Switching to e-cigarettes can save millions of lives

Cigarette Smoke Ashtray

Cigarette Smoke Ashtray

The researchers then repeated the exercise under the Pessimistic ("worst case") Scenario, in which more young people are assumed to initiate e-cigarette and tobacco use, cessation from tobacco use is reduced, and the risks of e-cigarette use are at the high end of suggested estimates.

Using mathematical models, researchers calculated how two possible scenarios of cigarette and e-cigarette use - one optimistic scenario and one pessimistic scenario - could impact public health if Americans who smoked cigarettes switched to e-cigarettes over the next 10 years.

Scientists are still unsure about the potential harms of "vaping" as an alternative to traditional cigarettes, though most seem convinced it is at least safer. In that optimistic model, the researchers found that 6.6 million premature deaths could be avoided in the US, according to the study, which was published yesterday (Oct. 2) in the journal Tobacco Control.

Paris: A large-scale switch from tobacco to e-cigarettes would cut smoking-related deaths by a quarter in the United States by 2100, even assuming the gadgets are themselves not risk-free, researchers said Tuesday. In the more optimistic one, they use the hypothesis that risks linked to e-cigarettes are 5% of those linked to tobacco, and that only a minority of people will continue to smoke in the "traditional" manner by 2026.

E-cigarettes, devices that seek to recreate the experience of tobacco smoking by heating a liquid to release a vapour that is inhaled like smoke, have exploded onto the market in recent years.An estimated seven million people in Europe alone have taken up "vaping".According to the World Health Organization, tobacco kills up to half of its users - more than seven million people per year.Of these, almost a million are people exposed to second-hand smoke.

Researcher say smokers could gain 86 million years of life over the next ten years by completely switching to vaping.

In an accompanying commentary, Dr Marita Hefler from the Menzies School of Health Research in Australia, asks whether it is time to outlaw sales of combustible tobacco products.

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