Monday, 1 August 2022

E-cigarette facts and evidence

Colin Mendelsohn and colleagues have written a very nice response to a barking mad report commissioned by the Australian government about e-cigarettes. As you might expect from the Aussies, the report was a hatchet job on vaping. It made such claims as...

There is conclusive evidence that the use of e-cigarettes can cause respiratory disease 

(Based on the EVALI outbreak which had nothing to do with e-cigarettes.)


There is strong evidence that never smokers who use e-cigarettes are on average around three times as likely than those who do not use e-cigarettes to initiate cigarette smoking.

(A claim that ignores the large decline in smoking rates among young people since vaping went mainstream and ignores common liability.)
Mendelsohn et al. conclude that:
Contrary to the conclusions of the Banks review, the evidence suggests that vaping nicotine is an effective smoking cessation aid; that vaping is substantially less harmful than smoking tobacco; that vaping is diverting young people away from smoking; and that vaping by smokers is likely to have a major net public health benefit if widely available to adult Australian smokers.

I doubt that this will come as a surprise to readers of this blog. The main reason I recommend the article is not for its conclusion but because it is a succinct summary of the evidence. 
It is difficult to keep up with e-cigarette research. More than 50 studies are published every week and a lot of it is junk science from the USA. Mendelsohn et al. is a handy, up-to-date reference point for anyone who wants to find the key studies on the main issues of risk, smoking cessation, the 'gateway' effect, the EVALI nonsense, etc.

It's one to keep in your back pocket if faced with spurious arguments against vaping. It's paywalled but I daresay the authors will give you access if you ask them on ResearchGate


Within minutes of posted this, I saw on Twitter that the lead author of the Aussie report has been given an award. Because of course she did.

No comments: