The health benefits of e-cigarettes have been a long-running debate. New research and studies frequently either support the product, or state how dangerous it is for human health.

We reported in February that a study had revealed that in the long term, e-cigarettes are much safer than tobacco. However, another study contradicted these findings and stated that consumption of e-cigarettes encourages youth to use tobacco products.

Now a study reveals that e-cigarettes are a welcome alternative to tobacco cigarettes. Moreover, they may aid people to get rid off tobacco addiction in the near future.

E-Cigarette, An Alternative?

A study funded, researched, and developed by scientists at British American Tobacco states that if not for e-cigarettes, nearly 32 percent tobacco smokers would continue their addiction till 2050.

"Our results show an overall beneficial effect of e-cigarettes on a population, reducing smoking prevalence and smoking-related deaths," said Dr. James Murphy, chief of Reduced Risk Substantiation at BAT.

Predictive Model To Ascertain Results

To find out more about the effects of e-cigarettes, the BAT researchers created a predictive model. This model looked into several possible scenarios from 2000 to 2050.

The baseline scenario of the model is that e-cigarettes are not available in the market. This was coupled with counterfactual circumstances or a predictive situation. The scenario was developed based on contemporary trends, where both e-cigarettes and tobacco ones are available to customers.

Dr. Murphy states that this predictive model is a helpful and useful way to determine the health effects of e-cigarettes, especially when epidemiological data is not accessible.

How The Model Works And Its Results

The predictive model takes into account the various ways customers use products. It also makes use of past data to foresee what may transpire in the future. It was seen that in 2000, nearly 27 percent of people smoked, which was reduced to 20.3 percent by 2010.

Using these above-mentioned statistics, the model forecasts that this smoking prevalence would drop to 12.4 percent when e-cigarettes are unavailable in the market. This figure would further decrease to 9.7 percent if e-cigarettes are obtainable in shops.

There would also be a decline in the percentage of deaths because of smoking-related diseases, from 8.4 percent to 8.1 percent.

The researchers noted that the model takes into account all types of smokers such as current smokers, former smokers, non-smokers, e-cigarette users, and even dual users i.e. those who smoke both tobacco-based and e-cigarettes.

The study has been published in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology.

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