Since the invention of electronic cigarettes, there has been a great debate about the possible health impacts of vaping. British researchers have been leading the studies tailored towards documenting the health impact of e cigarettes, as compared to tobacco smoking. From various studies, these researchers have claimed that e cigarette smoking will possibly save 6,000 lives out of every 1 million smokers.
The University of London College research team published their work in the British Journal of General Practice indicating that the public health community was rushing to impose regulations on electronic cigarette smoking as opposed to tobacco smoking. These two products have different health impacts and they need to be considered separately when developing and implementing regulations.
Smokers are looking for nicotine satisfaction. Although nicotine is addictive, it is not associated with smoking deaths, but tar is. Therefore, a product such as an e-cig that helps smokers get their nicotine while free of tar will be safer to use because it will prevent deaths and suffering caused by traditional tobacco cigarettes.
Public Ban On E Cigarettes May Be Premature
The World Health Organization has imposed a ban on smoking e-cigs in public, and has urged relevant authorities to begin the crackdown on the same. Several public health groups have come out to air their full support for this ban and suggest tight regulations on e cigarettes and related products. The WHO announcement adds to a growing list of documented controversies especially in the scientific community about claims on the safety of e cigarettes.
In a response letter to the WHO announcement, more than 50 researchers wrote to the Agency and cautioned against overregulation. The researchers asked the UN Health Agency to resist the urge to over control and suppress the manufacturing and use of e-cigarettes. In the open letter, these researchers held that e-cigarettes are an advent in healthy smoking and that this innovation aims at preventing the harm that comes with tobacco smoking.
However, the health claims of e cigarette smoking are mixed. In the first quarter of this year, the UCL team admitted that the likelihood of quitting smoking when using electronic vapour remained at 60%. On the other hand, several researches have claimed that smokers who changed to e-cigarettes smoking were equally less likely or more likely to feel the urge to quit smoking than if they used a traditional patch or gum strategy. These reports indicate the mix up in the science of e cigarettes as an aid to quit smoking.
A research study conducted by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that electronic cigarette use among the school age population has increased three fold in a span of three years. This is an alarming rate. The report continued to indicate that half of the children reported vaping were preparing to start conventional smoking within the next year.
At the centre of electronic cigarette smoking and its health impact controversy is an editorial published in The Lancet concluding that there is little evidence to qualify e-cigs as safe smoking products or that they assist in reducing tobacco use.
The Lancet editorial indicated that, the only justification for sale and use of e cigarettes remains in finding significant and reliable evidence. Otherwise, the available evidences have not indicated beyond doubt that e cigarettes are a smoke cessation aid.
A significant number of health groups have raised their concerns about the climbing use of e cigarettes. In the past few days, the American Lung Association and approximately twenty other public health organizations urged the Food and Drug Administration to quickly introduce an oversight process of electronic cigarette products.
Electronic cigarettes continue to spark an interesting debate from across different sectors and industries. Erika Sward, the assistant vice president of the American Lung Association admitted that, regardless of any claims about vaping at the moment, regulations are still far off. She indicated that the post quit smoking status of vaping is yet to be known. No one knows whether vapour users will quit smoking all together or they will come back to smoking later. The long-term health impact about this product is not known and no one can give a direct conclusion whether vaping is healthy or not.
The deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, Dr. Leornard Lichtenfeld admitted that it is hard to forget past lessons where modified cigarettes created more harm that their intended purpose of being less harmful.
We need to understand the short term as well as the long term of the potential benefits and possible risks of electronic cigarettes. Research is required to find and document high quality evidence to answer the fundamental concerns about all possible risks of e-cigarettes and their benefits before making any significant conclusions for, or against regulations.
There is no doubt that there are a great many scientists looking in to e cigarettes at the moment. The majority seem to be saying they are a safer alternative to smoking, but the government bodies are calling for tighter regulations. What do you think? As always we would love to hear your views.
Author: Kevin Ewbank
Avid vaper & co-founder of SmokShop
Comments are closed here.