Nearly 7 million American smokers could save themselves from early death over the next decade by replacing cigarettes with a vaping device, according to a new study.
An analysis published Monday in the journal Tobacco Control investigates the potential for eradicating smoking in the U.S. through the promotion of alternative technologies for nicotine delivery. Dr. David Levy of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center led the research efforts, which projected health outcomes over 10 years if smokers were switched through government policy to vaping devices, reports Reuters.
If vaping were to largely replace smoking, roughly 6.6. million smokers would avoid premature death and collectively add 86.7 million extra years to their lives, according to the study. The researchers hope the results “can help the (U.S.) Surgeon General and the public health community develop a strategy to reach the ‘endgame’ for cigarette smoking.”
“Old policies need to be supplemented with policies that encourage substituting e-cigarettes for the far more deadly cigarettes,” Levy told Reuters.
A growing body of medical evidence demonstrates that vaping is a much safer alternative to smoking. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently acknowledged the utility of e-cigarettes for quitting and is now encouraging the development of alternative smoking technologies.
“FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has identified the continuum of risk for nicotine products as offering a huge public health opportunity,” David Sweanor of the Center for Health Law, Policy and Ethics at the University of Ottawa told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “This study gives a good indication of just how huge that opportunity is: we are talking about millions of lives. In addition, this is an area where measures can be taken immediately, and include things as simple as simply telling the public the truth about relative risks.”
A University of California study released July 26 showed that a record number of Americans are ditching cigarettes with the aid of vaping devices. The rate of Americans quitting smoking jumped from 4.5 percent between 2010 and 2011 to 5.6 percent between 2014 and 2015. That means that roughly 350,000 smokers gave up the habit between 2014 and 2015.
According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.62 million former smokers in the U.S. have successfully transitioned to a vape.
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