Whenever I tell anyone I research e-cigarettes, they almost always have an opinion about them. Some will be vapers themselves, and those who are will almost without fail sing the praises of the device that finally helped them stop smoking. But often people who’ve never tried e-cigarettes will focus on the potential risks from utilizing them, and in particular whether they’re likely to reintroduce smoking to a young generation who have been steadily shunning it in larger and larger numbers over recent decades. A particular fear is that young people will test out e-cigarettes and that this will be a gateway in to smoking, along with fears around the harms from e-cigarettes themselves.
A recent detailed study of more than 60,000 UK 11-16 year olds found that younger people who try out e-cigarettes are generally those that already smoke cigarettes, as well as then experimentation mostly doesn’t translate to regular use. Not just that, but smoking rates among young people in the UK continue to be declining. Studies conducted to date investigating the gateway hypothesis that vaping contributes to smoking have tended to check out whether having ever tried an electronic cigarette predicts later smoking. But younger people who try out e-cigarettes will be distinct from those that don’t in a lot of alternative methods – maybe they’re just more keen to adopt risks, which will also increase the likelihood that they’d test out cigarettes too, regardless of whether they’d used e-cigarettes.
Although you can find a small minority of younger people who do start to use e-cigarettes without previously becoming a smoker, as yet there’s little evidence that the then increases the risk of them becoming Reviews On E Cigarettes. Add to this reports from Public Health England which have concluded e-cigarettes are 95% safer than smoking, and you might think that could be the final of the fear surrounding them.
But e-cigarettes have really divided people health community, with researchers who have the most popular goal of lowering the levels of smoking and smoking-related harm suddenly finding themselves on opposite sides in the debate. This is concerning, and partly because in a relative dearth of research on the devices the identical findings are used by either side to back up and criticise e-cigarettes. And all of this disagreement is playing outside in the media, meaning an unclear picture of the items we understand (and don’t know) about e-cigarettes is being portrayed, with vapers feeling persecuted and those that have not yet tried to quit mistakenly believing that there’s no part of switching, as e-cigarettes may be equally as harmful as smoking.
An unexpected consequence of this may be it can make it harder to perform the very research required to elucidate longer-term effects of e-cigarettes. And this is one thing we’re experiencing since we try and recruit for our current study. Our company is performing a research project funded by CRUK, where we’re collecting saliva samples from smokers, vapers and non-smokers. We’re looking at DNA methylation, a biological marker that influences gene expression. It’s been demonstrated that smokers have a distinct methylation profile, in comparison to non-smokers, and it’s possible that these modifications in methylation may be connected to the increased risk of harm from smoking – for example cancer risk. Even if the methylation changes don’t result in the increased risk, they could be a marker of this. We wish to compare the patterns noticed in smokers and non-smokers with those of electronic cigarette users, potentially giving us some insight into the long-term impact of vaping, while not having to wait around for time for you to elapse. Methylation changes happen relatively quickly than the beginning of chronic illnesses.
Part of the difficulty with this particular is the fact we know that smokers and ex-smokers possess a distinct methylation pattern, so we don’t want this clouding any pattern from vaping, meaning we need to recruit vapers who’ve never (or certainly only hardly ever) smoked. Which is proving challenging for 2 reasons. Firstly, as borne out from the recent research, it’s very rare for people who’ve never smoked cigarettes to adopt up regular vaping. Yes, maybe they’ll experiment, but that doesn’t necessarily result in an e-cigarette habit.
But on top of that, an unexpected problem continues to be the unwillingness of some inside the vaping community to aid us recruit. And they’re put off because of fears that whatever we discover, the outcomes will be used to paint a negative picture of vaping, and vapers, by people with an agenda to push. I don’t desire to downplay the extreme helpfulness of plenty of kbajyo in the vaping community in helping us to recruit – thanks a lot, you already know who you are. However I really was disheartened to know that for many, the misinformation and scaremongering around vaping has reached the point where they’re opting out of the research entirely. And after talking to people directly relating to this, it’s hard to criticize their reasoning. We now have also discovered that several e-cigarette retailers were resistant against putting up posters looking to recruit people who’d never smoked, because they didn’t wish to be seen to become promoting e-cigarette use in people who’d never smoked, which can be again completely understandable and must be applauded.
Exactly what can perform relating to this? Hopefully as increasing numbers of scientific studies are conducted, so we get clearer information on e-cigarettes capability to serve as a quitting smoking tool, the disagreement around them will disappear. Until then, I hope that vapers still agree to participate in research so we can fully explore the chance of these devices, particularly those rare “unicorns” who vape but have never smoked, as they may be essential to helping us understand the impact of vaping, in comparison with smoking.