WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Vaping Association, a leading advocate for the benefits of vapor products such as electronic cigarettes, is calling for a reexamination of U.S. views on vapor products following the issuance of a new expert report on the subject by Public Health England. The results of the groundbreaking 111-page government report are front page news in England today.
Key findings of the review include:
the current best estimate is that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than smoking
nearly half the U.K. population (44.8%) don’t realise e-cigarettes are much less harmful than smoking
there is no evidence so far that e-cigarettes are acting as a route into smoking for children or non-smokers
e-cigarettes may be contributing to falling smoking rates among adults and young people
“My reading of the evidence is that smokers who switch to vaping remove almost all the risks smoking poses to their health,” said Professor Peter Hajek of Queen Mary University. Hajek co-authored the report with Professor Ann McNeill of King’s College London.
In light of this new report, the AVA is calling for U.S. organizations and government agencies like the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to reassess their views on vaping. Additionally, the AVA is calling on these groups to issue corrective statements clarifying prior misleading or inaccurate statements.
“This report represents a major win for public health. Smokers need to know that vapor products are far less hazardous than smoking and effective for quitting,” says Gregory Conley, President of the American Vaping Association. “With over 42 million Americans still smoking cigarettes, there is no excuse for major public health organizations to continue to propagandize against these lifesaving products.”
Public Health England is not the first respected institution in the U.K. to come out in favor of vapor products. The Royal College of Physicians has declared that vapor products have the ability to “prevent many deaths and episodes of serious illness.” The country’s largest anti-smoking group, Action on Smoking & Health (ASH), has long argued against extending smoking bans to include vaping. On Monday, ASH released a report finding no evidence of a ‘gateway’ effect from vaping to smoking, with virtually all habitual usage being found in smokers and ex-smokers.
In contrast to the U.K., government agencies and mainstream public health organizations in the U.S. have been far less open to embracing vaping. For example, Dr. Michael Siegel, Professor of Public Health at the Boston University School of Public Health, has stated that the American Lung Association would rather smokers die than quit using e-cigarettes. The CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, meanwhile, refuses to even admit that a smoker’s health benefits when he or she switches to vaping.
“For years, activists have sought to mislead smokers into believing that vaping may be as hazardous as smoking. These reckless tactics have undoubtedly discouraged many smokers from making quit attempts,” says Conley.
“As a matter of ethics, it is repugnant to intentionally confuse smokers about the risks of smoke-free nicotine products,” adds Conley. “This report should change the debate about vaping in the U.S. for the better. Only time will tell if scientific evidence, rather than hype and conjecture, will win out.