Public Health England (PHE), the UK’s equivalent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA,) is a leader of revolutionary research in the fields of vaping and public health. Perhaps most famous for its 2015 documentation of vaping being approximately 95 percent less harmful than smoking, PHE is one of the most progressive public health institutions in the world. Now its scientists are releasing a new and disturbing video that illustrates perfectly the vast differences in toxicities that exist between vaporized e-liquids and combustible tobacco products.
The video is designed as part of a Public Harms Campaign which is meant to encourage adult smokers to quit. Unlike among American physicians, the medical community in the UK tends to endorse vapor products as one of many safe and healthy smoking cessation strategies as well as an effective tool for tobacco harm reduction. The FDA only confirms the latter while never officially recognizing PHE’s groundbreaking 2015 research in the nearly four years since its publication.
PHE’s cotton ball vaping study
Led by two world-class public health experts, Dr. Lion Shahab and Dr. Rosemary Leonard, the PHE video demonstration consists of experiments involving some rather simplistic mechanics – glass bell jars filled with run-of-the-mill cotton balls. The jars were then attached to a customized and computerized diaphragm by way of sterilized tubing in which three types of air would eventually be pumped into the cotton-filled jars.
- Normal, everyday, ambient air was pumped into the first jar.
- The vapor from e-cigarettes was pumped into the second.
- And the smoke from combustible tobacco cigarettes was pumped into the third.
The glass bell jars and attached tubing were meant to signify the lungs and respiratory system of the human body. The cotton balls were chosen to mimic the interior lining and surfactant of the lungs. All three jars received the same continuous and equal frequencies of the three variations of pump air. Meanwhile, the entire experiment is captured on video and shared with the world to see via YouTube and other forms of social and mainstream media.
The researchers wanted to determine the variances in lung toxicities between vapers and smokers over comparable one-month periods. The amount of cigarette smoke pumped into the third jar was equivalent to the smoke derived from 16-packs of conventional tobacco cigarettes, which translates to about a half-a-pack-a-day smoker. Identical levels of e-cig vapor infiltrated the second jar.
By the end of the demonstration, the cotton balls inside the bell jar representing the lungs of a daily smoker were saturated in a thick, gooey, brown discharge. The ooze even adhered itself to the insides of the jar and attached tubing, resulting in a truly repugnant, disgusting video presentation. Meanwhile, the jar filled with the e-cig vapor offered only a slight discoloration. And as one might expect, the first jar pumped with everyday, ambient air remained relatively unchanged.
In the United States, surveys are now clearly indicating that a higher percentage of the general public is now under the misconception that smoking is just as deadly as vaping. Perhaps even more troubling, a growing percentage of this demographic mistakenly believe that vaping is far worse than smoking. While the PHE video may seem rather rudimentary in substance and style, it’s the perfect medium to illustrate perfectly how supremely beneficial vaping can be for adult smokers trying to quit.
(Image courtesy of YouTube/PHE)