Study Reveals E-Cigarettes Could Save Lives September 15, 2014 11:02
According to a study done in the United Kingdom, making a switch from tobacco to e-cigs could save the lives of over 50,000 smokers annually despite the recommendations from the World Health Organization to limit their consumption.
The main concern of the World Health Organization is that young people will see the advertisements of e-cigarettes and decide to begin smoking them, but would then later switch to using regular tobacco cigarettes. The government did say that they would not be banning the use of e-cigarettes in indoor areas. However, they will be implementing additional regulations regarding the marketing techniques used for e-cigarettes.
There are differing opinions in the public health community about the consequences of the marketing of electronic cigarettes. One side of the argument believes that e-cigs will make smoking seem normal again to boost overall sales within the tobacco industry, while others believe e-cigarette ads to be a good way to encourage people to quit smoking by giving them a healthier alternative.
It has been estimated that about 6,000 premature deaths are prevented for every million smokers who decide to switch from tobacco cigarettes to electronic cigarettes. That means that if all 9 million smokers across the United Kingdom made the change to e-cigarettes, approximately 54,000 premature deaths would be prevented.
Professor Ann McNeill is the head of the National Addiction Center of King’s College London. She was surprised by the negative response that these ads received, and didn’t think that this negative response lined up well with the evidence that shows that how much safer e-cigarettes are than traditional tobacco cigarettes.
Another area of dispute among experts is the question of whether or not young people using electronic cigarettes is a problem. However, studies have shown that there are very few incidences of non-smokers deciding to begin using e-cigs, which means the vast majority of e-cigarette users are individuals who have been smoking tobacco cigarettes who are changing to e-cigarettes.
Although there are still harmful chemicals that can be found in e-cigs, there are significantly less in them as there are in tobacco cigarettes, which makes them much safer. The World Health Organization understands the health benefits of switching to electronic cigarettes and are not moving to ban them. Rather, they are looking for ways to promote smokers to switch to e-cigarettes while reducing the number of young people who may start smoking e-cigs because of the way these ads are presented.
One thing all experts agree on is that electronic cigarettes are still fairly new on the market, and because many of the long-term health implications as well as other important facts on who is using these e-cigarettes have not yet been evaluated. For that reason, there is a lot more research that needs to be done to ensure that smokers are being saved from premature death by switching to electronic cigarettes and new smokers are not being created.