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Dr. Michael Siegel's Response to NYS Health Commissioner's Letter
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The New York State Department of Health has sent out a letter to medical professionals in the state, urging them to discourage patients from quitting smoking using e-cigarettes, even if they indicate unwillingness or lack of interest in nicotine replacement therapy or other smoking cessation drugs.
In the February 2017 letter, the state health commissioner writes:
"I encourage all health care providers to talk to their patients -- young and old alike -- about the dangers of e-cigarettes and to discourage their use. For patients who are already using traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes, there are currently seven FDA-approved medications for smoking cessation, including five nicotine replacement therapies."
Further, in a letter sent to VapeNY five days ago, the director of the state health department's chronic disease prevention division castigates vapers by denying that switching from smoking to vaping has any public health value, thus telling vapers that they might as well return to cigarette smoking.
The director of the division writes:
"To date, the evidence on vapor products, electronic cigarettes and similar devices finds the products have no credible public health value in real world use..."
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