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Study: E-Cigarettes Reduce Smoking-Related Deaths by 21%

Jul 18, 2016 06:25 AM EDT
E-cigarettes can reduce smoking-related deaths by 21 percent, a new study suggested. (Photo : Vaping360 / Flickr)

E-cigarettes can reduce smoking-related deaths by 21 percent, a new study suggested.

According to a study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Cancer Institute and the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network, e-cigarettes and other vapor products have a generally positive impact on public health among those born after 1997.

"Our model is consistent with recent evidence that, while e-cigarette use has markedly increased, cigarette smoking among youth and young adults has fallen dramatically," David Levy of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and lead author of the study said in a statement published in Seeker.com.

In the study, which was published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, patterns of use from national data are analyzed and summarized. Comparisons were made between adolescents who vape but would not otherwise have taken up any nicotine product and those who vape but would otherwise have smoked cigarettes, Reuters reports.

After analyzing the data, the researchers found that the benefits of e-cigarettes outweigh the harm, especially for smokers who switch completely to e-cigarettes. However, e-cigarettes could increase risks if adolescent users who would not otherwise have smoked engage in the habit, particularly if they turn to cigarettes.

But the researchers said that, despite the findings, youth smoking should still be continuously monitored.

Despite the decrease in conventional tobacco use, "e-cigarettes are likely to reduce cigarette smoking and not lead to offsetting increases in harm from the use of e-cigarettes and more deadly cigarettes," Levy said.

In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that e-cigarettes use among middle school and high school students tripled between 2013 and 2014.

On May 5, the U.S. Food and Drug Authority (FDA) announced a final rule extending its tobacco authority to include e-cigarettes, pipe tobacco, cigars and hookah. The rule, which will take effect on Aug. 8, requires companies to seek marketing authorization for any tobacco product introduced after Feb. 15, 2007.

According to Levy and his team, the FDA regulations against e-cigarette marketing could stifle the development of safer products that could more effectively displace cigarettes.

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