Every week, a minimum of two dozen vaping studies are published. Most of these studies focus on the most critical topic: vaping and health. From health risks associated with vaping to e-liquid or vapor components and nicotine addiction, almost every aspect of vaping is being studied and analyzed.
Researchers and scientists across the world are continually devoting time to understand every aspect of vaping. Most of the studies conducted on vaping find extensive coverage in media, primarily due to the unnerving claims made by scientists, university press offices, and outside groups.
It is important to highlight at this point that that none of the studies conducted so far have embraced vaping as ‘safe.’ However, almost all scientists agree that vaping is far safer than smoking cigarettes. However, the dialogue on health and side-effects related to vaping usually registers varying opinions. It can be said with certainty that it is bound to pose some risks to human beings. Because vaping involves inhaling a foreign substance and the use of nicotine; Thus, it is important to update the research on the growing trend of vaping constantly.
Does Vaping Affect Lung, Heart, and Circulatory Health?
There are two primary impediments to successfully studying the harmful effects of vaping. First, vaping is a relevantly new trend, and thus, there hasn’t been any long-term research on vaping. Moreover, most present vapers were smokers in the past.
Therefore, it becomes impossible to separately study the effects of smoking and potential health risks posed by vaping. This leads to most studies struggling to understand the negative effects of vaping characteristically. The problems posed by this lack of any long-term and concrete research were solved by a 2017-study that studied the health markers for a group of vapers who had never smoked before they started vaping. The study ran for 3.5 years and made some interesting observations.
This 2017-study carefully studied essential indicators related to lung, heart, and circulatory health in vapers and compared the results with a control group of non-vapers. The study concluded that the performance of the analyzed health indicators in the case of vapers was no worse than the performance of the health indicators in non-smokers.
The authors of the study noted that vaping did not lead to any health concerns in young vapers who did not use tobacco. However, the study did not also categorically deny that long-term usage can lead to problems at later stages.
Which Flavors Do Adult Vapers Prefer?
Two separate papers published in 2017 confirmed that adult vapers prefer sweet flavors over tobacco flavors. This finding was in stark contrast with the general public presumption that all ex-smokers prefer the tobacco flavors.
The first of these two studies used data from a 2016-survey that studied 21,000 American vapers. The survey concluded that the fruit and dessert flavors ranked very highly on the preference chart of vapers. The study also found that even dual vapers, i.e., vapers who smoke as well, preferred these sweet and dessert flavors more than any other flavors.
The second study surveyed a group of 69,000 adult vapers to understand their flavor preferences. The study concluded that more than 80 percent of all vapers prefer fruit and dessert flavors. The study also revealed that only 7.7 percent of all vapers preferred tobacco flavors. The two studies, therefore, made interesting observations regarding the preference of smokers as well as vapers.
Does Vaping Help Smokers Quit?
Vaping companies often claim that vape devices can help smokers quit cigarettes. Many studies have been conducted on this topic. In 2017, three studies corroborated this claim. A 2017-study revealed that vaping, indeed, helps smokers quit. The study used data from the U.S. census to establish that smokers who vape are more likely to leave than vapers who do not smoke.
Shu-Hong Zhu, the lead author of one of the studies, stated that the use of e-cigarettes was found to be linked with a higher quitting rate among smokers.
Does Vaping Produce Lethal Amounts of Formaldehyde?
In 2015, a research letter written to the New England Journal of Medicine garnered immediate attention from the popular press since it claimed that e-cigarettes emit lethal amounts of formaldehyde, a famous carcinogen. This claim created quite a stir in the media. However, the claims made in the letter were challenged on the basis that the study involved the use of outdated vaping equipment used at irrationally high voltage levels.
Further, in 2017, another study analyzed the aforementioned 2015-research letter and found that the original researchers had used vaping machines to produce “dry puffs” that are unbreathable. The researchers involved in the 2017 study claimed that the 2015-study researchers had used e-cigarettes like how inexperienced people cook. It is the inability of the cook and not the vessel or food that leads to the food being burnt. The lead author of this 2017-study, Konstantinos Farsalinos explained his view : accepting a fact that e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking could lead to smokers believing switching to e-cigarettes is inherently useless.
Can E-Cigarettes Reverse the Effects of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease?
Smoking is one of the primary causes of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Unfortunately, a significant number of smokers are unable to quit smoking even after being diagnosed with COPD.
More recently, a three-year study revealed that e-cigarettes could help reverse some of the expressions associated with COPD. COPD-patients who switched to e-cigarettes exhibited improved overall health and reduced COPD effects, such as respiratory infections.
The lead author of the study, Riccardo Polosa, shed further light on this and said that COPD patients must immediately quit smoking to stop the disease from reaching a chronic stage. Since many COPD patients continue to smoke even after being diagnosed with the disease, e-cigarettes can play an essential role in dissuading smoking in COPD patients.
Does Vaping Promote Teenage Smoking?
Many e-cigarette agnostics believe that vaping can promote teenage or adolescent smoking. The truth is vaping does not promote adolescent smoking. As a matter of fact, according to several studies, since the discovery of vaping, teenage smoking has considerably reduced. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2017, only 4.2 percent of all 12th-grade students smoked. This figure is quite low when compared to the 1997 statistics when 24.6 percent of all 12th-grade students smoked.
In 2017, two tobacco control veterans wrote a paper that claimed that as opposed to promoting teenage smoking, vaping inhibits potential smokers from trying cigarettes. The authors further stated that though many studies claim that vaping helps adolescent quit smoking, the fact is there are negligible chances that e-cigarettes can lead to an increase in the number of future cigarette smokers. However, sensible, comprehensive harm reduction policies can play a pivotal role in further strengthening the recent tobacco control efforts.
A Study of Vape Research
In recent years, several papers and studies have comprehensively discussed the quality of existing research and weighed in on the pros and cons associated with vaping. The three most essential and popular pieces of research are：
- Public Health Consequences of -Cigarettes
- e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products: evidence review
- Nicotine without smoke: Tobacco harm reduction
All three of these researches conclude that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking. Also, all three of these studies are indexed. So, you can choose to either dive-in thoroughly or focus only on specific points that interest you.
Where Does the Money for Vaping Studies Come From?
In the U.S., a significant number of the total studies conducted are government-funded. The funding for research on vaping and e-cigarettes is usually sanctioned by either the FDA Center for Tobacco Products or the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Many times, the two institutions come together to fund a study. The fund provided by NIH and FDA to scientists and researchers come from the user fees applied to tobacco companies by the FDA.
NIH/FDA funding grant criteria depends on several factors, including how the research will help the government better regulate tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, and their consumption. It is due to this grant criteria that most studies focus on the adverse effects of vaping instead of its potential benefits.
If you are looking for proof to validate the positive or negative effects of vaping, no study will be able to grant you a physical proof. Also, no study provides an accurate affirmation for vaping or answers all questions that often plague the minds of vapers and non-vapers.
However, the current research at least allows us to conclude that vaping, most certainly, has certain advantages over smoking. And we do hope that this paper will trigger some curiosity among its readers and encourage them to find answers to any questions that have remained unanswered in this paper. The truth is there have been many critical vaping studies about health and usage. Thus, it is impossible to compile all of those under one article.