Last Updated on June 4, 2019 by

Concerns over the effects of e-cigarette use among young people appear to have been put to rest with the publication of new research suggesting few, if any risks to their health.


For some time now, health authorities had worried that young people who never smoked but started vaping might be subjecting themselves to an array of potential health problems down the line. The new research examined the issue over three-and-a-half years and found nothing to be concerned about.


“In spite of previous health scares, our study shows for the first time no risk in long-term vapers who have never smoked in their life,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Riccardo Polosa. The researchers noted that even the “heaviest [e-cigarette] users failed to exhibit any evidence of emerging lung injury” or other types of potential harm to the body of young people who were vaping.


They used a small sample of people to carry out their study that they said would be representative of smokes and vapers in general. In all, they closely followed nine people who vaped regularly but never smoked and 12 people who had neither smoked nor vaped, as a control. Afterwards, they could not determine any negative health aspects in the vapers.

No Long-Term Health Risks' for Young People Who Vape

Vapers Vs Non-Vapers


Comparing the two groups and looking at various health markers, the study did not find anything wrong with the lung function, blood pressure, heart rate and other metrics of those using e-cigarettes over the course of the three-and-a-half years. But, they said “more research is necessary” to determine if there might be risks beyond that period of time.


Other recent studies have not been so cautious, however, and after examining e-cigarette usage in detail have concluded that compared to the real risks of death from using tobacco, e-cigarettes should be recommended to smokers. It’s now known that tobacco kills half of  the people who smoke, which adds up to a grim total of some 7 million deaths around the world annually.


The World Health Organization says: “Tobacco is the only legal drug that kills many of its users when used exactly as intended by manufacturers.” The organisation has set a “global voluntary tobacco target” to try and reduce these avoidable mortalities. With partners around the world, it hopes to slash the number of people aged 15 and over who smoke by at least 30% by 2025.

Smoke-Free Nations?


Some countries are doing their own thing. In Britain, where 40% of smokers begin smoking before they are 16, the health service is now recommending, for the first time, that e-cigarettes be used as a way to kick the habit. This year, its annual Stoptober campaign advised that e-cigarettes “are particularly effective when combined with support from local stop smoking services — people who choose this route have some of the highest quitting success rates.”


Many people get their e-cigarettes from an online vape shop. There’s a large variety of e-cigarette devices to choose from, and an entire world of fruity flavors. While some are vaping to get off and stay away from tobacco cigarettes, others use them for pure enjoyment and the taste of the flavors. These range from fruit-based e-juices, to sweet treats, to tobacco imitations — and many come with zero-nicotine options.


New Zealand, meanwhile, is among countries at the forefront of campaigns to go almost entirely smoke-free. It acknowledges that it will never be possible to stop everyone from smoking, but is aiming to get the numbers down to negligible levels by 2025. They’re doing this, in part, by suggesting smokers vape instead.


From the available research, it seems clear that stopping young people from smoking at an early age and developing a risky habit that will be difficult to shake can be done if they take up vaping instead. They can have the nicotine they desire, or opt for lower nicotine levels in e-liquid, or even wean themselves down to nothing except the flavor — with none of the hazards along the way.

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