Some smokers credit e-cigarettes with saving their lives – does that matter? : The Conversation


Concerns about e-cigarettes are growing, with the AMA calling for a ban. With the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 21, it’s worth asking: What do smokers think?

Source: Some smokers credit e-cigarettes with saving their lives – does that matter? : The Conversation

Vaping likely has dangers that could take years for scientists to even know about


The rise in cases of otherwise healthy young adults who have been hospitalized or even died from vaping-associated lung injury is alarming.

Many people don’t know what is contained in these vaping devices, what the reported health effects actually mean, and, most importantly, why all of this developed so quickly, considering that e-cigarettes have only been popular for fewer than 10 years.

Vaping describes the process of inhaling aerosols generated by devices such as e-cigarettes.

When e-cigarettes first came to the U.S. in 2006, many smoking cessation experts were optimistic. They viewed the delivery of nicotine through e-cigarettes to be a useful alternative to traditional cigarettes. That is because e-cigarettes did not have all of the other harmful combustion products inhaled through cigarette smoke. Since there is no doubt that smoking traditional cigarettes is harmful to your health – and the number one cause of preventable death in the U.S. – e-cigarettes were marketed as a “safer” alternative.

As an inhalation toxicologist, I study how inhaled chemicals, particles and other agents affect human health. Since e-cigarettes were introduced, I have been concerned about how the scientific community could possibly know the full spectrum of their dangers. After all, it took decades for epidemiologists to discover that regularly inhaling the smoke from burning plant material, tobacco, caused lung cancer. Why would the scientific community be so quick to assume e-cigarettes would not have hidden dangers that might take years to manifest too?

 

Source: Vaping likely has dangers that could take years for scientists to even know about

Vaping likely has dangers that could take years for scientists to even know about : The Conversation


Many smokers have reported that switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes has helped their physical well-being, including reduced coughing.

But a few randomized clinical trials examining the use of e-cigarettes as a cessation tool have shown mixed results. While some trials demonstrate a significant increase in cessation success (from 9.9% to 18%), people using e-cigarettes were much more likely to remain dependent on nicotine as compared to those randomized for more traditional nicotine replacement products, such as nicotine patch, gum and nasal spray. Or, they were more likely to relapse to using cigarettes.

In short, whether, how, and to what extent e-cigarettes have potential as a cessation tool is not yet settled, especially considering that more than 80% of smokers randomized to use e-cigarettes continued to smoke after the cessation trial.

Safer than a spitting cobra

Cessation claims aside, the messaging of e-cigarettes as a “safer” alternative may have led many of the 3.6 million teenagers in the U.S. who use e-cigarettes today to believe these devices are “safe.” “Safer” does not equal “safe,” and the messaging of “safer” was based on comparisons to cigarettes.

 

Source: Vaping likely has dangers that could take years for scientists to even know about : The Conversation