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‘The Inconvenient Truth’: it's much safer to vape

14th Jan 2016

‘The Inconvenient Truth’: it's much safer to vape

The Inconvenient Truth: It's Much Safer to Vape

ecig-truth-web.jpg‘In applying the same tactics used to demonize tobacco, are anti-smoking advocates and regulators missing out on a chance to save millions of lives?’

That’s the question posed by David Amsden in his Rolling Stone article, December 21, 2015. You can read the article in full here

The main points of the argument:

  • Anecdotal evidence suggests that e-cigs have helped hundreds of thousands of smokers to quit – yet current laws prohibit vaping companies from marketing their products as anything but another vice.
  • A UK study (Public Health England) declared e-cigs were “around 95% safer than smoking”.
  • Whilst the US is not as confident in the ‘95%’ claim, they do agree with the core claims made by Public Health England – and recognise that e-cigs are free of the harmful toxins given off when tobacco burns.
  • Are tobacco companies to blame for the negative stance by US authorities? Are they afraid that the rapidly growing e-cig industry might eventually take over their own and therefore encouraging a false view of vaping safety?
  • The Public Health England report suggests that misunderstanding the health benefits of e-cigs against traditional cigarettes is a becoming a public health failure – a failure that could be reversed by highlighting the comparative safety of e-cigs.
  • The biggest hurdle for e-cigs is the very thing that makes them so appealing: by mimicking the hand-to-mouth ritual of smoking and delivering the same drug — nicotine — found in tobacco, they look and feel a whole lot like smoking. As a result, the question has been raised: by encouraging people with a deadly habit to switch to e-cigs will it rollback a decades-long trend of historically low smoking rates?
  • Such questions may be eclipsing the most pressing one of all: in applying the same tactics used to demonize smoking to vaping, are the authorities missing an opportunity to save the lives of millions?