10 Vaping Studies They Clearly Didn’t Read in San Francisco #Curbit Campaign
Social media has been blazing with backlash after the San Francisco Department of Public Health launched a new #curbit campaign that seeks to prove that vaping is just as dangerous as smoking. There has been a sudden barrage of posters and billboards popping up all over San Francisco urging smokers not to use electronic cigarettes. These #curbit ads were full of misinformation and today, we want to present the truth with real scientific research to back it. Check out these 10 vaping studies that the San Francisco experts clearly didn’t read before they developed the controversial #curbit campaign.
1. “We know e-cigarettes are harmful, just like cigarettes.”
The #curbit campaign claims ecigs are harmful just like cigarettes, but science proves just the opposite. In one independent university study, researchers found that after smokers switched to electronic cigarettes, 91 percent showed notable health improvements. In fact, 97 percent managed to drastically reduce or even eliminate chronic coughing.
2. “Flavored e-cigarettes hook teens on nicotine.”
Just like most ecig critics, the San Francisco Department of Public Health is claiming that ecigs will only lead to higher addiction to nicotine among teenagers. However, studies among college students prove that ecigs do not act as a gateway to smoking cigarettes. Out of 1,300 students using ecigs, only one person used ecigs as their first nicotine product.
3. “This year, 263,000 teens have used e-cigarettes but have never smoked.”
This statistic is a throwback to some information used by the CDC last year. If you look at the real numbers in context only 0.9 percent of teens that had never smoked cigarettes reported ever trying an electronic cigarette. The CDC failed to ask whether those teens that had never smoked had tried ecigs containing nicotine when in fact, it’s highly possible that they just took a single puff off an ecig that might have had no nicotine at all.
Many experts believe ecigs are actually having the reverse effect and helping teens actually avoid tobacco use. Dr. Michael Siegel, an anti-smoking advocate and professor at Boston University School of Public Health, said, “These national data suggest that electronic cigarettes may actually be serving as a deterrent to smoking by diverting kids who might otherwise try smoking over to a non-tobacco nicotine product.”
President Gregory Conley from the American Vaping Association said that the big picture shows that ecigs are keeping kids away from cigarettes. “The most important part of this survey is also likely to be the most underreported – youth smoking has declined to a record low,” he explained. “This drop in youth smoking comes despite several years of hype and conjecture by reckless activists who have been keen to portray vaping as a gateway to traditional cigarettes.”
Conley went on to explain that ecigs might not be the best case scenario for teens, but they are a far better choice than tobacco products. “No use of vapor products by youth is obviously the ideal, but we do not live in a perfect world. Importantly, there remains no evidence that e-cigarettes are acting as gateways to real cigarettes. In fact, this study and others suggest that the availability of vapor products may have stopped many youth from becoming smokers over the last three years.”
4. “E-cigarettes contain tobacco related carcinogens, toxic chemicals, and heavy metals” and “toxic & cancer-causing metals & chemicals.”
This is simply not true. A lot of ecig critics have latched hold of a Japanese study to claim that ecigs contain heavy metals and carcinogens, but Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos said the study only looked at formaldehyde levels and was very misleading in the way it was presented.
“Even if e-cigarettes contained similar, or higher, levels of formaldehyde, they do not contain the majority of other toxic and carcinogenic substances present in cigarette smoke,” Dr. Farsalinos explained. “Overall, the residual risk from e-cigarette use is orders of magnitude lower than smoking. This is exactly what smokers need (and deserve) to know.”
5. “E-cigarettes also contain highly addictive nicotine.”
People tend to look at nicotine as the chief problem with smoking, but it’s actually the tobacco. Studies show that nicotine is actually really similar to caffeine and there is no evidence to suggest that it causes a higher risk for cancer. Even evidence linking nicotine to cardiovascular disease is minimal and far from convincing. People don’t die from nicotine use; they die from tobacco use that just happens to contain nicotine.
Just like drinking a cup of coffee, nicotine can cause a short-term increase in pulse or blood pressure, but the overall health risk is small. In fact, nicotine can actually offer some health benefits to a few people. For instance, it can help people focus, provide stress relief, and even provide some relief from people suffering with psychological illnesses. Studies have also linked nicotine with a reduction in Parkinson’s disease.
6 “E-cigarettes are heavily marketed to youth using sweet flavors.”
The #curbit campaign is trying to paint flavored e-liquids as the enemy, but last year, a study of ex-smokers that now use ecigs found that 80 percent use non-tobacco flavors. Dr. Konstantinos Farslinos also conducted a study to determine whether e-liquid flavors would impact success rates among people using ecigs to quit smoking. He found that flavors “are important contributors in reducing or eliminating smoking consumption.”
7. “E-cigarettes emit a pollution cloud that contains hazardous materials, presenting a potential danger to the public” and “secondhand harm to others.
There have been multiple studies proving that there is no secondhand risk from electronic cigarettes. French researchers found that ecig vapor dissipates within 11 seconds compared to cigarette smoke, which lingers for 20 minutes. They found that there is no public risk associated with secondhand ecig vapor. The Oxford Journal also published a study examining whether toxins were found in secondhand vapor. The scientists found that secondhand vapor contained zero combustion related toxins and only a small amount of nicotine.
8. “Ecigs are cigs.”
This could be the worst lie of all from the #curbit campaign. Electronic cigarettes and cigarettes are fundamentally different. Tony Newman, the communications director of the Drug Policy Alliance, recently urged tobacco control advocates to really take a look at ecig technology before making such erroneous claims. “It seems like every day we hear a new attack – yet these products are actually helping some people quit or cut back on the much more dangerous alternative of smoking tobacco.”
9. “E-cigarettes are just the latest gimmick from Big Tobacco to hook a new generation on their products.”
Ever since tobacco companies started experimenting with their own vapor products, many assumed that this had to be evidence that ecigs were just another scam. But scientists at Penn State College of Medicine found that ecigs were less addictive than tobacco cigarettes. They also discovered that ecig users were far less dependent on e-cigarettes than they were when using tobacco cigarettes.
10. “E-cigarettes are not regulated.”
While the FDA has not yet issued official regulations for electronic cigarettes nationwide, San Francisco is pretty hypocritical to say there is no regulation. They have already enacted local laws to ban sales of ecigs to minors. Furthermore, experts suggest that regulation on a large level could be a mistake. Dr. Gilbert Ross, the medical and executive director of the American Council on Science and Health, said that ecigs are not only healthier than tobacco cigarettes, but regulating them could be a deadly decision for public health.
Overall, it’s easy to see that the #curbit campaign is nothing more than a flimsy attempt to convince smokers to keep using tobacco. Electronic cigarettes are an effective alternative that have already helped many smokers kick the habit. Public campaigns like this one will only hurt public health in the long run!