Views: 101 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2022-07-03 Origin: Site
E-cigarettes can help smokers kick the deadly habit. Unfortunately, this message has been overshadowed by the plethora of anti-vaping messages promoted by tobacco researchers and journalists.
The evidence is clear: vaping is less dangerous than smoking and helps many quit the deadly habit. Neither conclusion can be refuted by any publicly available data, but both observations are often denied or downplayed by tobacco control researchers, activists and federal regulators, which contaminate public understanding of e-cigarettes and discourage smokers from trying to potentially save them Alternative to life.
I successfully quit smoking with the help of e-cigarettes, and the conclusion of the last paragraph was recently published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Medscape reported on June 20: "American adults increasingly believe that e-cigarettes are more harmful than traditional cigarettes."
Why is the public afraid of e-cigarettes?
The authors analyzed data collected as part of the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), a mail-based, nationally representative survey asking U.S. adults about their views on cancer and other health-related information. The data were collected in five cycles between January 2018 and May 2020. The answers of more than 3,000 respondents each year (2018: 3,360; 2019: 3,217; 2020: 3,677) were included in the final analysis. The authors report that the relative harm perception of e-cigarettes versus cigarettes was assessed by the following question, with 6 answers to choose from: Compared to smoking, would you say e-cigarettes are... Respondents were classified as Compared to cigarettes, e-cigarettes are relatively less harmful (less harmful or much less harmful), harmful (just as harmful), and more harmful (more harmful or more harmful).
The authors suggest that the negative shift in perception may have been driven by media coverage of the so-called "EVALI outbreak." From 2019 to 2020, more than 2,000 people were hospitalized and 68 died from vaping product use-related lung injuries.
Because these cases were not caused by the vaping itself, which the CDC had mistakenly maintained for months, but by devices that were illegally purchased to vape THC or CBD. These chemicals, which are native to marijuana rather than tobacco, are mixed with vitamin E acetate, which may cause reported lung damage. PhD. Josh Bloom helpfully explains the chemistry behind this phenomenon in this story; later research corroborates his analysis.
What journalists usually do during the EVALI outbreak when they don't have all the facts: They again magnify the risk -- with the acquiescence of the CDC -- but aren't interested in reporting the resolution to the controversy. According to the study authors: "March 2020 and April 2020, the relative perception of more harmful was high, suggesting that misconceptions persisted after the link to vitamin E acetate was first identified in September 2019, possibly due to Since then, media coverage has not been maintained at the initial level.”
This trend continues
EVALI is no longer a major public health concern, but controversial ideological activism and sloppy reporting continue to undermine vaping as a harm reduction tool today. Researchers have released low-level studies accusing vaping of serious health consequences, and the media dutifully reported the results. ACSH and other science-minded media have corrected the propaganda; unfortunately, the good news didn't get as much attention as the sexy, scary headlines.
Experts recognize the problem and know it needs to be addressed. "We're good at communicating the public health message that cigarettes are bad and tobacco is widely harmful," Dr. Ashley Brooks-Russell, associate professor at the Colorado School of Public Health, told Medscape Medical News. We're really bad at talking about smaller options, like if you're going to smoke, e-cigarettes are less harmful.Dr. Russell is right, but I want to go further. Even as they document the harm caused by the common anti-vaping trope, tobacco researchers can't give up their skepticism about vaping. As the study authors themselves wrote,
"E-cigarettes ... contain high levels of nicotine and youth-appealing flavors that may lead to addiction and flammable tobacco product use among teens and young adults." Every word of this sentence is at least partially false of. Many e-cigarettes have little or no nicotine. Flavored e-cigarettes discourage youth from using any tobacco product; there is no hard evidence to justify such speculation. The authors also reiterated the anti-vaping claim that has become a staple of tobacco researchers' articles: "The risks associated with long-term use are not known." This must be true, but is often used by public health researchers to suggest that we will find some serious risks associated with vaping in the future.
The American Cancer Society states: “The long-term risks of e-cigarette use alone are not fully understood, but there is growing evidence that e-cigarette use has negative effects on the cardiovascular system and lungs. Without immediate action to stop the effects of these products With prevalent use, long-term adverse health effects will increase."Can you imagine a major medical institution making a similar statement about a COVID-19 vaccine or puberty blocker for gender dysphoria? After all, we don't know that these powerful drugs might have long-term effects on the people who take them. Of course, we have to stop the "popular use" of these products until we know more about them, right?
If those questions piss you off, then maybe you're starting to see why the popular rhetoric about vaping is so ridiculous. To properly evaluate any product, we need to accurately balance the risks and benefits of using it. No one asserts that e-cigarettes are risk-free; it's an effective intervention - designed to reduce smoking - which is killing people around the world.
Given that standard, it's a silly thought experiment to speculate on the hazards we might one day discover. Tell the public what we know today: E-cigarettes are a relatively lower-risk option for adult smokers who want to quit.