Many critics of e-cigarettes are quick to pick apart the little details on how e-cigs are truly used to help people quit smoking. Often you will hear them claim that e-cigarette users do not know what they are doing to their body, they are still addicted to nicotine, and perhaps, even worse, many of them still smoke cigarettes from time to time.
Regardless of the level of quitting smoking that a vaper is currently prescribed to, the overwhelming data suggests that use of e-cigarettes shows a substantial, if not total, reduction of cigarette consumption. Between 75% and 90% of vapers who were once smokers experience this reduction, if they don’t just go ahead and quit altogether.
Cigarette reduction, however, is not good enough for e-cigarette opponents, who cruelly attack dual e-cig and cigarette users. A key argument used by the critics seeking to demonize these products is to claim they have no health benefits unless you quit completely. For instance, one of the most outspoken e-cig opponents, Dr. Stanton Glantz argues in his blog that reductions in cigarette consumption are not considered a “meaningful clinical outcome.” Strange then it would seem that dual users have chosen e-cigarettes, just like many do, to improve their health and by successfully reducing their cigarette consumption are producing quite the meaningful outcomes.
And these meaningful outcomes are true success stories of smoking reduction and cessation with the aid of e-cigarettes. The Society on the Study of Addiction, the American Heart Association, the University College of London, and a host of other experts and journals have released studies and editorials confirming the success of smoking cessation or backing the use of e-cigs as tools for quitting. Studies such as the one published in the journal, Addictive Behavior, have proven that e-cigarettes aid not only in smoking cessation, but also in preventing relapse. When people have a safer alternative to smoking, that actually can help them truly reduce or completely quit altogether, they stand to greatly improve their health. That is what e-cigarettes is giving people the chance to do.
Dr. Glantz and other critics might disagree, however, the claim that there are no health benefits of substantially reducing cigarette intake is one of the greatest myths in the anti-smoking movement. Cigarette intake reduction should not be ignored. Smoking less cigarettes is so clearly healthier for a person it’s hard to understand why anyone wouldn’t think vaping as at least somewhat beneficial. Anytime you reduce the tar and smoke you intake, you are clearly reducing your health risk. And e-cigarettes are providing so many people with a significant reduction in tobacco intake, that you would think on this merit alone they should be accepted, but there are even more reasons to consider their potential to improve health benefits.
Research has shown that reducing cigarette consumption enhances the likelihood of complete smoking cessation. In other words, if it doesn’t help you quit right away, it may be the first step on your journey to total smoking cessation. Slow and steady often wins the race, and this gradual approach works for a large percentage of smokers. And it doesn’t hurt that smoking e-cigs on that journey helps keep you and those around you healthier and safer.
Severe smoking reduction, even if it does not lead to total cessation, will have the greatest health effect on a user’s lungs. Anyone who has cut back on smoking, vapers included, can attest to improvement in their own breathing and respiratory symptoms.
This fact is also demonstrated by a recent study which reports that asthmatic smokers who switched partially to e-cigarettes experienced a significant improvement both in their respiratory symptoms and their lung function. Dual users also demonstrated a significant reduction in asthma attacks. The researchers on this study also believe e-cigarettes hold a key to the future of people’s lung health, with or without asthma. They stated: “The positive findings observed with e-cigs allows us to advance the hypothesis that these products may be valuable for smoking cessation and/or tobacco harm reduction.”
However, many of us feel this hypothesis has already well been proven, as there are many people you could meet and talk to every day who could share their story of how e-cigarettes helped them quit or cut back. Many vapers know already, how e-cigarettes have improved their lives, their relationships, their lungs, heck, even their smell, but more importantly they have helped them live healthier lives. It’s just a matter of convincing the critics of these things that vapers already know to be true.
In the meantime, the critics will likely struggle if they keep trying to prove that e-cigarettes are not a valid, positive health choice whether as a cessation method or just as a smoking reducer. No matter how you slice it, the proof is mounting that e-cigarettes can save lives, no matter what the critics want you to believe.