Oxford academic journal will no longer allow authors to call vapes tobacco products. In an editorial titled “Are e-cigarettes tobacco products?” Nicotine & Tobacco Research editor-in-chief Marcus Munafò details that the journal will only use the term “tobacco products” to describe items that contain actual leaf tobacco. As you may now know from our previous articles about eLiquids, they do not contain leaf tobacco.
The change matters because abandoning the terminology used by the FDA defining “tobacco products” marks a clear change of direction in the conversation about vaping among scientists and experts. Marcus Munafò explains that “describing e-cigarettes as tobacco products is a particularly US phenomenon.” Artificially defining all nicotine-containing products as tobacco is largely a product of the U.S. Tobacco Control Act, which stupidly states that any product containing nicotine derived from tobacco is an actual tobacco product. Which again, our and probably every other eLiquid does not contain leaf tobacco.
Thankfully the rest of the world isn’t tied to the American definition. There’s no reason a scientific journal should honor a U.S. legal/regulatory description of vaping products. Noting that nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products like gum and patches are not classified as tobacco Munafò states; "As a scientific journal, definitions matter, and a legal ruling in a single country is not a sound basis for determining whether a certain definition is valid."
In a paragraph exploring the various scientific naming conventions for vapor products, Munafò correctly rejects ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery system) for being imprecise. Not all vapes are electronic, and not all e-liquid contains nicotine. Suggesting that authors should use the specific names for various products (“cigarettes,” “e-cigarettes”), Munafò goes on to say “the terminology used should be clear, unambiguous, and scientifically appropriate.”
Vapers have long been puzzled as to why researchers don't use the correct names they have given to their products. Munafò, a psychologist at the University of Bristol, has been involved in numerous vaping studies, and has been honest and does not appear to be ideologically motivated.
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