Brand New Information Could Have Massive Impact On Vaping Industry
Public Health England recently released a new demonstration which compares the chemicals in cigarette smoke with e-liquid vapor
As we turn our calendars over to 2019, the debate over vaping is starting to heat up in a big way. While people have been discussing the efficacy of vaping for years now, things are reaching a head with institutions such as the FDA moving forward with their crackdown on vaping flavors. Those in favor of vaping point to the growing pile of peer-reviewed evidence which concludes e-cigarettes are much safer than smoking. Meanwhile, anti-vapers are more concerned with anecdotal evidence, like false claims vaping leads teens into a life of smoking. All of these factors are coming together, making 2019 what many experts call a make or break year for the vaping industry.
Luckily some respected institutions, such as Public Health England, have worked tirelessly to ensure that the most significant amount of people understand how much safer vaping is than smoking. They’ve been on the forefront of the vaping debate for many years now, and their latest piece of evidence is once again making a strong case for e-cigarettes. They recently published a new demonstration which compared the effect of smoking for a month with the effect of vaping for a month.
PHE’s Latest Demonstration
This latest release from England’s public health agency comes as part of their Health Harms campaign. The campaign aims to encourage smokers to give quitting a chance this January by providing a series of demonstrations. One of the most impactful of these demos was given by Dr. Lion Shahab and Dr. Rosemary Leonard and compared the level of cancer-causing substances inhaled by the average smoker in a month compared with an average vaper. To do this, the team used three different bell jars filled with cotton connected to a diaphragm pump, each providing a continuous and equal stream of either smoke, vapor, or everyday air. To ensure the correct amount of exposure, each jar was only exposed as long as would simulate approximately a month of tobacco or e-cigarette use.
At the end of the testing period, some obvious results emerged. The cotton inside the bell jar exposed to cigarette smoke was entirely brown, along with the inside of the glass jar itself. The tube leading to the air pump had a significant amount of sticky tar blocking the airway. These results were even more evident when compared with the vaping jar, which experienced none of this dangerous residue. The e-cigarette jar was virtually the same as the control, with only a bit of minor discoloration noted, and ultimately attributed to the coloring in the e-liquid. As a result, PHE is encouraging all smokers who have had trouble quitting to give vaping a chance as part of their Personal Quit Plan.
These latest findings from PHE line up with what we already know about the relative risk of vaping. Public Health England themselves has been saying since at least 2015 that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, but this figure has been backed up time and again since they first published it. In fact, as recently as last month researchers concluded that the level of toxic substances in e-cigarette vapor is around 93% lower than traditional cigarette smoke. Making the harm reduction case even more clear is a report published in the Journal of Aerosol Science which concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is around 57,000 times lower than a demographically similar smoker.
But despite the incredible evidence supporting the harm reduction value of vaping, public perception remains one of the most significant problems facing the industry. Getting a larger percent of the public to understand the benefits of vaping is likely the most important thing still preventing vaping rights from growing. Polls have shown that only around 13% of adults understand the benefits of vaping, while about 26% think vaping is just as bad if not more dangerous. But perhaps even worse is that only around 44% of smokers even understand how much safer vaping is than continued smoking.
It’s clear that improving the public perception of vaping is the biggest thing we can do to improve the chances of the vaping industry. Until then though, we must continue to support and spread demonstrations like these which prove vaping is much safer than smoking. 2019 could be a terrible year or fantastic year for the vaping industry depending on what happens. If more people commit to spreading the positive evidence for vaping, we may finally begin to shift the public perception in our favor. Until we do, it will always remain very difficult to secure our vaping rights indefinitely.
Are you surprised by PHE’s latest findings? How should we be working to spread positive information about vaping? What do you think is the biggest problem still facing the vaping industry? 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.