After all the scaremongering and bias articles in the media, it’s about time we had a positive story about e cigarettes. The Royal Society of Physicians have come out and confirmed what most of us vapers already knew, that electronic cigarettes pose ‘significantly less harm to users than tobacco’. They went even further and said that smokers should be encouraged to use e-cigarettes to help them quit.
In a story that received national coverage on the BBC, Dr Nick Hopkinson from the Royal Society of Physicians tobacco advisory group spoke out in favour of e cigarettes.
He published a report that reviewed the evidence on harm reduction and the fact that 9 million people in the UK smoke, with around 100,000 dying each year from smoking related illnesses. If you’re aware of the facts surrounding tobacco it’s all pretty much common sense, but it takes a recognised expert in the field, like Dr Hopkinson to make the national media take note. He states that the reason people smoke is because of an addiction to nicotine, but the reason they die is because of the toxins and tar found in tobacco.
He went on to say that if we could deliver a method of giving people nicotine without all the toxins and tar associated with tobacco, then it would be good for the health of the nation. Hello, e cigarettes. He was then even more explicit with his words and stated that if all smokers were to switch over completely to vaping then that would be a ‘huge, huge’ health benefit.
Now, I wonder if journalists like the ones in the Daily Mail who wrote how ‘e cigarettes can instantly damage lungs’ see something like this and feel slightly ashamed of themselves. I doubt it.
Dr Nick Hopkinson, as if he hadn’t made himself emphatically clear enough, went on to confirm that it’s clear and manifest that the health benefits of e cigarettes are enormous. He also stated that the relative risk of e cigarettes compared to tobacco are much, much smaller, and no more than 5% of the risk.
This is a massive vindication for vaping, and good on the BBC for running the story nationally, both on the TV and their website. It’s hard seeing the wood from the trees when one day we hear stories condemning vaping and another day we hear stories like this. But any clear thinking person must look at where these stories are coming from. First, the NHS stated that vaping is 95% safer than tobacco. Then Cancer Research UK gave e cigarettes their backing. But interspersed with that we heard from a Greek doctor who said that e cigarettes can ‘instantly damage lungs’, and a study by Oral Oncology (whoever they are), that said vaping is no better than smoking cigarettes.
In Dr Nick Hopkinson’s report he also tackled the old favourite of the anti-vaping community, especially the EU, that e cigarettes are a gateway to smoking. He said that the evidence doesn’t support that. He said that there are about 2.6 million e cigarette users in the UK, and those are almost exclusively smokers who are trying to quit, or people who have quit. He said there is evidence that young people who would usually be experimenting with tobacco are using e cigarettes, so in actual fact they could be considered a gateway out of smoking, rather than in to it.
He also stated something that’s so blindingly obvious to us vapers, but seemingly difficult to grasp for the EU and other anti-vape campaigners, that there is no evidence that anyone has started vaping e cigarettes and then moved on to smoking tobacco. I mean, why would they?
It’s about time we had some positive news around vaping, and coming from the Royal Society of Physicians, the main stream media simply can’t brush it under the table. Good on the BBC for being the first to run it!