E-Cigs Have Already Saved More Than 10,000 American Lives
Carl Phillips is the Scientific Director of CASAA and he spends a great deal of time as an independent researcher and consultant on tobacco related issues. This week, he kicked of 2015 by making some bold statements about electronic cigarettes and he put a lot of the media wars about vaping into perspective. According to his recent assessments, Phillips believes that 10,000 Americans are alive today because of ecigs. These individuals have already avoided premature death related to smoking and thousands of others stand to save their lives in the same way if ecigs remain available.
“We know that every time a smoker switches to e-cigarettes, there is a good chance she is saving herself from an eventual smoking-caused premature death,” Phillips explained. “But this also means that, for someone who has quit smoking thanks to e-cigarettes, there is a chance she has already avoided premature death.”
Phillips arrived at the 10,000 figure by using the same methodology he used in earlier tobacco research. Back in 2009, he published a paper that revealed how low-risk alternatives like electronic cigarettes were actually much healthier than cold turkey quit attempts. He found that smokers attempting to quit cold turkey usually ended up smoking for at least a few months longer than those that switched to a harm reduction option like ecigs. “Switching to a low-risk alternative is usually lower risk than trying to quit completely, even if the alternative has non-zero risk. This is because even a few more months of smoking before quitting poses greater risk than a lifetime of using the alternative product,” Phillips said.
Ecigs are already saving thousands of lives and Phillips believe that at least 10,000 Americans would have already died if ecigs were not available as an alternative option. But the biggest shock comes in his prediction of the number of lives that will be saved in 2015. Phillips believes that the number of people who have already switched from cigarettes to ecigs will lead to 400,000 additional lives saved in the coming year.
In the big picture, this puts the FDA regulatory proposal in a whole new light. “If the FDA had succeeded in banning e-cigarettes in 2009, over 10,000 Americans who are now alive would be dead,” Phillips said. “There is a lot of work to be done to stop those who would choose to let smokers die rather than have an attractive alternative.”
This is a great way to enter a new year in the world of electronic cigarettes. We’ve already seen thousands of lives saved and if regulatory changes don’t destroy the ecig industry completely, there is great potential for hundreds of thousands of people to have longer, healthier lives in the future.