlo Cipolla of the European Institute of Oncology in Milan (Italy), Dr Pasquale Caponnetto, Italian Antismoking League (Italy).
The project is born to reinforce the widespread commitment at national and international level of individual scientists, universities, research centers, but also organizations and government institutions, as it is happening in Great Britain, where Public Health England has more than once reaffirmed its support to the use of the electronic cigarette in the fight against smoking.
“Today, professionalism, experience and specialization of each of us come together, with the aim to disseminate and comment on the latest scientific evidences of the research applied to the electronic cigarette and placing itself as an authoritative and critical reference in the media context and Italian science” said Professor Polosa, of University of Catania, in presenting the initiative in collaboration with the Italian Antismoking League (LIAF). “We therefore strive to promote meetings of scientific information, particularly initiatives and, to meet strong demand which comes from many quarters, to continue research also required the institutions to set a regulation of these products based solely on scientific evidence”.
Other international members of the Committee are Prof David Nutt of Imperial College London (UK), Dr Mike Siegel of Boston University School of Public Health (USA), Dr Sally Satel of the American Enterprise Institute (USA), Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos from the University of Patras (Greece), Dr Jacques Le Houezec, Consultant of Public Health in Rennes (France), Prof Marcus Munafo, University of Bristol (UK).
Repubblica.it highlights that it however is still early to draw conclusions and in the meantime in Italy the e-cig consumption has started to grow and it is coming back to touch peaks of 4% of users in the population, according to the latest report of the Smoking, Alcohol and Drugs Observatory of the Italian Higher Institute of Health. The 2016 data, in fact, report percentages similar to those recorded in 2013: 3.9% of Italians habitually or occasionally vapes e-cig against 1.1% of last year. Almost 80% of the vapers also uses traditional cigarettes.