Brand New Data Proves Something About Vaping We’ve Been Saying For Years
The research, out of New Zealand, provides a significant boost to those who claim vaping isn’t leading teens into a life of smoking.
People have been debating the long-term effects of vaping for almost as long as they’ve been around. Many people worry about currently unknown health risks which they believe could be doing massive damage in the long run. Even more common is claims that acceptance of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation purposes will do little more than make a new generation of teens believe vaping is 100% harmless. According to stories, these teens are eventually ending up full-blown smokers, and it can all be traced back to vaping. Of course, there isn’t much evidence actually supporting this view. In fact, we recently got another piece of evidence which strongly suggests the gateway theory is flat out wrong.
New Zealand is right in the middle of their pursuit of becoming “smoke-free” by 2025, in part by supporting vaping. This is an incredible turn around for a country which had relatively recently been ranked up there with nations like Australia for their lack of vaping freedom. That all started to change a couple of years back when they decided to legalize vaping, and help get them into the hands of smokers. The results speak for themselves and quickly made waves. New Zealand is once again proving even if you’ve been strongly anti-vaping in the past, you can still reap the benefits if you pivot.
The findings of the 2018 Action for Smokefree 2025 report were presented by Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa. It asked around 29,000 tenth graders about their vaping habits, as well as what they understand about the impact. It didn’t take long for the team to start noticing some interesting patterns in the data. For instance, the number of students who currently smoke is down to all-time lows, having dropped from over 15% in 1999 to just under 2% now. The results were even more compelling when it came to vaping, as instead of the often reported rise in teenage vaping, New Zealand reported a slight drop in the overall number of teens vaping, as well as the non-smoking teens picking them up.
Their main takeaway from these results is a big win for the vaping industry. Jenny Salesa went as far as to acknowledge the total lack of evidence supporting a “gateway effect.” During her press conference, she said, “Year 10 vaping in New Zealand remains low, and largely among students who smoke. There is still no evidence to suggest vaping is a gateway to cigarette smoking”. Many in the vaping community have felt exonerated after the findings, having made the same argument for years now. This could be a sign of things to come if more people begin to understand vaping doesn’t lead to smoking.
While this latest research helps clarify the answers, we already have a ton of evidence supporting e-cigarettes. For starters, this isn’t the only report which indicates the so-called teenage vaping “epidemic” is being overblown. A report of over 60,000 students conducted by Action on Smoking and Health concluded only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever picking up a vaporizer regularly, let alone switching to cigarettes. The answer to why could be as simple as a lack of desire, given what we know about the smoking cessation value of vaping. A study conducted by the University of Louisville tested all the most common smoking cessation tools and methods and determined it was actually vaping which is more likely to succeed than anything else.
We also have a ton of research supporting the harm reduction value of vaporizers. Back in 2015, we got the first large scale report by Public Health England which concluded vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. More recently, we’ve gotten studies which found the toxicants in vapor are 93% lower than in cigarette smoke. But likely the most impressive piece of evidence we have is the report from the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a smoker is 57,000 times higher than a demographically similar vaper.
Despite years of positive research, a large portion of the general public still sees vaping as a significant problem, not a solution. It’s somewhat understandable, given how much damage was done by Big Tobacco. But the bottom line is that vaping and smoking are not the same and shouldn’t be treated as such. Teaching the smokers and non-smokers in our lives about the value provided by e-cigarettes is an essential part of protecting our rights. The more people who understand what’s at stake, the harder it becomes to take away our rights. With smoking still killing more people every year than any other preventable cause, it’s only right we use all our best tools to help end the epidemic once and for all; which includes vaporizers.
Are you worried that this new research won’t have a significant impact? What’s your favorite part about vaping? Do vaporizers deserve the poor reputation they have? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.