The question we all want the answer to…
Yes, they are. That is really the simple answer to this question. However, we need to delve into this subject a lot more in order to convince smokers that Vaping is a less harmful option for them and it is not as harmful as smoking. Let’s look at the various facts we have from experts in these areas.
In 2015 Public Health England did a comprehensive study on Vaping and continue to study them on an ongoing basis. Their findings found that Vaping was at least 95% less harmful than smoking. This is a fact from one of the world’s leading health bodies. This is not in dispute from anyone or any relevant body. In the UK, vaping is endorsed as a less harmful option to smoking and the relevant health bodies recommend Vaping to smokers.
We see Cancer UK, ASH UK and the NHS endorsing Vaping as a less harmful alternative and in Ireland we do not say anything except we do not know the long-term effects of vaping. Yes, we do not know the very long-term effects of vaping but we do when you compare it to smoking and it is 95% less harmful, that should be the only discussion we should be having.
Vaping: The UK vs Ireland
So, let us look at the UK compared to Ireland in the field of tobacco. Only last week in the House of Parliament we had Sir Kevin Barron Labour MP. He citied the difference between Ireland, which have taken a hard line on vaping, and the UK where the government and medical establishment have been far more supportive. In roughly six years since UK and Irish policies started to diverge the smoking rate in Ireland has stayed almost unchanged, whereas in the UK it has fallen at a record rate – lowest in history of records – from 19.6% in 2012 to 15.8% in 2016. This is the difference between both countries and each perspective on this subject, they are saving lives and we are not. They then produce a huge report last week – So while the results they are seeing are huge, they are in the frame of mind to keep pushing for smokers to swap to Vaping and this report states many more improvements they could be doing. They are pushing on and saving lives.
Now let us study, while keeping the above in mind, that Tobacco Free Ireland have stated that our smoking rate will be at 5% by 2025. There was a new paper released two weeks ago that could predict results based on current policies and this predictor showed us if tobacco control policies remain unchanged in Ireland, TFI will fail to hit the target of 5% by 2025. Vaping has the potential to play a huge part in moving the percentage closer but at present the best TFI can hope for is 12.4% so it will be way off the target.
We only have to look at the fabricated study from two weeks ago and then the statement from ASH Director, Dr Patrick Doorley, to say that Vaping should not be considered by smokers as there are other safer options and more successful. Now this is actually comical that the Boss of ASH Ireland would state this. We will not even go into the side effects of Champix and also the success rate of it and NRT. With Vaping, you are 66% more likely to QUIT than any of the other two options.
Lastly, we had a campaign recently launched in Ireland about HARM REDUCTION for COCAINE. Yes, you read it right. – We have the HSE actually sending money on how to take cocaine and here we are with a product that can save lives from smoking and they do nothing. It is just amazing to see this and to see how our Government just ignore the facts they have and also chose to do NOTHING.
So no activity is risk free. Cycling you could get knocked down, but we still say get out on your bike as it is healthy. Safety belts can cause crush injuries, but they are safer than not wearing them. Life jackets do not 100% prevent drowning, but way better than not wearing one. And Cars we still drive even though there are many deaths each year, we just make it less harmful by speed limits etc and road measures and we do not ban people from driving.
Are E Cigarettes 100% safe? NO they are not but they are at least 95% less harmful than smoking and in the UK vaping is saving lives. We will just have to wait and see what we do here and keep waiting while over 6,000 people die yearly from smoke related illnesses. If those lives are not worth saving- between 16-19 people every day DIE in Ireland from smoke related illness – should we try educate smokers and help them.