As the international debate continues regarding how electronic cigarettes should be regulated, and what types of restrictions should be considered towards them, a study partially funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and published in the journal Addiction on July 30 advocates for less restrictions and a more open look at the benefits these products offer.
This study that was recently done by the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, and published by U.S. News has concluded that based on their evidence, strict regulations of electronic cigarettes are not warranted.
In addition to their own research, and reviewing 81 studies done prior, the team of researchers has stated that electronic cigarettes, when compared to traditional cigarettes, have the possibility of reducing tobacco-related illnesses and death. As these products are alternatives to traditional cigarettes, and they do not contain any tobacco, the study has concluded that the benefits to smokers outnumber the potential harm. While long term effects remain unknown, as electronic cigarettes have been in use just over a decade internationally, no studies thus far, nor evidence have shown that the vapor produced from e-cigarettes is harmful to either the user or bystanders.
“Current evidence suggests that there is a potential for smokers to reduce their health risks if electronic cigarettes are used in place of tobacco cigarettes,” said researcher Thomas Eissenberg, who is the co-director of the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products, which was responsible for this study.
While electronic cigarette regulations that require users and purchasers to be legally adults are obviously for the better, restrictions that group e-cigarettes into the same category as tobacco, and call for even tighter restrictions do not make sense. Smokers who turn to vapor smoking are doing so in an effort to find an alternative; not a new method of smoking tobacco.
Only time will tell where the fate of electronic cigarette restrictions end up, however in the meantime, it is most definitely a shift in the right direction that a vast majority of e-cigarette research is offering a positive view on this controversial topic. For more information regarding electronic cigarette studies and restrictions, have a look at the different articles on the subject in our learning center.