Smokers switching to e-cigarettes from traditional cigarettes could lead to five million fewer deaths linked to tobacco use, according to an analysis projecting health outcomes from smoking 10 years into the future and evaluating the role of nicotine alternatives.
The findings of study, led by Dr. David Levy of Georgetown University Medical Center, were published Tuesday in the peer-review journal Tobacco Control.
Dr. Levy and his colleagues sought to evaluate the health impact of switching people from traditional cigarettes to electronic cigarettes, which heat a nicotine liquid and create a vaporized smoke for the user to exhale.
The researchers started with a Status Quo Scenario that projected the health outcomes from current smoking rates. In an “optimistic scenario,” cigarette use was replaced with vaping and health outcomes were adjusted. Of the results, the researchers projected that switching all smokers to vaping products would result in 6.6 million fewer premature deaths, with a combined 86.7 million fewer years lost.
In the “pessimistic scenario,” with smoking rates and interventions continuing as they are, there would be 1.6 million fewer deaths and 20.8 million fewer life years lost.