Latest data shows vaping popularity continues to grow in the military, as impending vaping regulations threaten to destroy the industry.
Despite our best anti-tobacco efforts over the last 30 years, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease around the globe. While the smoking rate among the general population has continued to plummet for years, one specific group that’s taking a lot longer to adjust is military personnel, who are twice as likely to be smokers than the average citizen. Because of this, it’s extra important to have useful and effective quit aids available for our military, who are already sacrificing so much for each of us. Reports suggest the FDA’s proposed vaping regulations would have a particularly negative impact on the military, as many soldiers are likely to relapse to smoking.
Those who support vaping point to a growing pile of peer-reviewed and independent research proving the massive harm reduction and smoking cessation benefits of e-cigarettes. Meanwhile, anti-vapers continue to use anecdotal evidence to generate fear and panic about the impact of vaping, especially on teens. Regardless, vaping has proven to be extremely popular among military personnel, so only time will tell what the full effect of increased vaping regulations are.
Military Smoking Report
The report was conducted by researchers with the Department of Defense Center for Deployment Health Research and published in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The team wanted to understand how the stress of military deployment affects smoking rates as well as their perception. The team used a 21-year longitudinal study which analyzed nearly 50,000 participants who were actively deployed. The team found the smoking rate among deployed members of the military to be twice as high as the average citizen. Nearly half of non-smokers said they only started back up with cigarettes as a result of being deployed, and those who already smoked reportedly smoked a lot more. There is still much more work to be done, but this work proves the need to support the military in the fight against tobacco.
It didn’t take long after they became popular for vaping to take the military by storm. A combination of factors, including difficulty getting other effective and satisfying smoking cessation tools, and a variety of options, have made e-cigarettes a common choice. In fact, reports show that many members of the military now understand vaping is a safer and healthier option. This is great news, as not only can vaping provide a satisfying substitute, but it’s shown to be one of the best smoking cessation tools we have on the market.
The Power Of Vaping
While the research is far from over, we actually know a lot more than the mainstream media lets on. The smoking cessation value of vaping has been proven several times, including a report by researchers at the University of Louisville. The team concluded that not only are e-cigarettes an effective smoking cessation tool, but they’re actually more likely to be successful than anything else. Looking into the research on the risk they pose to teens, and the truth is clear. A report of over 60,000 students conducted by Action on Smoking and Health concluded that only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever picking up a vape regularly. Which naturally means even fewer are ever transitioning to cigarettes because of vaping.
The research on the harm reduction value of vaping is even stronger. Going back to 2015 and we have evidence which indicates vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. When Public Health England published these results they made headlines, but these days we find this level of harm reduction all the time. In fact, just a few months back a report found that cigarette smoke has 93% more toxicants than e-liquid vapor. However, nothing makes what’s at stake as clear as the report published in the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is about 57,000 times lower than a demographically similar smoker.
The military is vital and we ought to be doing any, and everything we can to support them. With smoking rates high due to stress, we must provide soldiers with safer alternatives that still help calm their nerves. Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease around the world, so anything but continued smoking is a step in the right direction. That being said, vaping could prove to be the most important tool we have in ending the smoking epidemic once and for all if we just give it half a chance. So if we genuinely want to protect our troops, both mentally and physically, we must preserve their ability to get quality vaping products while deployed.
Did you know vaping was so popular in the military? What’s the most crucial part about protecting vaping rights? How should we spread positive information to those around us? 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.