The Vapour Revolution: How bottom-up innovation is saving lives, at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, is a paper written by Julian Morris and Dr. Amir Ullah Khan, and published by American based research organization The Reason Foundation. Morris who is vice president of the of the foundation, cited the study claiming that “a switch could save 8 of 10 billion life-years currently at risk from smoking”. He is of course referring to the switch from smoking combustible cigarettes with their well known carcinogenic properties amongst other things, to the safer alternative, vaping.
The above findings go in line with those cited by several other studies. The Royal College of Physicians in the UK found vaping to be at least 95% safer than smoking, and research carried out by Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in the US, reported that the use of e-cigarettes may lead to a drop of 21% in smoking associated deaths, and a 20% percent gain in life years in people born in 1997 or after.
In a comment directed at the authorities of Hong Kong, Julian Morris said, “Hong Kong currently prohibits the sale of nicotine-containing vape products. But it permits far deadlier cigarettes. That makes no sense. If people are allowed to vape with nicotine — a substance that is not classified as a carcinogen as is not a significant cause of heart disease — many will switch from a product that is likely to cut their life expectancy by 10 years to a product that might, at most, cut it by a few months. As a result, the lives of hundreds of thousands of HK residents will be extended and improved.”
In a similar plea directed at Indian authorities, last month the organization speakers cited the same study whilst pointing out that the World Health Organization who plays a key role in influencing countries on an international level, has the perfect opportunity to do this due to its next Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) taking place in Delhi next November.
Another interesting argument that Morris brought up, was the fact that since vaporizers do not emit smoke, in his opinion calling them e-cigarettes is misleading. He suggested they should be classified as consumer products and rather than being banned they should be made more accessible and considered as an effective smoking cessation tool.
Less smokers in countries where vaping products are accessible
The authors of this study concluded by pointing out that in countries such as France and the UK where vaping products are easily available for sale, there has been significant progress in the manufacturing of these devices. And as a result of this, “The quality of the devices and liquids have been improving and their cost falling. This has contributed to a significant increase in use of vape products. At the same time, there is very robust evidence that the vast majority of people who regularly use vape devices are reducing or quitting smoking.”
Working Paper — The Vapour Revolution: How Bottom-Up Innovation Is Saving Lives, PDF, 791 KB – Julian Morris and Amir Ullah Khan