According to a recent e-cig study funded by three American public health agencies, vaping has the potential to reduce smoking-related deaths by as much as 21 percent for those born after 1997. The study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISMN), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). And its estimated statistics represent good news for Millennials.
Numerous studies have been conducted in recent years which allege that vaping is a gateway to teen smoking. One rather notorious example from 2016 is a study conducted out of the University of California which found that high school students who vape are more than twice as likely to transition to smoking. Another came from scientists of the University of Southern California who predicted teen smoking rates would rise as much as ten times that of previous generations.
These claims have largely been debunked, even by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in mid-2017. According to a CDC study entitled Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students – United States, 2011-2016, rates of smoking among college students dropped by an astounding 11.3 percent in 2016. The study by the NIDA, CISMN, and NCI attempts to demonstrate why vaping is essentially acting as a roadblock rather than a gateway.
Why this e-cig study is different
The study entitled The Application of a Decision-Theoretic Model to Estimate the Public Health Impact of Vaporized Nicotine Product Initiation in the United States is published on the Nicotine & Tobacco Research website. Lead author Dr. David Levy of the Georgetown University Medical Centre claims that his study utilizes different scientific principles than those of the now debunked research.
Levy’s study consists of different control groups of teen vapers. One group contains teens who vape who might not otherwise have even considered tobacco use (social vaping). Another control group is comprised of teen vapers who took to e-cigs as an alternative to smoking.
The bogus research previously published by institutions like the University of Southern California and the University of California failed to make these distinctions. In fact, the bar was so low for membership into their vaping control group that the only protocol, in many cases, was for participants to have tried vaping at least once in the past 30-days.
"Those are not the people we are concerned with," says Dr. David Levy. "We tried to get an idea of the number of people who progressed to established use."
Levy also goes on to say that excessive government oversight of the vaping industry could stifle the development of even safer and healthier electronic cigarette technology in the future. While the Levy team also makes clear that further research is needed to solidify the predicted statistics in estimated reduction of smoking-related deaths in the coming years, the scientists believe that the health benefits of vaping and e-cigs far outweigh the possible associated harm.