A new report seeks to standardize the often varied methods used to test e-cigarettes in peer-reviewed studies
The debate over whether or not vaping is valuable wages on. Critics say e-cigarettes are leading teens into a life of smoking, while advocates point to a glaring lack of evidence backing this up. Alternatively, they bring up the growing pile of peer-reviewed evidence showing vaping is extremely useful as a smoking cessation and harm reduction tool. But a different debate is going on behind the scenes, and it could affect the entire future of vaping in just as significant a way. This battle is over how, or even if we should, standardize the methods used to test e-cigarettes in the lab.
A new report sheds more light on this topic, finding that implementing a standard practice generates much more accurate and comparable data than letting participants dictate. This backs up claims that varied puff methodologies are making it more difficult to compare different vaping studies. According to the new report, deciding on a standardized methodology would be a massive step toward legitimization for the vaping industry. Something needed now more than ever as their fight for continued existence reaches a boiling point.
The Case For Standardization
The report was conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and published last month in the Nicotine and Tobacco Research journal. Dr. Kenneth Perkins led the team which wanted to understand precisely how controlled testing parameters need to be to ensure accurate data when testing both tobacco and e-cigarettes. To help answer this question, they gathered several groups of participants and gave them different instructions. The first group was given a computer monitor which indicated when and how to take a pull from their device. The second group wasn’t given any instruction on how to vape or smoke, but had their puff recorded in the same manner.
After analyzing all of their data, the team began to notice some exciting patterns. For both traditional cigarettes and vapes, having control over how participants used their devices resulted in much more comparable data. They also concluded that this didn’t change with different nicotine or menthol preferences. Ultimately the team felt that their results prove control over testing has a significant impact on the accuracy and authority of any vaping study.
Why It Matters
Some people question if this sort of standardization matters at all. But these individuals fail to realize the impact public perception has on their vaping rights. As things currently stand, only a tiny percentage of the general public understands how much safer vaping is than smoking. In fact, polls find that only about 13% believe e-cigarettes are much safer than smoking, while 26% say they’re just as bad, if not more dangerous. One way to improve this public perception problem is to have more research which can’t be easily dismissed. Having a standard method for all vaping studies would only serve to bolster the already robust pile of reports which show vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking.
If we can work on improving the understanding of vaping, it will naturally enhance the circumstances and climate surrounding these harm reduction tools. This is especially important as we face increased pressure from institutions like the FDA, who are in the middle of a “blitz” against vaping. If a large percentage of the public stands behind vaping, it will become incredibly difficult for a few politicians to take away the rights of millions of vapers.
Misleading studies are not helping the case for vaping, even if they initially come across as positive. It’s much more important that we work on educating the masses on the many legitimate and game-changing benefits of vaping. It’s sad that so many smokers don’t even understand vaping could seriously improve their quality of life without losing enjoyment. That’s why we should be excited about the prospect of a standard way to test vaping products. Once we have something like that in place, we’ll be able to make a much stronger case for the efficacy of vaporizers. Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death and disease around the globe, so we should be focused on utilizing all the best tools we have at our disposal, which includes e-cigarettes.
Do you think it’s vital that we develop a standard way to test vapes? Are you worried about the poor public perception of vaping? What do you think is the best way to show people how much vaping has to offer? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.
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