One of the main reasons people switch to e-cigarettes is that they’re a tobacco substitute and are thought to have less chemicals which can damage the body than tobacco smoke does. Since its rise in popularity, the government and medical bodies have begun to consider the long-term effects. Even now this innovative technology has very little research into the matter. What’s the problem then, you may think. If an increasing amount of funding is being put into e-cigarette technology research, then how come the repercussions of this often thought less damaging substitute is still up for debate?
The answer lies in how young vaping is. Tobacco has been used for hundreds of years. Its long term effects have been well documented through the centuries, and as our testing equipment becomes more and more advanced, we can single out molecules from the smoke created and how this affects the human body. Hindsight and time have worked in our favour on this matter. Two things we don’t have the pleasure of working with when it comes to vaping. With vaping being so young, it’s not surprising that there is literally no way we can test the long term and lasting effects. Tests would have to be done on people who have been vaping regularly for fifty years and since vapers have only been around for decade, this is impossible to do at the current time.
Too many variables
One of the main variables that researchers are grappling with is that each e-liquid is different. There are very few which are made of and contain the same ingredients or the same balance of ingredients at least. On top of this, many of the brands don’t deliver their nicotine hits in the same way, so again this is another element which must be considered when the research is undertaken.
Vaping has been said to curb addiction to nicotine and tobacco due to regulating the amounts of nicotine you’re taking in. It has been put forward that theoretically, a month after stopping smoking and taking up vaping instead, your lungs are already clearing out the gunk smoking has left in them. Within a matter of years, your lungs could return to that of a non-smoker. The message being, it’s never too late to quit. Younger smokers quitting has definite advantages, but older smokers can reap similar benefits and save the health system billions of dollars.” This seems to be the message coming from the University of New South Wales in their research.
In this research, results from the 267,000 men and women who took part in the Sax Institutes 45 and Up Study were analysed. Smokers, they found out, had a 700% risk of hospitalisation for COPD as well as having a 41% risk of heart failure, diabetes and angina.
So, at the end of the day it seems fair to say that despite vaping being a young industry and having many unknowns in its research, the future still looks far brighter than that of tobacco.