What is now needed, if we are to ever secure the personal and public health benefits that e-cigarettes and tobacco harm reduction can offer, is honest and sincere dialogue on this topic between the public health community, industry representatives and consumer representatives. This has been impossible to date because of the perception within the public-health community that the industry is evil and engaging in such dialogue would constitute collaboration with the enemy.

For the past four years, Scott Ballin, working with and through a team at the University of Virginia, has hosted a series of what they call Morven Dialogues. These have attracted industry representatives and the handful of public health people known to be supportive of THR and e-cigarettes, but no active participation from FDA, CDC, NIH, AMA, or heart, lung or cancer societies.

The issue I would like to see addressed, both domestically and internationally is this perception that the industry is an evil monolithic enterprise and that there are none within the industry who would sincerely welcome the opportunity to partner with public health colleagues in pursuit of shared public health objectives.

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