Switching to vaping is ‘rapidly saves lives,’ says new research
A recently published report by researchers from New York University (NYU) evaluates how the rampant misinformation regarding vaping as a tobacco harm reduction tool is damaging to public health. The project focuses on the public’s misconceptions surrounding nicotine versus tobacco and their interrelationships with both vaping and smoking.
The vaping study is a collaborative effort with scholars from the University of Vermont and the University of Nebraska as well as scientists from the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies in Washington, DC. Collectively, the researchers ultimately determined that switching to vaping involving either nicotine-enhanced or zero-nicotine e-liquids saves lives.
Smoking-related illnesses are the leading cause of death
The NYU study entitled Harm Minimization and Tobacco Control: Reframing Societal Views of Nicotine Use to Rapidly Save Lives is readily available via the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health (NCBI). According to the paper’s co-authors, smoking-related illness and disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and across the globe.
However, contrary to widespread public misunderstandings, it’s the tar, carcinogens, and chemicals associated with combustible tobacco products that exacerbate the smoking-related mortality rates. The nicotine has very little to do with it.
Since electronic cigarettes contain nicotine, and the general public is being “taught” that nicotine is the predominant deadly ingredient of tobacco cigarettes, many people mistakenly believe that vaping is just as hazardous as smoking. The NYU team then offers a full endorsement of vaping as a smoking cessation alternative.
“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 NYU research team further explains that the decoupling of nicotine from the tar and toxins associated with combustible tobacco smoke is the critical difference between vaping and smoking. The burning of tobacco leaves produces a smoke that contains at least 70 carcinogens and excessive levels of highly toxic carbon monoxide. Because the e-liquids used in vaping are 100 percent tobacco-free, public health officials should be aggressively recommending that smokers switch to vaping to “rapidly save lives.”
“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 researchers also advise that the enormous amounts of misinformation spread online regarding smoking, vaping, and nicotine is at an alarming rate that severely undermines public health. To support their findings even further, they also reference throughout the document a whopping 144 research studies, clinical trials, and toxicology reports which clearly indicate that the harmful tar and chemicals of combustible tobacco smoke are a substantially larger threat to public health in comparison to those of e-cigs.
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