People can debate all day and all night but from a harm reduction standpoint, electronic cigarettes are healthier alternatives to tobacco smoking. Notwithstanding the potential health risks that are out there, the fact that electronic cigarettes do not have the 6,000 chemicals that in tobacco is a great upgrade indeed. Vapers agree that there is a need to have an asterisk on the claims of being able to quit and become healthier with vapes. But until the day there are bodies of studies to support competing claims then electronic cigarettes are the cure that can solve the smoking problem all over the world.
How big is the problem?
Tobacco is a $90 billion industry in America. But tobacco is also responsible for six million deaths worldwide and half a million of the deaths are in America. Tobacco smoking is costing the US health care system almost $200 billion a year. The long-term health effects of smoking have been well documented. Not only that. People that live or work near smokers are also affected. Second-hand smoke, according to the World Health Organization, has caused 600,000 deaths each year worldwide.
What is stopping electronic cigarettes?
The problem with the wider use of electronic cigarettes is about safety. If you look at electronic cigarettes ability to reduce the harm then it is good. A vaper can get all the nicotine they like minus the chemicals that can destroy the cells and harm the body. Yet the dream of using electronic cigarettes as a total cessation device hit a snag in 2009 when the Food and Drug Administration saw things in vapes that are not supposed to be there. The funny thing is that when the same test was performed again the offending chemicals that supposed to make vapes less safe were gone.
What are the proofs?
Unlike in the United States there are a significant number of studies that have shown the effectiveness of vapes to help people quit smoking. There have been studies in the United Kingdom and Italy proving that indeed electronic cigarettes can help smokers quit. In the event that quitting rate is not plausible, vapes were more effective in helping smokers to cut down on their tobacco consumption. It is a good thing. That is better than nothing.
Why the FDA is unconvinced?
The FDA maintains that since electronic cigarettes are largely unregulated it can lead to people to use it for re-creation. There have been claims that it can be used by young people to get initiated to nicotine addiction and eventually will pick up a tobacco to satisfy the fix. Yet, there is a pocket study that showed that people that have been using vapes for the sake of vaping are not likely to progress into smoking real tobacco.
Yes, the jury is still out on electronic cigarettes. The FDA is set to give out its verdict anytime soon. One thing is for sure. Electronic cigarettes are the future and even Big Tobacco knows this. Relevant and sensible regulations are welcome but stifling it as it is as vile as tobacco is another thing.