With all the media lately on vaping and public health, most people are led to believe that vaping is just as bad if not worse than smoking. Few people know how much safer vaping actually is than smoking, discouraging people from making the switch. The fact is vaping makes it much easier to quit smoking than traditional methods like gum or patches; our country should be focusing on harm reduction instead of politics and taxation.
Our goal should be to build awareness about the risks with smoking. As well as to help educate the public about the various products that can help smokers quit for good. Our leaders ignore the fact that e-cigarettes can reduce these risks by as much as 95 percent. This figure comes from England Public Health and various independent reviews.
The real public health tragedy is how quickly our political leaders have jumped on the “tax it” bandwagon. They focus solely on reducing teen usage of vaping products. In doing so, they neglect the more than 38 million Americans that are currently addicted to combustible tobacco products. There is no debate about smokers being at higher risk for cancer and heart & lung disease. So why is the focus not on reducing those risks and helping people to quit smoking?
The Data Doesn’t Lie
Use of e-cigarettes have shown to be twice as effective as other methods. Yet, a recent poll (conducted by McLaughlin & Associates) showed that 53% of voting Americans did not know that vaping is less harmful than smoking. Another 23% were not sure. If we let our leaders misrepresent the facts about the differences in vaping and smoking, more people will be discouraged from choosing the healthier alternative.
Smoking and vaping are both nicotine delivery systems. Nicotine is indeed an addictive chemical, so the smart choice of course is to do neither. However, everyone should understand the differences. Smoking burns tobacco causing the release of thousands of harmful chemicals. It is this combustion process and inhalation of these chemicals not nicotine itself that leads to cancer. Vaping on the other hand releases a less harmful vapor without the release of cancer causing chemicals. To educate the American public on the differences between e-cigarettes and traditional smoking should be our focus.