The vaping industry is committed to inspiring adult smokers to go smoke-free by making products that can make a difference in their lives. From a public health standpoint, vaping has the potential to save a lot of lives and it’s not the first initiative that has the ability to be a major win either. We found some other successful public health strategies that has saved lives and still helps millions of people to this day.
Tuberculosis – TB is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. As stated in the article “Ten Great Public Health Achievements – Worldwide, 2001-2010” on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, the World Health Organization created its directly observed therapy, short-course (DOTS) strategy for TB control in 1995. DOTS has a focus on finding and treating cases quickly. Since 2000, detection and survival rates have each improved by 20%. The World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, adopted the “End TB Strategy” in 2014. The strategy aims to reduce global TB deaths by 90% and cut new cases by 80% before 2030, as shown on the World Health Organization website. It outlines three main components aimed at ending the epidemic: patient-centered care, bold policies, and intense research. The number of cases have decreased by an average of 1.5% per year since 2000. The World Health Organization says that from 2000 to 2015, an estimated 49 million lives were saved through treatment.
Road Safety – The International Federation of the Red Cross released an International Disasters Report in 2000 that raised an alarm over worldwide road injuries. The article on worldwide public health achievements from the CDC website also states that almost 1.3 million people die on the roads globally each year. The years 2011 to 2020 were announced as the Decade of Action for Road Safety by the United Nations General Assembly. The goal is to reduce the projected number of traffic fatalities across the globe by reducing alcohol-impaired driving, improving public transport, increasing seat belt/helmet use, increasing speed control, improving road/vehicle design, and providing more effective care of people injured. According to the CDC, this goal could save five million lives and prevent 50 million serious injuries.
Heart Disease and Stroke – Cardiovascular disease is a significant cause of death in the United States. According to the article “Ten Great Public Health Achievements – United States, 2001-2010” on the CDC website, heart disease has been the leading cause of death in the U.S. since 1921, while stroke was the third largest cause of death in the U.S. from 1938 to 2009. Now stroke is the fourth largest cause of death in the U.S. From 2001 to 2010, the age-adjusted coronary heart disease rate declined from 195 to 126 per 100,000 population. Also, the stroke death rate declined from 62 to 42 per 100,000 population. These results are due to the decline of risk factors like high cholesterol, hypertension, and smoking. Treatments, medications, and quality of care have also improved.
Response to Threats – “Ten Great Public Health Achievements – Worldwide” also shows that the 2005 International Health Regulations improved the international framework for responses to public health threats. Public health surveillance has expanded to detect threats earlier, lab capacity has improved to allow more tests for pathogens, and new Field Epidemiology Training Programs have been established. Public health efforts to reduce the spread of disease between animals and humans also lower the risk of pandemics. Because of these efforts, the response to the 2009 influenza H1N1 (aka “swine flu”) outbreak received the most rapid and effective response in influenza history. Only weeks after discovering the virus, the CDC’s Global Disease Detection Operations Center and ministries of health sent diagnostic reagents to labs in 146 countries and provided clinical training. The virus was quickly identified and a vaccine was created within 20 weeks.
Vaping – Vaping is a public health initiative that saves lives by reducing the risk of several diseases. As stated in TNT Magazine’s article “Vaping Versus Smoking Cigarettes,” while cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals, several of which are linked to cancer, e-cigarettes only contain four ingredients: propylene glycol, glycerin, nicotine, and flavorings.
Also, a study by Cancer Research UK concludes that vaping can reduce cancer-causing toxins in the body, in contrast to smoking. The study included 181 people, some smokers and some former smokers. Scientists collected samples from the volunteers to measure carcinogens, nicotine, and toxins in the body. The study found that smoking-related carcinogens and other toxins are reduced between 56% and 97% in long-term e-cigarette users who have completely stopped smoking. These results were exclusive to people who were not dual users of both cigarettes and vapor. On the plus side, studies like “E-cigarette use and associated changes in population smoking cessation: evidence from US current population surveys” published in The BMJ have shown that smokers who used e-cigs were more likely to succeed in quitting than people who don’t use e-cigs. Vaping is an ambition that is bringing smokers toward a healthier life.
Odd One Out – Other than vaping, these initiatives have been positively accepted as “saving lives” initiatives. The U.S. Government Global Tuberculosis Strategy says that the U.S. alone invested more than $2.8 billion to combat TB globally from 2010 to 2014. The Decade of Action for Road Safety has several big corporate sponsors that donate at least $150,000 a year to the cause, as displayed on the FIA Foundation website. The FDA has an entire page on its website with tips for a healthy diet to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, the signs of a heart attack, and information on how to manage heart health conditions. The International Health Regulations are also widely accepted. The World Health Organization website shows that as of 2013, 196 states are parties to the IHR.
On the other hand, vaping is subject to in-depth regulations and the Deeming Rule by the FDA. Why is it the outsider when studies have shown that vaping can save lives and promote smoking cessation? E-cigarettes started selling on the U.S. market in 2007; can you imagine if the other health initiatives received 10 years of backlash like vaping has? Even more lives would have been lost due to unnecessary causes, just like tobacco is causing now. According to the World Health Organization website, over 7 million people die worldwide each year because of tobacco, an epidemic that can be completely avoided. Vape companies want to save these lives without unnecessary restrictions.
You can join our fight to save lives by joining vaping advocacy groups, calling your state representative’s office to urge him or her to support vaping, and spreading the word to friends and family on the benefits on vaping. SVBS
Kendall Davis is a marketing content coordinator at Nicopure Labs, an e-liquid manufacturer. She studied Mass Communications at the University of South Florida, and she has experience creating content in both television and radio stations. She enjoys spending her free time with family and traveling.