Whenever I tell anyone I research e-cigarettes, they almost always have a viewpoint about them. Some will be vapers themselves, and people who are will almost without fail sing the praises of the device that finally helped them give up smoking. But often people who’ve never tried e-cigarettes will focus on the potential risks from using them, and in particular whether they’re likely to reintroduce smoking to a young generation who have been steadily shunning it in larger and larger numbers over recent decades. A particular fear is that young people will test out e-cigarettes and that this will be a gateway in to smoking, as well as fears around the harms from e-cigarettes themselves.
A newly released detailed study of over 60,000 UK 11-16 year olds found that young adults who try out e-cigarettes are often people who already smoke cigarettes, and also then experimentation mostly doesn’t translate to regular use. Not just that, but smoking rates among younger people throughout the uk continue to be declining. Studies conducted up to now investigating the gateway hypothesis that vaping results in smoking have tended to look at whether having ever tried an e-cigarette predicts later smoking. But younger people who experiment with e-cigarettes will probably be distinctive from people who don’t in a lot of other ways – maybe they’re just more keen to take risks, which would also raise the likelihood that they’d experiment with cigarettes too, no matter whether they’d used e-cigarettes.
Although there are a small minority of younger people that do commence to use e-cigarettes without previously as being a smoker, as yet there’s little evidence that this then increases the potential risk of them becoming E Cig Reviews. Enhance this reports from Public Health England who have concluded e-cigarettes are 95% safer than smoking, and you will think that could be the end in the fear surrounding them.
But e-cigarettes have really divided the general public health community, with researchers that have the most popular goal of decreasing the amounts of smoking and smoking-related harm suddenly finding themselves on opposite sides from the debate. This is concerning, and partly because in a relative dearth of research on the devices exactly the same findings are being used by each side to support and criticise e-cigarettes. And all this disagreement is playing outside in the media, meaning an unclear picture of the items we know (and don’t know) about e-cigarettes will be portrayed, with vapers feeling persecuted and those that have not yet attempted to quit mistakenly believing that there’s no reason for switching, as e-cigarettes might be equally as harmful as smoking.
An unexpected results of this may be that it causes it to be harder to perform the particular research required to elucidate longer-term results of e-cigarettes. And this is something we’re experiencing since we try and recruit for your current study. Our company is performing a research project funded by CRUK, where we’re collecting saliva samples from smokers, vapers and non-smokers. We’re checking out DNA methylation, a biological marker that influences gene expression. It’s been shown that smokers use a distinct methylation profile, compared to non-smokers, and it’s likely that these changes in methylation could be connected to the increased chance of harm from smoking – as an example cancer risk. Whether or not the methylation changes don’t result in the increased risk, they may be a marker of it. We wish to compare the patterns seen in smokers and non-smokers with the ones from electronic cigarette users, potentially giving us some insight in to the long-term impact of vaping, without needing to wait for time and energy to elapse. Methylation changes happen relatively quickly as compared to the onset of chronic illnesses.
Portion of the difficulty with this particular is the fact that we realize that smokers and ex-smokers use a distinct methylation pattern, and we don’t want this clouding any pattern from vaping, meaning we must recruit vapers who’ve never (or certainly only hardly ever) smoked. And also this is proving challenging for two reasons. Firstly, as borne out by the recent research, it’s rare for people who’ve never smoked cigarettes to consider up regular vaping. Yes, maybe they’ll experiment, but that doesn’t necessarily cause an electronic cigarette habit.
But on top of that, an unexpected problem continues to be the unwillingness of some in the vaping community to help us recruit. And they’re postpone because of fears that whatever we discover, the final results will be utilized to paint a negative picture of vaping, and vapers, by people who have an agenda to push. I don’t want to downplay the extreme helpfulness of plenty of kbajyo in the vaping community in helping us to recruit – thank you, you understand what you are about. Having Said That I really was disheartened to know that for many, the misinformation and scaremongering around vaping has reached the point where they’re opting out of the research entirely. And after talking with people directly relating to this, it’s hard to criticize their reasoning. We have now also found that numerous electronic cigarette retailers were resistant against setting up posters hoping to recruit people who’d never smoked, since they didn’t desire to be seen to get promoting electronic cigarette utilization in people who’d never smoked, which is again completely understandable and must be applauded.
Exactly what can we all do about this? Hopefully as increasing numbers of research is conducted, and that we get clearer info on e-cigarettes ability to act as a quitting smoking tool, the disagreement around them will disappear. For the time being, Hopefully vapers continue to agree to participate in research therefore we can fully explore the potential of these products, specifically those rare “unicorns” who vape but have never smoked, as they could be essential to helping us comprehend the impact of vaping, when compared with smoking.