It’s important to understand how e-cigarettes are affecting the lives of patients according to a team of researchers
We’ve known for several decades beyond the shadow of a doubt that smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your long-term health. In fact, it continues to be the leading cause of preventable death and disease around the globe. Many of the conditions caused by smoking include various types of cancer of the mouth, lung, throat or other vital body parts. It’s hard to find anyone who hasn’t had cancer personally affect their life in one way or another. So while the long-term research on vaping is still coming in, most of what we have so far clearly shows that e-cigarettes are valuable smoking cessation and harm reduction tools.
A report that does precisely this was published in the Psycho-Oncology Journal earlier this year by a team from the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center. Based in Tampa, Florida, the Moffitt Cancer Center is known as one of the leaders in cancer prevention research. They wanted to better understand what sorts of questions were commonly being missed by doctors when dealing with cancer patients. Ultimately their findings show they should help answer any questions their patients may have about the risks and benefits of vaping.
Knowledge Is Key
The team, led by Dr. John Correa, started by asking themselves what is currently being missed by the health community in regards to vaping. To do this, they wanted to ask patients about what sort of questions they were asked or personally had when talking to their doctors about vaping. After gathering a group of cancer patients who had smoked, but now only vape, they asked them some in-depth questions regarding their habits. This included how and how often they prefer to vape, what they understood about the dangers of vaping, as well as why they finally decided to switch to using e-cigarettes. The also asked the over 100 respondents another set of question regarding the information they had been told about vaping from their physician.
The results of the survey were quite clear. Over 80% of respondents said smoking cessation was the primary reason for picking up vaping. But more importantly, 60% felt that vaping was helping them continue to stay away from cigarettes. Unfortunately, about 72% of those surveyed said their doctor had never asked them any questions about their vaping habits or options. This is particularly detrimental given that almost every participant reported that vaping was more satisfying to them as a replacement for smoking than nicotine patches or gum. After analyzing all of the data, the team concluded that nearly all cancer patients who use vaporizers find them to be helping their situation in one way or another.
The Research For Vaping
This is yet another piece of the puzzle for vaping. Over the last several years, there have been a plethora of peer-reviewed reports indicating the harm reduction and smoking cessation value of vaping. One of the first big shoes to drop was a study published in 2015 by Public Health England which concluded vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. Bolstering these claims was a survey last year which found the excess lifetime cancer risk of a smoker is around 57,000 times higher than a demographically similar vaper.
As if that didn’t prove their worth enough, we also have plenty of reason to believe they’re the best smoking cessation tool at our disposal. A team of researchers from the University of Louisville tested the success rate of many of the most common smoking cessation tools and methods. After collecting and analyzing all of their data, the team concluded that vaping is more likely to lead to a successful quit attempt than anything else, including the prescription drugs.
This continued failure of health professionals to spread the harm reduction and smoking cessation value of vaping is what holds back the industry. It’s certainly not a lack of value or evidence supporting it. When fewer people understand vaping is safer, fewer people are going to be inclined to switch. After all, why switch from something you enjoy to something else if you believe the risk is basically the same?
A poll conducted by Action on Smoking and Health found that only 13% of adults understood that vaping is much safer than smoking, while 26% felt vaping was just as, if not more dangerous. This clearly indicates we must be working harder to spread the positive research conducted on vaping. If we want to end the smoking epidemic once and for all, we must be doing everything we can to support our best tools, not undermining them with a total lack of understanding.
Does it make sense for so many cancer patients to be using vaping to quit smoking? Should doctors be asking more questions and spreading more information about the benefits of vaping? What do you think is the biggest thing holding vaping back from being widely accepted? 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.