When viewing the most recent vaping news, you’d be forgiven for feeling that all hope is lost. In recent years, as a result of hysterical propaganda by numerous factions, vaping has been demonized, subjected to several limitations, and equated to smoking. None of these things are good for public health.
The good news is that an article published by the American Public Health Association adds much-needed balance to the debate. When you consider that the article is led by Kenneth Warner, a professor emeritus of health management, and 15 other former presidents of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, its findings are pretty hard to ignore. Today we will take a look at this very pro vaping public call-out.
The Benefits of E-cigarettes | Why Balance is Needed
In short, a wave of anti-vaping propaganda has led to several misconceptions about electronic cigarettes. Perhaps the most disturbing thing is that this propaganda flies in the face of what it seeks to prevent.
In simple terms, people will be inclined to smoke more.
Well, where to start?
In the last months, we’ve seen the World Health Organization grant awards to people who banned an effective means to stop smoking, a documented reversal in a decade-long decline in cigarette smoking, and draconian rules that would be more suited to a dystopian novel, just to name a few.
As with many debates in modern society, the issues surrounding vaping have become both political and polarized. When studying the debate, you will tend to find only two distinct camps.
On the one hand, you have organizations and individuals who applaud vaping to successfully quit smoking, for good. You’ll tend to find members of this camp will support their arguments using evidence-based arguments and reasoning.
On the other hand, you’ll find a wave of anti-vaping sentiment. The growing trend is driven by numerous factors. Puritanism, hysteria, virtue-signaling, and most prevalently, Ignorance. An example of this is the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. An alleged worthy cause until you discover that it is Bloomberg-funded. This organization has a history of overreach, using vast sums of cash to influence public policy and further its aims.
The growing trend is for the latter group to dominate the conversation. After all, money talks and bad news sells.
But here’s the good news.
The article published by the APHA redresses the balance. Those who have entered the ring are no amateurs. They are public health ‘heavyweights’. The Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) is a strong advocate for evidence-based research. Which is sorely needed.
Here is what the report says…
An Evidence-Based and Balanced Article on Vaping
On reading the abstract, one can gain a clearer view of the benefits of vaping. It states:
“The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine concluded that e-cigarette use is likely far less hazardous than smoking.”
In even simpler terms…
Vaping is a highly effective tool to stop smoking.
This is echoed in four subheadings within the article, using evidence to prove this fact.
The article lists several randomized studies assessing whether vaping worked to prevent a return to the proven harms of cigarettes.
An English trial found that vapers were doubly as likely to quit smoking. The UK National Health Service actively promotes vaping as a successful way to give up cigarettes
The section in the article also adds references to the Cochrane Library. They state:
“There is moderate-certainty evidence that ECs [electronic cigarettes] with nicotine increase quit rates compared to ECs without nicotine and compared to nicotine replacement therapy.”
The article further confirms the above findings using studies performed among the general population. The CDC itself found that over 15% of smokers quit for longer than 6 months using vapes, compared to just over 6% who went ‘cold turkey’.
The report makes other pertinent statements that are only good news for vapers, including:
“Consistent with these population studies, simulation analyses have generally found that vaping increases smoking cessation, avoiding large numbers of premature deaths.”
“Other researchers have found regular and frequent e-cigarette use to be associated with increased smoking cessation.”
Avoiding premature deaths and an increase in smoking cessation? How could anybody state that this is a bad thing?
Various facts and figures can be massaged to suit an agenda.
One area that can’t be hidden or ‘spun’ when discussing a decline in smoking is the number of cigarettes purchased.
In simple terms, when vaping goes up, smoking goes down. That’s a good thing.
Sadly, the EVALI outbreak of 2019 gave anti-vaping advocates a windfall. This opened the door to false equivalences and led to a wave of politically motivated decisions that led to increased public harm.
The above effect was reversed. Vaping was restricted, smoking increased.
The report acknowledges this fact when it states: –
“For years, US cigarette sales declined 2% to 3% annually… [following] e-cigarette sales restrictions, sales of e-cigarettes fell, and sales of cigarettes resumed their pre-vaping pattern.”
The Unintended Consequences of Policies Restricting Vaping
You’ll already know the phrase…
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
In the case of restricting vaping, the law of unintended consequences is in full effect. The report says it as eloquently as we ever could:
“Studies have found that policies intended to restrict e-cigarette use may have unintentionally increased cigarette smoking”.
Don’t just take our word for it, or even that of this particular study. You can see real-world evidence of such cases here.
Vaping, Debate, and the Way Forward…
There are several areas covered by the heartening article.
First, it is refreshing to see balance in the debate surrounding vaping as an effective means of stopping smoking. It is even more so when you consider the form and background of those who have signed their name to it.
The article cites over 153 sources in its evidence-based approach. This transparency, including references to potential conflicts of interests, is a welcome change to the usual propaganda filled with flawed studies that don’t represent real-world usage.
Finally, in its conclusion, the article acknowledges many ‘hidden’ harms that may occur by restricting access to vaping. It specifically references ‘privileged’ members of society (such as policymakers) and how they may be oblivious to the harms they believe they have ‘solved’.
With a favorable wind, this article may actually gain some traction and be heeded by those ‘privileged’ policymakers who may be ignorant and misinformed about the positive effects of vaping. With backing from fifteen former presidents of the SRNT, it will certainly be hard to ignore.
There is a big difference between a debate and a monologue. When decisions are made that directly influence people’s health, a debate is an absolute necessity. Decisions made using only one source of information can never be correct, regardless of the intention. Ignorance, scaremongering, and posturing have taken precedence in the debate thus far. The article published by the American Public Health Association, with its balanced view and multiple sources, is a refreshing change that hopefully will turn the tide in favor of vaping.