Is Canadian research supporting vaping?
If you’ve been following vaping news lately, then you have likely heard about the new information coming out of a study that was conducted by the University of Victoria’s Centre for Addictions Research of B.C.
According to the study, vaping might be even less dangerous than a lot of people thought – and the good news is that this study gives us a much better idea of what the dangers of vaping and smoking look like side-by-side.
Here’s what you need to know.
So, the highlights of this story are basically as follows. First off, researchers found that vapour emissions contain only 18 of the 79 toxins that are commonly found in cigarette smoke. Of these, it was shown that vapour from electronic cigarettes contained ‘considerably lower levels of cancer-causing agents and volatile organic compounds.’
Information! The study, which was titled ‘Clearing the Air,’ also found that vapour from electronic cigarettes stays airborne for far less time than cigarette smoke. Tobacco smoke can stay airborne for as long as 18 to 20 minutes – whereas vapour from an E-cig only remains so for 30 seconds.
The report’s lead investigator (Marjorie MacDonald) also had words to say about the so-called ‘gateway effect,’ which is basically the belief that electronic cigarettes may be dangerous as a gateway habit to cigarettes.
“Fears of a gateway effect are unjustified and overblown,” she said in a statement. She continued by saying the following…
“From a public-health perspective, it’s positive to see youth moving towards a less-harmful substitute to tobacco smoking.”
Tim Stockwell, who works at the University of Victoria as the Centre’s director, said that people have been very misled where vaping and its risks are concerned.
Here is a quote that he gave in another statement regarding the findings.
“Many people think they are as dangerous as smoking tobacco, but the evidence shows this is completely false.”
The study itself was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and consisted of a review of a total of 170 different articles (which were chosen as ‘relevant’ articles out of a poll of over 1,600 different article options).
Were there any bad points to the study?
The researchers certainly didn’t ignore the parts of the study that raised some alarms, either. For example… they said that certain vaping devices contain levels of metals and other matter that are ‘concerning,’ and also said that there still hasn’t been enough research done on the possible carcinogenic effects of some of the emissions.
What effect does this study have on the long-term outlook for vaping in Canada?
One interesting thing that some other news sources were saying was that researchers seemed to disagree with the way the United States is handling the so-called ‘vaping problem.’
The US has passed some pretty tough vaping guidelines, and has also made it illegal for businesses to sell E-cigs to minors. These regulations could make it difficult for young people to gain access to E-cigs, and could also make it more difficult to US based vaping businesses to stay in business.
Even the Canadian Medical Association has said that they recommend that E-cigs should only be available for purchase by individuals who are legally able to buy cigarettes – but MacDonald, the lead researcher in this study, seemed to think differently.
Here’s a statement that she released in regards to vaping and how it might need to be approached where young people are concerned…
“By banning the use of vaping devices by young people, you might actually be driving them to conventional smoking. Let’s make sure that the devices are safe, that they’re regulated, that we have regulation on the liquids that go into them.”
This research seems to add to a growing poll of evidence that tells us that vaping is much safer than smoking, and seems to further work against the idea that vaping is a dangerous gateway to smoking.
Hopefully, as time goes on, we will see friendlier public policy across the board for electronic cigarettes and vaping.