New Research Suggests Vaping May Reduce Smoking Related Deaths
Adolescent smokers who switch to vaping may reduce their chances of dying from smoking-related health problems. A new study published in the latest issue of Nicotine and Tobacco Research revealed vaping may reduce smoking related deaths by up to 21%. The study defined adolescents as people born after 1997. Smoking is currently estimated to cause six million deaths worldwide every year.
The study determined that for adolescents determined to smoke, e-cigarettes provided a far healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes or other tobacco products. This study was not funded by the tobacco industry or the growing e-cigarette market but by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network.
Head writer of the study, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center professor of oncology David Levy stressed that the study was based on adolescents that vaped or smoked e-cigarettes regularly and not just once or twice. Study participants were adolescents divided into two groups – those that would have smoked tobacco products anyway and those that would not.
Why This Study Matters
This study differs from most previous studies of e-cigarette smoking on adolescents since participants were habitual e-cigarette users. Earlier studies lumped adolescents with all kinds of experiences with vaping, including people that only had one or two vaping experiences in their lives at parties or other social situations.
The study highlights the views of many medical experts on both sides of the Atlantic that vaping is far less harmful to the user than traditional tobacco products. One such expert, University of Bristol psychology professor Marcus Munafo, states that if people want their nicotine fix, vaping provides a much safer nicotine delivery system than traditional tobacco products.
Why E-Cigarettes Are Safer
In an article for Britain’s Daily Mail, Professor Munafo explains that vaping gives off fewer harmful chemicals than leafy tobacco products. Tobacco smoke, Munfo states, is the culprit that causes tobacco-related deaths as it contains harmful chemicals that cause cell damage. Vaping, which does not use a burning process, does not put off these carcinogenic chemicals.
Adolescence is the usual time when people experiment with alcohol and drugs, including tobacco. With all of the buzz about vaping, adolescents are naturally curious to try it themselves. Munafo explains that society cannot stop adolescents from experimenting with chemicals, so it’s best that they choose vaping over smoking.
Professor Levy stressed that more studies of long-term health effects on adolescent e-cigarette smokers need to be done in order to determine the ultimate health impact vaping has on young people. Many conflicting studies have been published in the last few years. There are about as many studies condemning e-cigarettes as there are studies recommending e-cigarettes for people determined to get nicotine.
For now it appears that vaping provides a young person a much safer smoking alternative than traditional tobacco products like cigars, cigarettes or even chewing tobacco.