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E-cigarettes, vaping could lengthen smokers' lives
05 October 2017, 12:18 | Rodolfo Wallace
Smoking is a bad habit
Bravo cited Dr. Konstantinos E. Farsalinos, a leading expert on tobacco harm reduction and e-cigarettes, who said that appropriate regulation of e-cigarettes can help prevent serious sickness in and the premature death of millions of cigarette smokers in the Philippines.
That adds up to 86.7 million cumulative years of life saved, as estimated by the new research from Georgetown University Medical Center. "Tar refers to the combustion products of cigarettes produced by the burning of organic matter, dried tobacco leaf, something which is not present in e-cigarettes".
Doctors said vaping is a step in the right direction for smokers looking to quit.
"Our findings are consistent with randomized trials and those observational studies that measure frequency of e-cigarette us", said Levy.
Using mathematical models, researchers calculated how two possible scenarios of cigarette and e-cigarette use - one optimistic scenario and one pessimistic scenario - could impact public health if Americans who smoked cigarettes switched to e-cigarettes over the next 10 years.
A "worst case" prediction of harms from e-cigarettes (ie. where e-cigarettes turn out to be more harmful than the current science suggests) is also used, and greater uptake of vaping among non-smokers is presumed.
"Both cigarette quit attempts and quit success were directly related to the number of days of e-cigarette use", Levy said.
In that optimistic model, the researchers found that 6.6 million premature deaths could be avoided in the USA, according to the study, which was published yesterday (Oct. 2) in the journal Tobacco Control.
"Old policies need to be supplemented with policies that encourage substituting e-cigarettes for the far more deadly cigarettes", Levy says.
Under a "pessimistic" projection, 1.6 million former cigarette smokers would have a combined 20.8 million more years of additional life, the research team found. They're still nicotine products.
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) previously cracked down on flavored tobacco products in 2009, when it banned the sale of flavored cigarettes.
Farsalinos also noted that nicotine is the reason quitting smoking is very hard.
In short, the jury is still out on what exactly the health effects of e-cigarettes will be.
E-cigarettes carry about 40 percent of the risk of smoking.
Cigarette smoking would decline to 5 percent of the US population as e-cigarettes become the more popular option, down from the current 16 percent.
"For years, harm-reduction advocates have relied on quality research from independent European researchers and non-government organizations, only to be told that such research was somehow not trustworthy because the authors were not American".
As has been the case in most studies reviewing a potential reduced-risk for e-cigs, what these results signify depend on where individuals fall on the anti-tobacco, anti-smoking spectrum.
The lung association has since argued that the FDA should have the ability to do the same thing with e-cigarettes.
But DePalo worries that such a strategy might imply that continued nicotine addiction is acceptable compared to the hazards of smoking, unless more is done to help e-cigarette users eventually wean themselves off the devices.
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