E-cigs are helping thousands of smokers to quit
As many people have been quick to point out, the UK tends to take a more liberal approach to E-cigs than many other countries. In fact, they’ve even proven that they are treating E-cigs more liberally than the US – which is set to receive a barrage of new safety measures that will significantly impact the public’s ability to access the most popular types of vaping devices.
But is it worth it? Is the UK gaining anything for its seemingly pro-E-cig-stance, or is it a bad move to align themselves with the new habit in such a fashion?
As it turns out, new studies are showing that the UK might just be onto something – and that their open and liberal stance to electronic cigarettes is actually having a dramatic and dynamic impact on smoking rates.
What do the studies say?
According to research that was recently published in the British Medical Journal, about 18,000 people in England alone were able to give up smoking in 2015 thanks to electronic cigarettes. A Cochrane review added to this evidence, by showing that no real proof of serious side-effects has been linked to the devices in up to two years of usage.
Obviously, experts still stress the importance of further long-term studies – but all in all, these two projects have really helped to nail down some loose ends in the argument for E-cigs.
Information! The study that was published in the BMJ basically showed a correlation between the increased use of E-cigs and the seeming rise in success rates among those deciding to quit their smoking habit. According to the data, the success rate among those who reported a quit attempt at smoking back in 2006 was just 10.6%–but this increased to 18.6% in the first quarter of 2015, which is actually an impressive improvement.
The study also showed that E-cig use in attempts to quit smoking have also risen – from a negligible number back in 2006 to 35% in 2015.
Many are calling the data ‘subjective evidence’ for the fact that E-cigarettes are actually helping people to quit smoking. Pretty much everyone who has supported E-cigs has said that they are useful as a cessation tool – but this is perhaps the first time that truly subjective evidence, as they call it, has been provided on such a level before.
These studies really seem to help lay doubts about their usefulness as an alternative to tobacco cigarette smoking to rest.
As of right now, about 2.8 million people in the UK use E-cigs. And, also as of right now, they have proven themselves to be the most popular way to quit smoking.
What about the Cochrane Review?
Information! The Cochrane Review has dealt mostly with fears about long-term E-cig side effects. But according to the data, no studies to-date have really found anything in the way of serious long-term side effect risks pertaining to electronic cigarettes.
Some side effects have been noted, the most common of which have ended up being irritation of the mouth and of the throat – but these are short to medium term and thus far have not proven to be serious to any really dangerous degree.
There was one small study done in Rome (performed by the European Society for Cardiology Congress) that seemed to identify some potential risks – but when compared to the risks posed by cigarettes, they seemed a lot smaller.
The results said that 30 minutes of vaping caused some damage to the main artery in the heart, and was about as dangerous as 5 minutes of cigarette smoking. In other words, E-cigs do pose some dangers and risks to human health – but they are much, much safer than cigarettes – to such a degree that they simply don’t seem to be in the same category as far as risk is concerned.
In a statement made by PHE Chief Executive Duncan Selbie at the annual conference at Warwick University, it was said that he believes that the UK will actually be tobacco free in one or two generations. He also stated that 1.3 million people had already stopped smoking due to the use of E-cigs, and that ‘the numbers are stacking’.
What do we think about these developments?
Our take on these studies is pretty positive – and honestly, we’re not even surprised that they came out so favorably toward electronic cigarettes. Vaping truly is the best alternative for analog cigarettes – and the sooner public health jumps on board, the sooner we can start seeing more people quitting tobacco products for good.
E-cigs might not be perfect, but they are the best tool that we currently possess for fighting cancer-causing cigarettes. Lung cancer is one of the most common preventable causes of death in several major countries – and a lot of it is due to cigarettes and the use of tobacco. E-cigs could help to eliminate this danger – period. To us, that seems powerful – and we’re not interested in giving up on a product (or a movement) that could change or even save the lives of people currently addicted to cigarette tobacco.