Smoking numbers hit new low as Britons turn to vaping to help quit cigarettes

New data reveals a significant decline in number of smokers over last five years, while the daily number of cigarettes consumed has also fallen

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Half of the 2.3 million people who were users of e-cigarettes said they were doing it to quit smoking. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

The number of smokers in Britain has reached its lowest point since records began in 1974, according to new data, while more than a million people say they are using e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows that 17.2% of adults in the UK smoked in 2015, down from 20.1% in 2010.

Smoking levels are highest in Scotland, at 19.1%, followed by Northern Ireland, where it is 19%, Wales on 18.1% and England on 16.9%. The numbers have been dropping fastest in recent years in Scotland and Wales. Among local authorities, Blackpool is the only one to feature consistently in the 10 heaviest smoking areas between 2012 and 2015. In 2015, 25.3% of adults in Blackpool smoked.

https://interactive.guim.co.uk/charts/embed/mar/2017-03-07T12:48:42/embed.html

The data also shows that 2.3 million people were e-cigarette users in England, Scotland and Wales in 2015, about 4% of the population. Their survey also shows that 4 million more people describe themselves as former e-cigarette users. A further 2.6 million say they have tried them but not gone on to use them regularly.

Half of the 2.3 million who were current users of e-cigarettes at the time of the survey said they were doing it to quit smoking. A further 22% said they were vaping because it was less harmful than smoking. Only 10% said they chose to vape because it was cheaper than buying cigarettes. Others – 9% – said they used e-cigarettes mainly because they were permitted indoors.

The figures will bolster the arguments of those who believe e-cigarettes have a major role to play in ending the tobacco epidemic. The issue has been hugely controversial among public health doctors and campaigners, some of whom consider e-cigarettes to be a stalking horse for the tobacco industry which hopes to make smoking acceptable again and has invested in vaping.

https://interactive.guim.co.uk/charts/embed/mar/2017-03-07T12:50:30/embed.html

The World Health Organisation has expressed concern over e-cigarettes, but Public Health England has said vaping may be 95% safer than smoking tobacco.

Half of current smokers say they have tried e-cigarettes, and 14.4% of current smokers also vape.

Some of the statistics suggest that it is often the heavier smokers who turn to e-cigarettes. Those who also vape smoke marginally more cigarettes per day on average than those who do not – 11.8 versus 11.3. Smokers who have given up on e-cigarettes smoke 12.2 per day versus 10.6 among those who have never used an e-cigarette. Smokers who have children at home are also more inclined to use e-cigarettes.

The ONS vaping data is from the opinions and lifestyle survey 2014-15 and relate just to Great Britain. The ONS figures on general smoking trends include northern Ireland.

https://interactive.guim.co.uk/charts/embed/mar/2017-03-07T12:51:24/embed.html

Men are more likely to smoke – 19.3% do, compared with 15.3% of women. Smoking is most common in the 25-34 age group, where 23% smoked in 2015. It is least common in the over-65s, among whom 8.8% smoke. But the biggest decline since 2010 has been among the 18-24 year-olds, where it has dropped five percentage points to 20.7% in five years.

Figures for Great Britain also show that smokers have been cutting back on the numbers of cigarettes they consume. Average consumption is down to 11.3 cigarettes per day, the lowest number since 1974.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH said: “The decline in smoking is very encouraging and shows that strong tobacco control measures are working. However, the government can’t leave it to individual smokers to try to quit on their own. If the downward trend is to continue we urgently need a new tobacco control plan for England, and proper funding for public health and for mass media campaigns. That’s essential if the prime minister is to live up to her promise to tackle health and social inequality.”

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Switching to e-cigarettes

Switching to e-cigarettes reduces the amount of cancer-causing tobacco toxins by 97% in just 6 months, major new study finds

  • Researchers assessed people who switched from tobacco to ‘vaping’ gadgets
  • They found it allowed for almost all toxins to leave their body within 6 months
  • While continuing to smoke alongside vaping saw chemicals drop by just 20%
  • It comes almost straight after another study confirmed e-cigarettes are safer

Electronic cigarettes are far safer and less toxic than smoking tobacco, a major new British study has found.

Scientists warned that nearly two thirds of smokers wrongly believe e-cigarettes are as dangerous as smoking.

And they blamed US campaigners for exaggerating the harms as part of a ‘moral crusade’ against the nicotine devices.

Researchers at University College London found people who switched from tobacco to ‘vaping’ gadgets saw the levels of cancer-causing toxins in their body drop by up to 97.5 per cent in six months.

Their study comes after another British experiment found that the devices cause just two genetic mutations in the lung – compared to 123 from tobacco.

A major new study found that e-cigarettes are far safer and less toxic than smoking tobacco

A major new study found that e-cigarettes are far safer and less toxic than smoking tobacco

The new study, funded by Cancer Research UK, found people who continued to smoke as well as vape only saw toxic chemicals drop by 20 per cent, suggesting a complete switch is needed to reduce exposure.

Study leader Dr Lion Shahab, of UCL, said: ‘We’ve shown that the levels of toxic chemicals in the body from e-cigarettes are considerably lower than suggested in previous studies using simulated experiments.

‘Our results also suggest that while e-cigarettes are not only safer, the amount of nicotine they provide is not noticeably different to conventional cigarettes.

‘This can help people to stop smoking altogether by dealing with their cravings in a safer way.’

E-cigarettes contain a liquid form of nicotine that is heated into vapour to be inhaled, avoiding the harm caused by tobacco smoke.

Around 2.6 million adults in Britain have used e-cigarettes in the decade or so that they have been on the market.

Health experts agree that the devices are much safer than smoking tobacco – and the gadgets are thought to have helped 22,000 people quit smoking each year.

But many are concerned about unresolved safety concerns, and are especially worried about plans to allow the devices to be prescribed on the NHS.

Researchers found people who switched from tobacco to 'vaping' gadgets saw the levels of cancer-causing toxins in their body drop by up to 97.5 per cent in six months

Researchers found people who switched from tobacco to ‘vaping’ gadgets saw the levels of cancer-causing toxins in their body drop by up to 97.5 per cent in six months

Those fears have been flamed by a series of studies, mainly from the US, which warn of the potential damage of vaping on the heart and lungs.

But the UCL team, whose work is published in the respected Annals of Internal Medicine, said the papers which sparked these fears had been mostly based on small studies, on work on mice, or had compared e-cig users against people who had never smoked.

E-CIGARETTES MUTATE LESS GENES TOO…

E-cigarettes are far less harmful than tobacco products, a study appeared to confirm yesterday.

While vaporizers are touted as ‘safe’, health experts warned we still don’t have enough evidence to say that for certain.

But a set of experiments performed in the UK showed lung tissue is barely affected at all by e-cigarettes – compared to the crippling affect cigarette smoke has one our organs.

Lungs exposed to tobacco suffered changes in 123 genes – mutating cells in a way that creates fertile ground for heart disease, inflammation, and even tumor growth.

Meanwhile just two genes were affected in lungs exposed to e-cigarette vapor.

The vast majority of e-cigarette users have previously been cigarette smokers, they said – and even if there are some small risks, they are significantly outweighed by the benefit of stopping smoking.

Dr Shahab: ‘Nothing is entirely safe. There is likely to be a residual risk of using e-cigarettes, certainly for cardiovascular diseases.

‘But looking at the long-term effects of nicotine replacement therapy these effects tend to be very small, and dramatically reduced compared to continuing with smoking.’

His team conducted the first ever study analysing the saliva and urine of long-term e-cigarette users, measuring their exposure to key chemicals.

They did the same tests on smokers and users of nicotine gum and patches.

Tracking 181 people for six months, they found e-cigarettes users had 97.5 per cent lower levels of a chemical called NNK than smokers, 97.1 per cent lower level of acrylonitrile and 89 per cent lower levels of butadiene.

Nicotine gum and patch users had similar reductions for each chemical, but the levels were not quite as low as for vapers.

Professor Robert West of UCL, senior author of the study, said it was ‘frustrating’ that research which highlighted the danger of e-cigarettes are given so much publicity.

The new study found people who continued to smoke as well as vape only saw toxic chemicals drop by 20 per cent

The new study found people who continued to smoke as well as vape only saw toxic chemicals drop by 20 per cent

And he said part of the reason is that campaigners who in the past fought against the tobacco industry were now also campaigning against e-cigarette firms, many of which are owned by big tobacco firms.

Professor West said: ‘In the US, there is a section of the public health community for whom it is more of a moral crusade.

Our results also suggest that while e-cigarettes are not only safer, the amount of nicotine they provide is not noticeably different to conventional cigarettes
Dr Lion Shahab, from University College London

‘That moral crusade is tied up with fighting the tobacco industry – the side effect of that fight has spilled over into a more general ethical view about anything which isn’t the pure way of stopping smoking, which is just do it yourself and pull your socks up and be a hero.

‘There is a general sense that addiction is a bad thing, that nicotine addiction is a bad thing, that anything remotely connected with the tobacco industry is horrendous.’

Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK’s director of cancer prevention, said: ‘Around a third of tobacco-caused deaths are due to cancer, so we want to see many more of the UK’s 10million smokers break their addiction.

‘This study adds to growing evidence that e-cigarettes are a much safer alternative to tobacco, and suggests the long term effects of these products will be minimal.’

E-cigarette use falls for the first time

E-cigarette use falls for the first time as MPs launch inquiry into whether use of the devices should be restricted

  • Inquiry is set to follow studies linking e-cigarettes with cancer and infertility 
  • House of Commons science will take evidence on how they affect human health
  • They will also examine how well ‘vaping’ works to help people give up smoking

Electronic cigarette use has fallen for the first time among smokers, as a select committee has announced an inquiry into the devices.

Following studies linking e-cigarettes with cancer and infertility, the House of Commons science and technology committee will take evidence on how they affect human health.

MPs will look at how to tackle e-cigarette addiction and if their use should be restricted. They will also examine how well ‘vaping’ works to help people give up smoking, as research shows fewer people are using the devices to quit.

Following studies linking e-cigarettes with cancer and infertility, the House of Commons science and technology committee will take evidence on how they affect human health

Following studies linking e-cigarettes with cancer and infertility, the House of Commons science and technology committee will take evidence on how they affect human health

Market analysts Mintel report that in the last two years the proportion of ex-smokers and current smokers using e-cigarettes has fallen from 69 per cent to 62 per cent.

The electronic cigarette industry, which tripled its value in 2013 as vaping took off, rose by just six per cent last year.

The Commons committee will look at e-cigarettes following years of arguments between scientists over the health risks of vaping.

The decision to launch an inquiry came after the Royal College of Physicians’ tobacco advisory group backed the the use of e-cigarettes in the UK to stop smoking, while the US Surgeon General warned they could prolong tobacco use by smokers and provide a ‘gateway’ to smoking regular cigarettes for young people.

The divide in opinion has seen a major British study published this month which found electronic cigarettes are far safer and less toxic than smoking tobacco, Meanwhile US studies have found they may cause damage to the heart and lungs.

Stephen Metcalfe, Conservative chair of the science and technology committee, said: ‘We will want to probe how well the science meshes with any Government action to encourage or discourage e-cigarette consumption.

‘An important role for the committee will be to identify any gaps in the evidence and whether it is right for the Government to take action while any key gaps remain.’

The use of electronic cigarettes has risen sharply in recent years and it is one of the subjects picked by the select committee following a Dragon’s Den-style appeal for proposals from the public.

The ‘My Science Inquiry’ project received 78 submissions, and will also look at algorithms, embryo research and hydrogen fuel cells.

Written evidence from Jack Neville, a member of the public who suggested electronic cigarettes, called for more scrutiny of the devices.

He said: ‘Right now anyone can sell them freely with little restriction or regard for people. People are under the impression that while cigarettes harm, vaping doesn’t because it’s not “toxic”.’

Having considered an e-cigarettes inquiry previously, the committee said now the ‘time is right’ to take them on.

MPs will look at how to tackle e-cigarette addiction and if their use should be restricted

MPs will look at how to tackle e-cigarette addiction and if their use should be restricted

The probe could also examine how the Government’s policy on e-cigarettes is influenced by the public finances and the implications of restricting or encouraging their use.

Mintel has only been recording their use for three years but found however that sales have tapered off, rising by only six per cent to £230 million last year.

However, roughly one in eight people still use one of the devices, most often during work breaks according to the firm, when stress is the trigger.

Electronic cigarettes remain the most popular way to give up smoking, with 62 per cent of quitters vaping compared to around one in seven using nicotine replacement gums and patches.

A spokesman for the UK Vaping Industry Association said: ‘In recent weeks we have had a leading long-term study from Cancer Research UK demonstrating that vaping is a vastly safer alternative to smoking. Yet we have also had contradictory information from studies conducted abroad, often based on dubious research.

‘This inquiry will be an excellent opportunity to robustly interrogate the science.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4269822/E-cigarette-use-falls-time.html#ixzz4aDIcZ2IM
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Smokers Who Switch to Vaping Dramatically Improve Cardiovascular Health

vaping cardiovascular benefits

Published on January 26th, 2016 | by Jimmy Hafrey

It’s no secret that smoking is bad for your heart. In fact, smokers are twice as likely to suffer heart attacks and they face increased risks for strokes and coronary heart disease.Research shows that smoking can actually damage the lining of your arteries, reduce the amount of oxygen in your blood, and force your heart to work harder just to maintain normal function. So what happens if you switch from smoking to vaping? According to the latest research, it can dramatically improve your cardiovascular health.

In a new study pioneered by Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, researchers recruited a group of smokers and offered them the chance to switch to vaping. Scientists monitored their progress for a full year. By the end of the study, some had completely quit smoking, others had reduced their cigarette use dramatically, and some had continued tobacco use with no major changes. Those who had completely switched to vaping or reduced their tobacco consumption by both smoking and vaping experienced major changes to their heart health.

Many of the smokers had worrisome hypertension at the beginning of the study. But after switching completely to vaping, there was an average decline in systolic blood pressure of 16.3 mm Hg. Those who were dual users (both vaping and smoking) also lowered their blood pressure by an average of 10.8 mm Hg.

Perhaps most interesting of all, the researchers found that those who quit smoking and vaping completely had no further decrease in their blood pressure than those who ditched cigarettes and substituted with vaping. Ultimately, just by trading tobacco cigs for vapor devices, participants were able to continue the experience of smoking while experiencing dramatic benefits to their cardiovascular health.

This study is significant because it contradicts several previous misconceptions about vaping. Many health advocates have claimed that when smokers switch the vaping, they still experience increased cardiovascular risk because they still use nicotine. This study proves that this simply isn’t true.

Furthermore, it shows that vaping is in fact a legitimate alternative to smoking and it allows tobacco users a reasonable way to successfully kick the habit and improve their health dramatically. The study also offers proof that dual use is not necessarily the end of the world. We’ve heard vapor critics argue that dual use will only increase nicotine consumption, thereby doing more harm than good. However, this new study shows that even when smokers manage to cut their tobacco consumption in half by vaping, they still experience significant drops in blood pressure and cardiovascular risk.

Ultimately, this new study gives us just one more look at the potential ways that vaping can change the world. If vaping can help current smokers reduce their risk for heart attack and stroke, why isn’t every doctor in the world recommending this alternative?

Dangers Of Vaping Centered On Bad Products

are ecigs bad for you

The news media loves to talk about the dangers of vaping, even the fictional dangers that don’t scientifically exist. This isn’t a surprise, or at least it shouldn’t be. We all know that the media has a much better time with their ratings if they are scaring people. Just imagine you see a teaser for the news. It has ominous music and the narrator says “ecigs are very trendy, but the dangers of vaping are real and we’ll tell you about them tonight on the 10 o’clock news.” Think people are going to tune in to find out?

Of course they are. That’s just how the media game works and it is something you pick up on quite quickly if you just pay a little attention. That’s how the “if it bleeds, it leads” phrase became so well known. When that average American does turn on his or her nightly news broadcast feature about electronic cigarettes, they will undoubtedly be flooded with a bunch of scary threats. Lots of rumor and assumptions will come up and very soon they will end up thinking that the dangers of vaping are terrible. At the least, they’ll think that the benefits are far outweighed by those dangers.

There will obviously be comparisons made the analogue cigarettes, but they’ll stress the similarities. They’ll tell you how you are still ingesting nicotine and they’ll paint it in a way that leads you to believe nicotine is bad for you. In fact, that isn’t really the truth at all. They may tell you that there are dangers of second hand vaping, just like second hand smoke. Once again, that isn’t the truth either and nobody has scientifically proven that it is. All of these claims about the dangers of vaping are made by connecting dots that don’t really connect. But there is one danger that we know exists, and that is the one you should really be focusing on.

 

Real Dangers Of Vaping Products Exploding

Dangers Of Vaping Bad Products


Batteries are at the heart of the dangers of vaping, but it isn’t as if you should stop vaping (or not start at all). While the dangers of second hand vaping is pretty much a myth, there is real solid proof of this phenomenon of ecig batteries exploding.

We won’t paint a pretty picture here, because the reality is that it is beginning to get out of hand. Just in last week we have seen numerous news reports of people being injured by exploding ecig batteries.

But the news of an explosion that injured a mother of two in England and the one that injured a teenager in Canada are related. Just like they are related to the man in New Hampshire who suffered burns due to an ecig exploding. All of these incidents have to do with the real dangers of vaping; buying bad products.

We don’t mean bad products because they are overpriced. Nor do we mean to say they just don’t taste good or don’t produce the amount of vapor you want. No, we mean bad products because they don’t go through proper quality control. While most electronic cigarettes are made at least partly in China, there is a mammoth difference between purchasing from a reputable brand and something on a non-branded site or simply from ebay. It may be cheaper, but it heightens the dangers of vaping exponentially.

It’s true that sometimes there are faulty products and that can happen in any industry. But there is also a reason we don’t see anything negative like this in the news about any of the top brands we recommend. These are companies that have a reputation to uphold and so they take all the necessary precautions, and even the precautions that aren’t necessary. Whether driven out of a concern for their consumers or a concern for their public image, you’ll be hard-pressed to see anyone working harder to make sure that the product you buy doesn’t fail in such a dramatic way as to explode or otherwise put you in danger.

The other thing that is going on is the serious concern regarding counterfeit ecigs. Fakes are everywhere. The dangers of vaping have been exacerbated by the sheer volume of clone ecigs on the market. You will find cloned ecigs and vaping products all over the internet and sometimes even in vape shops. How bad is the problem? Here are some numbers that will shock most of you.

There are a handful or world-class ecig manufacturers in China. Eight Aspire, Kangertech, Smok, Innokin, Joyetech and a few others are exceptional. They make some of the best vaping products in the world. They have strict quality control and use only the best materials. These companies are located in an industrial area of Shenzhen, China. Within that same are are 600 ecig factories. 600!

Most of those factories are producing terrible knockoffs at rock bottom prices. The fakes look just like the real thing. They are being sold online through a number of retail and wholesale websites. Even vape shop owners are being fooled by some of these products. This is a serious problem and results in a lot of bad press for the industry when one of these clone ecigs is the root cause of some well publicized ecig accident.

If you are interested in a Kanger, Aspire, Joyetch product, you need to buy from a reputable source that knows what they are doing. The vaping business is booming and pretenders and fakes are trying to cash in as are the brands that are just blatantly selling junk! With no regulation in place it is buyer beware.

The real culprit here is greed. The dangers of second hand vaping aren’t real, nor are all these other accusations that just stoke people’s fears. No, the dangers of vaping lie in cheap ecigs. That’s why the FDA should be worried about cheap ecigs instead of fruity ecig flavors. As a consumer, make sure that these harrowing stories in the news don’t put you off from making the switch to vapor. All you have to do is make sure you buy from the right sources and you’ll be well on your way to leaving traditional tobacco cigarettes behind you, as well as ridiculous claims about the dangers of vaping.

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Headlines about e-cigarettes don’t mean they’re ‘not safer than tobacco’

If your New Year’s resolution was to stop smoking, and you were looking for support to help you quit, then recent headlines suggesting e-cigarettes ‘aren’t any safer than tobacco’ might have raised an eyebrow or two.

Since Christmas, we’ve seen three sets of critical headlines about e-cigarettes, each looking at a different aspect of a device now used by millions across the UK.

But how accurately do these stories reflect the scientific evidence? What do we really know about how safe e-cigarettes are? Can they really help you quit? And do candy flavours attract kids?

If you were to go on the media reports alone, you’d be forgiven for being alarmed.

But as is so often the case in the reporting of science and risk, taking a deeper look behind the headlines reveals a very different story.

Just because they’re not “safe” doesn’t mean they aren’t “safer”

The first study to make the headlines suggested that e-cigarettes were ‘as harmful as tobacco’. After studying cells in the lab, the researchers found some indications of increased levels of DNA damage and cell death in those treated with e-cigarette vapour.

This led one of the researchers to tell the media, “I believe [e-cigarettes] are no better than smoking regular cigarettes.” (More on this statement below).

The most important thing to remember here is that this was a study looking at the effect of chemicals on cells in a lab. Although this can be useful, it obviously can’t give a clear idea of what the impact would actually be in your body. So any claims of impact on health based only on lab studies will always be far-fetched.

The study also looked at an extremely high concentration of vapour. As the researchers admitted at the time, “it was similar to someone smoking continuously for hours on end, so it’s a higher amount than would normally be delivered.”

It boils down to this: the study showed that it might be worse for your cells to be exposed to e-cigarette vapour than the air in a lab. So e-cigarettes might not be 100 per cent harm free. Andprevious studies have shown there may be some dangerous chemicals present in vapour – so this isn’t a surprise. And there’s little in life that really is ‘safe’ – even drinking too much water can kill you.

But here’s the big caveat. The researchers also treated some cells with tobacco smoke. These died within 24 hours. Those treated with e-cigarette vapour were still alive to experiment on 8 weeks later.

So, contrary to the headlines, this study actually suggests that using e-cigarettes may be far less dangerous than smoking.

You’d never believe that from the headlines though.

There were a few great critiques published shortly afterwards, (notably this one in the Guardian) and the press release was amended (more than a week later) to include the following correction:.

Contrary to what was stated or implied in much of the news coverage resulting from this news release, the lab experiments did not find that e-cigarette vapor was as harmful to cells as cigarette smoke. In fact, one phase of the experiments, not addressed in the news release, found that cigarette smoke did in fact kill cells at a much faster rate. However, because similar cell-damage mechanisms were observed as the result of both e-vapor and regular cigarette smoke, Dr. Wang-Rodriguez asserts, based on the evidence from the study, that e-cigarettes are not necessarily a healthier alternative to smoking regular cigarettes. As stated in the journal paper and the news release, further research is needed to better understand the actual long-term health effects of e-cigarettes in humans.

But we’re concerned that, as far as public perception goes, the damage may already have been done.

How can you tell if something helps people quit?

So the scientific evidence on e-cigarette vapour to date suggests it’s far safer than tobacco smoke.

But can e-cigarettes actually help you quit?

Here we come across the second set of unfortunate stories, after a systematic evidence review and meta-analysis published last week claimed that those using e-cigarettes seemed to be less likely to quit smoking than those not using the devices.

But, again, there are a number of serious problems with the review.

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are usually extremely useful, because they pull together all the evidence in one area, to paint a fuller picture than one study alone.

However the relationship between this picture and reality depends entirely on the quality and relevance of the original studies that are included. In this case, since there haven’t been many high-quality trials exploring whether e-cigarettes help people quit smoking, the researchers included a range of different types of studies.

The gold standard of evidence is the randomised control trial, which, in this case, would compare a group of smokers trying to quit using a nicotine-containing e-cigarette, to a similar group using nothing (or an e-cigarette without nicotine). But here’s the problem – there have only been two published studies like that.

A 2014 meta-analysis of these found people using nicotine via an e-cigarette were more likely to successfully quit than those using e-cigarettes without nicotine.

Last week’s review included both of these randomised trials alongside a range of other ‘real-world’ non-trial studies of e-cigarette use. This is a big problem. Whatever their strengths individually, these studies didn’t use consistent measurements – neither of e-cigarette use, nor of whether people had actually quit – so the studies aren’t necessarily comparable. And so including them together in a meta-analysis is questionable, at best.

Even so, when the analysis only included studies where people were actively trying to quit (as opposed to using e-cigarettes for other reasons) the results became inconclusive – people who said they’d ‘ever’ used an e-cigarette weren’t any more or less likely to succeed.

Furthermore, some of the studies included only looked at current smokers and asked about e-cigarette use. This would exclude anyone who had used an e-cigarette but successfully stopped smoking.

Quitting smoking can be incredibly hard. Someone trying an e-cigarette once probably wouldn’t have any better chance than if they hadn’t. Whatever support aid is used it would need to be as part of a concerted quit attempt and used enough to deliver sufficient nicotine to wean yourself off tobacco, and preferably alongside specialist support from a Stop Smoking Service to get the best possible chance of quitting.

E-cigarettes aren’t a magic bullet, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t be a useful weapon in our arsenal against tobacco. The evidence for quitters using these products both within the Stop Smoking Services and without points towards this being the case in the UK.

The impact of advertising and flavours on kids

Whether or not they’re ‘safe’, or help people quit, another big concern about e-cigarettes is that they could encourage children to start smoking – either by exposing them to nicotine (the ‘gateway’ argument) or by making smoking seem more normal again (the ‘renormalisation’ argument).

The first of these arguments isn’t supported by the evidence to date: surveys across the UK last year found that young people who hadn’t smoked weren’t using e-cigarettes.

But a small study published this week found young people rated printed adverts with flavoured e-cigarettes more appealing than those without flavours, leading to headlines suggesting children are being lured in with sweet flavours.

But when you dig into the detail, again it’s a more complex picture – the young people in this study, including those who saw the flavoured e-cigarette adverts, had negative views about e-cigarettes, and said they didn’t intend to buy them. And, perhaps more importantly, it didn’t find any evidence that e-cigarette adverts increase the appeal of regular cigarettes.

There are now measures in place to protect young people (e-cigarettes cannot be sold to under 18s, and further legislation heavily restricting advertising will come into force in May) but it’s still important to continue looking at how e-cigarette adverts might appeal to children, and to track use of both e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes to make sure there isn’t a negative impact from these products.

However, Linda Bauld, Professor of Health Policy at the University of Stirling (and our Cancer Prevention Champion), said the study “should provide some reassurance to those who say that e-cigarette advertising will result in a new generation of tobacco smokers.”

Where does this leave us?

When you look at the bigger picture, rather than the headlines, the evidence so far actually points towards a positive role for e-cigarettes in helping combat the biggest preventable cause of cancer. However none of the questions posed here – on safety, effectiveness and impact on children – have full answers.

As we’ve said before we need years of good quality science before we can definitively answer these questions, and at Cancer Research UK we are working towards that. But for now the evidence we have suggests e-cigarettes are far safer than smoking tobacco, they might help you quit and non-smoking children aren’t being lured into using them regularly.

While the evidence on e-cigarettes continues to accumulate, and the media controversy rages on, if you’re looking for evidence-based inspiration to quit smoking in 2016, speak to your GP or localStop Smoking Service, or check out our website… but maybe keep reading the headlines with an appropriate dose of scepticism.

Nikki Smith is a senior health information officer at Cancer Research UK

http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2016/01/20/headlines-about-e-cigarettes-dont-mean-theyre-not-safer-than-tobacco/

You Are Being Lied To – A Billion Lives

The truth is coming. Get updates at http://ABillionLives.com

Another View: Taxing e-cigarettes will backfire on public health

A man exhales vapor from an e-cigarette in New York. There are moves in California to tax and regulate e-cigarettes the same as tobacco products.

CONGRESS NEEDS TO FIX FDA VAPOR RULE

By Phil Kerpen

After a lengthy and heavily contested regulatory process, a final rule deeming vapor products to be subject to pervasive FDA regulation is currently in the White House Office of Management and Budget for a final review before it is published and takes effect this year.  Leaks of the purported final rule suggest it remains deeply flawed and will impose a draconian, one-size-fits-all model that risks disrupting the fast-growing vapor industry and denying access to products that pose vastly less health danger than conventional tobacco cigarettes.  Unfortunately, in the final negotiations over last year’s omnibus bill a provision addressing this issue was dropped, but that should not be the last word on the issue from Congress.

Mitch Zeller, the FDA’s top tobacco regulator, told Congress “If we could get all of those people [who smoke] to completely switch all of their cigarettes to noncombustible cigarettes, it would be good for public health.”

Indeed, vapor products are displacing regular cigarettes.  The most recent data from the CDC show the percentage of the adult population that smokes has dropped six consecutive years, from 20.6 percent in 2009 to 14.9 percent in the first half of 2015. An estimated two million ex-smokers are using vapor products.

So we’re on the right track, and Zeller warned: “Let’s not lose our focus on what the primary cause is for those 480,000 avoidable deaths each year—it’s primarily burning, combusting cigarettes.”

Unfortunately, his agency is poised to do precisely that with its deeming rule.

“This is not really regulation. It’s prohibition,” says Boston University community health sciences professor Dr. Michael Siegel.

He’s referring to a feature of the rule that sets a grandfather date of February 15, 2007 – effectively denying grandfather status to nearly every vapor product on the market and forcing each to go through a lengthy approval process or be pulled from the market within 24 months.

That date and timeline were established by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, passed by Congress in 2009 – and it grandfathered all but the very newest cigarette products.  By now deeming vapor products subject to regulation seven years later, the FDA is subjecting these safer products to more draconian regulation.

Jan Verleur, co-founder and CEO of VMR Products, a major manufacturer of vapor devices, said: “It’s essentially a death sentence for industry. It could be held up in litigation for many years.”

That’s only slight hyperbole.

Once the rule is final, manufacturers would be required to submit to the FDA, for each product, a Premarket Tobacco Application (PMTA) or a Substantial Equivalence (SE) report.  The PMTA process is complex and expensive and would be challenging for all but the largest manufacturers – the major tobacco companies – to navigate.  The SE choice depends upon showing that a predicate product is already approved, but vapor technology is new and rapidly evolving, ruling this option out. The investment driving that innovation would be chilled by time and expense of submitting every product for regulatory approval – and the agency already has a substantial backlog.

The solutions are simple but will require Congress to act quickly, because the rule currently sits at OMB and could be published any day.  On the next appropriate must pass vehicle Congress should include language that either delays the rule completely or fixes its most egregious flaws – the imposition of an inappropriate grandfather date and an insufficient approval period.  Failure to do so will result in regulating vapor more strictly than cigarettes, destroying thousands of small businesses, and, tragically, likely increasing tobacco-related sickness and death.

http://www.americancommitment.org/content/congress-needs-fix-fda-vapor-rule