It doesn’t take long to realize that vaping is handled very differently depending on where you live. Legislators around the world have worked over the last ten-plus years to lay out the regulatory framework for this brand new industry. The end result has been a massive discrepancy between vaping laws in different countries, or even states. For example, Australia has long been very strict about vaping, all but banning them outright. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom has proven to be the leading voice in vaping rights, studying them thoroughly and choosing to incorporate them into their smoking cessation programs. According to reports, the UK will once again lead the charge, as some food banks are set to provide e-cigarettes to smokers in need.
Reactions to the news have been overwhelmingly positive from the vaping community, with many praising the administrators for providing a massive boost to not only smokers looking to quit, but especially those struggling to pay for basic necessities. At the same time, anti-vapers have blasted the decision for sending the wrong message to teens about the dangers of vaping. Regardless, most analysts agree this exciting program will be seen in some form or fashion; However, some remain worried, as it’s not set in stone just yet.
The plans were first officially discussed during a meeting of the Hertfordshire County Council’s Public Health and Prevention Panel back on May 9th. Jim McManus, the Director of Public Health at Hertfordshire County Council, gave a brief overview of their proposed plan to provide e-cigarettes to those who need them most. He referenced a widening gap in adverse smoking-related health outcomes between working-class groups and middle-class groups as a primary driver of the plan. In fact, according to McManus, only 12.7% of their overall population smokes, while the rate is doubled when looking at working-class demographics.
The proposed plan would offer a free e-cigarette starter kit to smokers at Hertfordshire food banks. They estimate that for a pack-a-day smoker, making the switch can save around £70 a week, while simultaneously significantly reducing your exposure to dangerous chemicals. If passed, the plan would be fully designed, run, and evaluated by a research team from a respected UK university. Mr. McManus is quite optimistic the program, called the Hertfordshire Tobacco Control Strategic Plan 2019-22, will be up and running by the end of this year in several food banks across the county.
A brand new study says if vaping was properly supported it could dramatically reduce the number of tobacco-related deaths a year.
Smoking continues to kill more people every year than any other preventable cause, making it as important as ever we have effective harm reduction and smoking cessation tools. Despite being only a little over ten years old, modern vaporizers have proven to be invaluable in this fight according to a growing pile of peer-reviewed research. Despite this growing consensus among academics, the majority of legislators and parents remain skeptical of what effect e-cigarettes are really having.
The New Report
The report was conducted by a team of researchers hailing from several respected institutions and schools, led by Dr. David B. Abrams of New York University. The team wanted to understand the real-life impact of accepting vaping compared with continuing to treat it as merely an alternative forms of tobacco, as is currently the norm in America. To do this, they went back over years of reports and data to uncover any relevant connections and trends. The team ultimately concluded that if most cigarette smokers switched to exclusively using a vaporizer, it would save an estimated 6.6 million lives over ten years, resulting in 86.7 million fewer life years lost due to smoking.
While this was their most shocking revelation, it wasn’t their only one. The team first established vaping is a worthwhile endeavor in virtually all scenarios. In fact, the team concluded that only their most unreasonable simulations found the effect of vaping to be a net negative for public health, with most seeing it as a significant gain. They also made a strong argument for the often uncomfortable truth about the nature of vaping, “Even if the risk of harm to some youth who otherwise would not have smoked is marginally increased, such risks must be weighed against the substantial and immediate benefits of displacing smoking with safer nicotine products among both youth and adults.”
Improving public perception of vaping is an incredibly important piece of the puzzle. Until we have the support of more people, it will remain incredibly easy for the government to step in and place harsh taxes or restrictions on vaping. So as both sides continue their fight to control the narrative, only time will truly tell if this improvement in public perception provides the impact needed to secure our rights.
The new report concludes that public perception of vaping, while still relatively low, is increasing significantly