Electronic cigarettes have been under a lot of fire from the beginning of 2014, with numerous city bans and the recent FDA proposed regulations, which have given a lot of ammunition to anti-vaping advocates who argue about the dangers of these devices.
Yes, it’s perfectly natural to be cautious, but this doesn’t mean we have to act irrationally.
The latest study delivered by Action of Smoking and Health concluded that that just 0.1% of e-cigs users had never smoked combustible cigarettes previously. Commenting on these findings, Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH, said ‘There is no evidence from our research that e-cigarettes are acting as a gateway into smoking.’ Besides this, the largest ever EU-wide study on ecigs and vaping, made by the Harvard School of Public Health also concluded that there was no evidence that these devices represent a gateway to smoking.
Regarding this alleged ‘gateway effect’ and specifically referring to children, research undertaken by Queen Mary University in London discovered that a child trying a tobacco cigarette for the first time is 50% more likely to become a routine smoker. The same study found no proof that a child trying an electronic cigarette for the first time goes on to become a regular vaper.
Robert West, Professor of health psychology and director of tobacco studies at University College London’s department of epidemiology and public health said ‘We found that those using the e-cigarette were about 60 per cent more likely still not to be smoking than those using the licensed product or nothing at all.’ Ecigs are however not some form of more efficient nicotine replacement therapy, they are very different and need to be regulated accordingly.
Professor Peter Hajek of Queen Mary University London believes that e-cigarettes are ‘orders of magnitudes safer than tobacco cigarettes.’ The National Health Service made clear that they were about 1,000 times safer.
Professor John Briton from the Royal College of Physicians said ‘If all the smokers in Britain stopped smoking cigarettes and started using e-cigarettes we would save five million deaths in people who are alive today. It’s a massive potential public health prize.’
Research undertaken by John Moores University concluded that, ‘Despite widespread advertising of e-cigarette brands in print, visual and social media, the majority of participants reported that they had not seen any advertising for e-cigarettes and showed a lack of awareness of advertising and marketing strategies and approaches’.
In a study carried out by Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos his team of researchers, vapers stated that the availability of flavors was ‘very important’ in their effort to reduce or quit smoking. The study also found that the majority of vapers would find e-cigarettes ‘less enjoyable’ or ‘boring’ if flavors were restricted, while 48.5% of vapers stated that it would increase their urges for tobacco combustibles and 39.7% of vapers said that without flavors it would have been less likely for them to reduce or quit smoking