While U.S. regulators and public health officials have declared war on vaping, seemingly unmoved by its potential utility for harm reduction as an alternative to smoking, their British counterparts are considerably more sanguine, judging by their response to panicked reports of a handful of deaths and a larger number of cases of lung ailments among Americans who vaped THC products. As Daniel Pryor of the Adam Smith Institute in the UK points out, British doctors are still generally positive about vaping as an alternative to smoking tobacco, pointing out that it is considerably less toxic than cigarette smoke (there’s also the point that the deaths in America were caused by contamination in less regulated THC-based vaping products, not widely used nicotine-based products that substitute for tobacco).
- Pryor cites Prof. Paul Aveyard, Professor of Behavioural Medicine at the University of Oxford, who states: “People who vape will be asking themselves if it’s safe to vape. They can be reassured by other data we have… scientists found that people who were vaping had less cough, and produced less phlegm than those who were not vaping, while there was no difference in wheeze or breathlessness. This study added to other good quality studies that show no evidence that vaping causes short-term serious harms.”
- He also cites Dr. Sarah Jackson, Senior Research Fellow, UCL Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, University College London, who states: “E-cigarettes are the most popular quitting aid used by smokers – and among the most effective. Advice to discourage people from vaping legal, regulated e-liquids appears to be unwarranted and risks pushing people back to smoking.”
- And Prof. Peter Hajek, Director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit, Queen Mary University of London, states: “Although the scare is being used to put smokers off switching from cigarettes to much less risky vaping, it has nothing to do with e-cigarettes as they are normally used in this country. E-cigarettes have been around for over a decade now and are used by millions of people, with no such cases occurring.”