A major new report has good and bad news for people who use e-cigarettes
Interesting findings from a major study in the United States.
A new report in the United States has found that e-cigarettes may help adults to stop smoking conventional cigarettes, but that their use amongst young people also increases the risk of them taking up conventional smoking when they’re older.
Those were two of the most notable findings from a congressionally-mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on the health effects of e-cigarettes, a report that was published on Tuesday.
A committee made up of 13 professors from various universities identified and examined over 800 peer-reviewed scientific studies about the health effects of e-cigarettes and while it was noted that the research base is limited given the relatively short time e-cigarettes have been used, the committee reached dozens of conclusions about a range of health impacts.
In terms of the benefits of e-cigarettes, for example, the study found conclusive evidence that completely substituting e-cigarettes for conventional cigarettes reduces users’ exposure to many toxicants and carcinogens present in conventional cigarettes.
It also found substantial evidence that completely switching from regular use of conventional cigarettes to e-cigarettes results in reduced short-term adverse health outcomes in several organ systems.
On the other hand, there was substantial evidence that the use of e-cigarettes amongst young people increased the possibility that they would smoke conventional cigarettes when they’re older.
There was also conclusive evidence that e-cigarettes can explode and cause burns and projectile injuries. Such risk is significantly increased when batteries are of poor quality, stored improperly, or are being modified by users, the study found.
Furthermore, while the use of e-cigarettes can help adults to stop smoking conventional cigarettes, the study found substantial evidence that e-cigarette use results in symptoms of dependence on e-cigarettes.
“E-cigarettes cannot be simply categorised as either beneficial or harmful,” said David Eaton, chair of the committee that wrote the report.
“In some circumstances, such as their use by non-smoking adolescents and young adults, their adverse effects clearly warrant concern. In other cases, such as when adult smokers use them to quit smoking, they offer an opportunity to reduce smoking-related illness.”
You can read more about the information included in the report here.