The NYU study also found support could prevent nearly seven million early deaths in just the next ten years.
Despite years of robust smoking cessation campaigns, tobacco still causes more preventable deaths every year than anything else. As such, it remains incredibly essential always to have new and effective smoking cessation tools. Vaping has, by many, been regarded as the device we’ve been waiting for, as it’s not only much safer but also more satisfying than any other alternative to continued smoking. However, in spite of the excitement from those whose lives have been changed by vaping, many politicians remain skeptical about the broader impact of legitimizing vaporizers.
Luckily we have strong reports which prove e-cigarettes provide much more value than any harm they might subject us too. While only a small part of the puzzle, many in the vaping community are excited by the growing pile of evidence. In fact, studies indicate momentum is shifting toward acceptance of vaping among health professions. Many have come to acknowledge that vaping is much safer than smoking and should be supported if quitting isn’t viable.
Millions Of Saved Lives
A study led by Dr. David Abrams of NYU gathered experts from around the city to answer an important question about e-cigarettes. The team of scientists was looking to uncover what the real impact would be if vaping were accepted and incorporated into our existent smoking cessation programs. Alternatively, they also wanted to understand better what would happen if we continued on the course we’re on, where vaping is treated as merely another form of tobacco. The team collected years of relevant data and began looking for important connections. After analyzing all the available evidence, the researchers found if cigarette smokers accepted and switched to vaping, it would immediately save around 6.6 million lives over the next ten years. Even more importantly, these saved lives would account for an estimated 86.7 million more lived years.
The report had more to bring to the table, albeit not quite as game-changing. The team concluded that in nearly all situations considered, support for vaping would be a net gain for public health. They found that only their most unrealistic simulations made the impact of vaping harm public health, and even then, it was only marginally. After looking at all of the data, the team made their feelings clear, “Even if the risk of harm to some youth who otherwise would not have smoked is marginally increased, such risks must be weighed against the substantial and immediate benefits of displacing smoking with safer nicotine products among both youth and adults.”
The Outside Evidence
We have plenty of outside research which backs these claims. A report conducted by researchers at the University of Louisville wanted to better understand which smoking cessation tools are the most likely to work. After testing everything from cold turkey through prescription drugs, the researchers concluded none other than vaping was the most effective quit aid. A different report by Action on Smoking and Health asked over 60,000 teens about their relationship with vaping, and it ultimately provided some reassuring answers. They concluded only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever picking up vape more than a few times.
Looking at the harm reduction value of vaping and the case only gets stronger. All the way back in 2015 we got a large scale report from Public Health England which concluded e-cigarettes are at least 95% safer than continued smoking. We’ve only gotten more studies over the years which support this extreme harm reduction value. For instance, a report by Roswell Park from a few months back found the toxicants in vapor are 93% lower than in cigarette smoke. However, nothing really makes the harm reduction case for vaping quite like the report from the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which found the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is around 57,000 times lower than a demographically similar smoker.
We need more and more studies like this if we have any chance of winning the fight once and for all. A growing number of experts now agree that vaping is safer than smoking, but only a small part of the general public understands. The more research we have, which looks into the impact of accepting vaping vs. continued suppression, may be our best shot to convince more people. It’s as important as ever that we work together to teach those around us the benefits of vaping. The more smokers who understand what they could gain, the easier it will be to protect our rights.
Do you think reports like this are crucial to changing public opinion? How should we balance the need for regulation with protecting our rights? What’s the best way to get more people to understand the benefits of vaping over smoking? 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.