Unhelpful studies cloud the issue of ‘vaping’

Posted Sep 3, 2014 by Nicole Weddington
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Heart Association (AHA) are taking a very strange approach to using electronic cigarettes to reduce or stop smoking.
A customer smokes an electronic cigarette at the Vapor Shark store on September 6  2013 in Miami  Fl...
A customer smokes an electronic cigarette at the Vapor Shark store on September 6, 2013 in Miami, Florida
Joe Raedle, Getty Images/AFP
The AHA wants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the marketing and sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Conveniently enough, that is already the case, but what the FDA is reviewing are rules that allow them to regulate e-cigarettes as they do tobacco products.
The AHA pointed to a recent study showing that youth exposure to e-cig advertising has risen as much as 250 percent from 2011 to 2013. The study looked at advertising on cable networks and claim that “in the absence of evidence-based public health messaging,
The current television advertising may be promoting beliefs and behaviors that pose harm to the public health.” The study, unfortunately, doesn’t show how much the use of e-cigs had risen from their introduction in 2008. As of 2012, electronic cigarette sales had increased to over 3.5 million.
What reputable studies have found is that the vapor produced by e-cigarettes is much less harmful to the person inhaling and that second-hand vapor has negligible chemical hazards. Especially compared to second-hand cigarette smoke.
A new study from the University of Southern California has found out the same thing. The study was limited, however, in that it only looked at one brand of electronic cigarette and didn’t take in to account that the traditional e-cigarette, that resembles an actual cigarette, has been declining in popularity.
Gregory Conley, President of the American Vaping Association, said, “This study, as well as hundreds of other studies, provide clear evidence that e-cig technology is far, far less hazardous than smoking, likely in the range of 98 to 99 percent.”
What is needed is a more inclusive study on the short and long-term effects of e-cigarette use that is not just limited to clones of cigarettes. A thorough look at different vaping methods and equipment with a similarly comprehensive study of e-liquids used to create the vapor could lay many of the misconceptions to rest.