Witnessing the growth of the vape industry, the billions of dollars exchanged, and the constant and rapid technological innovation, it can be difficult for outsiders to remember what everyone in the industry knows: this is all the result of the singular motivation to offer a safer alternative to cigarette smokers. Indeed, vaping has helped countless smokers finally quit, after various smoking cessation devices and methods proved ineffective, and their testimonials about making the switch cannot be ignored. We know you’ve heard the claims and seen some of the negative propaganda out there—from popcorn lung scare tactics to claims that e-cigarettes are full of carcinogens. Let’s take a critical look at the top five myths clouding the vape industry’s raison d’etre in order to “clear the smoke” once and for all.
1. Vaping is a Gateway to Smoking for Youth
The claims of anti-tobacco and public health organizations that e-cigarettes function as a gateway to smoking for youth are unfounded; indeed, data gathered by the National Institute of Drug Abuse indicates that during the years of vaping’s ascent, teen smoking has finally declined. As Dr. Siegel, a prominent tobacco control expert, points out, all of the evidence we have at this point suggest that e-cigarettes are keeping youth who otherwise would smoke away from analog cigarettes. As vaping not only aids established smokers in quitting, but also prevents people from ever starting, it is effectively minimizing both existing and potential harm—an undeniable, though unaccredited, public health victory.
2. Vaping Causes Popcorn Lung
Researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health caused a media hailstorm against vaping in their study’s conclusion that diacetyl and acetyl propionyl are present in e-juice used for vaping. However, the study failed to mention that diacetyl and acetyl propionyl are present in analog cigarettes in quantities estimated to be 750 and ten times greater, respectively. Cigarettes have not been shown to cause bronchiolitis obliterans, or “popcorn lung” as it is commonly called; it is therefore scientifically implausible to conclude that e-cigarettes lead to popcorn lung. Furthermore, there is a serious issue with the e-liquids evaluated in the Harvard study as not one of the 51 selected is from a premium or natural e-juice line. Furthermore, there are e-liquids on the market which verifiably abstain from synthetic chemical additives such as the two in question.
3. Vaping is Just as Dangerous as Smoking
Actually, it’s not. An expert independent evidence review released by Public Health England concluded that vaping is 95% safer than smoking cigarettes. While we do not have the luxury of long-term studies, as the vape industry is relatively young, we do know that e-cigarettes offer a safer alternative to combustible cigarettes.
Another study published in Internal and Emergency Medicine, entitled “Effect of continuous smoking reduction and abstinence on blood pressure and heart rate in smokers switching to electronic cigarettes,” indicates that smokers who switched to vaping showed dramatic improvement in cardiovascular health. Further, as highlighted in an article by Jimmy Hafrey in ChurnMag.com, this study is especially significant because it proves that people who quit smoking all together did not experience a greater drop in their blood pressure than that of people who switched from smoking to vaping; although critics of vaping have argued that as long as vapers consume nicotine there is a heightened risk of cardiovascular issues, that claim does not seem to be supported by the science we have seen thus far.
Yet another study from the Mayo Clinic, entitled “Feasibility of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems in Surgical Patients,” has shown that e-cigarettes may mitigate complications caused by smoking cigarettes before and after surgery. According to the researchers, vaping is a valuable harm reduction tool and they therefore support additional research in this area.
4. E-cigarettes are Full of Carcinogens
Analog cigarettes are full of carcinogens (including those created through the act of burning) and it is widely accepted that second hand smoke is just as, if not more, harmful than the direct inhalation of cigarette smoke. However, a study (entitled “Comparison of select analytes in aerosol from e-cigarettes with smoke from conventional cigarettes and with ambient air,” published in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology), has shown that the toxins in vapor largely match those in air.
Further, tobacco is a chemical-intensive crop and researchers from the Colorado School of Mines found pesticides in traces of cigarette smoke, two of which are suspected carcinogens. While it is possible that such pesticides could seep into the liquid nicotine utilized by many e-liquid companies, there are responsible companies in the vape industry sourcing their nicotine from tobacco grown on small farms—a far cry from the industrial agricultural operations connected to Big Tobacco.
5. E-cigarettes Are Not Smoking Cessation Devices
One study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health examined a sample of 19,000 vapers, revealing that 99.5% were smokers when they started vaping; of those, 80% completely quit with the help of e-cigarettes.
Regardless of classification by the powers that be as an “approved” means of smoking cessation, vaping provides the constantly-growing community of smokers looking to quit with the most effective method of smoking cessation—a nicotine-delivery system that is significantly safer than smoking. This success rate is backed by scientific reviews as well as literally countless testimonials from ex-smokers themselves. The results are far more promising than any of the FDA’s currently approved smoking cessation methods. SVBS
Sheerlie Ryngler is the Director of Operations and Creative Director for Vape Organics, the first certified organic e-liquid line. A native of Los Angeles, Sheerlie has traveled extensively, receiving her BA in International Relations and MA in Conflict Resolution. She has been a passionate activist for a number of causes around the world; for almost two years Sheerlie has focused her attention on the vape industry and believes that standards of excellence and commitment to progress are crucial to ensuring its continued success. Contact Sheerlie at [email protected] or visit her website at www.pureorganicvapors.com.