Surveys of vapers have shown that 99% of them are smokers or former smokers. After researching all available science on the health risks of vaping compared to smoking, both Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians have estimated that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking.
It’s not possible to know for certain what the long-term effects of vaping are on its users, and there are few, if any credible researchers you suggest that risks could exceed or come close to the risks of smoking. These include the risk of lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and COPD. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimate that these diseases kill nearly half a million American smokers a year. This stemming from exposure to tar, carbon monoxide, and harmful toxicants caused from burning tobacco leaf. Considering e-cigs and vapor products contain no tobacco, and produce no smoke, it’s easy to see why public health researchers recommend that smokers consider switching to vaping.
A long-term study by Dr. Riccardo Polosa and researchers from the University of Catania was recently published in the journal Nature. For 3.5 years the study tracked the respiratory health of two groups- vapers who were never smokers, and non-smokers who never vaped. No evidence was found of health concerns in the long-term use of vaping in those who never smoked. The study compared blood pressure, heart rate, body weight, lung function, respiratory symptoms, as well as exhaled biomarkers of airway inflammation between daily vapers and non-smokers who never vaped. Vapers were also offered high-resolution computed tomography of the lungs at the end of the follow-up to assess risks for early signs of lung damage. Researches found no evidence of any respiratory damage in the vapers who never smoked.
“In spite of previous health scares, our study shows for the first time no risk in long-term vapers who have never smoked in their lives,” said Polosa to the E-Cigarette Summit in London last week.
Unlike most authorities in the U.S., public health leaders in the United Kingdom have embraced tobacco harm reduction. The strategy of decreasing net damage to health associated with cigarette smoking is to replace deadly cigarettes with non-combustible products like vaping. It’s the same concept as using nicotine replacements such as the gum or patches, but these products have proven to fail over 90% of the time. Vaping helps broaden the impact to help many smokers quit and avoid premature death caused by combustible tobacco.
“Mouse and cell studies may generate salacious headlines about the supposed dangers of vaping, but they are no replacement for actual studies on humans,” said Gregory Conley, President of the American Vaping Association. “If no negative health impacts can be seen from daily vaping among those who previously did not smoke, how is it ethical to continue warning smokers away from using these products?”
Polosa and his colleagues also recently published a review of evidence on the impact of e-cigarettes on COPD patients.