*** Updated 7th February 2022 *** From a political and regulatory standpoint, vaping is easily one of the most divisive topics in the world. The vaping regulations of the region in which you live, in fact, may have a substantial influence on the way you feel about vaping. If you live in the United Kingdom, for instance, you probably see vaping as a less harmful alternative to smoking and recognise it as something that’s helping smokers quit – even if you don’t vape or smoke yourself.
Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation became Asthma + Lung UK a year ago. Previously, the individual organisations had released statements about vaping, but now as the unified body has included e-cigs as an integral part of a document directed at government officials. It’s a ground-breaking move and concretes support from the public health organisation for electronic cigarettes.
Tobacco harm reduction and vaping are controversial subjects, but scientific journals frequently censor pro-ecig voices. Colin Mendelsohn, a tobacco harm reduction expert argues that scientific journals should present both sides of the issue to allow a proper discussion, ensuring the debate is balanced and fair.
The government set an ambitious target to achieve a smoke-free UK by 2030, which means less than 5% of the population would be smokers. Promises were made, plans announced, but MPs recently agreed that little has be done over the last three years and the target will be missed. A harm reduction specialist believes it could be achieved if the government increases its support for vaping and relaxes the indefensible rules.
The smoking rate in the general UK population is now at an all-time low thanks to vaping, dropping to 14.5%, but problems persist in discrete sections of society. The rate in one group, those suffering from mental health problems, remains stubbornly high, yet research from academics at the American Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth has shown that electronic cigarettes can help.
The body of evidence supporting smokers switching to electronic cigarettes has been steadily growing for over a decade, with all of the British public health organisations recommending vaping as an alternative to smoking. In the past, smokers were told they’d only benefit if they fully swapped over, but latest work from The University of Kansas Cancer Centre, California State University San Marcos and Brown University indicates dual users may also experience health improvements.
Are music videos featuring electronic cigarettes part of a tobacco industry plot to force children into a lifetime of tobacco addiction? Researchers at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine fed some fears to the Daily Mail, but it doesn’t seem to be the entire story.
It has been proven that electronic cigarettes are the best tool to help with smokers with their tobacco addition. Currently, the science shows that vapes work three times better than nicotine replacement products and are the UK’s favourite way of quitting smoking. This success has caused some researchers to wonder if e-cigs could be put to other uses too.
The shocking difference between the United Kingdom and United States of America’s approach to tobacco harm reduction has recently been illustrated by yet another American teenager being tasered for simply vaping. While the UK’s public health bodies have embraced vaping as a key method to combat smoking, the States appears to be repeating its alcohol prohibition errors.
Researchers working for the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group have provided an evidence update as part of their work to examine “the effectiveness, tolerability, and safety of using electronic cigarettes to help people who smoke tobacco achieve long‐term smoking abstinence”. This work is at the forefront of providing the highest quality and most reliable evidence to decision makers and end users.
Research from the Social Development Research Group at the School of Social Work of the University of Washington finds that switching from smoking to e-cigs in adult smokers in their 30s is associated with improved ageing into their 40s. This comes as the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities delivers updated guidance about vaping to health and care professionals.