Study Finds Vaping Reduces Cigarette Harm
The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) recently released a report on Nicotine and Health, arguing that vapor products help to reduce harm from smoking cigarettes. This report looked at multiple studies examining nicotine by itself, the effects and dangers of carcinogens from the combustion process related to using traditional cigarettes, and recommended vapor products as a way to cut down on the harmful and life-threatening effects of combustible cigarettes.
The report primarily examines the health benefits and consequences of nicotine use. While nicotine is addictive, it doesn’t contain the thousands of carcinogenic chemicals that are responsible for many of the diseases associated with smoking. To battle against this existing and well-known health concern, the ACSH recommends cutting out the carcinogens and picking up vapor products instead.
“Switching from inhaling cigarettes smoke to inhaling e-cigarette vapor would greatly reduce toxicant exposure,” reads an excerpt from the report. “The electronic cigarette on this basis is capable of achieving complete or near complete reductions in all nine toxicants, rather than the modest reductions proposed for cigarette smoke.”
The report points to multiple studies that show that most vapers are in fact ex-smokers looking to quit. One of those studies includes Dr. Konstantinos E. Farsalinos’ look at Greek vapers which concluded that in Greece, that assertion was well-founded.
In an accompanying article to the study, “Vaping And Harm Reduction: Don’t Let The Perfect Be The Enemy Of The Good,” researchers address the prevalent mainstream approach to smoking cessation: the “abstinence only” method. The article argues that this approach to smoking cessation focuses too much on the perceived harm that vapor products pose while ignoring the harm that could be avoided by picking up vapor products rather than cigarettes.
Critical to their analysis is identifying an oversight by most abstinence-only approaches to smoking cessation: they fail to take into account the potential damage of smoking cigarettes if there weren’t vapor products as a critical alternative.
The article and report also argue against the argument that vaping is a gateway drug leading children to cigarette use, instead pointing to declining cigarette use among high school students as a reason for the nominally higher use of vapor products. The analysis goes on to reject outright the notion that product design has anything to do with such an increase.
“Some insist that the product design, flavors, and marketing of e-cigarettes has increased the appeal to young people, creating new generations addicted to nicotine,” reads the report. “Numerous organizations have recommended flavored electronic cigarettes be prohibited, but there is no reliable data that certain flavors play a role in attracting youth smokers.”