We all know that electronic cigarettes are a much smarter choice than tobacco, but until now, it has been unclear just how many lives were saved thanks to the vaping alternative. This week, the Scientific Director of CASAA, Carl Phillips, revealed a more precise look at just how important ecigs were to Americans in 2014. According to his data, there were already 10,000 lives saved last year and he predicts another 400,000 lives could be saved in 2015 if ecigs are allowed to remain readily available.
Phillips’ statements shed a lot of light on how important electronic cigarettes could be for the future of American health. “We know that every time a smoker switches to e-cigarettes, there is a good chance she is saving herself from an eventual smoking-caused premature death,” Phillips said. “But this also means that, for someone who has quit smoking thanks to e-cigarettes, there is a chance she has already avoided premature death.”
Based on methodology from tobacco research in 2009, Phillips calculated how many Americans would have already died from smoking related causes if they had not switched to electronic cigarettes. He believes 10,000 would have already died and many more could have developed terminal diseases that would result in eventual death. He said that ecigs offer a much better approach than cold turkey quit attempts because they statistically save more lives.
“Switching to a low-risk alternative is usually lower risk than trying to quit completely, even if the alternative has non-zero risk. This is because even a few more months of smoking before quitting poses greater risk than a lifetime of using the alternative product,” Phillips explained.
He also suggests that even if no one else switches from tobacco to electronic cigarettes, another 400,000 lives will be spared from eventual death by smoking-related causes in 2015. These numbers are an important addition to ecig research and need to be considered carefully in light of the FDA’s regulatory plans. “If the FDA had succeeded in banning e-cigarettes in 2009, over 10,000 Americans who are now alive would be dead,” Phillips said. “There is a lot of work to be done to stop those who would choose to let smokers die rather than have an attractive alternative.”
As we move forward into the new year, we should all work together to continue spreading the word about how important ecigs are for American health. There are a lot of critics and skeptics that still believe ecigs are nothing more than an advanced version of analog smokes and we have to press forward with research to show them the truth.
How did ecigs impact your health in 2014?