Newspapers and their associated websites are increasingly driven by the need to generate clicks and likes to make up for the lack of hard copy sales. Consequently, a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes. Bad or shocking news sells and is king in editorial offices. Here are what the experts and expert organisations are saying about vaping.
Let’s start with the big one that actually shook the world, when Public Health England stated: “Our new review reinforces the finding that vaping is a fraction of the risk of smoking, at least 95% less harmful, and of negligible risk to bystanders. Yet over half of smokers either falsely believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking or just don’t know.”
The World Health Organization may now act like it didn’t, but it actually said this: “There is conclusive evidence that: Completely substituting electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems for combustible tobacco cigarettes reduces users’ exposure to numerous toxicants and carcinogens present in combustible tobacco cigarettes.”
Harm reduction has also been confirmed by the Royal College of Physicians: “Although it is not possible to precisely quantify the long-term health risks associated with e-cigarettes, the available data suggest that they are unlikely to exceed 5% of those associated with smoked tobacco products and may well be substantially lower than this figure. E-cigarettes are effective in helping people to stop smoking.”
The Cochrane Organisation conducts systematic reviews of published papers on ecig use. It found: “E-cigarettes with nicotine increase quit rates compared to e-cigarettes without nicotine and compared to nicotine replacement therapy [nicotine patches & gum].”
The British Medical Association recognised what has been taking place across the United Kingdom: “Significant numbers of smokers are using e-cigarettes, with many reporting that they are helpful in quitting or cutting down cigarette use. There are clear potential benefits to their use in reducing the substantial harms associated with smoking, and a growing consensus that they are significantly less harmful than tobacco use.”
The Royal College of General Practitioners accepts that vaping is far safer than smoking: “The evidence so far shows that e-cigarettes have significantly reduced levels of key toxicants compared to cigarettes, with average levels of exposure falling well below the thresholds for concern.”
The National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training has taken on board the evidence: “Experts estimate that e-cigarettes are, based on what we know so far, around 95% safer than cigarettes. Smoking is associated with a number of very serious health risks to both the smoker and to others around them. Therefore, smokers who switch from smoking tobacco to e-cigarettes substantially reduce a major risk to their health. Nicotine does not cause smoking related diseases, such as cancers and heart disease.”
The work done here at home has influenced organisations in other countries.
The New Zealand Ministry of Health writes in its position statement: “The Ministry considers vaping products could disrupt inequities and contribute to Smokefree 2025. The evidence on vaping products indicates they carry much less risk than smoking cigarettes but are not risk free. Evidence is growing that vaping can help people to quit smoking. There is no international evidence that vaping products are undermining the long-term decline in cigarette smoking among adults and youth, and may in fact be contributing to it.”
The Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) now says: “RANZCP recognises the potential harm reduction benefits presented by e-cigarettes and vaporisers for people living with mental illness, and the need for legislative reform for these to be realised.”
Finally, Government of Canada accepted the truth: “Vaping is less harmful than smoking. Completely replacing cigarette smoking with vaping will reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals. There are short-term general health improvements if you completely switch from smoking cigarettes to vaping products.”
In fact, all of the UK health bodies fully support vaping as a method to reduce your harm exposure while using nicotine.