The collaborative research effort uncovered some crucial details about the differences between vaping and smoking.
Despite our years of robust smoking cessation campaigns, smoking continues to be the leading cause of preventable death and disease around the world. As such, it’s as important as ever to identify and develop the best tools for fighting back against this threat.
Vaping has, for many, been precisely what they needed to finally end their dependence on tobacco. However, despite all these resounding endorsements, many legislators remain skeptical about the value of e-cigarettes.
Luckily research published in the Annual Review of Public Health concluded that indeed, vaping is much safer than continued smoking. The vaping community celebrated these findings, feeling vindicated for spreading the word about vaping.
Meanwhile, many critics remain focused on other parts of the argument against vaping, such as the supposed impact on teens. This provides another piece of the puzzle, and while it’s unlikely the debate over vaping will be halted thanks to one piece of research, every little bit helps.
The paper, entitled Harm Minimization and Tobacco Control: Reframing Societal Views of Nicotine Use to Rapidly Save Lives, was a collaborative effort. Researchers from NYU, the University of Nevada at Reno, and the University of Vermont at Burlington worked together to review the evidence on alternative nicotine delivery systems.
Joining the university researchers was a team from the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies, which runs the popular “truth-initiative” anti-tobacco campaign. The team not only identified clear and unmistakable evidence that vaping is safer than continued smoking, but they also blasted the rampant fear mongering, which has led to mass misunderstanding to the value of vaping.
The article highlights many of the differences between vaping and smoking, noting that while not 100% harmless, they provide a much safer alternative to combustible cigarettes. “E-cigarette aerosol is very different. E-cigarettes do not contain any tobacco and do not produce carbon monoxide. The harm continuum emphasizes a key point… they are much safer than smoking.”
Researchers also confirm what many in the vaping community have been saying for years. The most dangerous substance in cigarette smoke is not nicotine, but rather all the tar and combustion-related chemicals which are notably not in e-liquid vapor.
The Outside Research
You don’t need to look into the peer-reviewed evidence very long before you find strong reason to support vaping. For starters, it may be the single best smoking cessation tool we currently have at our disposal.
Given how many people still struggle with quitting every day, this could be the most crucial thing vaping has to offer. Reports have tested all the most common smoking cessation tools and methods and determined vaping is even more likely to work than prescription drugs.
Other research quells fears over teenage usage, as reports of over 60,000 students by Action on Smoking and Health concluded only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever picking up a vaporizer more than a couple times, let alone making the switch to smoking.
That’s not even to mention all the other evidence we have supporting the harm reduction value of vaporizers. Just a few months back we got a report from Roswell Park which found toxicants in smoke are 93% higher than in e-liquid vapor.
Even more impressively, a study out of the Journal of Aerosol Sciences concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is around 57,000 times lower than a demographically similar smoker.
Anytime we have research which supports the harm reduction or smoking cessation value of vaping it’s a cause for celebration. Given the lousy reputation vaping gets, it’s all the more important we have evidence supporting our stance.
One of the biggest hurdles still facing the vaping industry, however, is the lack of public understanding. That’s why it’s so vital for us to teach those in our lives, especially the smokers, what making a switch to vaping could mean for them.
The more people who support our cause, the harder it will be for legislators to swoop in and steal away our rights. Alternatively, if we fail to gain enough support, it may not be too long before we can barely recognize the industry at all.
Do you think it’s vital for us to spread evidence like this to those around us? What’s the primary way vaping has impacted your life? How should we move forward with vaping ideally? 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.