Are e-cigarettes safer than the papers report?
A lot of the hysteria surrounding e-cigarettes seems to have come from the USA at the moment. There was a big spike in Evali during 2019 which lead to the deaths of 34 people. While this is in no way a positive thing, it must be taken in context. Every single year there are 8,000,000 deaths from smoking related illnesses. E-cigarettes may have some dangers associated with them but to discount them as a method to quit smoking cigarettes is a dangerous step to take.
One of the biggest things to come out of the report about the Evali outbreak in the US was that more than 85% of the sufferers had smoked marijuana in the months preceding their illness. This link could be behind the outbreak being localised to the US at the moment.
News has come out since that confirms the use of THC oil was likely to have had a big impact on the Evali outbreak. While it hasn’t been 100% confirmed at this point, it is the most likely reason behind the outbreak which shows that it wasn’t vaping itself that caused the Evali.
Smoking is a much bigger danger
What many people who want to ban e-cigarettes, or at least regulate them more severely, fail to realise is that e-cigarettes are the lesser of two evils. Cigarettes kill millions each and every year, e-cigarettes are a valuable tool when it comes to quitting smoking. By limiting the access to this tool it means that more people are consigned to a life of being unable to quit smoking.
With the NHS backing a study that says e-cigarettes are 95% safer than regular cigarettes, it means that in the UK the health care system realise how useful vaping van be when it comes to attempting to quit smoking.
The studies do show that vaping isn’t a 100% safe activity. It still contains a number of toxins and if users decide to use a nicotine juice then it will also contain nicotine. However, it has also been shown to contain a similar level of toxins as standard NRT products.
The bonus that a vape has over a nicotine patch for example is that it still gives the feeling of smoking to users, which is often a big part of the habit in addition to the addictive nicotine. Although using e-liquid that has a nicotine base will mean that addiction continues, vaping instead of smoking is still significantly safer.
Vaping around the world
There are other countries that have put strict regulations in place in order to make it more difficult to get a hold of an e-cigarette. Even though there have been no reports of Evali outbreaks, e-cigarettes have still been demonised. Many people believe this is the work of tobacco corporations, but there is no proof of this claim. The biggest news that is coming out about e-cigarettes is that as they close in on ten years of use there has been no link to disease in the same way that cigarettes have shown.
Using vapes to quit smoking
One of the biggest issues that has come of the latest reports on e-cigarette problems is the way the news has spread amongst users. The reports will have decreased the confidence in vaping which in turn could lead to an increase in the number of smokers again. This means that although vaping is still not 100% safe, the alternative of continuing to smoke is a much more dangerous choice to make.
Over the years many people have found that outright banning products was not the right move to make. Banning products just means that they go underground where there is zero regulation and that is when the real trouble starts. It’s a much better solution to regulate e-cigarettes in a safe manner in order to keep helping people to stop smoking.
There is data that shows over a decade around half a million people will have quit smoking in the UK through using e-cigarettes. It means that since the introduction of e-cigarettes the number of people who smoke has fallen by a significant margin.
There are a lot of different ingredients in e-liquid. The majority of the ingredients are harmless and are just there to add some flavour. However, there are some minor carcinogens in there are as well as nicotine. This is why they are not a risk free alternative, but a lower risk alternative.
In their current form vapes are unlikely to offer a zero risk alternative to smoking, but what needs to be found out is if the levels of toxins that are in e-liquids are high enough to be harmful. The clear point that should be made is that at the moment, e-liquids contain around 0.1% of the number of dangerous toxins as cigarettes.
Many believe that because the long term impacts are still unknown it would be best to ban e-cigarettes, the danger of driving people back to cigarettes is too great a risk to take. There is a lot of evidence out there that backs up the belief that vaping is the most effective method to quit smoking. Because of this it would be foolish to remove this method.
While there are other methods out there to help people quit smoking, it’s important not to limit the number of methods that are available. The more ways that are available for people to use in their battle to stop smoking, the better it is for their chances of being a success. If we want to remove smoking from our lives for good, then we shouldn’t turn away a willing ally, especially one that has proven to be as useful a e-cigarettes have.
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