Vaping: What’s The Medical Evidence
If you’ve looked into whether e-Cigarettes negatively impact health, you’ve probably found conflicting reports. In this article, we present the evidence to hand and give you our honest opinion about vaping.
The Guardian newspaper report that more people in the UK believe electronic cigarettes are equally as harmful, if not more so, than smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes.
However, the Guardian report, written by a medical specialist contends the reason for this perception is because of the mounting number of negative headlines published in mainstream newspapers. Various studies claim vaping “could” lead to heart disease, gum disease and lung disease etc.
These types of reports are a natural reaction to anything that contains chemicals. Because liquids used in e-cigarettes contain nicotine and other potentially harmful ingredients such as propylene glycol and formaldehyde, there is always a health risk and thus a divided opinion.
But are the health risks in e-cigarettes higher than smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes? A growing body of medical studies suggests they are not despite the obvious risk factors involved.
Research undertaken by numerous independent studies have found vaping is 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes. The results of a UK-based study have been published by Public Health England (PHE) and on the official UK government website. The PHE also say electronic cigarettes can be used for medicinal purposes and have been made available on the NHS.
Physicians recommend vaping
As you probably know, newspaper reports are designed to sway the opinions of readers. Frequently the articles are one-sided and only publish research undertaken by one researcher rather than weighing the evidence up against other studies.
You should also note that mainstream newspapers can be bought. The tobacco cigarette industry is worth 25.6 billion euros a year. Now that vaping is becoming more popular and worth around £4 billion a year; tobacco companies are in danger of losing significant profits. In short, the tobacco giants have a lot to lose.
You have to ask yourself how credible the research is. For example, one negative report regarding e-cigarettes published by the University of Connecticut claims vaping is as harmful as unfiltered cigarettes.
Furthermore, the report does not reveal any significant comparable data and acknowledges the research was performed on a low-cost, 3D printed testing device.
On the other hand, qualified physicians recommend smokers switch to e-cigarettes because a growing body of scientific evidence conducted by experts indicates vaping is less harmful than smoking tobacco.
The Royal College of Physicians in London published an extensive report that reads “e-cigarettes available today is unlikely to exceed 5% of the harm from smoking tobacco.”
The report also dismisses fears that vaping is used as a gateway to tobacco use in young people. The evidence shows that vaping pipes are being used as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes which are known and proven to kill more than 5 million people worldwide each year.
Smoking is one of the most preventable causes of death. Vaping has helped thousands of smokers reduce their nicotine intake, and according to the New Nicotine Alliance has helped 1.5 million people quit smoking.
A consensus report published in the UK and endorsed by health charities and public health bodies reads:
“We all agree that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful than smoking. One in two lifelong smokers die from their addiction. All the evidence suggests that the health risks posed by e-cigarettes are relatively small by comparison, but we must continue to study the long term effects.
Although it’s fair to say e-cigarettes have not been comprehensively validated in scientific studies, the early evidence gives us cause to be optimistic that e-cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes.
Manufacturers and smoking groups claim e-cigarettes can help to reduce the craving for nicotine. Users have also reported they sleep better, have a heightened sense of taste and smell, and do not cough as often.
Although we cannot say with 100% certainty that smoking e-cigarettes is healthier than smoking cigarettes, we do trust the advice of qualified physicians and professional health institutions.
The medical evidence thus far is certainly pro vaping. We already know that tobacco cigarettes do cause damage to health. So if electronic cigarettes are likely to reduce health risks significantly, it’s worth switching to a vaping device.