We now know a primary reason that vaping is so much safer than smoking for your respiratory system
The battle over how to properly utilize and regulate vaping has shown no real signs of slowing down. Some countries have taken a strong stance in favor of the benefits of vaping, but many others have sided with fear and disinformation. The US has typically fallen in between these two extremes, but recent moves by the FDA threaten to push things closer to the anti-vaping agenda. The most worrisome of these moves was their recent announcement that flavored e-cigarettes would soon not be available for sale in most brick and mortar stores around the country. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the current FDA commissioner, has been all over the airwaves calling into question the value of vaping as well as warning parents about the “epidemic” among teens.
Likely his favorite defense is the so-called lack of evidence which supports the value of vaping. But the truth is that there is a growing mountain of evidence which clearly supports the idea vaping is much safer than smoking. In fact, it’s not very hard to find studies that completely destroy the Commissioners credibility. For example, research looking into the respiratory system of smokers, vapers, and non-smokers uncovered some vital differences between the groups, but even more telling may be the similarities.
Similarities And Differences
The study was led by Dr. Amir M. Farnoud of Ohio University and published in Respiratory Research. The team of researchers wanted to take a closer look at what vaping does to the lining of the lungs and compare that with smoking. It’s well documented how dangerous smoking is for your overall health, especially the lungs, eventually damaging the tissue enough that breathing becomes difficult without assistance. That’s why Dr. Farnoud wanted to understand if vaping was having a similar impact on the respiratory system. To test the protective lining, known as pulmonary surfactant, the researchers used several different types of e-liquid while keeping track of how deep vapor penetrates the lungs, as well as the level of exposure and immediate impact on the tissue. To get a comparable sample, they did the same tests and measurements with a group of smoking participants.
After collecting and analyzing all of their data, the team concluded that none of the various types of e-liquid vapor was having a negative impact on the pulmonary surfactant. However, they did note a minimal change in the structure of the surfactant. Unlike with smoke, which actively degrades the surfactant, vaping was only altering the surfactant without damaging it. The current theory about the difference is that smoking contains tar which is known to bind too and destroy lung tissue. They acknowledge that more research is necessary to fully understand the impact of vaping on pulmonary surfactant and the lungs, but their initial findings are quite positive.
But How Safe Is Vaping?
We have here yet another study which indicates vaping is much safer than smoking. Most people agree that smoking is one of the most dangerous things you can do for your long-term health, so anything which either reduces harm or gets people off cigarettes altogether should be widely supported by society. We now know thanks to research published in the Journal of Aerosol Science that a vapers chance of developing cancer is around 57,000 times lower than smokers from comparable backgrounds. This, in addition to reports from Public Health England that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, strongly indicates that e-cigarettes are the best choice for smokers looking to reduce their exposure to harm.
We also have good reason to believe that vaping is also the best smoking cessation tool out there. A report out of the University of Louisville wanted to determine what the best device for helping smokers quit is. They took in-depth note of the success rate and pitfalls of many different methods and tools, ranging from cold turkey through prescription drugs. After collecting all of their data, they determined that vaping was the most likely to lead to a successful quit attempt. Even more promising was the fact that they were much more effective than the other best tools at keeping smokers off cigarettes for the long haul.
The FDA’s latest push against vaping is ultimately going to have a hefty price to pay for both smokers and vapers. We must support any tools that can help keep people from throwing their lives away in the name of tobacco. CDC reports indicate that the smoking rate in the US is at an all-time low, which many attributes in part to the rapid growth of vaping. But now that a large part of what makes vaping so viable is threatened, we could soon see these fantastic strides in smoking cessation reverse. The vaping community must work together to ensure that as few people as possible fall back into a life of smoking due to simple lack of preferred options.
The public perception of the benefits of vaping remains woefully low at around 13%, but as more and more research is published, this will hopefully start to shift. The best chance we have to retain our vaping rights and push for a truly smoke-free world is to spread all the positive information on the harm reduction and smoking cessation value of e-cigarettes.
Are reports like this making it easier to support vaping? What do you think is the biggest hurdle still facing the vaping community? What’s the best way to improve the public perception 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.