An international team of researchers released a study last week that concluded that electronic cigarettes and vaping are a benefit to public health. The study revealed that for people born in 1997 the rate of death from smoking will fall by 21% thanks to vaping. The study was published in the Oxford Journals Nicotine And Tobacco Research. The study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Cancer Institute and the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Monitoring Network.
The study relied on modeling using a number of calculations of modified risk of electronic cigarettes vs tobacco. The models ran scenarios ranging from 25% of the risk of smoking down to 2.5 % of the risk of smoking. Regarding the question of ‘is nicotine bad for you‘ scientists recognize that nicotine is not what contributes to smoking deaths but nicotine exposure to people under 21 is still a concern.
Dr. Laura Crotty-Alexander, UC San Diego assistant clinical professor of medicine as well as a staff physician at VA San Diego Healthcare System, said that this study shows the possible life saving possibilities of electronic cigarettes. Dr. Crotty-Alexander said, “This article shines a light on the potentially dramatic and beneficial consequences of nicotine delivery devices (NDDs) in the U.S.”
Researchers cautioned against oppressive regulation that could limit the availability of quality electronic cigarette products that could further enhance the opportunity for smokers to access a less harmful alternative. They also cautioned against government using misleading information that could potentially keep smokers away from vaping. Study leader David Levy said that government plays a role and when misleading statements are made about vaping it leads to misunderstanding and mistrust in government.
Many experts agree that regulation should play a role and focus on product safety as well as quality standards. Unfortunately, if the current FDA ecig regulations go forward as planned smokers will pay the heaviest price.