Although not harmless, the evidence is unequivocal that vaping is a lot safer than smoking. But misinformation and scaremongering could still be putting people off switching. Many smokers are turning to e-cigarettes to assist them to quit smoking, an infinitely more harmful habit..
Search for the term ‘vaping’ on the internet and you’d be forgiven for thinking that it must be an activity fraught with risks. The best stories relate to health issues, explosions and that vaping contributes to smoking in teenagers. For your average smoker seeking information on vaping, a quick internet search offers little reassurance. Might as well continue smoking, the headlines imply, if these items are extremely dangerous.
But the fact is they are not. In the past year, more than every other, the evidence that using the best smokeless cigarettes is way safer than smoking has continued to accumulate. 2017 saw the publication of the first long term study of vaping, comparing toxicant exposure between people who’d stopped smoking and used the merchandise for an average of 16 months, compared with those that continued to smoke. Funded by Cancer Research UK, the research found large reductions in carcinogens as well as other toxic compounds in vapers in contrast to smokers, but only if the user had stopped smoking completely. Another recent study compared toxicants in vapour and smoke that can cause cancer, and estimated excess cancer risk over a lifetime from smoking cigarettes or vaping. The majority of the available data on e-cigarettes in this study suggested a cancer risk from vaping around 1% of this from smoking.
E-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking because they don’t contain tobacco. Inhaling burnt tobacco – but also chewing it – is hugely damaging to human health. Remove the tobacco and the combustion which is hardly surprising that risk is reduced. That doesn’t mean e-cigarettes are harmless. However it does suggest that we can be relatively positive that switching from smoking to vaping will have health benefits.
These new studies as well as others have influenced policy, a minimum of throughout the uk. In England, an extensive consensus endorsed by many people health organisations has been in existence since 2016 encouraging smokers to use vaping. This year additional organisations, like the Royal College of General Practitioners as well as the British Medical Association issued new reports also pointing to e-cigarettes being a positive choice for smokers seeking to quit. And the first time, Public Health England included e-cigarettes in its advertising for ‘Stoptober’ a yearly give up smoking campaign. In Scotland, a lot of organisations led by Health Scotland issued a statement making clear that vaping is unquestionably khwbxc than smoking which was also backed up by Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer.
Overseas, many countries still ban e-cigarettes and making use of them may result in fines or perhaps imprisonment for vapers or vendors. Yet gradually this is changing. 2017 saw a total reversal of the latest Zealand’s position on these devices along with their new policies look very similar to those who work in place in the UK. Canada is additionally legalising e-cigarettes, although details of the regulatory framework are still being ironed out. These countries are following the research evidence and in time others may follow.