A brand new report indicates once again that vaping is an extremely effective smoking cessation tool
As we settle into 2019, some things have changed for e-cigarettes, while others remain exactly the same. One of these ongoing challenges for the vaping industry has been fighting misconceptions about their risk and the value they provide. This confusion is mostly understandable given how new vaping is, but as the evidence grows, it becomes harder to deny there are some significant benefits to switching from smoking to vaping. In fact, a new report published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded vaping is actually more likely to help a smoker quit than often prescribed nicotine replacement therapies such as patches and gum.
Despite this new report, there are still many who firmly believe e-cigarettes are dangerous and present a serious risk to our youth. Supporters of vaping point to the glaring lack of evidence proving vapes are dangerous, especially when compared with the steadily increasing number of studies confirming their value. Further testing and disseminating the smoking cessation value of vaporizers is a massive piece of the puzzle in our continued fight against tobacco.
The Latest Report
The latest report was conducted by a team of researchers at Queen Mary University of London, led by Dr. Peter Hajek. Dr. Hajek and his team wanted to gain a better understanding of different smoking cessation methods, and how they compare with e-cigarettes. This report is said to be the first randomized trial to test modern vapes against popular nicotine replacement therapies; they also included behavioral support for both groups to bolster further chances of quitting. After collecting and analyzing all their data, the team reached some interesting conclusions. Perhaps most importantly they found that after a year, 18% of vapers had quit smoking compared with just 9.9% of those using nicotine patches or gum.
Unfortunately, the NEJM editors decided this new report needed to be preceded by two editorials aimed at reigning in or calling into question some of the findings. The first of these editorials, written by Boston University researchers, simply said vapes should only be used when the other nicotine replacement therapies have proven ineffective. The second one, however, took things much further when it called for the FDA to ban all e-liquid flavors immediately. What’s worse is this particular editorial was written by the current editor in chief of the NEJM, Jeffrey Drazen, a known critic of vaping. In fact, it was his New England Journal of Medicine that published the most famous case of misguided and misleading anti-vaping research, so it should probably come as no surprise.
What The Research Says
This latest report only adds to the case for the smoking cessation value of vaporizers. But it’s not the first time we’ve got a reason to believe they’re effective. A report conducted by researchers at the University of Louisville tested all the most common smoking cessation methods and tools. They concluded vapes are even more likely to lead to success than anything else, including the popular new prescription quit aids. Another often referenced reason against legitimization of vaping is the potential impact on teens. Indeed, in both editorials for the new report, the authors pointed to risk to teens as a significant reason for not jumping head first into support of vaping. But a study of over 60,000 students concluded only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever vaping on a regular basis, let alone eventually picking up combustible cigarettes.
Taking a look at the harm reduction value of vaping and things are even more evident. Back in 2015, we got our first report which concluded vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. That study, coming out of Public Health England, firmly stated smokers should switch to vaping if they want to reduce their exposure to harm. Since that first report, it seems like every month or two we get a new study which finds a similar result. At the end of last year, we got a report which found vapor contains about 93% fewer toxicants than cigarette smoke. But perhaps the most compelling piece of evidence is the study which found the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is around 57,000 times lower than a demographically similar smoker.
Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease around the world. As such, we should be doing everything we can to prevent these deaths, not undermining the best tool we have at our disposal. Legitimizing vaping as the effective harm reduction and smoking cessation tool it is will only have positive effects on public health moving forward. That’s why it’s so important we continue to spread positive information about vaping to the smokers in our lives. The more people who know what vaping has to offer, the harder it will become for legislators to take our rights away.
Do you think this new report is going to have a positive impact? Does vaping get an undeserved hard time? What’s the best way to spread positive information about 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.