It's been an exciting week in the vaping industry with vapers across the world, including us here at VapingLiquid.com, talking about a new independent review which claims it is far safer to vape than to smoke normal tobacco. Read all about it here, along with other international electronic cigarette news.
Public Health England announce vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking
A new ground-breaking review undertaken by Public Health England has concluded that electronic cigarettes are 95% less harmful than normal cigarettes. The findings of the review are making headlines all over the world as health professionals who were previously dubious about the health benefits of vaping may now begin to endorse them as a successful method of quitting tobacco.
The review was undertaken by independent experts which means its findings can be deemed highly reliable and credible. In the past, many studies into the health effects of electronic cigarettes have been funded by tobacco companies and have therefore been highly scrutinised and deemed biased and unreliable. Since this review was publicly funded, both the general public and health professionals can be confident of its accuracy.
There are three highly important points to take note of from the review:
1. Smoking an electronic cigarette is 95% less harmful than smoking normal cigarettes.
2. So far there is no evidence to suggest that vaping acts as a progressive route to tobacco smoking for non-smokers or children.
3. 44.8% of the UK population do not realise that smoking an e-cig is significantly less harmful than smoking tobacco.
Points 1 and 2 address the key concern that many healthcare professionals have had about e-cigarettes up to now; that they may pose dangerous health risks, and that they may encourage young people and non-smokers to begin smoking tobacco. With these two concerns dispelled, we may see health ministers and governing bodies around the world become more accepting of vaping.
Now, Public Health England's biggest concern is over point 3; that almost half of people in the UK don't understand how much less harmful e-cigs are compared to normal cigarettes. 22.7% of people stated that they didn't know whether it is harmful to vape, while 22.1% believed it to be equally or more harmful than smoking tobacco.
If these opinions are to be maintained, it could mean that many people are continuing to smoke tobacco in the belief that vaping wouldn't be any better for their health. It is therefore crucial to raise awareness of the health benefits of vaping in order to encourage more people to make the switch and minimise the harmful effects of tobacco.
Public Health England has also found evidence to suggest that the highest successful rates of quitting tobacco are found among those who vape while receiving support from their local stop smoking service. This finding suggests that NHS smoking cessation programmes should be recommending the use of e-cigs to give participants the best level of support and chance of quitting.
One independent author of the study, Professor Peter Hajek, even went as far as to say that smokers should experiment with different types of e-cigs in order to increase their chances of successfully quitting. He said that many may not enjoy the first vaping juice that they try, but rather than reverting back to normal cigarettes "it may take some experimentation with different products and e-liquids to find the right one." This is fantastic news for the e-liquid industry as it means that a wide variety of different brands and flavours of juices will always be an important part of helping people to quit smoking.
Overall, PHE's review should mark a shift in attitudes towards electronic cigarettes and we look forward to seeing greater acceptance of those who vape throughout the UK.
Guardian reports that young people smoke e-cigs for better social life
Having spoken to a number of young adults about their smoking habits, the Guardian has reported that many have swapped tobacco for e-liquid in order to enjoy a better social life.
Rather than being segregated outside with normal cigarettes or berated by friends for smelling of smoke, young people are rapidly switching to electronic cigarettes which give them the flexibility to vape almost anywhere without harming the people around them. They also stated that vaping makes them feel much healthier, too.
Although only anecdotal evidence, this report demonstrates that the younger generation are keen to change their smoking habits. It also suggests that vaping is a much more socially acceptable habit than tobacco smoking which is helping to stamp out the taboos around e-cigs.
National Fatwa Council announces vaping is prohibited for Muslims
The chairman of the National Fatwa Council in Malaysia has announced that the use of electronic cigarettes is haram, which means it is forbidden by Islamic law.
The announcement comes after the council recently recommended that Muslims avoid vaping until further evidence of its effect on health was established. Just a week later and in spite of the comprehensive review from Public Health England, the council has deemed e-cigarettes to be wasteful and harmful to health.
The decision is in keeping with the council's views of normal cigarettes and shisha, both of which are also deemed as haram. Although e-cigs pose lower health risks than tobacco, vaping juice still contains nicotine and it is this which has caused the council to label it haram.
It is yet unknown how the council's announcement will affect the use of electronic cigarettes throughout Malaysia. Muslims make up 61% of the country's population, but considering that 23% of the population smoke tobacco it can be assumed that many ignore the council's ruling on tobacco being forbidden. Those who use electronic cigarettes may therefore also choose to continue to vape despite the council's announcement.
Vaping was recently in the headlines in Malaysia when it was announced there would be a crackdown on the prevalence of cannabis flavoured e-liquid in order to improve the reputation of electronic cigarettes. The ruling from the National Council Fatwa is therefore a step backwards for a a country which has an ever-growing vaping industry. However, with increasing amounts of evidence building to prove that vaping is a healthy option, there is still a good chance that attitudes towards electronic cigarettes will improve and the industry will continue to boom.