Jan 26, 2010 – Former smokers who achieved and are maintaining their freedom from inhaling deadly tobacco smoke through the use of reduced-harm sources of nicotine have formed the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA). CASAA is a non-profit organization that works to ensure the continued availability of products such as electronic cigarettes and to provide smokers and non-smokers alike with truthful information about these and other alternatives.
"Governments and health organizations have been putting out misleading information about products such as smokeless tobacco for years," said CASAA president Michal Douglas, "and now they are pulling the same stunt with electronic cigarettes. These products could save the lives of millions of smokers."
Electronic cigarettes are battery-operated devices that deliver vaporized nicotine without the tar, carbon monoxide, and thousands of toxic chemicals that come along with tobacco smoke.
CASAA Medical Director, Theresa Whitt, MD., of Abilene, TX, stated, "Research in Sweden has shown that users who switched from smoking to Swedish snus had little difference in health-adjusted life expectency than those who quit tobacco altogether. Yet, by law, in the US this product carries a warning label that states it is not a safe alternative to smoking." Swedish snus is a type of moist snuff made from tobacco that has been treated to reduce the level of carcinogens.
"We expect to see the same type of long-term results with electronic cigarettes, because users are reporting improved lung function and better markers of cardiovascular health shortly after they make the switch," Dr. Whitt continued. "The limited studies available have supported this, and further research is still being completed."
Dr. Whitt also can attest to the effectiveness of electronic cigarettes personally. "I was never a very heavy smoker but previously, I could cut down, but could not get completely free of cigarettes."
Attorney Yolanda Villa of Rochester, NY is another member of the CASAA Board of Directors and serves as the Association's Legal Director. Ms. Villa said that CASAA will fight attempts to include electronic cigarettes in indoor smoking bans. "These products produce a mist that looks like smoke; but unlike real smoke, it has not been shown to cause any harm to bystanders."
CASAA also advocates the development of higher-dose versions of FDA-approved nicotine products for long term-use as a replacement for smoking.
The CASAA web site provides information on the concept of tobacco harm reduction, as well as information on a variety of alternatives, including their effectiveness and safety. The site also contains links to medical journal articles, lab reports, and news stories, as well as documents that can be downloaded. Visit http://www.casaa.org
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CASAA's mission is to ensure the availability of effective, affordable and reduced harm alternatives to smoking by increasing public awareness and education; to encourage the testing and development of products to achieve acceptable safety standards and reasonable regulation; and to promote the benefits of reduced harm alternatives.