Notorious “science guy” Bill Nye recently mocked former smokers trying to better their health with vaping devices by saying they are using electronic cigarettes because tobacco is not killing them “fast enough.”
Nye, who appears to be unaware of peer-reviewed research showing that vaping eliminates the majority of health risks linked to combustible tobacco, made the crack during a question and answer session with Inverse discussing what the next 150 years holds for a number of topics, including death, high fives and vaping.
Nye predicts that due to the addictive nature of nicotine, vaping devices will exist long into the future. He tries to explain the devices, holding up a vape pen and saying, “cigarettes don’t kill you fast enough so you have to tech it up.”
Nye’s uninformed mocking of millions of people using vape devices instead of combustible tobacco trivializes the efforts of former smokers who have chosen to improve their health outlook, while ignoring a trove of scientific research backing up the safety profile of the devices. (STUDY: Smokers Who Give Vaping A Try Are More Likely To Quit Cigarettes)
Vapor products, which heat liquid nicotine and contain no tobacco, eliminate roughly 95 percent of the health harms associated with cigarettes because the majority of disease-causing chemicals are only released through combustion, according to Public Health England, an arm of the U.K.’s Department of Health.
A study released Oct. 2 by the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center shows that, even in a worst case scenario, if vaping were to largely replace smoking, roughly 1.6 million smokers would avoid premature death and collectively add 20.8 million extra years to their lives.
In the best case scenario from the Georgetown University study, roughly 6.6 million smokers would avoid premature death and collectively add 86.7 million extra years to their lives.
Scientists at the University of Catania in Italy recently conducted a three-year study investigating the effects of regular vaping on the body of the user, finding “no evidence of health concerns associated with long-term use of e-cigarettes” on blood pressure, heart rate, body weight, lung function, respiratory symptoms, exhaled breath nitric oxide and exhaled carbon monoxide.
Recent research also shows vapor from e-cigarettes does not pose any meaningful secondhand risks. A forthcoming study investigating the health impact of aerosol vapor emitted from the devices shows that chemical levels in the vapor released from e-cigarettes are well below the safety limits suggested by both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization.
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