Table of Contents
The World Vapers Alliance was formed in 2020, and was created connect vapers all around the world and empower them to the make a difference to their communities. It’s primary goal is to defend vaping by giving vapers a platform for their voice to be heard.
They work tirelessly to ensure that vaping is kept in a positive light, and is soon quick to jump to the defence as and when anything negative is mentioned or published in the media and or press. And recently, they’ve published what I believe to be one of the most valuable resources for Vaping that’s ever been published.
The Tobacco Harm Reduction and Vaping Fact Sheet was published last week by the WVA, and it is full to the brim of useful information and links that rubbishes any false claims or myths that have been published about vaping across the world. In this article, I’m going to take a look at the fact sheet myself and break it down to pick out what I think are key parts and give my views on it. Let’s get into it!
What is harm reduction and why is Vaping classed as it?
Harm reduction is basically what it says on the tin, reducing the harm or adverse effects that a specific activity could have. For example, a sear belt is classed as harm reduction, as this reduces the risk of harm when travelling in a car if you were to have an accident. It’s all about providing a practical solution instead of creating something that doesn’t work, like stopping driving completely to eliminate the harm risk.
Vaping is considered harm reduction, as Vaping can give the same effects as smoking, just without consuming the thousands of harmful chemicals that are found in cigarettes. Vaping has become the most popular choice by people looking to still consume nicotine, just in a much less harmful way than smoking cigarettes.
Vaping and Health Effects
Starting off with probably the most important subject when it comes to vaping, with that being what effects Vaping can have on a persons health. Many sceptics and anti-vape campaigners believe that Vaping has detrimental effects on the body, and can cause a multitude of illnesses and ailments, but 9 times out of 10, they’re wrong.
In 2016, Public Health England made the bold statement that Vaping is 95% safer than smoking, and this was further lamented and backed late last year in a report from Cochrane, commissioned by Public Health England in what’s dubbed “the most comprehensive review of it’s kind.”
The fact sheet highlights and links to several studies and reports showing the positive effects vaping can have on peoples health, with links to studies that show people who switch to vaping see an improvement in vascular health, as well as dropping the risk of cancer right down from what it previously was if they smoked cigarettes. And also people who switch to vaping also pick up a healthier lifestyle and also can exercise more easily than when they smoked.
Vaping is the most successful form of Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Moving on to talking about Nicotine Replacement Therapy, and Vaping has definitely taken the crown for the most successful NRT option people are using to quit smoking. And this isn’t just me saying it, as there’s been actual evidence and backing to prove this theory right. Within the 78 page mega review done by Cochrane, it showed the stats from a study which showed that people using a nicotine E-Cigarette had much more success quitting smoking than those using more conventional methods like patches, gum and lozenges.
It’s not just the UK where Vaping is pushed as the best alternative for smoking, as it’s advocated heavily in France, Canada and New Zealand’s Health Departments. There’s links within the fact sheet that shows how effective vaping is to quit smoking so all the evidence you need is right there on the fact sheet. Like I said, it wasn’t just me saying it!
The fact sheet also touches on the subject that countries who adopt alternative forms of nicotine delivery products such as E-Cigarettes, and Nicotine Pouches will generally have much lower smoking rates than countries who have a more hostile approach to vaping, such as Australia. Sweden was the first country to achieve “smoke free” status by having a country wide smoking prevalence of less than 5% which is nothing short of brilliant.
This is largely down to the fact that the use of Snus, which is an oral tobacco product is massive in Sweden and people opt to use that rather than smoking a cigarette.
Vaping isn’t a gateway to smoking for teenagers
Ah yes, the classic statement made in abundance of sceptics and anti vape campaigners, and that is that Vaping can create a gateway effect to lead them onto smoking cigarettes. But, this really isn’t true and there’s evidence to prove it as well!
Studies in Australia showed that 70-85% of all adolescents will take up vaping AFTER smoking cigarettes and regular vaping was very rare amongst teens who had never previously smoked. And in a culmination of fifteen different studies conducted back in 2019, “a true gateway effect could not be established nor had been demonstrated” when it came to vaping being a gateway to smoking.
The topic of the “youth vaping epidemic” that happened in the USA is mentioned as well, and this really was a problematic time for the USA. In 2019, teen vaping rates absolutely sky rocketed in America due to the boom in popularity of JUUL vaping devices, and alarming rates of teens were using these devices in the USA.
However, recent studies have shown that over the last couple of years, the youth vaping rates in the USA have started to dwindle down by themselves and it appears that the “epidemic” stage has now passed. With the vaping figures dwindling down, one would assume that the smoking rates would start to increase? Not in this case, as the numbers did not rise even slightly, which even further dispels the gateway theory.
On top of this, surveys and studies from Action on Smoking and Health shows that youth smoking rates in the UK are at an all time low and youth use of E-Cigarettes, whilst is still prevalent, isn’t actually that high either when looking at survey results.
Why flavoured vape juice is important
Coming on to the last topic that I’ll be looking over in this article is probably the topic I think to be the most crucial and something that is getting a lot of flack and false blame for being the cause of youth vaping and that is flavoured E-Liquid.
When people transition from smoking to vaping, 8/10 of them will pick a vape juice that is not a tobacco flavour. I don’t know many people that actually enjoy the taste of tobacco, so having the opportunity to have a vape juice that is a different flavour to tobacco would be a welcome change.
A study was done at the Yale School of Public Health and it showed that flavoured vape juice/e-cigarettes is associated with a whopping 230% increase in usage of E-Cigarettes amongst adults and it also increased the odds of them quitting smoking successfully.
Keeping flavoured vape juice as an option will stop ex-smokers from knowing what tobacco tastes like and will reduce the chance of relapse of going back to smoking, which is why flavoured vape juice must remain an option to all vapers, and not something that is banned like what it has been in some countries, as well as states in America.
This just isn’t the right thing to do, as flavoured vape juice is crucial to keep people away from cigarettes, and when people have been asked what they would do if flavoured vape juice was banned in their native country, some reported that they would go back to smoking which is counterproductive, whilst some admitted they would use alternative “black market” methods to obtain the banned flavoured vape juice they’ve previously been accustomed to. Which again, is somewhat counterproductive don’t you think?
The fact sheet goes on to discuss the potential taxation being put on vaping products, nicotine and also Nicotine pouches and backs all things up with links to the references they make.
As mentioned, this fact sheet that has been compiled by the World Vapers Alliance is an absolute masterpiece, and I commend all of those involved that worked on putting this together. It’s definitely something worth keeping in your favourites and referencing back to if you ever have any doubts on things you read or here, I know that’s what I’m doing!
You can read the WVA’s Tobacco Harm Reduction and Vaping Fact Sheet in full by clicking the link!