Leeds Doctor Wins International Awards

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Electronic Cigarette’s Health and Safety Problems



An award-winning Leeds entrepreneur, has combined the skills he has learned as an engineer and qualified doctor to create a revolutionary new smoking alternative that could help save the lives of millions of people throughout the world.


Dr David Xiu’s invention, the Modern Electronic Cigarette, beat off stiff competition to win the gold medal at the prestigious iENA International Trade Fair for Inventions and New Products held in Nuremberg, Germany, at the end of October, adding to a string of global awards that his product has already won this year.


The Modern Electronic Cigarette is a tobacco alternative that does contain Nicotine, but none of the other toxins associated with smoking such as tar and cancer-causing carcinogens, making e-cigarettes healthier than their traditional paper-made counterparts.


Dr Xiu is the managing director and founder of Superdragon Group, a company based in Leeds that supplies acupuncture needles, herbal and healthcare products, counting many NHS Trusts among its customers. He has also established ECigy.com, an internet shop exclusively selling his patented e-cigarettes.


The e-cigarette is a battery-powered device that provides inhaled doses of nicotine by way of a vaporized solution. While no tobacco, smoke or combustion is involved in its operation, it still has the feel and taste of the real thing and is socially acceptable in public places such as bars, pubs and restaurants.


Smoking-related diseases kills around 10 million people in the world each year and while there is already a plethora of well-known Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products in the UK, such as gum and patches, the Department of Health reports that the average number of people who die in England annually from smoking is still around 80,000.


Dr Xiu has developed the Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) which he claims will be more effective in getting smokers to ditch the ash, potentially saving the NHS in England over £440million a year on treating smoking and passive-smoking related illnesses.


His innovative new product has won gold medals in 2011 at the 39th international Exhibition of Invention in Geneva, INPEX USA Invention Show and two at the British International Invention and Design Show in London, in addition to the success at iENA.


Dr Xiu, who trained as an engineer in his native China before qualifying as a doctor, came to the UK 20 years ago. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and a former consultant cardiologist. He worked for the World Health Organisation in the Seychelles prior to completing his further graduate studies at Hammersmith Hospital. He was then employed by a private healthcare group in Northern Ireland before setting up his own business.


During his medical career he has witnessed at first hand the devastating effects conventional smoking is having on society, both in terms of people’s health and the huge financial cost to the NHS. This, coupled with a passion for innovation due to his engineering background, convinced him to develop and patent the modern electronic cigarette.


In fact, Dr Xiu has been designing smoking alternatives since 1999 and he currently holds six worldwide patents for electronic cigarettes, including the UK and China. He is convinced that ENDS will appeal to smokers because of the similar attributes his electronic version has to a conventional cigarette.


Dr Xiu said: “Our electronic cigarette is much better than current NRT. It not only delivers nicotine but also has the aroma, visual effects and hand-held feel of a real cigarette but with none of the other harmful substances associated with tobacco. Preferably used in conjunction with a behavioural support programmes, it will be a more successful aide in helping to stop smoking and also as an alternative to smoking.”


In addition to helping smokers change to a healthier lifestyle, an electronic cigarette can save them money – one cartridge gives 300 puffs, the equivalent to a pack of 20 tobacco cigarettes – while there are also environmental benefits as burning tobacco contributes to climate change.


Reducing the human and associated financial cost of smoking is an on-going battle for health authorities, but the ENDS may be in sight thanks to Dr Xiu’s clever invention, which will enable smokers to ‘light up’ and puff on a socially acceptable alternative to tobacco, without inhaling the more harmful ingredients.

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