Scientists Say Vaping Benefits Far Outweigh Any Risks

As policy makers around the world prepare to enforce strict new regulations on electronic cigarettes, scientists are encouraging the regulatory agencies to reconsider. In a new study published in Addiction, 81 ecig research projects were carefully analyzed to form a complete look at the health risks associated with vaping. After studying all the data, the scientists found that the immense benefits of ecigs for smoking cessation far outweigh any potential and unknown risks.

Thomas Eissenberg, co-director of the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products at Virginia Commonwealth University, encouraged regulators to scale back on the harsh regulations that could harm the ecig industry’s growth. Ecigs could drastically reduce the number of smoking-related deaths in today’s world so it is illogical to limit their reach. “Current evidence suggests that there is a potential for smokers to reduce their health risks if electronic cigarettes are used in place of tobacco cigarettes are and considered a step toward ending all tobacco and nicotine use.”

Critics have often built their arguments against ecigs on two basic issues: the unknown risks of long-term vaping and the potential for ecigs to act as a gateway that leads nonsmokers to eventually start using tobacco. However, the scientists found both of these arguments to be invalid.  “If there are any risks, these will be many times lower than the risks of smoking tobacco,” commented Dr. Hayden McRobbie, from the Wolfson Institute of Preventative Medicine at Queen Mary University of London. “We need to think carefully about how these products are regulated. What we found is that there is no evidence that these products should be regulated as strictly as tobacco, or even more strictly than tobacco,” he said.

McRobbie also insisted that ecigs do not act as a gateway to tobacco use and it’s quite rare for a nonsmoker to even try ecigs. The truth is that vaping could be a potential life saving alternative for thousands of American smokers. “There is evidence that e-cigarettes enable some users to quit smoking or reduce their consumption,” said McRobbie. “If there is evidence that e-cigarettes reduce smoking-related harm, they need to be easily obtainable and not regulated more strongly than tobacco products.”

Some lawmakers have argued that secondhand vapor could be a threat to public health, but McRobbie said research removes that concern as well. There is no scientific evidence that secondhand vapor is harmful whatsoever. The only controversial ingredient is ecigarettes is nicotine, but the scientists said it is not really something to be concerned about at this point. “It’s not the nicotine in cigarettes that kills people,” he emphasized.

By the conclusion of the study, researchers were strongly encouraged that ecigs could be a life saving technology for today’s smokers. The benefits far surpass the risks and the scientists urged regulatory agencies to proceed with caution to avoid damaging this important new industry.

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Author Focus: Katie Bercham
Katie actually had a negative first experience of electronic cigarettes, picking up a cheap and horrible model from my local mall. Thanks to a chance meeting with co-editor David, she hasn’t had a tobacco cigarette in over 2 years. She brings a strong female voice to the e-cig community... Read Full Profile >