The smoking rate in the United States has decreased significantly over the course of the last few decades. But as we told you recently, smoking is still a really big problem in this country. There are hundreds of thousands of people who die every year as a result of smoking-related illnesses, and there are more than 15 million people dealing with a disease directly related to smoking.
One of the diseases that impacts millions of American smokers every year is lung cancer. Not everyone who smokes ends up with lung cancer. But studies have shown that smoking does increase your chances of dealing with lung cancer at some point in your life, so if you smoke, it’s a good idea to think about quitting in order to reduce those chances.
There are many people who have turned to vaping to help them quit. But unfortunately, there has been no concrete evidence to prove that those who vape aren’t at risk for cancer, too. Anti-vaping critics have gone as far as to suggest that vaping can cause cancer just like smoking can, and they have used that to try and scare people away from vaping.
It sounds like those people might have been proven wrong once and for all, though. A study was done in Scotland recently, and it showed that the vapor associated with vaping has—get this—less than 1 percent the cancer risk of the smoke that comes out of cigarettes. If true, it could be big news for the entire vaping community.
There is still more research to be done on this subject. But for now, check out why the latest study on vaping and cancer is so promising for so many people.
How Was the Study on Vaping and Cancer Conducted?
Dr. William Stephens, who works at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, conducted a study called “Comparing the cancer potencies of emissions from vapourised nicotine products including e-cigarettes with those of tobacco smoke” that was published in a journal called Tobacco Control this summer.
As part of his study, Dr. Stephens worked to test the cancer potencies associated with cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and heat-not-burn products. He did this by measuring the emissions from these products, and he found common units to use so that he could compare the measurements that he found in each of the individual products.
Dr. Stephens then calculated the cancer potencies based on daily consumption estimates for each of the products, which allowed him to figure out the cancer estimates for each. You can read more about the specifics of the study here if you are interested in seeing exactly how Dr. Stephens carried out his study.
What Did the Study Show?
As we mentioned, the study yielded some really interesting and really promising results for those who have turned to vaping for one reason or another. Specifically, it showed that the cancer risk associated with vaping is very low when compared to the cancer risk associated with smoking.
According to Dr. Stephens’ study, the cancer risk was less than—less than!—one percent of the risk of smoking. Dr. Stephens went as far as to suggest that the risk was on par with that of nicotine replacement therapies like nicotine patches, which is pretty incredible when you think about it.
Now, we should note that Dr. Stephens did detect an increase in the cancer risk associated with vaping for those who use vaping products at very high power. Those who take a lot of dry hits for whatever reason are likely exposing themselves to high levels of aldehydes, which can cause cancer. But that’s something that was already widely known both inside and outside of the vaping community.
At the end of the day, this all sounds like it could be a breakthrough for vapers. It comes on the heels of the very good news we all received when the FDA announced it was pushing back the deeming regulations—and it could ultimately prove that vaping is a viable alternative to smoking.
Why Is It Good News for Vapers?
For years now, vaping critics have argued against trading in cigarettes for e-cigarettes because they have said that vaping is just as bad for people. But this latest study suggests otherwise. It seems to indicate that vaping is significantly better for people than smoking.
One of our favorite experts on the subject of vaping, Dr. Michael Siegel of Boston University, celebrated the findings of Dr. Stephens’ study and said that he believes more people should be celebrating it along with him.
“This study should put to rest any doubt within the tobacco control movement about whether vaping greatly reduces health risks compared to smoking,” he wrote. “Numerous anti-tobacco groups and health departments have repeatedly asserted that vaping is no less hazardous than smoking, but this claim is false, and the present study adds significantly to the already substantial evidence that vaping is…safer than smoking.”
This study obviously isn’t going to end all of the debates surrounding the potential hazards of vaping. But it should get the ball rolling and make people think twice before being dismissive about vaping.
Is It Too Good to Be True?
Dr. Stephens’ study hasn’t received as much publicity as you might think it would. The mainstream media has more or less ignored it at this point. So does that mean it’s too good to be true and isn’t telling the whole story with regards to vaping and health?
It depends on how you look at it. This study is not going to suddenly get the FDA to sit up and say, “You know what? Let’s start recommending vaping to everyone!” It’s not quite that groundbreaking.
But at the same time, the study, like some other studies that have been done recently, is encouraging. Are there other health risks outside of cancer that vapers might need to worry about? That’s what researchers are studying right now and need to continue studying well into the future.
But at this moment, this cancer study is a big step towards finding out more about vaping. We look forward to seeing more studies like it in the coming months and years.
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