In an article that was recently published on IFLScience.com [August of 2015] it was proposed that E-cigs were significantly less harmful than cigarettes according to new studies—but are these rather extremely positive numbers really true?
As it turns out, there is a lot of evidence out there to back them up—and it’s coming from some pretty substantial sources.
The biggest source is certainly Public Health England [PHE], who published a new report just recently, concluding that E-cigs are definitely nowhere near as harmful as analog tobacco cigarettes.
A lot of other things were also said in the study. Here’s a small list of what seemed to be the ‘main points’ of the discussion around the new studies.
The studies said that…
· The National Health Service should possibly recommend E-cigs to help people who are trying to quit smoking
· There is no evidence that E-cigs are acting as a gateway into smoking for young students and teens
· It’s possible that E-cigs are at least partly responsible for falling smoking rates in the UK
· Most adult vapers are ex-smokers—which helps to put to rest the idea that a lot of vapers were never smokers to begin with
This quote, given by Professor Kevin Fenton of the PHE [The Director of Health and Wellbeing], seemed to summarize the information quite nicely.
“E-cigarettes are not completely risk free but when compared to smoking, evidence shows they carry just a fraction of the harm… The problem is people increasingly think they are at least as harmful and this may be keeping millions of smokers from quitting. Local stop smoking services should look to support e-cigarette users in their journey to quitting completely.” --source: iflscience.com
In a sense, I wasn’t really surprised by the information learned through this study—though I believe that it does make a difference and demand some kind of a call to action. Before this, there was never any really clear percentage-based statistic to show us how safe or dangerous E-cigs were [at least, that I knew of anyway] in relation to tobacco cigarettes—though this definitely seems to fill that role.
In a way, I guess I feel like E-cigs demand different treatment at this point. Yes, I understand that they’re still new to the scene, and I understand that a lot of people are afraid of the similarity that exists between them and cigarettes—but at the same time, we now have some pretty serious evidence separating the two of those by a 95% margin!
I feel that this information will probably make bigger waves as public awareness grows—though for now, I’m hearing surprisingly little about it in most public health circles. The simple fact of the matter is that people seem to be afraid of E-cigs. They’re afraid of them because they’re new, because they use technology to do things that haven’t been done before, and because they deliver ingredients into the human body using methods that haven’t really been put to use on such a wide scale.
But does this mean that such positive evidence for them should be ignored?
I hope not. I hope that people will see and understand that we should really be looking at vaping as a possible smoking cessation tool. I’m not the only one saying it—but I hope that people start listening. The faster we end smoking, the faster we can put an end to the dangerous health issues that it causes and promotes—and that’ll be better for everyone.