The Inconvenient Truth: It's Much Safer to Vape
That’s the question posed by David Amsden in his Rolling Stone article, December 21, 2015.
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?