Dr. Robert L. Cranfield’s long-term research has only recently been making the rounds, after first being published in 2016
A study that was originally published back in 2016 is finally making the rounds as the fight for vaping rights heats up. The study found that switching to vaping for several years has a substantial positive impact on the health of smokers. Dr. Robert L. Cranfield conducted the survey in hopes of better understanding the often forgotten long-term effects of vaping. He also wanted to understand the demographics better to see which groups were fairing the best. His results were fantastic, finding that the adverse health effects of vaping to be 96% lower than those reported by the same participants about when they were smokers.
According to Dr. Cranfield, nearly 500,000 deaths each year across the US are directly tied to smoking or second-hand smoke. When he and his team added up the losses due to early death and loss of productivity, they found that over $300 billion could be saved if smokers switched to vaping. This study was one of the first to take a look exclusively at how vaping does as a harm reduction tool over the course of several years. Since its original publishing, the world has become increasingly more accepting of vaping, and as such this study is finding new life, being circulated on hubs like Google Scholar for the first time last week.
Dr. Cranfield created a survey that was broken into two parts, demographic information, and health assessment. This questionnaire was circulated online through social media channels, as well as being distributed to vape shops across the southeast. Responses to his survey were accepted for six months, between March and August of 2015, with his team then analyzing what they collected. It’s worth noting that the vast majority of responses came in the online version of the survey, 527-46.
There were three different groups of particular interest to the researchers, first those former smokers who didn’t report any ill effects of smoking, vapers who had been using e-cigarettes for more than three years, and never-smoking vapers. The central question asked by Dr. Cranfield concerns tobacco-related health conditions, and how they have been affected by the switch to vaping. The other significant part of the survey asked respondents to rate their personal level of health on a scale of one to ten, with one being the weakest health.
What They Found
There were nearly 600 responses to their survey, and some very important trends were noted. Their most impactful discovery is that among the 108 respondents who had been vaping for over three years reported an average drop in adverse health effects of 96%, dropping from 1.78 to 0.07. This is obviously very good news for vapers who have only just made the switch and may be concerned with the long-term outcomes. Another piece of good news for vapers is that researchers observed a total resolution of at least one adverse health condition once the switch to vaping had been made. Usually, this was an alleviation of shortness of breath, but it was also reported with hypertension, respiratory infections, as well as both Acute and Chronic bronchitis.
Perhaps the most interesting results came from the group of former smokers who never had a reported adverse health effect due to smoking. Among the group of 136 respondents, only one reported that they had developed any issues after vaping regularly. What’s more is that none of the never-smoking group said they developed problems either. These positive results carried over to the self-reported health scale. When asked about their health level while still smoking, the average score among all 573 respondents was 3.93. When asked about their health level after vaping for several years, the average rating jumped all the way to 8.27. Interestingly, this trend more or less held up when the averages were split between the different subgroups studied.
These results were very telling, but the researchers acknowledged that this is by no means the full picture. Instead, they implore more experts to study these issues themselves, taking particular notice of the long-term effects. It’s clear that not everything is known about the dangers of vaping, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that smoking kills half a million people every year, and that’s just in America. Research like this is essential in proving that at the very least, we should study vaping for its possible benefits.
As we mentioned, this study was unable to make any noise when it was first published. Most news outlets at the time didn’t see the value in running a story about a long-term vaping study. But now it’s almost 2018, and the research has only continued to pile up. There have been many studies published by well known and respected institutions that support vaping as a valuable harm reduction tool. Their 96% reduction figure matches up remarkably well with the most famous piece of vaping research; the well known Public Health England study which found vaping to be at least 95% safer than smoking. Tobacco use is still one of the most significant problems facing modern society, so vaping should be heralded as the best tool we have to fight it. The more long-term research publically circulated about the benefits of vaping, the better chance we have to make smoking a problem of the past.
Why do you think it took so long for this study to become well circulated? Have you noticed any improvement in your health since making the switch to vaping? Is there anything you found to be surprising? Let us know in the comments.