The very first organization to uncover the harms of smoking cigarettes in 1962, before the US Surgeon had ever put out his report, the Royal College of Physicians is now uncovering the truth about electronic cigarettes. The truth, however, is nothing us vapers haven’t experienced ourselves: electronic cigarettes and vaporizers are a harm-reducing alternative to traditional combustion cigarettes or any other combustible tobacco products.
The RCP studied cigarettes for years, coming to the conclusion that cigarettes are linked to cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, and a variety of other preventable ailments. So their studies on electronic cigarettes are monumental and will most likely act as a pillar in the vaping community. “Large-scale substitution of e-cigarettes, or other non-tobacco nicotine products, for tobacco smoking has the potential to prevent almost all the harm from smoking in society,” the RCP says. “Promoting e-cigarettes…and other non-tobacco nicotine products as widely as possible, as a substitute for smoking, is therefore likely to generate significant health gains in the UK.”
Think of how huge this can be! With the FDA currently in the process of adding multiple products, including electronic cigarettes, to their existing tobacco regulations, studies like are vital to our industry as they prove how detrimental and harmful it would be to society. The RCP’s findings will surely show representatives in the house that their views on electronic cigarettes and vaping are slightly bias and skewed. Lucky for us, this new report very specifically addresses all of the accusations against vaping.
“E-cigarette vapour contains a far less extensive range of toxins, and those present are typically at much lower levels, than in tobacco smoke,” states the RCP report. “In normal conditions of use, toxin levels in inhaled e-cigarette vapour are probably well below prescribed threshold limit values for occupational exposure, in which case significant long-term harm is unlikely. Some harm from sustained exposure to low levels of toxins over many years may yet emerge, but the magnitude of these risks relative to those of sustained tobacco smoking is likely to be small….Although it is not possible to quantify the long-term health risks associated with e-cigarettes precisely, the available data suggest that they are unlikely to exceed 5% of those associated with smoked tobacco products, and may well be substantially lower than this figure.” These findings come shortly after another report hailing from the U.K. in 2015 that states, “It has been previously estimated that [electronic cigarettes] are around 95% safer than smoking,” which “appears to remain a reasonable estimate.”
In regards to regulations, the Royal Colleges of Physicians seems to be neither for or against it. They concluded certain safety regulations should be implemented, however if regulation “makes e-cigarettes less easily accessible, less palatable or acceptable, more expensive, less consumer friendly or pharmacologically less effective, or inhibits innovation and development of new and improved products, then it causes harm by perpetuating smoking.”
The future for vaping still isn’t clear, but with more and more studies highlighting its benefits and positive outcomes, it looks like we may be winning this fight after all!