The US Preventive Services Task Force recently made a pitch for more robust and effective methods of getting teenage smokers off cigarettes.
Vaping has already changed the lives of countless smokers across the world. This is all the more impressive given the relatively short time modern vaping has existed. However, despite the millions of former smokers who can attest to the incredible power of e-cigarettes, a large portion of the population remains skeptical about their value.
That said, the vaping community has come a long way in the last ten years. These claims are now also backed with a growing pile of peer-reviewed evidence to the harm reduction and smoking cessation value of vaping. More importantly, this evidence has begun to shift momentum in favor of the vaping industry.
In fact, the US Preventive Services Task Force recently came out in support of vaping in their continued fight to stop teenage smoking in its tracks. This latest endorsement is proof that, while the debate over vaping may seem as entrenched as ever, we are undoubtedly starting to shift momentum in a positive direction.
The Latest Endorsement
The US Preventive Services Task Force is a Maryland based panel of experts in primary care and prevention. Founded nearly 40 years ago, their main focus has been reviewing any available evidence to develop recommendations for medical professionals around the country.
One of their latest recommendations has made quite a few waves in the vaping community, as they now recommend doctors include e-cigarettes in their smoking cessation programs for teens. The panel felt so strongly about this; they even added it to their official draft statement on teenage smoking.
Along with endorsing vaping as an alternative to continued smoking, their recommendations also place a heavy focus on education and counseling. They believe more research needs to be conducted into the best ways to get teens off cigarettes, as over 90% of people start smoking before the age of 18.
According to one member of the panel, Dr. Michael Silverstein, “Preventing tobacco use among our young people is critical to the health of the nation. All youth are at risk for tobacco use and should be provided with interventions to help prevent them from ever starting.” So while the panel remains rightfully focused on preventative measures, it’s still a significant win for vaping to be legitimized by a reputable, independent group.
Evidence For E-Cigarettes
Many studies have been released in the past decade that show how vaping is effective for smoking cessation and harm reduction. A study out of the University of Louisville found that vaping was the most effective tool for helping smokers to quit compared to other tools on the market, including nicotine gums, patches, and even prescription medications like Chantix.
The amount of harm reduction vaping can provide to smokers is astounding. Public Health England released a study back in 2015 that concluded vaping is at least 95% safer overall than smoking. Other studies have further researched and supported this hypothesis. A study conducted at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute found that vapor contains 93% fewer toxicants than cigarette smoke. Another study, published in the Journal of Aerosol Sciences found that there is a 57,000 times lower chance a vaper develops cancer compared with a smoker from a similar background.
There has also been research looking into the most common argument against vaping, the so-called teenage vaping “epidemic.” Action on Smoking and Health surveyed over 60,000 school-age teens and found that as little as 0.1% to 0.5% of non-smoking teens vape more than a few times. That means an even smaller percentage of non-smoking are ending up smokers due to the influence of e-cigarettes.
Vaping has proven itself to be the most useful tool on the market to help smokers quit. Not only is it substantially safer than smoking, but it is also more satisfying than any other alternative.
As it stands, word of mouth is often the thing that alerts smokers to vaping as an option. If trusted medical professionals also felt able to recommend the tool so many more smokers would feel inclined to give vaping a try.
However, until the conversation around vaping shifts to a positive one, the best thing to do is show your support. The more people exposed to positive stories about the value of vaping, the better. It often takes real-life evidence to change people’s opinion, so always use your experience for the greater good.
Do you think medical professionals should recommend vaping? What impact do you think the coverage of vaping has had on people’s opinions? How can we best spread the word about vaping? 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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