The FDA asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to review the evidence regarding the health impact of vaping, and the committee of experts concluded: “There is conclusive evidence that completely substituting e-cigarettes for combustible tobacco cigarettes reduces users’ exposure to numerous toxicants and carcinogens present in combustible tobacco cigarettes.”
Note that the terms conclusive evidence, substantial evidence, and so on are based on rigorous definitions included within the research report.
This report is a comprehensive analysis of over 800 peer-reviewed scientific studies of the health effects of e-cigarettes. The review of information was mandated by Congress and backed by the FDA. Overall they find that there are some health risks from vaping, but that they pale compared to smoking tobacco.
“Overall, the evidence suggests that while e-cigarettes might cause youth who use them to transition to use of combustible tobacco products, they might also increase adult cessation of combustible tobacco cigarettes.”
In other words, vaping is more popular with teens than smoking, and in too many cases youth vaping leads to smoking cigarettes. At the same time, vaping has become a preferred tool for cutting out tobacco among adults.
“Across a range of studies and outcomes, e-cigarettes appear to pose less risk to an individual than combustible tobacco cigarettes.”
“There is substantial evidence that except for nicotine, under typical conditions of use, exposure to potentially toxic substances from e-cigarettes is significantly lower compared with combustible tobacco cigarettes.”
The conclusion is that vaping carries a lower risk to ones health than smoking.
“There is substantial evidence that e-cigarette use results in symptoms of dependence on e-cigarettes.”
Because nicotine is addictive, e-cigs with nicotine are also addictive. The question that remains: Is this an unhealthy addiction? Is there a significant danger?
“There is substantial evidence that completely switching from regular use of combustible tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarettes results in reduced short-term adverse health outcomes in several organ systems.”
In other words, the impact on health from switching from tobacco to vaping is evident almost immediately in several of the body’s organs.
“There is moderate evidence from randomized controlled trials that e-cigarettes with nicotine are more effective than e-cigarettes without nicotine for smoking cessation.”
“While the overall evidence from observational trials is mixed, there is moderate evidence from observational studies that more frequent use of e-cigarettes is associated with increased likelihood of cessation.”
“Although e-cigarettes are not without risk, compared to combustible tobacco cigarettes they contain fewer toxicants; can deliver nicotine in a similar manner; show significantly less biological activity in most, but not all, in vitro, animal, and human systems; and might be useful as a cessation aid in smokers who use e-cigarettes exclusively. However, young people who begin with e-cigarettes are more likely to transition to combustible cigarette use and become smokers who are at risk to suffer the known health burdens of combustible tobacco cigarettes. The net public health outcome of e-cigarette use depends on the balance between positive and negative consequences.”
“Overall, there is limited evidence that e-cigarettes may be effective aids to promote smoking cessation.”
There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence – real world user reports – of the efficacy of vaping to replace or at least reduce the use of tobacco, but these are not considered scientific for use in a research paper. They are very convincing in real life, however.
Across the vast number of scientific research papers studied, there is limited evidence (more than a little, but less than a lot) that e-cigarettes are an effective tool in giving up tobacco cigarettes.
Let’s hope the FDA takes all of this evidence to heart and reconsiders its stance on vaping, which historically has been less than positive.
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- Comprehensive New Report Concludes Vaping “Net Public Health Benefit”, Jan 24, 2018, ChurnMag.com
- Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes, Jan 23, 2018, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Keywords: #eCigHealthEffects #vaping #ecigarette #vapehealth
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