2017 has already been quite a busy year for the vapor industry. Not only have there been a number of major developments in the manufacturing sphere, there have also been some very promising research studies released over the last few months. The best part is that these studies really are shining a positive spotlight on what vaping is and how it can be good for public health.
Here’s a look at some of the top headlines from 2017 so far:
Over-Regulation Has Negative Consequences
A study conducted for the Nicotine & Tobacco Research Journal showed that in countries where vaping bans were in place, or where there were excessive taxes on vaping, smokers were less likely to successfully quit smoking using e-cigarettes. Instead, they found that the added taxes and hassle of vaping often pushed people back to traditional cigarettes, effectively nullifying vaping’s harm-reduction abilities.
The Benzene Reversal
A new study by Portland State University created quite the stir when it boldly announced vapers were being exposed to large amounts of benzene formed in their devices. Other researchers were quick to step in and point out the fact that the PSU study was poorly done and utilized unrealistic vaping simulations to form the benzene. The opposition shared tons of research disproving the benzene theory and instead showed that vaping produces less benzene than what is present in ambient air.
On Second-Hand Vaping
In an effort to study the effects of second-hand vapor on innocent bystanders, a team of researchers went to the heart of the issue by measuring air quality inside a variety of vapor shops and lounges. These were areas known to have high-density levels of vapor floating in the air without cigarette smoke or other potential influences. Both studies revealed that the air quality inside of vape shops was equivalent to the quality of the ambient air outside the shop and that vaping had no appreciable effect on chemical buildup in the air in the immediate vicinity.
Lung Tumor Reduction
Cancer has always been a hot topic in the world of smoking and vaping, but a new study this year showed that e-cigarettes contribute far less to tumor growth than traditional cigarettes. The research concluded that vapor contains far fewer chemicals overall than cigarette smoke, and that those chemicals are present in trace amounts. When applied directly to cancerous cells they had no effect on the growth rate of the tumor, suggesting that vapor does not pose the same risk for cancer as smoking.
A recent PATH study is aiming to fight the misconception that e-cigarettes are just a different way for smokers to get their nicotine fix. While this may be true in a small number of cases, researchers actually found that e-cigarettes are far less addictive than cigarettes and that the majority of people who choose to vape have given up cigarettes altogether while also reducing their dependency over time.
The Infamous Gateway
These days it seems that each new trend is somehow a gateway to some other, older danger. Some people have argued the same is true of e-cigarettes, claiming that vaping is just a gateway for people to pick up smoking at a later date. However, in a study of 1,300 people, there were only three participants who even tried a cigarette after vaping first, much less took up smoking full-time. In nearly all other cases, vaping was used as a means to escape from cigarettes.
Fire Risk, What Fire Risk?
While news headlines were quick to slam the vapor industry with reports of exploding vape devices, the U.S. Fire Administration was kind enough to step forward and report that there have only been 25 reports of fires or explosions caused by vaporizers, most of which did not result in injury. Among these incidents, the majority of them were caused by user error.
Several studies this year have looked into whether or not public perception of vaping is changing. Today, many people understand the benefits of vaping as opposed to smoking, and some of the stigma is beginning to fade. Oddly, this is coming at a time when more laws and restrictions are being placed on the vapor industry. The hope is that shifting public perception will help battle any new regulations.
With so many important studies already being published this year, it is nice to see that researchers are taking the subject seriously and there is some real energy being put forth to demystify vaping as a whole.
While it will still be many years before we have a complete understanding of what vaping can and can’t do, these early studies are painting a very positive picture of the benefits of vaping.