A team of the world’s leading tobacco harm reduction experts say embracing vaping saves lives and it’s really that simple.
And when I say ‘experts‘ that’s exactly what I mean with the new study endorsed by 15 of the former presidents of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) – ‘eminent‘ indeed.
SRNT is world renowned and respected and looks into great detail the effect nicotine and tobacco has on humans.
To say this is unprecedented is an understatement and the article really cannot be ignored by the anti-vape brigade given the wealth of knowledge and respect the co-signers have earned.
The report is detailed and extremely readable and looks at four key concerns the media and anti-vape groups tend to focus on:
- The health risks of vaping
- The likelihood that vaping increases smoking cessation
- The principal concerns about youth vaping
- Balancing concerns about risks to youths with potential benefits for adult smokers
OK, let’s see exactly what these experts have to say.
Embracing Vaping Saves Lives – Health Risks
No one has ever said vaping is completely risk free.
What we do know is e-cigarettes are at least 95% safer than lit tobacco.
The SRNT panel of experts recognises that finding, and whilst pointing out a couple of laboratory based studies may suggest different, the consensus is:
Tests of lung and vascular function indicate improvement in cigarette smokers who switch to e-cigarettes.
Exclusive users of e-cigarettes (most being former smokers) report fewer respiratory symptoms than do cigarette smokers and dual users.
It calls for more research into vaping and health – no bad thing at all…if the anti-vapers will listen to the results that is!
Embracing Vaping Saves Lives – Vaping Increases Smoking Cessation
More and more studies are saying that vaping is front and centre as the very best way to quit smoking.
Among other scholarly findings, the SRNT publication points to the recent Cochrane Library Review which, along with the University of East Anglia, gave vaping a glowing report as a smoking cessation tool.
I wrote about that in the piece: Vape To Quit Smoking – It’s Better Than Patches and Gums Say Experts.
The SRNT quotes from Cochrane:
There is moderate certainty evidence that ECs [electronic cigarettes] with nicotine increase quit rates compared to ECs without nicotine and compared to nicotine replacement therapy.
Significantly, the SRNT report categorically states that any restriction on vaping is totally counter productive adding:
Studies have found that policies intended to restrict e-cigarette use may have unintentionally increased cigarette smoking.
I wrote a piece looking at last year’s lock downs where UK vaping shops were forced to close.
In the piece: Vapers Switching To Tobacco As Lockdowns Continue I showed that here in the UK and across Europe, lit cigarette sales had risen.
It will of course be the same with any future flavour bans – it’s not rocket science, by removing access to all safe forms of vaping will lead to less vapers and more smokers.
Proper regulation and easy access with less taxes WILL lead to smokers turning to vaping and billions of lives can be saved.
Embracing Vaping Saves Lives – Concerns About Youth Vaping
The SRNT article tackles the three main issues the anti-vape brigade has around so called youth vaping:
- Vaping can cause nicotine addiction among young people who never would have tried smoking.
- Vaping by never-smoking youths may cause some to try smoking, risking “renormalizing” smoking among young people.
- Nicotine can harm developing brains, and vaping nicotine may have other adverse health effects
The panel agrees that some kids can become addicted to nicotine – but the numbers are extremely small indeed.
Not only that, it points to studies showing young people that are already smokers are more likely to use e-cigarettes regularly.
Three recent studies have concluded that vaping likely diverts more young people from smoking than encourages them to smoke.
As for nicotine causing harm to youngsters brains, SRNT recognises the research but points out there are simply far too many factors to consider before reaching that general conclusion.
The most dangerous form of youth exposure to nicotine, cigarette smoking, has declined at an unprecedented rate during the era of youth vaping.
Use of other tobacco products has declined as well.
Sensibly Balancing Concerns
The panel of experts says by focusing on ‘youth vaping’ the US in particular has taken “tens of millions of life-years” from smokers who may have made the switch to safer e-cigarettes.
They are recommending a Sensible Mix of Policies in which youth vaping is tackled sensibly whilst the benefits of vaping for adult smokers is promoted.
The SRNT suggest:
…the agency [FDA] should develop product standards for products like e-cigarettes, ensuring minimization of risk associated with the product class while maintaining consumer acceptability.
The article concludes:
While evidence suggests that vaping is currently increasing smoking cessation, the impact could be much larger if the public health community paid serious attention to vaping’s potential to help adult smokers, smokers received accurate information about the relative risks of vaping and smoking, and policies were designed with the potential effects on smokers in mind.
That is not happening.
…1 of every 7 US adults remains a smoker today.
Smoking will claim the lives of 480,000 of our fellow citizens this year alone.
Sobering statistics to say the least.
As I said at the start, vaping saves lives it’s that simple.
Let’s hope this superb article is read far and wide.
Read the full article: Balancing Consideration of the Risks and Benefits of E-Cigarettes