Canadian Heart Surgeon Praises Electronic Cigarettes For Saving Lives
Gopal Bhatnager is a well-respected heart surgeon and he is intimately familiar with the dangers of tobacco use. That’s why he started 180 Smoke, a Canadian company that sells ecigarettes to smokers around the world. Bhatnager believes ecigs could be the key to unlocking a smoke-free future for millions of people around the world and now he is fighting to keep government entities from encroaching on your right to vape.
“We’re taking people off combustible tobacco and putting them onto an alternative, which may or may not contain nicotine,” Bhatnager said. “The demonstrated benefits immediately are improved lung function… in terms of how much air they can move back and forth.”
The Canadian Cancer Society is skeptical about Bhatnager’s praise for ecigs. “We do think that it’s probably less harmful (than smoking), but we’re not exactly sure because they’re not regulated in terms of what the chemicals are in the product,” said Kelly Gorman of the Canadian Cancer Society. “We should take a precautionary approach to it. We need to study it a bit more.”
She went on to explain the regulations are needed to restrict youth from getting access to ecigs. She believes vaping should be treated as smoking tobacco products for now until more scientific studies are conducted.
180 Smoke’s employee Mike Livingston disagreed. “We’re not using any product aside from what the food industry uses,” he explained. He pointed out that many common vegetables like eggplant and tomatoes contain small amounts of nicotine and no one is pulling them off the shelves.
Current Canadian laws categorize nicotine products as either medications or tobacco, but ecigs don’t fit easily into any category. Canadian Vaping Association Vice-President Beju Lakhani said, “It leaves us in a bit of a grey area… The industry in general wants regulation. We’re pushing for it. The lack of regulation creates a lot of uncertainty, which makes it very difficult to grow our businesses.”
Do you agree that regulation would help vaping businesses thrive?