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Glamorising smoking

From Dr M. Griffiths, MRPharmS

The understanding of the pharmacology of nicotine by Colin Williams (PJ 22/29 March 2014, p332) is indeed still valid. Modern text books describe brain chemistry changes that lead to addiction to nicotine and the lung cancer caused by tar from smoking cigarettes. The effects of chronic dosing of nicotine are found in research papers. These describe drastic changes in function and structure of vascular and digestive organs containing smooth muscle. Nicotine pharmacology and metabolism prompted my belief that colon diverticular disease is caused by cigarette smoking. The evidence is presented at www.mydiverticulitis.co.uk.

Older pharmacists will recognise that the advertising and promotion of e-cigarettes — with glamour and "cool"— is the same as that applied to cigarettes in the 1950s and 60s. Promoting the message that e-cigarettes overcome health problems associated with tobacco cigarettes, including heart disease, is deluding smokers old and new. Being able to choose a favourite flavouring is incompatible with any idea that e-cigarettes contribute to smoking cessation. They are an advertising man’s dream come true to promote repeat sales for nicotine addiction.

Mary Griffiths,

Cheshire

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.11137459

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