As part of the Public Health England (PHE) Health Harms Campaign, a revealing video highlighting the effects of smoking tobacco compared to vapour from e-cigarettes.
If you vape, you will undoubtedly be aware of the advantages that e-cigarettes hold over their traditional tobacco-based counterparts – more money, an improved sense of health, less time spent out in the cold just to get your nicotine hit…the list goes on. Despite the tangible benefits on offer, of some six million smokers in the UK, almost half (44%) wrongly believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking or that they are unaware of the significantly lower risk that vaping has on their health (22%).
Public Health England Research Into Tobacco Risks
The statistics surrounding tobacco are shocking to say the least. Roughly eight million die each year from tobacco use, with 1.2 million from passive smoking alone. Sadly 65,000 of those are children who have no control over the issue whatsoever. From smoking tobacco products like cigarettes, you put yourself at risk of developing one of 20 different types of cancer. This includes those affecting the throat, respiratory system, bowel and kidneys. Roughly 1.3 billion use tobacco products worldwide, with the majority of those (80%) in low income and middle income households. You also have to think of the cost to fund the habit of smoking tobacco. At an average price of £9.91 per pack of cigarettes in the UK and on average ten cigarettes smoked a day, that’s money that could be used towards other costs such as utilities for housing or food.
As the video demonstrates, representing a month’s worth of smoking and vaping, scientists Dr Lion Shahab and Dr Rosemary Leonard compare the smoke of a cigarette versus the vapour produced from an e cigarette while using cotton wool buds to represent what might happen inside our bodies. We all know that smoking is bad and as we are sure you will, of course, concur, the evidence from the experiment is frightful, to say the least.
Expectedly, the chamber of cotton buds subjected to the tobacco smoke contains a lot of sticky black tar.
In comparison, the chamber of cotton wool buds covered with vapour from the e-cigs appeared free from any such stain. An area in the middle of cotton wool buds being damp at best as the only kind resulting consequence.
As well as the dangers of cancer, the video highlights the damage to your lungs and other body parts. Smoking tobacco additionally reduces fertility and significantly raises the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, eye disease and dementia.
Vaping is 95% Less Harmful than Smoking
While not completely risk-free, the video published by PHE is both a sobering and a startling visual representation. It backs up their declaration in 2015 that e cigarettes are up to 95% less harmful than smoking tobacco.
Conducting the experiment, smoking cessation academic Dr Lion Shahab commented:
“Research we and others have conducted shows that vaping is much less harmful than smoking and that using e cigarettes on a long-term basis is relatively safe, similar to using licensed nicotine products, like nicotine patches or gum. Using e cigarettes or nicotine replacement such as patches or gum will boost your chances of quitting successfully.”
Annually since then Public Health England have published reports the positive studies carried out to back up e-cigarettes. This is a positive step to remove tobacco use from society in the UK. In 2020 PHE looked to quash any misleading representations and negativities surrounding vaping, mainly stemming from the USA. They did this step by step, tackling several bias studies and reports via media outlets. Their latest report demonstrates the vaping industry still has much work ahead to help the UK government’s target to stop smoking by 2030.
More Education On E-Cigarettes Needed
Despite an estimated 2.5 million vapers in England having successfully quit smoking with the help of e cigarettes, it is clear that more education and information is needed. Otherwise, the 44% of smokers will not understand that vaping is a much less harmful alternative to toxic smoking cigarettes.
Director of Health Improvement at PHE, Professor John Newton said:
“It would be tragic if thousands of smokers who could quit with the help of an e cigarette are being put off due to false fears about safety. We need to reassure smokers that switching to an e cigarette would be much less harmful than smoking.”
From contracting ‘popcorn lung’ to vaporisers pulverising homes, myths and false rumours surrounding e-cigs are tough to stop. Various advertising limitations imposed on the e cigarette industry mean that it can be difficult to convey the positive impact of e-cigarettes. This in turn can make it difficult to convince the naysayers otherwise that vaping is a far less harmful habit.
Know someone that smokes? Forward them this blog and show the video. Give them the low down on all things e cigs and e-liquids – they’ll thank you later when they’re a vaper.