There’s a growing body of evidence to suggest that using e-cigarettes is safer than smoking, but misinformation may be still be playing a role in causing people to question the benefits of vaping. If you’re a smoker keen to switch or you’re eager to learn more about the potential advantages of using e-cigarettes, you should find this article interesting.
Is Vaping Safe?
If you took a moment to search online for features about the safety of using e-cigarettes, you’d come across a huge number of articles, many of which offer conflicting information. You could read a hundred headlines and emerge none the wiser. The trouble with searching for news and updates about vaping is that the stories at the top of the page are often negative, even though studies suggest that vaping is actually much safer than smoking.
Throughout the last couple of years, a growing body of evidence has formed to support the notion that vaping is safer and better for your health than smoking. In 2017, the first long-term report into the safety of using e-cigarettes was published. Funded by Cancer Research UK, the aim was to determine and evaluate the difference between smokers and those who had quit smoking and started vaping. The average participant in this group had been vaping for 16 months. During the trial period, researchers measured exposure to toxins. They found that the group who had stopped smoking enjoyed significant reductions in toxicant exposure compared to those who continued to smoke.
Another recent study examined the impact of smoking and vaping on cancer risk. Researchers concluded that vaping has a cancer risk of just 1% of that related to smoking.
Many people look to scientific research for answers. While it can be confusing to try and separate the wheat from the chaff when browsing online articles and news, there is solid, sound evidence to suggest that vaping is safer than smoking. Studies show that:
- Vaping significantly reduces toxicant exposure.
- Vaping presents a minimal risk of cancer compared to smoking.
Why is Vaping Safer than Smoking?
The main reason vaping is safer than smoking is the absence of tobacco in e-cigarettes and vaping juices like those sold at. When you smoke or chew tobacco, you expose your body to a host of harmful ingredients and substances. The lack of burning has obvious benefits for the lungs, but smoking damages almost every organ in the body, so the positive effects are far-reaching. Vaping also gives you the option to reduce and manage nicotine content. If you’re keen to cut down for health purposes, you can gradually lower your intake and eventually vape with 0% nicotine vape juice. Vaping offers a safer alternative to smoking due to the following factors:
- Lack of combustion,
- Manageable nicotine content,
- The absence of harmful substances, such as tar.
The Impact of Evidence on Policy Making
In the UK, there’s no doubt that evidence that has been collected to support vaping as a safer alternative to smoking has influenced policy-makers. Many health organizations, including Public Health England, Health Scotland, the Royal College of General Practitioners, and the British Medical Association, now promote the use of e-cigarettes as a means of helping smokers to quit. Public Health England even included vaping in its promotion of the 2018 Stoptober campaign.
The UK isn’t the only country encouraging smokers to switch to vaping. In New Zealand, where vaping was banned previously, new policies, which are very similar to those in the UK, have been introduced on the back of scientific studies. Canada is also in the process of adjusting policies to make vaping legal.
Policy-makers across the world have been influenced by research, resulting in:
- Policies and measures that actively encourage vaping as a safer alternative to smoking.
- Changes in legislation that make it possible to vape in countries where e-cigarettes were banned in the past.
Concerns about Vaping
One of the main concerns for those reluctant to promote or champion vaping as a means of encouraging people to stop smoking is the belief that vaping could prompt some people to start smoking. This is a fear particularly relevant to young people. Some have expressed concerns that vaping can be seen as a cool thing to do among adolescents, resulting in teens who didn’t smoke starting to vape. Studies have shown that teenagers experiment with vaping, but this could be representative of expected adolescent behavior. There is no evidence to suggest that young people who smoke do so because they tried vaping, and a recent study indicated that less than 1% of teenagers who vape have never smoked before. In the UK and the USA, smoking continues to be less commonplace among younger people. If vaping was contributing to smoking in this demographic, the figures would be rising not falling. Studies suggest that:
- Teenagers are likely to experiment with vaping, but this is unlikely to encourage them to take up smoking.
- Smoking is becoming less popular among young people.
- Less than 1% of vapers are non-smokers.
Coming to a Conclusion
With so much information about the safety, benefits, and risks of vaping out there, it’s no wonder that there’s a great deal of confusion related to the potential advantages and disadvantages of vaping. The truth is that there is substantial scientific evidence to support the belief that vaping is safer than smoking. This evidence has influenced government policies in several countries, and this is a trend that looks set to continue. If you’re a smoker, you’re probably aware that giving up will benefit your health, and in many cases, people who switch to e-cigarettes find this an easier option than deciding just to throw away a packet of cigarettes and never smoke again. If you’re looking for accurate information, follow these steps:
- Use reputable sources,
- Look for studies and scientific research that present facts and figures.
In recent years, evidence has piled up to suggest that vaping is safer than smoking and it seems that more and more people are willing to listen to updated information. Despite the fact that vaping has become more common, it is still difficult to access accurate, fact-based information, and media outlets and health organizations are trying to ensure that factual resources play a more prominent role.
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