New Study Could Significantly Change The Course Of Vaping In This Country
A recent report out of Australia strongly suggests legislators loosen regulations on e-cigarettes there.
Vaping regulations around the world vary quite dramatically. From places such as the UK, which have gotten fully behind e-cigarettes for their harm reduction and smoking cessation purposes, to those such as Australia and Thailand, which have instead taken a very strict stance and virtually banned them. However, as more evidence is published regarding the impact of vaping there’s more and more support for loosening vaping regulations. Australia’s neighbor, New Zealand, went down this path a few years back after having followed suit with the Aussies for years. As a result, they’re now on track to be smoke-free by as soon as 2025, and those results haven’t gone unnoticed.
In fact, a recently published study took an in-depth look at the potential impact of loosening vaping regulations in Australia. Researchers concluded e-cigarettes would have just as significant an impact on public health as any other smoking cessation programs currently offered. Only time will tell if this new evidence and the already growing momentum will be enough to sway legislators, who have thus far remained resolute in their stance. Regardless, the vaping community is in a much better place today than it was even a few years ago in the land down under.
The New Report
The report was conducted by a team of researchers from the University Of Melbourne along with researchers from the University of Queensland. They wanted to better understand the impact of implementing less strict regulations on nicotine vaping, something that currently requires jumping through several expensive and convoluted hoops to accomplish in Australia. The team used data from New Zealand, where it’s more readily available, to understand what happens if access to nicotine vaping is made easier, as well as if access to tobacco was made more difficult. According to the team, the results of their analysis is applicable across the Tasman in Australia; Not only because the cultures are quite similar, but more importantly the smoking and disease rates are very comparable.
After collecting and analyzing all their data, the team made some compelling discoveries. Most importantly they found that loosening vaping regulations would increase healthy days lived among the entire smoking public in virtually the same manner as other more common methods, such as tobacco tax increases, or national health screening programs. Therefore the team firmly believes vaping ought to be used in conjunction with these other methods of harm reduction and smoking cessation. Co-author, Dr. Coral Gartner said, “Moreover, strengthened policy on tobacco cigarettes, such as reducing the number of retail outlets, could work in tandem with greater access to nicotine vaping products to achieve maximal health gains.”
Why Support Vaping?
While it used to be hard to find evidence on vaping one way or the other, these days it doesn’t take long to see plenty of reason to support vaping. For starters, the harm reduction value of e-cigarettes is virtually not in question anymore. We’ve known for at least the last four years that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking thanks to a report by Public Health England. At the time it was a big story, but these days that’s just the standard figure for how much safer vaping is. In fact, just a few months back we got yet another report which found the toxicants in smoke are 93% higher than in e-liquid vapor. But likely the most compelling evidence is the report published in the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is around 57,000 times lower than smokers with a similar background.
One of the most common arguments you still hear about vaping is the so-called impact they’re having on teens. The story goes that supporting vaping for even legitimate reasons will ultimately have a negative impact, as teens see them as harmless and end up smokers. Luckily the evidence we have seems to indicate this isn’t the case. A study of over 60,000 students concluded only as many as 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever picking up a vaporizer regularly, let alone smoking. We also have evidence that vaping is not only an effective smoking cessation tool, but actually the single best one at our disposal.
Opinions on vaping vary quite a bit depending on where you are. Even within the same place, it’s impossible for everyone to agree on the right path forward. That said, it’s great to see another country come around to the value of vaping after dismissing it at first. The evidence is making it harder to deny the facts, but that doesn’t mean we can afford to take it easy now. In fact, this is the best time to continue spreading the good word about vaping to the smokers in your life. The more people who understand what vaping has to offer and what’s at stake, the harder it will be for misguided legislators to take away our rights.
Do you think this new study will have any impact on vaping in Australia? What’s the most critical part about vaping to you? How should we be working to convince legislators vaping is worth utilizing? 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.