Is vape harmful or not? Why Britain keeps promoting vapes

Since the British Peer Health Exchange (PHE) published its Research Report on e-cigarettes in 2015, saying that e-cigarettes can reduce harm by about 95% compared with traditional tobacco, and announced this conclusion on its government website, reminding British smokers to choose a safer way to smoke, public health units around the world have launched a wave of research on e-cigarettes.

One of the most important reasons why the research of PHE has aroused such a great response is that “PHE is the official health institution managed by the British government, with about 5,000 scientists, researchers and public health professionals, and is an authoritative research unit at the national level. Therefore, the research of PHE is of great importance to the whole world. Existence.

Although the PHE study has been questioned by many foreign experts, the British government is vigorously promoting e-cigarettes, calling on traditional smokers to switch to the use of e-cigarettes, so this may be the British government “to achieve 2025 smoke-free countries as a political means”. However, it is undeniable that with more and more research on e-cigarettes around the world, the research results of PHE are not only indirectly confirmed, but also make the health risk research of e-cigarettes tend to be more extensive and different levels.

What types of studies have confirmed the harm reduction value of e-cigarettes?

This article is to sort out the important research reports on electronic cigarettes in recent years. It is hoped that through these studies, people can get a better understanding of electronic cigarettes and the information disclosed by these scientific research.

Research on Secondary Smoke

Research from the Mass General Hospital for Children (MGHfC) shows that parents who use both traditional cigarettes and electronic cigarettes may be more likely to accept smoking cessation interventions than parents who only smoke cigarettes, because most people use electronic cigarettes for the purpose of quitting smoking.

The study, entitled “Spatial Differentiation Characteristics of Vapes and Cigarette”, was published in the well-known Journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research. Whether electronic cigarettes or ordinary cigarettes, the particle concentration after each inhalation is the same order of magnitude.

However, for vapes, the particle concentration will return to the background value in a few seconds, while for cigarettes, the particle concentration will increase with continuous throughput, and will return to the background value only after 30-45 minutes. Therefore, the research shows that the influence of vapes on indoor air quality may be negliectable.

In addition, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has also sampled e-smoke as the number of vape users in Canada continues to grow.

As part of a study to determine the health effects of secondhand vapor exposure, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has been conducting air sampling at e-cigarette stores across the country to find out whether it is harmful to people and what measures to take to deal with it.

Dr. Michael Siegel, a public health expert, published the results on social media. In a relatively small and airless vape store, many employees and 13 customers frequently “smoke” to create a large amount of vapor mist filled space to create an “extreme environment” with high exposure to vapor.

After detection and analysis, even in the small unventilated space, more than ten people continuously use vapes, which fills the whole space. The results of the detection report still show that no toxic and harmful substances have been detected to reach a dangerous level.

On the other hand, the Department of Emergency Medicine at Oregon University of Health and Sciences conducted a study called “An epidemiology and clinical description of e-cigarette toxicity” and investigated the exposure of a poison center in the United States, identifying 256 cases, including 193 children and 72 adults.

In the survey, 65% (n = 108/193) of the children involved in the use of nicotine vape juice. Although only a small amount was used, the initial symptoms were evident in 32% (n = 35/108) of the cases. As for children who did not vape or inhale the vapor, they had little toxicity, and the patient’s symptoms subsided within four hours. The researchers concluded that “exposure to smoke mainly causes mild symptoms and rarely produces significant nicotine toxicity“.

On this basis, a study by Kristin Noll-Marsh, vice-chairman of CASAA in 2012, also showed that “children’s exposure to other highly toxic chemicals, such as unregulated household products, is the result of these things leading to serious poisoning cases, not vapor from the vapes.”

Research on health risks

A study led by Professor Riccardo Polosa of the University of Catania in Italy and co-organized with seven other researchers from British universities and hospitals found that e-cigarettes helped improve COPD.

A three-year study was conducted on two groups of COPD patients. One group of 22 patients switched from traditional cigarettes to electronic cigarettes (or significantly reduced the use of traditional cigarettes by using electronic cigarettes). The other group of 22 patients continued to smoke and did not use electronic cigarettes during the three-year study. However, there were no signs of injury improvement in the group who continued to smoke.

The new research shows that even “patients who do not quit smoking completely can improve their health” by reducing their monthly cigarette consumption by at least 75%, alleviating the symptoms of COPD and improving their overall quality of life.
In addition, a study organized by New York University entitled “Hazard minimization and tobacco control: redefining the social perspective of nicotine for rapid life-saving” analyzed different nicotine substitutes, including e-cigarettes, and their benefits for reducing smokers’ hazards.

Based on several different studies, the researchers concluded that “the public needs to rethink their views on reducing harmful substitution tobacco products”. When nicotine smoke is separated from the lethal toxins in traditional tobacco, the harm of smoke to human body will be greatly reduced. The researchers report that “most of the damage comes from inhaling the products of burning tobacco.”

Take a look at the new e-cigarette research released by PHE in the UK at the end of December 2018. The study interpreted this idea by replicating the effects of “inhaling cigarette smoke”, “vape vapor” and “normal air” into three COTTON-FILLED glass covers.

Each bell cover is connected to the diaphragm pump and provides continuous suction of three different gases, while the cotton ball represents the lungs. The intake of traditional cigarettes and electronic cigarettes is about the average monthly consumption of users.
At the end of the experiment, the cotton ball was brown in the glass cover of the test cigarette, the inner wall of the glass cover was brown, and the pipes leading to the air pump were covered with sticky tar. However, there is no change in the glass cap that receives the e-liquid vapor. Apart from some water vapor above, the cotton ball is also very slightly colored by the vapor. Needless to say, there is no change in the reception of natural air except that there is water vapor on the glass cover.

Professor John Newton, Director of PHE Health Improvement, said that the experiment clearly demonstrated that the impact of new tobacco products and the use of traditional cigarettes was in sharp contrast. They realized that at least half a million traditional smokers would try to quit smoking after the start of 2019, and hoped that his film could urge traditional smokers to try different NRT products.

Research on Other Types of Vapes

A study, co-organized by several researchers from Australia and New Zealand and published in the Journal of Epidemiological Research, found that easier access to nicotine-containing e-cigarettes was highly likely to lead to health benefits and cost savings.

“The results of this study apply equally to Australia as a whole,” the researchers said. The study simulated what would happen if the number of New Zealanders using e-cigarettes increased, compared with the continuing use of existing cigarettes.

The study found that the most likely development outcome was health benefits. Because those who quit smoking because of the use of electronic cigarettes gain health equivalent to an additional 19 days of life per New Zealander.

In addition, studies have found that e-cigarettes may save at least NZ$3.4 billion (A$3.27 billion) in health costs due to a reduction in the number of tobacco-related diseases, although they are not risk-free, can turn out to be at least very good.

A study from helptoquit even found that e-cigarettes can help smokers improve their mental health. The study shows that traditional smokers must quit smoking altogether before they can reduce their levels of depression and anxiety. The NHS also suggests that switching to electronic cigarettes will benefit traditional smokers during this stressful quitting period.

Smokers tend to use more tobacco products to calm down when they feel stressed or anxious. However, despite satisfying the desire for nicotine, surveys have shown that these behaviors are likely to exacerbate these symptoms, so smoking addiction is cyclical.

In addition, the data also show that once smokers successfully quit smoking, positive emotions will increase by 40%, while the symptoms of mental illness will be greatly reduced. According to the data, the stress and depression index decreased by 27% and 25% respectively after quitting smoking.

Dr Paul Aveyard, professor of behavioral medicine in the UK, said:
“For clinicians like me, when we see that tobacco users have mental health problems, we often feel that we are depriving them of coping with stress, but in fact we are helping them to become better.”

Another study by Dr Aveyard found that “quitting smoking has the same benefits for depression and anxiety symptoms as prescription antidepressants for sleep effects. Sleep deprivation is the third leading cause of stress in Britain, so Dr Aveyard believes that quitting smoking can not only improve mental symptoms, but also have a positive impact on sleep quality.

In addition, the preliminary results of the observational study on e-cigarettes were published at the Society For Research On Nicotine and Tobacco SRNT held in Munich last September. The study, called the Smokeless Brain, looked at the effects of heavy smokers from smoking to electronic cigarettes within 28 days.

During the study, 31 participants focused on several health parameters, including psychometric, cardiovascular, quality of life, brain activity and toxic biological indicators. Data collected showed significant changes in participants’ psychometric parameters and significant decreases in toxic biological indicators.

In summary, although electronic cigarettes are still controversial, with the product iteration and upgrading, and the introduction of new research, electronic cigarettes are still the most likely NRT products to change the global smoking habits.

Although compared with other NRT products, electronic cigarettes are not the safest choice. After all, electronic cigarettes are not completely zero-risk, and the impact on human body needs to be observed for a long time. However, as far as market acceptance is concerned, electronic cigarettes are still the most advantageous alternative to nicotine in terms of dissemination and smokers’ acceptance.

It is hoped that in the future, more samples and more critical research will be introduced, which will not only bring positive development momentum to the industry, but also endorse the traditional smokers to use electronic cigarettes, so that more smokers can recognize and use vapes to be more healthy.


Vice editor at Vape HK DISCLAIMER
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