The Health Master
Switching to E-Cigarettes Can Lengthen a Person's Life
Switching to E-Cigarettes Can Lengthen a Person's Life. Researchers say vaping instead of smoking can add years to the lives of 6 million smokers. Millions of smokers could live longer, healthier lives by switching to e-cigarettes.
How much longer?
According to a new study from the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, an estimated 6.6 million smokers that kick traditional cigarettes to the curb could live a combined 86 million more years than those who don’t.
That research, published today in the journal Tobacco Control, is the first to model prospective health outcomes based on a hypothetical situation in which cigarette use is largely replaced by e-cigarettes over a 10-year period.
In the research model, researchers used data from current e-cigarette use patterns and published evaluations for potential harm reduction — that is, the ability of e-cigarettes to help smokers quit. It’s in this model that researchers discovered the large lifesaving potential of making the switch for millions of smokers. Researchers also used a “worst case” scenario, where e-cigarettes are more harmful than currently believed and less likely to help with smoking cessation. Even in this model, researchers found beneficial results. Under this scenario, an estimated 1.6 million premature deaths would be averted and 20 million fewer years of life lost.
“I did go into the study confident of the ability to save lives under the optimistic scenario, which I believe is consistent with the data that we have so far,” David Levy, PhD, professor of oncology at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University and the study’s lead author, told Healthline.
“I did not expect that under the worst-case scenario, where we assumed all of the negative claims that we have found about e-cigarettes, that we would still find substantial public health gains in terms of lives saved,”
The best way for smokers to cut their risk of early death is to quit smoking, but new research indicates that if that fails, switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes could be a solid plan B. The study found that tobacco users who turn to vaping generally live longer.
For the study, now published online in Tobacco Control, lead researcher David Levy from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and his team studied what happened to cigarettes smokers who had switched from tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarettes over the course of 10 years. The research took a number of factors and possible variables into account such as age that smokers first began their habit into their account. According to the results, switching from tobacco to e-cigarettes increased lifespan.
In a recent statement, Levy said the findings support the idea that "a policy strategy that encourages replacing cigarette smoking with vaping to yield substantial life year gains."
The study suggested many reasons for this extended lifespan. Switching from tobacco to e-cigarettes might leave fewer smokers disabled, for eample. Or it could lower the amount of toxins they are exposed to.
Dr. Frank Baeyens, a professor of psychology at the KU Leuven University in Belgium, who studies the effects of e-cigarette use but was not affiliated with study, told Newsweek that although he is pleased with the results of this study, he is not surprised by them. Baeyens explained that the science backing e-cigarettes as a better alternative to traditional cigarettes is already there. The real struggle will be getting the public to see this and then make the switch.
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Dovey, D. (2017, October 6). Vaping could save lives if we just get over the stigma. Newsweek. Retrieved February 7, 2022, from https://www.newsweek.com/vaping-better-smoking-and-could-save-tobacco-users-lives-study-finds-678947
Mammoser, G. (2017, October 10). E-cigarettes: Switch and live longer. Healthline. Retrieved February 7, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health-news/switching-to-e-cigarettes-can-lengthen-your-life