Tobacco-control expert: Vaping is 1% carcinogenic compared to smoking

Even though the e-liquids in vaping products are 100% tobacco-free, many public health officials from around the world often lump e-cigs into the same category as combustible cigarettes.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created the deeming regulations based on this very premise, and nearly two-thirds of all nations place restrictions on e-cigs to some degree. But one tobacco-control expert from the UK is speaking out against the scaremongering tactics of some anti-tobacco groups that may be jeopardizing long-term public health.

Professor Linda Bauld is the Director of the Institute for Social Marketing and Dean of Research (Impact) at the University of Stirling.  In a recent article for The Guardian, she claims that the scientific evidence proving that vaping is substantially less harmful than smoking is “piling up” at a rapid pace.    Ms. Bauld does not simply offer her opinions on the matter.  She backs them up with scientific fact.

‘E-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking because they don’t contain tobacco.’

Bauld begins by taking aim at anti-tobacco activists who specialize in the spreading of misinformation that essentially implies that smoking is just as hazardous as smoking.  In doing so, these so-called public health advocates are sending a message that people “might as well continue smoking” if vaping products are just as dangerous.  She does not address the conspiracy theories that Big Tobacco might secretly be driving the spreading of this anti-vaping propaganda.


Ms. Bauld is an educator.  She deals in cold, hard facts.  As a basis for her argument, Bauld cites several vaping studies.  The first is a 16-month cross-sectional study comparing the nicotine, carcinogens, and toxicity levels of five different groups of vapers and/or smokers.  Some were only-vapers.  Some were only-smokers.  And many fell somewhere in between.

According to Bauld, the scientists “found large reductions in carcinogens and other toxic compounds in vapers compared with smokers, but only if the user had stopped smoking completely.”  The study entitled Nicotine, Carcinogen, and Toxin Exposure in Long-Term E-Cigarette and Nicotine Replacement Therapy Users: A Cross-sectional Study is readily available via the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Vaping as a gateway to smoking is ‘less than 1%.’

Professor Bauld also takes issue with those who claim that vape use, particularly among teens and young adults, acts as a gateway to smoking addiction.  And as usual, she references at least two reputable studies which debunk these outrageous claims entirely. 

“2017 saw the publication of the world’s largest study to date of young people and vaping, including over 60,000 teenagers. It found that while experimentation with these products was occurring, regular use by teens who had never smoked remains very low, at less than 1%. Meanwhile in the UK and many other countries like the USA, youth smoking rates continue to decline at an encouraging pace. If vaping was causing smoking, these trends would reverse.”

She then goes on to urge smokers considering a switch to vaping as a tobacco harm reduction tool to do their research on vaping vs. smoking and look for the facts.  She also openly questions the “seemingly insatiable press interest” surrounding vaping and electronic cigarettes.  From her perspective, she believes that a public awareness campaign clearly needs to take place in the media, perhaps funded by public health officials, to “shout above the noise and deliver the facts” about the positive health aspects of vaping.


from VAPES – News


New study says long-term vaping has ‘minimum health and safety concerns’

Public health officials and anti-vaping activists often use the excuse that more research is needed on the long-term health effects of vaping.   While many would agree that the evidence is already piling up, a new study published by researchers from the North East Hills University (NEHU) in India further bolsters these claims.  According to the study’s findings, e-cigs and vaping devices exhibit minimum health and safety concerns compared to the high-risk factors associated with combustible tobacco products.

Americans may not be aware, but India is growing increasingly anti-vaping.  In fact, a previous vaping study conducted by Indian scientists in September of 2017 and reported in Hindustan Times suggested that teens who use e-cigs have double the chances of getting addicted to conventional cigarettes in the future.  The most recent research out of India entitled Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) as a substitute for conventional cigarettes seems to demonstrate a friendlier attitude toward vaping.

“Our systematic meta-analysis of published literature compares the health and safety aspects of vaping using ENDS with smoking conventional cigarettes. We find that ENDS have minimum health and safety concerns compared to the high risks associated with conventional cigarettes.”

The findings of the ENDS study are also supported by new research conducted by Dr. Riccardo Polosa out of the University of Catania in Italy. Polosa followed a control group of young vapers for a period of 3.5 years to determine the negative health effects of e-cigs to the lungs and respiratory systems.  By comparing their results to a control group of non-smokers/non-vapers, the Polosa team found “no deterioration in lung health.” 


India has a somewhat checkered history with vaping.  While e-cigs and vaping are not specifically mentioned in the federal penal code, several states now actively prohibit the sales of vapor products: Karnataka, Punjab, Maharashtra, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir.  Studies like the ENDS publication may be useful in helping to sway public opinion towards a more vape-friendly stance, which might save millions of lives.

There are approximately 120 million smokers in India, constituting about 12% of the entire smoking population on the planet. 30% of Indian men smoke tobacco products, and more than a million people die annually from smoking related illnesses.  Not too long ago, national statistics showed over 50% of Indian men smoked on a daily basis.  Even with rapidly plummeting smoking rates, India is said to still be considering a nationwide vaping ban.

India to host International Vape Convention

Another sign that the tide against vaping in India is about to turn is a report from The World Health Organization (WHO) stating that India will be the host of the Seventh Session of the Conference of the Parties for the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (COP7) in November of this year.  The WHO website issues the following statement.

“It is the first occasion that a COP meeting is being held in India and signals a strong and generous commitment of the Government of India to increase international co-operation and awareness of the WHO FCTC globally and especially in the WHO South-East Asia Region.”

Representatives from 180 countries are expected to attend this years COP7, and the audience will be a very diverse mixture comprised of anti-smoking advocates, pro-vaping supporters, public health officials, politicians, and other state and local legislators.  While the Indian government remains unclear as to whether it will modify existing legislation or policies toward e-cigs and vaping, the fact that India is agreeing to host the COP7 is a very good sign that it is at least keeping an open mind.


from VAPES – News

National cancer rates drops sharply as vaping surges in popularity

New statistics released by the American Cancer Society (ACS) show cancer death rates in the U.S. are dropping to record lows, and vaping is likely a significant contributing factor. The number of cancer-related deaths has plummeted by as much as 26 percent since 1991 and a whopping 1.7 percent in the last three years.  This translated to approximately 350,000 smokers kicking the habit between 2014 and 2015 alone.

Even the ACS attributed these massive declines largely to the smoking cessation movement currently underway in America. According to numerous scientific studies, like the rapid rise in popularity of vaping is playing a significant role.  In July of 2017, researchers from the University of California (UC) released a study which identifies a strong relationship between the consistently falling smoking rates compared to the uptick in e-cigarette use

“The substantial increase in e-cigarette use among US adult smokers was associated with a statistically significant increase in the smoking cessation rate at the population level. These findings need to be weighed carefully in regulatory policy making regarding e-cigarettes and in planning tobacco control interventions.”


The ACS report entitled Cancer Statistics 2017 is published in the organization’s CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.  The report makes no mention of electronic cigarette or vaping as a possible contributing actor for the plummeting cancer-related death rates.  However, the UC study reveals that roughly 65 percent of smokers who also vape are far more likely to quit smoking in the short term compared to only 40 percent of non-vaping smokers.  Lead researcher Shu-Hong Zhu issued the following statement to a Reuters report.

“Other interventions that occurred concurrently, such as a national campaign showing evocative ads that highlight the serious health consequences of tobacco use, most likely played a role in increasing the cessation rate.  But this analysis presents a strong case that e-cigarette use also played an important role.”

The ACS findings also support new statists released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in July 2017.  The CDC report shows a growing trend among young adults and teens choosing to avoid wither smoking or vaping altogether.  In 2015, 16 percent of American teens reported using a vaping device at least once in the past year.  That percentage dropped to 11.3 percent just one year later. 

Vaping is 99 percent less carcinogenic than smoking, says study

The ACS findings are also supported by recent research out of the UK claiming that the second-hand vapor of electronic cigarettes is 99 percent less carcinogenic than the second-hand smoke of tobacco cigarettes.  The study entitled  Comparing the cancer potencies of emissions from vapourised nicotine products including e-cigarettes with those of tobacco smoke located on the BMJ Tobacco Control website suggests that as more smokers transition to vaping, their loved ones are also experiencing significantly reduced health risks associated with cancer-related disease caused by second-hand smoke.

As vaping rises in popularity and more and more smokers continue to quit, multiple demographics of the population seem to be benefiting.  Still, the ACS warns that “tobacco remains by far the leading cause of cancer deaths today, responsible for nearly 3 in 10 cancer deaths.”  Thankfully, the e-liquids used in electronic cigarettes is 100% tobacco-free.




from VAPES – News

Iowa AG to FDA: Flavor ban of e-cigs is ‘overly simplistic’ reasoning

The Attorney General of Iowa in accordance with four public health experts have written a letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb expressing concern over a potential flavor ban on e-cigs.  The movement to ban “kid appealing” vaping flavors is largely being led by anti-vaping activist groups like the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.  After Gottlieb signaled that the FDA is considering new rules regarding flavors of both tobacco and nicotine products in a July 28th announcement, Iowa AG Thomas J. Miller decided to offer his opinions on the subject.

Together with Dr. David Sweanor of the Centre for Health Law, Policy & Ethics in Canada, the UK’s Clive Bates of the Action on Smoking and Health, and Dr. David Abrams and Dr. Raymond Niaura of the NYU College of Global Public Health, the Iowa Attorney General spearheaded the letter writing campaign urging a deeper analysis of the facts.

“We are concerned that some prominent commentary about flavors in low-risk tobacco and nicotine products, including that provided in the Surgeon General’s 2016 report, is overly simplistic in presuming that the primary purpose and consequence of offering flavors is to recruit current non-users, especially youth, to nicotine use. A proper assessment requires a deeper analysis, and must at least consider the possibility that these low-risk products can function as alternatives to combustibles, not only for adults, but also as a diversion from youth smoking uptake and as support for youth smoking cessation. In that case, the attractiveness and appeal of such non-combustibles may be a positive factor in reducing the use of the far more harmful products, such as cigarettes. This harm-reduction benefit may apply for both adult and adolescent users.”

According to the five co-authors, the proposed flavor ban asks more questions than it answers.  For example, if the FDA is targeting only “kid appealing” flavors, then what protocols will be used to make these distinctions?  Is the FDA taking into consideration the possible negative effects to adult vapers trying to quit smoking?  And what are the possible consequences to teen smoking rates if even some vape flavors are forever banned by the FDA?  In short, has the FDA really thought this through? 

Is e-cig flavors the real issue?  Or is it their marketing?

The FDA announcement by Gottlieb is rather unclear as to the true cause of concern which has led to a possible flavor ban.  According to Clive Bates, there are three potential pathways for a possible FDA flavor ban.

  1. The FDA might argue that all flavored e-liquids are harmful to public health in some way.
  2. The FDA might argue that certain flavors have characteristics that make them more palatable and/or attractive to younger vapers and should therefore be prohibited.
  3. The FDA might restrict the use of certain “descriptors” in the marketing and advertising of e-liquids, including terms and trademarks like gummy bears or cotton candy.

In the FDA letter submitted by Iowa Attorney General, the co-authors also warn FDA Chief Gottlieb to carefully weigh the pros and cons before taking any decisive action.   

“Any justification for an intervention must show that a rule is appropriate for the protection of public health and that it is reasonable to conclude that harms will outweigh benefits. To show this is likely would require a long chain of reasoning, supported by credible data. Is a flavor attractive? Is it differentially attractive to youth, versus adults? If it is differentially attractive, does it change behavior? If it changes behavior, is the change harmful or beneficial? How would an intervention affect behavior? Would an intervention reduce harm or reduce benefits in youth and adult populations? What are the potential mechanisms for unintended consequences?”

While the letter focusses on the FDA’s intended protocols for establishing one kid appealing e-juice from another, it could also be viewed by anti-vaping organizations as further reason to ban them all.  If the FDA must be required to spend perhaps billion of dollars of taxpayers’ money to continuously police the American vaping industry for kid appealing e-liquids, then why not just ban them entirely?

However, as the Iowa AG and his co-authors also note, is an uptick in teen vaping really all that harmful in the first place?  Smoking rates among teens is plummeting in recent years. By implementing a flavor ban on e-cigs, the FDA might just trigger another dramatic increase in teen smoking instead. 


from VAPES – News

Major psychiatry organization endorses vaping

A world-class psychiatry organization is finally coming out publicly to endorse vaping as not only a tobacco harm reduction tool but as a safe and effective smoking cessation treatment.  Current statistics show that people suffering from mental health and personality disorders tend to smoke in larger numbers than the general population.  They also tend to smoke more frequently.

According to, nearly 90 percent of individuals suffering from this disorder smoke.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that mental health patients smoke at least 40 percent of all cigarettes sold in the United States.  While medical personal and counselors are well aware of the health consequences of smoking, they are somewhat undecided as to how best to offer professional guidance and support to their smoking patients.

Should they encourage their patients to quit smoking, perhaps unintentionally triggering symptoms of their mental disorder from the added stress and anxiety?  Or should they simply look the other way and pretend that it is not happening? 

MHSP: ‘Vaping is ‘significantly safer than smoking’

In a recently published statement, officials from the Mental Health & Smoking Partnership (MHSP) in Great Britain state their opinion that vaping should be encouraged for smoking patients suffering from mental disorders.  They also identify that these patients usually require slightly higher doses of nicotine and at longer durations than the average vaper if the cigarette-replacement therapy is to be successful. 

“When appropriately tailored these interventions are also effective for people with mental health conditions. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is effective, but is likely to be required in high doses, for longer durations and with more intensive behavioural support than in the general population of smokers. Provision of the nicotine that smokers are addicted to without the harmful components of tobacco smoke can prevent most of the harm from smoking.”


MHSP representatives also claim that while smoking in Great Britain is rapidly declining among the general population, smoking among mental health patients is rising at an alarming rate.  The psychiatric organization also states that people suffering from mental disorders have a shortened average lifespan of about twenty years, and many of these deaths can be directly attributed to smoking-related illnesses. Vaping can not only add years to their lives, it can greatly improve the quality of their day-to-day lives, as well.

“Smoking is around twice as common among people with mental health conditions as in the general population.  Over the last 20 years smoking rates among the general population have declined steadily but smoking rates have barely changed among people with a mental health condition. People with mental health conditions die on average 10 to 20 years earlier than the general population and smoking is the single largest reason for this shocking difference.”

The MHSP statement is further endorsed by several additional medical groups, including the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Cancer Research UK, and Public Health England.  The latter is the organization responsible for the highly acclaimed British research documenting that e-cigarettes are 95 percent less harmful than smoking.  The MHSP press release entitled Effect of implementation of a smoke-free policy on physical violence in a psychiatric inpatient setting: an interrupted time series analysis is available on The Lancet Psychiatry website. 


from VAPES – News

Nursing organization endorses vaping as ‘legitimate form of tobacco harm reduction’

With the vast numbers of conflicting stories circulating about e-cigs, the medical community often has a difficult time deciding whether to recommend vaping to their smoking patients.  However, one nursing organization is not afraid to take a stand by officially endorsing vaping as a legitimate form of tobacco harm reduction.

Representatives from the Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia Incorporated (DANA) recently released a press announcement recommending electronic cigarettes for patients in recovery from substance abuse.  Recovering addicts often substitute a less-harmful behavior for another deadlier one.

In many cases, they turn to smoking to help relive the stress and manage their temptations into relapse into drugs or alcohol.  Even though doctors and counselors know that smoking is hazardous too their health, they tend to look the other way.  Unfortunately, most rehabilitation centers do not allow indoor smoking, and by extension vaping.

DANA takes a stand in favor of vaping

While DANA representatives fell short of calling for a lifting of the ban on indoor vaping, they did make some very positive assertions in favor of e-cig use by patients in recovery.  According to the published press release entitled Electronic Cigarettes for Tobacco Harm Reduction, the Australian nursing group firmly believes that vaping devices can prevent millions of smoking-related or relapse-related deaths in recovering substance abuse victims.

“People with drug and alcohol dependence have high smoking rates and greater difficulty quitting than other smokers. They are more likely to die from a tobacco-related disease than from their primary drug problem. Electronic cigarettes (E-cigarettes) are battery-operated devices that heat a liquid solution, which may or may not contain nicotine into a vapour for inhalation, simulating the behavioural and sensory aspects of smoking, and they are currently seen as a legitimate form of tobacco harm reduction. Nurses have an important role in asking people about their smoking, assessing the risk of tobacco use, advising about the risks, assisting smokers to stop or reduce their tobacco consumption, and arranging further support as appropriate.”

DANA’s endorsement is supported by another medical group of mental health specialists from aborad. In July of 2017, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) issued a similar statement.

“The RANZCP believes that harm minimisation is an essential component of any policy framework that aims to improve health outcomes for people who smoke. E-cigarettes and vaporisers provide a safer way to deliver nicotine to those who are unable to stop smoking, thereby minimising the harms associated with smoking tobacco and reducing some of the health disparities experienced by people with mental illness. The RANZCP is concerned that policies with an unduly narrow focus on smoking cessation risk exacerbating the health disparities, and perpetuating the discrimination, which people living with mental illness currently experience.”

Both medical associations also note the mountains of sometimes conflicting scientific research which either supports or demonizes electronic cigarettes as a tobacco harm reduction tool.  However, both agencies also state that vaping devices can prove highly beneficial to patients with unique mental health issues and patients in recovery from addiction.  They also recommend cautious but appropriate access to these supplies for their patients.


from VAPES – News

Tobacco expert: ‘People smoke for nicotine, but they die from tar’

The anti-tobacco lobby often confuses vaping with smoking even though there are volumes of scientific evidence to the contrary.   Their argument stems from the assumption that since both combustible cigarettes and e-liquids contain nicotine, then they must be equally harmful to one’s health.

However, most doctors will agree that nicotine’s effects on the human body most closely resemble those of caffeine.  Furthermore, nicotine, by itself, is not addictive.  This is partially why the FDA allows nicotine to be sold in over-the-counter smoking cessation products.

Nicotine is a naturally occurring substance found in many ordinary foods, including eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes.  It is classified as a stimulant, has been shown to decrease hunger and stress, and can even improve the attention span.  Nicotine is also thought to be a potential treatment for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease by improving their cognitive memory capabilities.


Rolling Stone Magazine recently ran an article endorsing vaping as a much safer alternative to smoking.  The journalist gave high praise to Great Britain for its efforts in supporting vaping as a tobacco reduction tool while also crediting its scientific community for leading the way in reputable studies supporting these claims.  The article also quotes a rather well-known scientist from South Africa named Michael Russell who is considered to be the “godfather of tobacco control.”  As far back as 1976, Russell made the following and, at the time, rather controversial statement that is still largely ignored by American public health officials.  

 ‘People smoke for nicotine, but they die from tar.’

The nicotine in combustible cigarettes is not what kills.  It’s the tar and thousands of toxic chemicals that will. And while the ingestion of large quantities of nicotine can cause headaches, nausea, and other uncomfortable symptoms, the miniscule levels found in either tobacco cigarettes or vape juices poses no significant risk.

The major difference between the two is that e-liquids do not contain the nasty tar and chemicals – chemicals that are specially selected by Big Tobacco to keep smokers hooked.  In fact, there are multiple studies that show vaping is far less addictive than smoking based on this premise.  A good example from an American Academia would be Penn State study entitled E-cigarettes less addictive than cigarettes, which is available via Science Daily.


FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb also seems too see the apparent distortion of facts being heaped upon the American public.  In a recent press conference, he announced that his agency is considering the regulation of nicotine in combustible cigarettes.  While this notion left many vaping advocates scratching their heads, Gottlieb was also careful to mension that nicotine is not the real threat facing smokers.

“Nicotine is by no means a completely safe and benign compound.  But a family and population-focused approach to reducing tobacco-caused disease and death must start from the premise that, as far as nicotine is concerned, the problem isn’t just the nicotine.  The bigger problem is the delivery mechanism — how the nicotine gets delivered.  Attach it to smoke particles created by burning cigarettes and the mechanism is deadly.” 

It is the last sentence in Gottlieb’s statement that reckons back to the 1976 statement my Michael Russell.  “People smoke for nicotine, but they die from tar.”  Vapers understand this simple fact.  Why can’t the American public health officials and the anti-tobacco lobby?


from VAPES – News