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Is Vaping Safe? Recent Health Related Research

is vaping safe? research indicates that it is

Is Vaping Safe?  Recent Health Related Research

One look around a park or sidewalk in any major city and it’s clear: vaping has taken over. Fogs of aromatic mist have replaced overwhelming clouds of smoke that once overshadowed shift workers on breaks as more people switch from cigarettes to e-cigs. With this rise in popularity has come increased scrutiny by the health community. Some tout e-cigs as a great way for people to wean themselves off traditional smoking, but others argue the vaping trend will draw in people who might not otherwise have started in the first place. Underlying this debate is the question of vaping safety, and the lack of evidence has many in the medical field concerned. But new research suggests these worries could be misplaced.

Is vaping safe?  Let’s explore some recent research.

A 2015 study released by the U.K. Department of Health might have the answer to all these fears: it estimated that e-cigs are an impressive 95% less harmful than cigarettes. The independent review was commissioned by a group of researchers at Kings College and Queen Mary University in London that has produced several pioneering e-cig studies over the last year. The review by Public Health England found that despite an increasing number of Brits believing e-cigs are harmful (up to 22%, from 8% in 2013) those fears seem unfounded because vaping really presents “a fraction of the risk” of smoking.

The review also found that most of the people in the U.K. who use e-cigs are already smokers, and that the prevalence of vaping doesn’t seem to be having an impact on children. This could be welcoming news for many in the U.S. who have worried that the vaping trend might act as a gateway to tobacco use for kids. More than ever people under the age of 30 in the U.S. are choosing vaping over cigarettes, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released this past spring. Experts have suggested this might put a dent in tobacco use if it weren’t for the increasing use of the hookah, which is thought to be significantly more dangerous than cigarettes.  

A 2014 study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health quoted researchers claiming that “toxicological studies have shown significantly lower adverse effects of EC vapor compared with cigarette smoke.” Though those researchers pointed out that more examination is needed, especially when it comes to flavored liquids in e-cigs, they found that “existing evidence indicates that EC use is by far a less harmful alternative to smoking.

Calling ecigs a “game-changer,” Ann McNeil, who has been involved in several Kings College ecig studies, says that at least for those who already smoke, vaping’s benefits may far outweigh the risks. Vaping isn’t good for you, but “research indicates that daily use of tank models that can be refilled with liquid may give smokers a better chance of quitting smoking.”

In one study, it was specifically those who used “tank” models of e-cigs who showed a higher likelihood of trying to quit altogether, McNeil and her colleagues explained in a statement describing their research.  

“My reading of the evidence is that smokers who switch to vaping remove almost all the risks smoking poses to their health,” Peter Hajek of Queen Mary University said in another statement.