A new study is confirming that the health boons from electronic cigarettes far “outweigh the risks” posed by the devices, which researchers say drastically cut bodily harms caused by cigarettes.
Dr. Kenneth Warner and Dr. David Mendez, researchers for the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, ran several simulations to project how many years of life vaping could potentially save if the industry survives into the future. They found that by 2070 alternative smoking technologies could collectively save nearly 3.3 million life-years among the U.S. smoking population, reports WXYZ.
Warner and Mendez largely conclude that vaping will continue to fuel an increase in smoking cessation among adults, improving overall health outcomes among smokers. They also warn about vaping causing teens to take up the use of combustible cigarettes, however, evidence shows despite increased vape experimentation teen smoking rates continue to plummet.
“I don’t think this paper resolves the argument once and for all,” Warner said in a statement. “But we have to go with the best evidence available. I believe the case is strong; the benefits outweigh the risks. We have a crisis on our hands. Five hundred thousand people are dying each year as a result of smoking. One out of six Americans remain as smokers.”
There are currently 7.8 million active vapers in the U.S., down from 8.91 million in 2014. The number of former smokers who use an e-cigarette rose from 2.49 million to 2.62 million Americans in 2016, which accounts for 34 percent of the current vaping population, according to a paper released Sept. 28 by the free-market think tank R Street Institute.
“87 percent of former smokers currently using e-cigarettes quit in the last five years, suggesting that e-cigarettes played a significant role,” Dr. Brad Rodu, a professor of medicine at the University of Louisville and associate fellow with the R Street Institute, wrote in the paper. “Health advocates should applaud these former smokers’ choice of e-cigarettes over far more dangerous cigarettes.”
Vaping largely eliminates the harms from conventional cigarettes because 95 percent of the carcinogens that cause tobacco-related illnesses are released through combustion, according to Public Health England. E-cigarettes simply heat liquid nicotine, creating an aerosol vapor.
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