Minerva

e-cigarettes and other stories . . .

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g3765 (Published 11 June 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3765

The sight of someone enjoying a deep drag on a tubular object that emits what looks like smoke is enough to send some public health physicians into reflex horror, especially when these products come from the tobacco industry. But evidence is increasing that e-cigarettes are the most effective aid to smoking cessation. In an online survey of 3538 current and 579 recent ex-smokers across Britain conducted in the last two months of 2012, a fifth were currently using e-cigarettes (Addictive Behaviors 2014;39:1120-5, doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2014.03.009). Surprisingly, a quarter of the respondents were unaware that e-cigarettes are less harmful than ordinary cigarettes. Public health physicians, here’s a way you can save lives. You have a message to get across to people with nicotine addiction.

A few years ago, a review article about vitamin D in the New England Journal of Medicine pointed out that most of our vital organs have vitamin D receptors and that a large proportion of Americans and north Europeans have vitamin D insufficiency. Since then, Minerva has accumulated a tottering pile of mostly negative vitamin D studies. Nearly all …

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