It looks like the e-cigarette debate is lighting up again, as researchers establish that they can help smokers quit, but make non-smokers start. Two studies that are practically dueling each other are trying to reveal pros and cons, but they are both stuck in the vicious circle, pointing fingers to each other and giving no final verdict.
Let’s start with the basics: e-cigarettes are cigarette-looking devices that are powered up by a battery. They heat up a liquid that contains nicotine and create a mist that is inhaled by the smoker. This process is now widely known as vaping, a lighter version of smoking.
While a study conducted by high school students, which was published in the Journal American Medical Association (JAMA), suggested that people who tried e-cigarettes are exposed to trying traditional cigarettes too, health experts have failed to provide accurate insight as to how healthy or unhealthy e-cigarettes actually are.
In short, the previously mentioned research was conducted over a six-month period and kept in touch with approximately 2,500 US students. It was concluded that around one third of the e-cigarette users attempted to smoke other types of tobacco. The traditional smokers had a way lower “try rate” as only 8 percent of them tried other forms of tobacco.
Professor Peter Hajek, from the University of London, interpreted this result in a different manner, stating that “the people who were attracted to e-cigarettes are, in fact, the same people who are attracted to smoking”. His interpretation was also enforced by professor Simon Chapman from the University of Sydney.
“Critics of studies say that it’s simply because the ones who smoke e-cigarettes are the ones who are risk-takers… it’s a plausible response, except … it’s likely there are going to be quite a few people within those kids who took up vaping who may have never taken up cigarettes otherwise.”
Professor Chapman believes that once teenagers had crossed the line, tier interest would grow and there might be no coming back from that. But he also mentioned that e-cigarettes are well known for being less dangerous to health than traditional cigarettes, especially after researchers from Public Health England found out that they could help smokers give up the habit for good.
In the end, the second study demonstrated that there is no link between e-cigarettes and picking up smoking, contrary to the JAMA’s results.
It seems as though proper information can deb found by investigating the matter further or by simply accepting that smoking is a decision-based activity. Anybody can do it as long as they believe they can do it and want to do it.
Photo Credits healthcare-newjersey.com