NYU study: Vaping ‘saves lives’ and is ‘substantially less harmful’ than smoking
A new study led by public health experts from New York University (NYU) is addressing the apparent distortion of societal views regarding the nicotine associated with vaping versus smoking. The project is a collaboration with academics from the University of Nebraska, the University of Vermont, and the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies. Together, the researchers examined Alternative Nicotine Delivery Systems (ANDS) and their capacities to reduce tobacco harm reduction for adult smokers.
What they determined is that the smoking of combustible tobacco products is the leading cause of tobacco-related death and disease, both in the United States and around the world. Unfortunately, the general public is being tricked into assuming that because tobacco cigarettes and many vapor products both contain nicotine, then they are equally as deadly.
E-cig vapor is 'very different’ from combustible tobacco smoke
According to the paper’s co-authors, this overwhelmingly popular misconception is not based on scientific evidence. In fact, they further claim, switching to vaping from smoking “saves lives.” The NYU paper entitled Harm Minimization and Tobacco Control: Reframing Societal Views of Nicotine Use to Rapidly Save Lives was recently published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health (NCBI).
“A diverse class of alternative nicotine delivery systems (ANDS) has recently been developed that do not combust tobacco and are substantially less harmful than cigarettes. ANDS have the potential to disrupt the 120-year dominance of the cigarette and challenge the field on how the tobacco pandemic could be reversed if nicotine is decoupled from lethal inhaled smoke.”
The public health experts also explain that the decoupling of nicotine from the tar and toxins found in combustible tobacco smoke is the critical difference between vaping and smoking. The aerosol smoke derived from the burning of tobacco leaves contains an average of 70 different carcinogens and enormous amounts of noxious carbon monoxide. Since the e-liquids in vapor products are 100 percent tobacco-free, vaping is said to be “much safer” than conventional smoking.
“E-cigarette aerosol is very different. E-cigarettes do not contain any tobacco and do not produce carbon monoxide. The harm continuum emphasizes a key point: It is not that e-cigarettes are completely safe, or even the safest nicotine-containing product available, but that they are much safer than smoking. NRTs are safe enough that CDER approved them for over-the-counter consumer use more than two decades ago. Long-term use of NRT has been endorsed as an acceptable strategy to reduce morbidity and mortality from smoking.”
The NYU researchers suggest that the misinformation about vaping being spread online is severely undermining public health. To support their conclusions, they also point to multiple clinical trials and toxicology studies which clearly indicate that the harmful chemicals found in combustible tobacco products are dramatically higher in comparison to those of e-cigs.
In fact, an astonishing 144 prior research studies are specifically referenced in the acknowledgements section of the publication. At least three of those references are published by Public Health England, the UK organization which rocked the world by announcing in 2015 that vaping is approximately 95 percent less harmful than vaping.
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