Health 1

Article take – Posted 9th February 2017 by Mawsley

The first long-term study looking at the effects on smokers after they switch to vaping has taken place. Measurements were taken to analyse how levels of toxins and cancer-causing carcinogens changed once traditional tobacco users swapped cigarettes for the electronic alternative. Having looked at the data, the team from University College London has concluded that vaping is far safer than smoking.

The team included harm-reduction pragmatist Robert West, Maciej Goniewicz, and Ann McNeill. The report highlights that vapers manage to obtain comparable levels of nicotine to when they used to smoke – at the times and in the quantities they need it. It also emphasises a measurable and sizeable reduction in toxins and carcinogens – but only if the switch from smoking to vaping is total: “E-cigarettes are likely to be beneficial only if complete cessation of combustible cigarette smoking is achieved. Thus, dual users should be encouraged to cease using combustible products to reduce long-term health risks.”

Dr Lion Shahab, the lead author from University College London, said: “Our study adds to existing evidence showing that e-cigarettes and nicotine replacement therapy are far safer than smoking and suggests that there is a very low risk associated with their long-term use. We’ve shown that the levels of toxic chemicals in the body from e-cigarettes are considerably lower than suggested in previous studies using simulated experiments.”

Dr Lion continued: “This means some doubts about the safety of e-cigarettes may be wrong. Our results also suggest that while e-cigarettes are not only safer the amount of nicotine they provide is not noticeably different to conventional cigarettes. This can help people to stop smoking altogether by dealing with their cravings in a safer way.”

Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK’s director of cancer prevention, said: “Around a third of tobacco-caused deaths are due to cancer so we want to see many more of the UK’s 10m smokers break their addiction. This study adds to growing evidence that e-cigarettes are a much safer alternative to tobacco and suggests the long-term effects of these products will be minimal.

Understanding and communicating the benefits of nicotine replacements, such as e-cigarettes, is an important step towards reducing the number of tobacco-related deaths here in the UK.”

Ashley Gould, Consultant in Public Health Wales and lead for tobacco control at Public Health Wales, who only last week was saying sweet juice flavours are a child recruiting tool by vape companies, said: “There are a lot of confusing and contradictory messages around the use of e-cigarettes.” He failed to highlight if he was the cause of some of them.

Grasping at straws, he went on to add: “This study reinforces Public Health Wales’ advice to committed smokers – if you are unwilling or unable to quit, by switching completely to e-cigarettes you will benefit your health.” Then Gould began plugging traditional NRT treatments that have been surpassed by vaping.