Asthma Expert Says Vaping Reverses The Health Harms From Cigarettes

Steve Birr | Vice Reporter

Public health experts in New Zealand are criticizing the “scaremongering” surrounding electronic cigarettes, saying research shows the nicotine devices reverse health harms from cigarettes.

Researchers from the University of Catania in Italy and Massey University in New Zealand say vaping is not only a safer alternative to combustible tobacco, but actually helps heal some of the bodily impacts of smoking. Dr. Riccardo Polosa, an international asthma specialist, will present his latest research looking at vaping among people with chronic respiratory illnesses next week at Massey University’s campuses in Auckland and Wellington.

Polosa is a leading advocate for using e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool and is highly critical of government health bodies that reject the research proving the health benefits of vaping. His research into the effects of vaping on smokers with chronic respiratory illnesses shows it is drastically improving the user’s overall health situation.

“Our studies, in which we follow up participants over time to measure the health effects of vaping, have shown that some of the damage from smoking is reversed,” Polosa recently said, according to a release from Massey University. “We have been able to substantiate the risk of vaping is much less than the risks to health caused by continued smoking.”

Dr. Marewa Glover, an associate professor at Massey’s School of Health Sciences who invited Polosa to speak, says she is frustrated by the push back to vaping from health advocacy groups, many focused on eradicating smoking.

“It is shocking that health professionals would engage in such scaremongering to mislead the public about the much lower relative risk of vaping compared with continuing to smoke,” Glover said, according to the Massey University release. “His visit is timely given the ongoing confusion over the safety profile of e-cigarettes. Health workers interested in smoking cessation, and particularly in assisting people with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and schizophrenia to quit smoking, will find his talk invaluable.”

A study released Oct. 2 by the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center found that if vaping were to largely replace smoking in the U.S., roughly 6.6. million smokers would avoid premature death and collectively add 86.7 million extra years to their lives.

Vaping largely eliminates the harms from conventional cigarettes because 95 percent of the carcinogens that cause tobacco-related illnesses are released through combustion. E-cigarettes simply heat liquid nicotine, creating an aerosol vapor.

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Steve Birr

Vice Reporter

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