There are mountains of misinformation about vaping available online. We want to help set people straight, but there are so many inaccuracies and misconceptions about e-cigarettes and vaping that it can be hard to know what’s right and what’s not. So in this article we are focussing on the claims of one of Britain’s biggest and most trusted smoking-related charities – Cancer Research UK – and what they have found about the effects on vaping.
Cancer Research has not been active supporters of vaping – in 2013 they were still on the fence. However, now the evidence is clear, Cancer Research UK have become clear advocates of vaping as an alternative to smoking. Last year, Alison Cox, Director for Cancer Prevention, said the science shows that “e-cigarettes are a much safer alternative to tobacco, and … the long term effects of these products will be minimal.” This article goes through why this is the case.
Vaping is Much Less Harmful than Smoking
In a long-term study funded by Cancer Research UK in February 2017, E-cigarettes were found to be less toxic compared to cigarettes. Ex-smokers made the switch had significantly lower levels of toxic chemicals and carcinogens in their lungs and bodies than those who continued to smoke. The study that Cancer Research UK funded into the real world effects of e-cigarettes in short found that a complete switch from cigarettes to vaping massively improves people’s health.
E-Cigarettes Help People Stop Smoking
The highest rate of quitting rates in England were seen last year in 2017, and it is hard not to assign some of the responsibility for that on the rise of vaporisers. Cancer Research assigns some responsibility to vaping; they estimated that the number of long-term ex-smokers rose in England in 2015 alone rose by 18,000 thanks to e-cigarettes. The majority of vapers now have quit smoking entirely. Cancer Research UK has said that this evidence shows we need to integrate vaping into our smoking reduction strategies, because vaping is clearly proving an extremely effective way to help people quit smoking.
Young People Don’t Vape Unless They Smoke
One of the biggest concerns recently has been that children have been picking up vaping to be ‘cool’ despite it being illegal and a serious offence to sell a child e-cigarette devices.
However, as Cancer Research UK’s prevention expert from the University of Stirling, Professor Linda Baud, says: “regular use of e-cigarettes among young people who have never smoked remains … less than 1%”. Rightfully, Cancer Research is concerned that teens who start vaping could possibly start smoking later on in life. However, the evidence for this just is not there – concerns that vaping could act as a ‘gateway’ to smoking has not materialised.
Vaping Does Not Cause Second Hand Smoke
Dr Andy McEwen, Executive Director of the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training, is unequivocal on this point: “there’s no evidence that second-hand e-cigarette vapour is dangerous to others”. Second hand smoke from cigarettes, also known as passive smoking, is toxic, especially for children and pregnant women. Second-hand smoke kills thousands of children and adults every year, has been linked to around 165,000 new cases of disease annually among children.
‘Passive vaping’ by contrast would require you to be poisoned by second hand smoke from a vaporiser. But vaporisers do not produce smoke; they produce vapour, which does not produce environmental nicotine like the end of a lit cigarette does. No smoke means no second-hand smoke. No second-hand smoke means no health worries for those around the (responsible) vaper.
There is more evidence than ever that vaping is better for you than smoking. Despite the controversy in the media, expert opinion has formed a pretty strong consensus. Authorities from doctors to health charities to Public Health England have made clear: when compared to smoking, e-cigarettes are far less harmful and making the switch is a massive boon. If you are interested in making the switch, take a look at one of our vapour starter kits or have a look at our vape shop online!