Chi è Bernd Mayer?
Bernd Mayer was born in Graz (Austria) in 1959. Since 1999 he is Full Professor and Head of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in Graz. In 2009 he received the Schrödinger Award and since 2010 he is a corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. In February 2006, he was requested to write an expert opinion on an electronic nicotine delivery system, which was commercially available in China and imported to Austria. There were no scientific studies on e-cigs available at that time, but the severe, potentially deadly health risks of inhaling the smoke of burned tobacco were well known. Thus, he concluded that this novel vaporizer is much less harmful than tobacco cigarettes and strongly suggested smokers the switch to electronic cigarettes. This judgement, which was mainly based on common sense, has not been refuted by a single scientific study in the last 12 years. Not being involved as a professional in tobacco control, he did not expect the passionate resistance against electronic cigarettes of diverse health bodies, in particular the WHO and several medical societies. After having realized that their arguments were not science-based but grounded on either ideological bias or vested interests or both, he became increasingly publicly active as advocat of tobacco harm reduction. Among other activities, he served as expert witness at the German parliament in the course of implementation of the TPD2 and appeared as expert witness at the Austrian Constitutional Court.