An American research paper is gaining a great deal of traction within the international vaping community due to its findings that are strikingly similar to those of the Public Health England research of 2015. Differing by only a single percentage point, the U.S. research indicates that vaping is potentially 96 percent less harmful than smoking. But the good news doesn’t stop there because the American team took their calculations a few steps further.
Not only is switching to vaping likely to reduce the adverse health effects associated with smoking, the scientists also claim that if more smokers made the switch, then over 456,000 lives could be saved annually in the United States alone. Meanwhile, the U.S. healthcare system would save an estimated $309 billion per year. At a time when Congress is on the verge of passing a massive tax bill that could potentially add $1.5 trillion to the national debt, these are impressive numbers worth considering.
“There are over 480,000 deaths each year in the United States attributable to smoking of which 42,000 deaths were related to second hand smoke. Additionally, there is a cost related to direct care of health problems related to smoking and second-hand smoke. According to one study these costs in 2014 were approximately $170 billion. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, in 2014, there was more than $156 billion in lost productivity due to premature death and exposure to second hand smoke.10 This would put total cost for lost productivity and direct health care costs at a combined $326 billion dollars. If we assume a linear relationship between the relative safety of e-cigarettes and the lost lives and costs, and use Nutt, et al we can predict a savings of $309 billion and 456,000 lives in the US alone.”
Overview of the vaping study
The American study authored by Dr. Robert L. Cranfield from Tennessee focuses on long-term vapers of diverse demographics and with three or more years of experience. The paper was originally published on ResearchGate in 2016 and appears to be attracting a much larger audience recently, thanks to websites like Google Scholar. There were four objectives of the study.
- To identify changes in adverse health effects when smokers transition to vaping.
- To identify the levels at which new health issues may develop after transitioning to vaping long-term.
- To identify the levels at which new health issues may develop in never-smokers who are also long-term vapers.
- To measure the different demographics of vapers.
During a 6-month study, the Cranfield team tracked the changes in adverse health effects of some 573 anonymous volunteers who were divided into three primary groups. Group One was comprised of participants with 3 or more years of vaping experience. Group Two consisted of vapers who were also never-smokers. And Group Three included vapers with no previous histories of adverse health effects associated from smoking.
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The Cranfield study also takes into consideration a broader range of varying adverse health effects compared to similar studies in this field. Examples of adverse health effects monitored include the following:
- High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
- Recurring respiratory infections.
- Shortness of breath
- Acute bronchitis
- Chronic bronchitis
- Heart disease
- Heart attack or stroke
- Irregular heartbeat
- Cancer (any kind)
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Amputations related to circulation problems
After evaluating the data collected from the 573 volunteers, Dr. Cranfield and his team began observing some rather interesting trends. Perhaps the most noteworthy came from the 108 respondents with 3-year histories of vaping who experienced the massive 96% reduction.
They also determined that a significant percentage of vapers across all groups reported a complete eradication of their associated adverse health effects. The most common include heart palpitations, occurrences of shortness of breath, and management of hypertension and bronchitis disorders.
Meanwhile in Group Three, which consisted of 136 former smokers who had never exhibited adverse health effects of any kind, only one participant reported the development of a health issue related to vaping.
Dr. Cranfield expresses the need for further vaping research in the conclusions section of the paper. He also identifies a new area of study that is largely unnoticed and unresearched by the scientific community. In his opinion, there is a great deal of evidence that indicates vaping enhances the lives of smokers, but more research involving the possible affects of e-cigs on never-smokers is urgently needed. He plans to continue to investigate this area in future studies.
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