Around the world, a great deal of research is being done on e-cigarettes and vaping, trying to determine if it’s better than smoking and could even help people to finally kick the deadly habit.
The reasons for this are all too clear and distressing. Half of the many millions of people around the world who smoke will die from it, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). That adds up to over seven million deaths from tobacco-related diseases annually — including 890,000 who inhale secondhand smoke.
It’s a worldwide public health emergency, and governments have long been trying to get people off cigarettes by raising taxes, banning advertising and prohibiting smoking in public places. Those firm measures, however, have not been enough to deter many people from getting the nicotine they crave from burning tobacco. “The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced,” the WHO warns.
Vaping Turning into a Big Hit
During the process of combustion, tobacco releases more than 7,000 chemicals. This includes various flavors and other additives that are combined with cigarettes to make smoking more enjoyable. Scientists have identified that from these thousands of airborne chemicals, at least 70 of them can cause cancer.
You only have to take a peek at the list to know how bad they might be for the human body. Carcinogens in burning smoke include hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, lead, arsenic, ammonia, uranium and other radioactive elements, benzene and carbon monoxide. It’s a horror-story combination of potential deadly chemicals that people throughout the world are breathing in every day.
It’s only the nicotine, however, that people want; like sugar, it is an addictive substance. Vaping is turning out to be a saviour in this regard, because it contains nicotine and very little else. No-one in the world knowingly wants to inhale an arsenal of potentially deadly chemicals just to get the nicotine buzz they’re after — especially if there is a far safer alternative available. There has certainly been debate in recent years about the risks of using e-cigarettes, which are readily available from a good vape shop, but thanks to new research, the air is clearing.
Vaping: A Fresher Breath of Air
One of the most prominent studies in recent times has come out of London, England. There, the Royal College of Physicians, one of the oldest and most distinguished medical organizations in the world, researched e-cigarettes to find out if they pose any risks to human health. What they found was few, if any, and they wholeheartedly backed smokers to head over to a vape shop and use vaping as a way to get off harmful cigarettes.
It concluded that “e-cigarettes are likely to be beneficial to UK public health. Smokers can therefore be reassured and encouraged to use them, and the public can be reassured that e-cigarettes are much safer than smoking.” And the physicians said vaping should be “widely promoted as a substitute for smoking.”
Meanwhile, a group of UK health bodies and charities is calling for e-cigarettes to be given to people with mental health problems to help them stop smoking, as they are more than twice as likely to smoke compared to the general population. In psychiatric hospitals, it can be as high as 70%.
“This is a great inequality, leading to early death and years of chronic illness for many. E-cigarettes provide a new opportunity for people to move away from smoking and avoid the terrible burden of death and disease it causes,” the group said.
Now, countries around the world are going a step further than simply slapping more taxes on cigarettes. They’re aiming to get rid of them altogether. New Zealand, for instance, is among the first countries to launch a smoke-free campaign that it hopes will see the use of cigarettes reduced to almost nonexistent levels in the coming years. Vaping is among the measures being recommended as a way to achieve this highly desirable health goal.
The e-cigarette may well turn out to the smoking gun everyone was looking for.