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Smoking Vs. Vaping- the endless debate continues

Smoking Vs. Vaping- the endless debate continues

Whether you are a consumer of Ecig products or a Supplier of them, the debate that has endlessly raged around the safety and actual effectiveness of Ecig has been relentless. However as time goes on and we are becoming to be in a better position to evaluate Ecig in a controlled environment, and more official studies are undertaken we are able to access actual fact based information from appropriate sources. So when the latest study by Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, Embassy, and PsycINFO completed their case study and released the results with  records to January 2020, together with their vigorous reference‐checking and study author validation become available last month it was most likely quite the shock to anti Ecig policy makers and lobbyists and it was undoubtedly not the outcome they had hoped it would be.

Included in the 50 completed studies, representing 12,430 participants, of which 26 are RCTs (randomized controlled trials). Thirty‐five of the 50 included studies were new to this review update. Of the included studies, we rated four (all which contribute to our main comparisons) at low risk of bias overall, 37 at high risk overall (including the 24 non‐randomized studies), and the remainder at unclear risk.

-There was moderate‐certainty evidence, limited by imprecision, that quit rates were higher in people randomized to nicotine EC than in those randomized to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)

-There was moderate‐certainty evidence, again limited by imprecision, that quit rates were higher in people randomized to nicotine EC than to non‐nicotine EC (RR 1.71, 95% CI 1.00 to 2.92; I2 = 0%; 3 studies, 802 participants).

-Compared to behavioural support only/no support, quit rates were higher for participants randomized to nicotine EC (RR 2.50, 95% CI 1.24 to 5.04; I2 = 0%; 4 studies, 2312 participants).

-Data from non‐randomized studies were consistent with RCT data.

-Very few studies reported data on other outcomes or comparisons and hence evidence for these is limited, with confidence intervals often encompassing clinically significant harm and benefit.

allow me to translate.....

-There is moderate‐certainty evidence that ECs with nicotine increase quit rates compared to ECs without nicotine and compared to NRT, furthmore evidence comparing nicotine EC with usual care/no treatment also suggests benefit, but is less certain. More studies are needed to confirm the degree of effect, particularly when using modern EC products.

-They did not detect any clear evidence of harm from nicotine EC, but longest follow‐up was two years and the overall number of studies should be based on a larger number of people.

-They are moderately confident that nicotine e‐cigarettes help more people to stop smoking than nicotine replacement therapy or nicotine‐free e‐cigarettes. However, these results might change if further evidence becomes available.

-They are less confident about how nicotine e‐cigarettes compare with no support, or behavioural support, to quit.

-None of the included studies (short‐ to mid‐term, up to two years) detected serious adverse events considered possibly related to EC use.

In my opinion this studies and their results are going to come far too late and by the time we actually have a chance to present a fact based argument to the anti-Ecig groups and policy makers, the damage may well be largely done (to an extent) to this industry.

Despite the outcomes of these studies showing a much less of a negative impact on us regarding implications to our heath or otherwise, we still are subject to an extremely strict and apparently never-ending slew of rules and regulations, laws and limits. For consumers we are slammed with a total nicotine ban in our E-cig products and other limitations on products we use and that are made available to us. Business owners are severely restricted with what we can stock, where we can sell it, and even where we can advertise our businesses and make a name for ourselves. If nothing else we are definitely a resilient bunch!  

It's absurd that firstly certain laws and regulations are imposed on our sector without proof and actual evidence, and by that I refer to actual true and accurate information from impartial sources such as the Cochrane Study, for any one to make an educated and informed opinion and as a result, shape our industry in a correct and fair manner & secondly despite the fact that we aren't allowed to sell nicotine products and the vast majority of Vape stores do not, we still get labelled as a tobacco store, and are subject to all the extra issues that come with that?

Now I understand (for the record) how it is considered related, but seriously- if we can't sell anything that is an actual nicotine or tobacco derived product then how is that a tobacco store? Consumers are slammed with a total nicotine bans in our cig purchases, and the vast majority of those who actually were using their vapes to stop smoking cannot. Directly impacting their ability to sustain a non smoking lifestyle, and at the same time offering limited to no support to those who are impacted.

The more determined consumers are turning to a black market nicotine supply to maintain cigarette free lifestyles, which is shocking and appalling. It presents a whole new level of dangers and concerns, for example having a safe and hygienic purchase environment and product and also being financially impacted as some are expected to pay considerably to access the nicotine they will add to their e-liquids.

With the consequences of serious criminal charges to all parties involved should they be caught, it hardly seems like would actually be worth it at all, but it is absolutely happening. 

Despite the outcomes of these studies showing a much less of a negative impact on us regarding implications to our heath or otherwise, we still are subject to an extremely strict and apparently never-ending slew of rules and regulation laws and limits.

The ramifications may vary though one constant fact remains - a reform of the Vape Industry or at least certain re-assessments combined with the inclusion of fair fact based regulations negotiated with those actually involved this industry, who have a real working knowledge of what we need seems like something that is forever out of reach.  

8th May 2021 Puffnstuff

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