When the Potential Health Benefits Exceed the Risks

When you think of the sun, your first inclination may be to think of skin cancer. Then, you think of cell phones and technology. Many of us would opine that the two have led to society’s undoing. If you think of e-cigarettes and the act of vaping, the surrounding rhetoric will almost undoubtedly conclude that they are just as bad as cigarettes. But, don’t the benefits exceed the risks?

Just like the sun and cell phones; e-cigarettes are not as bad as you may have previously thought. In fact, a new study concludes that vaping does more good than harm.

According to a recent article published in Churnmag“one of the most prevalent question in the e-cigarette debate may finally have an answer.”

What question was answered?

Do e-cigarette health benefits outweigh the presumed risks?

A recent e-cigarette study says yes. Carried out by the University of Michigan, the e-cigarette study showed researchers that vaping does, in fact, provide a net benefit for society.

The e-cigarette study analysis

Doctors Kenneth Warner and David Mendez were the researchers behind the e-cigarette study, which looked at several different sets of variables to understand how each affected the other. After narrowing the data down to the most applicable criterion, the study showed that if the current e-cigarette landscape remained as is, in the next 50 years, vaping would have a substantially greater positive effect than negative on society.

The core data revealed if nothing changed and regulations/restrictions remained as is, by the year 2070— 260,000 life-years would be lost from traditional tobacco cigarette use. By comparison, 3.5 million life-years would be saved as a result of vaping. This study didn’t go into smoking-related illnesses, which is said to cost the United States more than $300 billion each year.

Both Dr. Warner and Dr. Mendez fully understand that vaping is a rather new phenomenon lacking much needed long-term information. But at the same time, they understand very well the ills of tobacco cigarettes and the threat they pose to its user. Bearing in mind the gravity of the tobacco epidemic, both researchers support vaping as an alternative to smoking.

“It could take years before we know the full health impact of vaping, if indeed we ever will. Meanwhile, we have a crisis on our hands. 500 people die each year as a result of smoking. One out of six Americans remain addicted. Though the results of the study show likely net benefits from e-cigarettes, those benefits represent a small fraction of the enormous harm caused by combustible tobacco,” says Dr. Mendez.

“I believe the case is strong; the benefits outweigh the risks,” says Dr. Warner.

Especially relevant: last Wednesday’s blog.

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Andrew Figgs

Photography Major from Western Washington University . I joined MBV back in December 2014 and am happy to be working in an industry focused on helping others.