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Renewed calls are being made for the term ‘electronic cigarette’ to be replaced by ‘vaporiser; or another word or phrase that emphasises ‘vaping’ rather than ‘cigarette’.
According to a story by Diane Caruana at vapingpost.com, a piece published by New Nicotine Alliance Australia (NNA AU) describes how, during a meeting with tobacco harm reduction advocates, one of the topics raised was the use of the word e-cigarette, the term most commonly used to describe a device that has helped millions successfully quit combustible cigarettes.
Studies have indicated that these products are significantly less risky to use than are combustible cigarettes, and yet a large portion of the public remains confused and misinformed about their relative safety.
Some harm reduction experts believe that the ‘cigarette’ name adds fuel to this confusion.
“So, I ask all to drop the word e-cigarette, and start using vape or vaporiser, as it really seems to be the most logical alternative,” the NNA’s Charles Yates was quoted as saying
Meanwhile, the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA) in October posted a blog on the same idea. ‘It is time to consider replacing the terms “e-cigarette” and “electronic cigarette” with something more appropriate,’ the ATHRA was quoted as saying. ‘These labels link a low-risk life-saving technology to a toxic and deadly product and are muddying the already murky waters of the tobacco harm reduction debate.’
It is interesting to note in this respect that an all-party parliamentary group in the UK, this year changed its name from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for E-Cigarettes to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping.
This debate, along with that questioning whether the nicotine industry should be associated with the tobacco industry, has been going on since electronic cigarettes first appeared on the scene.
That it has not been resolved is an indication that not everyone agrees that the ‘cigarette’ association is entirely negative. Some people suggest, for instance, that the word ‘cigarette’ within the term ‘electronic cigarette’ helps smokers realize that electronic cigarettes are aimed at them and are the sort of product that they might switch to easily.