Vaping Doesn’t Have Negative Impact Smoking Does Per New Study
Research showed a significant change makeup of gut bacteria in smokers, while results for the vapers came in indistinguishable from non-smokers
Legislators continue to push a narrative that vaping is just another tobacco product and therefore should be regulated as such. It’s become incredibly crucial that new research, clearly indicating the legitimate differences between the two, is supported. So while politicians would prefer to take the easy way out and simply regulate e-cigarettes like any other tobacco product, we must force them to do their job. There’s a growing movement of experts who agree that vaping is not only completely different but also one of the single best tools we have in the fight against the tobacco epidemic.
A new study recently broke ground in the quest to uncover the truth about vaping. A team of international researchers led by Newcastle University published a report that analyzed the differences between the gastrointestinal microbiomes of smokers and vapers. Ultimately the researchers observed the stomach bacteria of the vaping group was nearly identical to the non-smokers, while the smoking group was significantly different.
The Gastrointestinal Study
The team was led by Dr. Christopher Stewart of the Institute of Cellular Medicine at Newcastle University. Dr. Stewart and his team wanted to better understand the effect of vaping on this incredibly important part of our system. The full impact of the gastrointestinal microbiome on overall health has only just started to be discovered by researchers. For example, lower levels of Bacteroides, a probiotic, has been linked to Crohn’s disease as well as obesity. But it’s not merely a matter of wanting more, as higher levels of Prevotella has been tied to higher risk of colon cancer or colitis. What’s clear is that the microbiome is a very intricate and delicate part of our internal ecosystem.
The team started their pilot study by finding ten vapers, ten smokers, and a control group of ten non-smokers of a similar age and background. The first of its kind study would take several different types of samples to sequence the full variety of bacteria adequately. These included mouth, saliva, and fecal samples, which allowed the researchers to determine where changes are taking place. The most significant differences were observed in the fecal matter between vapers and smokers. But these changes were not exclusive to fecal samples. In fact, the mouth and saliva samples of vapers were also shown to be the same as non-smokers. Samples from the smoking group were consistently very different than the control, non-smoking group.
Growing Evidence For Vaping
The authors of the Newcastle University study concluded that while more research is needed, it’s an encouraging sign to see that vaping doesn’t seem to affect microbiome health the same way as smoking. Dr. Stewart was quoted saying, “More investigation is needed but to find that vaping is less-damaging than smoking on our gut bacteria adds to the incentive to change to e-cigarettes and for people to use them as a tool to quit smoking completely.” This is a growing sentiment among health professionals, but in spite of this, legislators in America still drag their feet.
All the way back in 2015, Public Health England, the federal health agency for England, published a study that concluded vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, but the evidence hasn’t stopped there. A comprehensive list of peer-reviewed evidence on the benefits of vaping would take its own colossal article, but there are some very noteworthy recent additions. Just last fall researchers showed the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is around 57,000 times lower than that of a smoker, vaping is likely the most successful smoking cessation tool available, and the air quality and makeup of households that allow vaping is virtually indistinguishable from non-smoking homes.
The insistence of many politicians to equate vaping and smoking must end. It would be bad enough if the only consequence were that vaping was subject to harsh regulations enacted for a deadly habit like smoking. But in reality, there is a more subtle but deadly impact. By legitimizing the stance that says vaping and smoking are essentially the same, legislators are signaling to smokers and the public at large that vaping is just as, if not more dangerous than smoking.
Polls can back up this as well. Action on Smoking and Health found that only around 13% of adults believe that vaping is much safer than smoking, while twice as many people, said they thought vaping was just as, if not more harmful. The result is that many smokers who may have found success in quitting through vaping are deciding that there’s no real reason to attempt the switch. After all, if there’s basically no advantage, why change from the thing you’re already comfortable with? If we ever hope to live in a world without smoking, we must pressure our representatives to stop, purposefully or not, indoctrinating the masses into falsely believing that vaping is just as bad as smoking.
Are you surprised by the findings of the Newcastle University study? Did you notice any changes in your gastrointestinal health after switching to vaping? Do you think it’s important for legislators to stop equating vaping with smoking, if not, why?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.