E-cig inventor Hon Lik is still smoking

Popular lore is that Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik invented e-cigarettes in 2003 to help people quit smoking. The Times of London reported that it didn’t work for him.

Instead of “switching completely” he is a dual user, vaping and smoking at the same time.

Hon Lik’s experience is what you would expect from the strong and consistent epidemiological evidence that e-cigarettes keep people smoking cigarettes.

Incidentally, Hon Lik was not the first person to develop a working e-cigarette. Philip Morris had developed a functioning e-cigarette by the mid-1990s as part of its effort to hold on to customers who might otherwise quit. And, as both Hon Lik and the overall population experience shows, e-cigarettes are they are doing just that.

And there is another bonus for Big Tobacco: E-cigs attract millions of low risk youth who would likely not initiate nicotine addiction with cigarettes. And many of them go on to add cigarettes.

(The Times of London story, “England is an outlier in promoting vaping as a safe alternative to smoking. Other countries are far from convinced,” is worth reading.)

Published by Stanton Glantz

Stanton Glantz is a retired Professor of Medicine who served on the University of California San Francisco faculty for 45 years. He conducts research on tobacco and cannabis control and cardiovascular disease/

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