A group of well-respected researchers published a case study which indicates a significant benefit of vaping for non-smokers
There is a growing amount of evidence that vaping is much safer than continued smoking. While this type of research is now published what seems like every week, one of the first, and most influential studies was published back in 2015 by Public Health England and concluded that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. A lead researcher on that particular study, Professor Peter Hajek, has gone on to provide plenty of reason to support vaping as a harm reduction and smoking cessation tool. This included a paper published alongside Dr. Joanna Astrid Miller of the Centre for Substance Abuse Research, which seems to indicate how vaping can provide a valuable service to non-smokers as well as smokers. The case study focused on a non-smoking 26-year-old woman who’s health significantly improved after starting to vape.
According to the report, the woman referred to as “LM,” had been dealing with a nearly endless case of swollen tonsils, better known as tonsillitis since the age of seven. Typically this condition is caused or worsened by bacteria and results in a very sore throat. The researchers indicated that LM would deal with symptoms of Tonsillitis at the very least, one full week out of every month, with it often being much more. Things only got worse as she got older, as by 17 she would often suffer from Tonsilloliths, which occur when things get caught in the folds of the tonsils. When this condition gets worse, the debris can calcify and become extremely uncomfortable.
To help LM deal with her condition, she was often given drugs aimed at lessening her suffering to no avail. Making matters worse, she was told that removing the tonsils would not be possible, giving her even fewer options. In fact, a few doctors had told her to simply deal with the condition, as there was nothing they could do. As you could imagine, this had a significantly negative impact on her overall quality of life.
A Miracle Solution
LM’s story first started to change back in the Spring of 2016. Her boyfriend had recently tried quitting cigarettes, and as a result, had been using relatively mild nicotine e-liquid (0mg-3mg). For no other reason than mere curiosity, LM started to vape every once in a while. Over time her boyfriend moved on to a larger device, leaving LM to take over the simple pen, with which she mainly used nicotine free e-liquids.
At first the vaping simply provided her with something to distract herself that wasn’t biting her nails or overeating. It was about three months into vaping that she finally realized she hadn’t been experiencing most of her most common and uncomfortable symptoms. Her chronic tonsillitis had virtually disappeared, with no sore throat or excess mucus. What’s even better is that her symptoms haven’t returned, and even the painful Tonsilloliths have much improved. But probably the best improvement is that she hadn’t developed a single issue such as a cold or infection since beginning to vape full time.
So What Happened?
There isn’t any hard evidence proving one way or the other why her condition improved. That being said, there are several theories laid out by the researchers. One argument is that the PG in e-liquid is detrimental to the bacteria that cause respiratory infections. They also point to the fact that low levels of nicotine have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects as a possible reason for the dramatic improvements. Ultimately though, the team believes that more research is needed to say for sure why LM’s condition was affected so profoundly by starting to vape.
While vaping has likely had this sort of effect on many, this particular case is compelling because it proves the existence of benefits of vaping for non-smokers. In most cases, having stopped smoking would be held as the primary reason for such a dramatic improvement, not the vaping itself. According to the researchers, “Smoking increases susceptibility to respiratory infections, and so a similar recovery in a smoker who switched to vaping could be ascribed to smoking cessation.”
It’s clear that we should be supporting further research into the possibility that vaping could fight respiratory infections. This could ultimately be a game changer for the millions of people who deal with issues just like LM. Not to mention making a case for vaping as a vital harm reduction and smoking cessation tool that much easier to sell to legislators.
Is it good that we’ve found ways vaping can benefit non-smokers? Should the general public be more accepting of vaping; is it important? What’s the best way to improve the public perception of vaping? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.