Health professionals are advising people in Australia to give up tobacco cigarettes and switch to e-cigarettes instead. They say it would potentially save more lives in the country.
Health Experts' Advice
Health experts have gathered in Melbourne, Australia to discuss how e-cigarettes can help tobacco smokers give up their habits.
Hayden McRobbie, a professor from the Queen Mary University in England, said that if smokers can't give up smoking tobacco, they might as well switch to vaping instead. He said that e-cigarettes may still have nicotine, but they do not harm the lungs as conventional cigarettes do.
Colin Mendelsohn, a professor form the University of New South Wales, said that e-cigarettes that contain nicotine enable users to replicate the same smoking experience as regular cigarettes, but without the harmful effects of toxic fumes.
McRobbie added that the move may not save the Australian government's health budget in the long run, but at least it will save more lives in the country. The effects of e-cigarettes are "not entirely clear," he continues, but there is a general agreement that their benefits outweigh the harmful effects of conventional cigarettes.
In Australia, e-cigarettes that contain nicotine are not allowed to be sold, but there are many people who import them from outside the country. New Zealand, however, plans to legalize its sale and regulate them as consumer products by next year.
E-Cigarettes May Help People To Quit Tobacco
According to researchers from the Rutgers School of Public Health and Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, e-cigarettes can actually benefit smokers who are trying to give up the habit.
Using data from the 2014 and 2015 National Health Interview Survey, they found that more than half of e-cigarette users were able to quit smoking in the last five years, compared to the 28 percent who never used e-cigarettes.
They also found that e-cigarette was the single strongest predictor of giving up smoking and that daily e-cigarette users are three times more likely to quit smoking than non-users of e-cigarettes.
Are E-Cigarettes Safer Than Regular Cigarettes?
There are conflicting views about the benefits or disadvantages of e-cigarette use.
In a recent research published in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, researchers have found that e-cigarettes produced some of the same negative effects as cigarettes, but unique in other ways as well. Both e-cigarette users and tobacco users displayed significant increases in biomarkers of "oxidative stress and activation of innate defense mechanisms associated with lung disease."
On the other hand, a new study funded by the Cancer Research UK, has found that e-cigarettes may be safer and less toxic than conventional tobacco cigarettes. In this study, experts found significantly lower levels of toxins and carcinogens in saliva and urine samples of long-term e-cigarettes users compared to long-term tobacco cigarette smokers.
49 Million Americans Used Tobacco In 2015
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death, killing 6 million people every year and leaving over 16 million Americans with a disease.
In 2015 alone, it was estimated that around 49 million American adults used tobacco. According to a recent survey, tobacco product use was higher among males, individuals of multiple races, those who were single, never married, divorced, not living with a partner, separated or widowed, among many others.