A recent review tried to see what the scientific consensus over e-cigarette use was. Are they a healthier alternative to cigarettes? Or are their users just fooling themselves into thinking that vaping is a less harmful habit to their health?
The review dubbed Show Me the Evidence sifted through 60 different studies, reviews, and articles and asked the opinion of nine researchers. The authors learned that e-cigarettes may be healthier than cigarettes in smokers, but may have uncertain outcomes in non-smokers.
Nevertheless, there are too little studies on the long term health effects of the devices to draw a final conclusion.
The most relevant studies point that chronic smokers may benefit from e-cigs, and most experts recommend they should start vaping since e-cigarettes contain less poisonous compounds than regular cigs do.
But non-smokers or ex-smokers should not take up vaping. There’s no consensus on e-cigs being totally safe for anyone’s long term health. Moreover many of the studies on e-cigarettes’ impact on health were sponsored by manufacturers.
Additionally, there are so many e-cigarettes out there (about 500) and so many flavors (about 7,000) that it is very hard to conduct an exhaustive study on the health effects each brand may have. Every type of cigarette presents different variations of nicotine, carcinogens and toxic compounds.
But about one third of the e-cigarette studies were either biased or funded by manufacturers so they may not be reliable.
And it is not just about the studies. Scientists are also highly divided. There’s a faction that have been studying the negative effects of nicotine all their lives, so they believe that any nicotine product is negative by design. There’s another faction that believe e-cigarettes should be banned because there are no relevant studies on the health risks.
But both factions fail to recall that it took nearly two decades for the tobacco industry to admit that smoking was bad for people’s health. And only recently it labeled some of their e-cigs as “mild” or “light” and falsely marketed them to be less harmful.
Plus, there are the researchers who believe that the new devices may save the lives of millions, but many of them receive their research funding from the big industry so we don’t really know.
A recent review of 76 e-cig studies published the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concluded that most studies were too biased by “severe conflict of interest,” contradictory results, and no long-term follow-up. So, researchers said that no “firm conclusions” could be drawn on the safety of the devices.
Image Source: Vapegoddess