3 New myths about vaping and the scientific evidence that debunks them

Every day, it seems as if the mainstream media is pushing yet another public health crisis associated with vaping.  One recent report surfacing online claims that electronic cigarettes cause brain seizures.  Another falsehood alleges that teens are juuling in such massive quantities that high school principals are even considering ripping the doors off of the washrooms.

But most of these ridiculous claims are pure and utter fantasy designed to spread fear and disinformation and keep smokers hooked on tobacco cigarettes.  Here are a few of the more recent myths finding their way onto social media – and the scientific evidence that debunks them.

Myth #1:  Vaping is just as deadly as smoking. 

Just because an electronic cigarette produces a white plume of vapor that looks very much like the white smoke of a tobacco cigarette does not automatically mean that they are both equally as dangerous to one’s health.  That’s just plain stupid.  Yet that’s what many people think. 

As far back as 2015, England’s national health organization Public Health England released published findings indicating that vaping is approximately 95 percent less harmful than smoking.  In the United States, however, public health officials refuse to acknowledge that the UK study even exists.  Instead, agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) insist on telling the general public that “more research is needed” before the agency can officially endorse vaping. 

Related Article:  Vanderbilt launches nicotine study, looking for possible cure for Alzheimer’s

But the research is in.  In a 2017 press release, the medical publication Lung Disease News announced the publishing of new research indicating entitled E-Cigarettes carry much less risk of lung cancer than cigarette smoke, study finds.  The title alone makes clear that vaping is definitely not as deadly as smoking, but after delving deeper into the report’s text, the researchers clearly state that “most e-cigarettes had cancer potencies that were less than 1 percent of cigarette smoke.”  They also state that average toxicities levels of most vapor products are “less than 1 percent of cigarette smoke.”

Myth #2:  Vaping is a gateway to smoking.

Even the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publicly admits that national smoking rates across all demographics are at historic lows – even among teenagers.  Yes, teen vaping is on the rise, but would public health officials rather teenagers experiment with smoking instead?   

There are numerous research studies and surveys which independently verify that experimentation with e-cigarettes at a young age actually acts more like a roadblock to smoking than as a gateway.  A recent example was published just last week on April 1 by scientists from Cardiff University in Great Britain.  The study entitled Have e-cigarettes renormalised or displaced youth smoking is recently published the BMJ Tobacco Control Journal (BMJ). 

Related Article:  Yet another study shows vaping is NOT a gateway to smoking

Led by Dr Britt Hallingberg, the report’s findings indicate that teen smoking rates in the UK have plummeted by 73 percent since the rise in popularity of juuling and vaping in recent years.  Furthermore, the number of teens who admit to having tried a combustible tobacco product at least once in their life and who also claimed that the experience was “okay” dropped sharply from 70 percent in 2011 to 27 percent in 2018.

Myth #3:  Vaping causes cancer.

This is perhaps the most ludicrous falsehood of all.  While both combustible cigarettes and vapor products contain nicotine, it’s not the nicotine that kills.  And small amounts of nicotine is definitely not a carcinogenic.  If that were true, no one could eat eggplants, tomatoes, or potatoes – which all contain nicotine.

When tobacco leaves are burned, the resulting smoke if laced with highly carcinogenic tar.  The most significant difference between vapor products and conventional cigarettes is that the e-liquids used in vaping are 100 percent tobacco-free, and therefore, tar-free.  Based on this single factual argument, it’s clear that e-cigs are significantly less cancer-causing than smoking. 

As further scientific evidence, a 2017 study by researchers of the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is Buffalo, New York, indicates that switching to vaping reduces carcinogenic levels by a whopping 64 percent within the first two weeks.  The study entitled Exposure to Nicotine and Selected Toxicants in Cigarette Smokers Who Switched to Electronic Cigarettes: A Longitudinal Within-Subjects Observational Study is available in the medical journal Oxford Academic Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

Related Article:  Harvard study says ‘cigarette additives’ are the real danger; vaping is not

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