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Canadian scientists release new e-cig study rebuking claims of vaping as a gateway

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The Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia (CARBC) at the University of Victoria in Canada has just released a new e-cig study showing that there is virtually no evidence to suggest that vaping is a gateway to smoking. The report also rebukes other claims made by the CDC, the FDA, and other anti-tobacco lobbyist groups suggesting that e-cigs are just as toxic as conventional cigarettes.

The team of scientists was led by Renée O’Leary and Marjorie MacDonald, specialists in the field of addiction. They reviewed some 1,622 different articles published through a variety of public health and scientific research agencies. Of those 1,622 articles, they zeroed in on 170 that related to the subject of vaping as a gateway. The CARBC study is entitled Clearing the Air and makes the following assertions.

  • There is no definitive link between vaping and smoking.
  • The vapor from e-cigs contain only 17 of the known 79 toxic chemicals found in combustible cigarettes.
  • Of those 17 toxins, e-cig vapor contains an infinitesimal amount compared to tobacco cigarettes.
  • The second-hand smoke from tobacco cigarettes lingers in the surrounding air for up to 20 minutes. Conversely, e-cig vapor only lingers for about 30-seconds while still being far less toxic comparatively.
  • And lastly, vapor from electronic cigarettes is completely void of the deadly tar associated with conventional tobacco products.

Imposing vaping bans may encourage smoking

The CARBC study also points out that its conclusions are further substantiated by previous scientific research released by the Royal College of Physicians in 2016 and the Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs from 2015. In an interview with the newspaper Times Colonist, Dr. MacDonald expressed concern for the medical community to self-educate on the true health benefits of vaping. According to MacDonald, far too many physicians are still under the false assumption that vaping is just as toxic as smoking.

"Fears of a gateway effect are unjustified and overblown. From a public health perspective, it's positive to see youth moving towards a less harmful substitute to tobacco smoking."

“By banning the use of vaping devices by young people, you might actually be driving them to conventional smoking,” MacDonald stated. “Let’s make sure that the devices are safe, that they’re regulated, that we have regulation on the liquids that go into them.”

Like many in the vaping community, MacDonald states that the use of e-cigs should be encouraged as a smoking cessation method rather than demonized for “dangers” that simply do not exist or have not yet been proven. However, she falls short of offering an option as to how or why so many public health officials are misrepresenting the facts.   

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