An unstoppable stream of data from around the world is suggesting that electronic cigarettes are robbing tobacco companies of today’s clients, and at the same time, cancer wards of their future patients. In Britain alone, almost two million people use these vaporizers regularly. Study after study, scientists are finding new evidence that electronic cigarettes are very efficient at helping people kick the habit, that there are no signs of luring non-smokers into tobacco use and to be much safer than their health-threating competitors.
The National Health Services is certain that electronic cigarettes are about 1,000 times less harmful than their tobacco counterparts, and it’s the tar in smoke that kills, not the nicotine — a substance that is about as harmful as caffeine. In addition, an expected study by Professor Robert West of University College London indicates that electronic cigarettes confirmed to be 60% more successful as a method smoking cessation as opposed to nicotine patches, gums or going cold turkey.
It is known that most people use e-cigs to cut down or give up smoking, and this fact has been confirmed by three surveys, the latest of which, conducted by Ash. Almost two thirds of participants were smokers and one third were ex-smokers. This comes to show that in the few years since these devices first appeared on the market, hundreds of thousands of people have used them to kick their hazardous habit or at least to cut down on the number of tobacco cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are not also a gateway to smoking since in the biggest UK survey, 0.4% of vapers were non-smokers and not one of them went on to smoke, while in an American study, nine out of ten school-age vapers had started as smokers. And the idea that vaping is going to ‘renormalize’ smoking is the one the British Medical Association has been pushing all throughout the media, and, as ASH now believes, it is clearly nonsense.
The opposition to electronic cigarettes has had an unfortunate result already. By insisting on including these devices in the EU’s tobacco products directive, the opponents have left them unregulated until the directive comes into action by 2017. Therefore, unless the UK government makes its own constructive intervention, for the next few years, there is little to stop shady operators importing fake or adulterated vaping fluids from a distant corner of the globe.
In conclusion, the arguments are dramatically leaning towards the benefits of these battery-operated devices and there’s no logical reason to ban e-cigarettes. Looking at how ecigs are helping people give up smoking and thus improve their health and healthcare costs, even though the companies selling them are prohibited from making any health claims, it seems only fair to give them a chance to prove their efficiency and long-term benefits.