Data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicates vaping isn’t acting as a gateway to smoking.
If you’ve been around vaping for any amount of time, you’ve undoubtedly heard stories about how the growth of e-cigarettes is somehow reversing declining smoking rates and leading to a new generation of smokers.
Luckily, these stories have been largely unfounded, with most being little more than anecdotal. However, this hasn’t slowed the spreading of uncertainty about the full impact of vaping.
CDC statistics prove something vapers have been saying for years now, e-cigarettes are not a gateway to smoking. That said, the community still faces an uphill battle to secure their rights.
Regardless, every piece of new evidence supporting their value is a legitimate win for vaping. That’s especially true when it’s coming from a source as reputable as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The smoking statistics released by the CDC every year tracks several important trends. In recent years, these figures directly dispute what has become the most common claim by anti-vapers, that e-cigarettes lead to more smokers.
For instance, only around 9% of high schoolers are currently smoking, which is the lowest number since we started tracking. More importantly, it’s much lower than it was even ten years ago when vaping first started to become a significant industry.
These gains have even seemed to be increasing in recent years, as the smoking rate among adult smokers has dropped from 16% in 2016 to less than 13%.
Other prestigious institutions, such as the American Cancer Society have come around to the value of vaporizers. A June 18th release by the ACS went as far as to give credit to e-cigarettes for the new all-time low national smoking rate.
They went on to note a troubling trend, saying “Many adults believe, erroneously, that ENDS are as harmful as combustible tobacco products, and the level of public understanding has deteriorated over time. In 2012, only 11.5% of respondents to a national survey held this view. By 2015, 35.7% of respondents mistakenly believed that the harm associated with electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) was ‘about the same’ as that of smoking conventional cigarettes.”
What The Evidence Says
The CDC data isn’t the only source indicating the general public woefully misunderstands the impact of vaping. Some polls have found that as few as 13% of adults understand how much safer vaping is, while around 26% think they’re just as, if not more dangerous.
Their data also falls in line with what we know about teenage vaping thanks to a report of over 60,000 students conducted by Action on Smoking and Health. That report found only as few as 0.1% of non-smoking teens are ever vaping more than a few times, let alone transitioning to cigarettes.
A recent report out of Roswell Park Cancer Institute backs the extreme harm reduction value of vaping, finding the toxicants in e-liquid vapor are 93% lower than in cigarette smoke. However, nothing quite proves the value of vaping like the report from the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of vapers is around 57,000 times lower than smokers with a similar background.
Research like this always helps us in our fight for vaping rights. It’s especially great when the research comes from formally skeptical institutions such as the CDC and American Cancer Society.
If we don’t take advantage of this momentum shift, vapers may find themselves in an increasingly tricky spot moving forward. After years of skepticism, many experts are starting to warm up to the idea of supporting e-cigarettes over combustible cigarettes.
That’s why we should be working now to teach all the smokers in our lives about the value of vaping. The more people who understand the difference e-cigarettes could make, the harder it will be for legislators to swoop in and take away anymore of our rights.
Is this data going to make a big difference in the vaping debate? What do you think would have the most significant impact? How should we work to teach more people about the value of vaping? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.