E-Cigarette Study Says They Lead to More Smokers Than They Stop … – Bloomberg

Electronic cigarettes have long been touted not only as a safer alternative to cigarettes but as a potential avenue by which existing smokers might quit. The industry, now worth $11.4 billion, hasn’t been hurt by this one-two pitch of safety and good public policy. 

New research shows, however, that e-cigarettes are hurting a lot more than they help.

Researchers at Dartmouth College’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center said vaping has led more people to start a real smoking habit, rather than avoid tobacco or quit in favor of e-cigarettes, according to a study published Wednesday.

Using 2014 census data, published literature and surveys on e-cigarette usage to build a model, the scientists were able to estimate that about 2,070 cigarette-smoking adults in America quit in 2015 with the help of the electronic devices. However—and perhaps more alarming—the model estimated that, at the same time, an additional 168,000 adolescents and young adults who had never smoked cigarettes began smoking and eventually became daily cigarette smokers after first using e-cigarettes.

The model estimates that e-cigarette use in 2014 would eventually lead to about 1,510,000 years of life lost—a figure based on an optimistic 95 percent relative harm reduction of using e-cigarettes compared to traditional cigarettes.

The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy, Dartmouth College

Samir Soneji, an associate professor of health policy at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine and the paper’s lead author, said that advertising e-cigarettes as a means to quit or reduce smoking has done damage, mostly to young people. E-cigarettes use cartridges of chemicals, including nicotine, that are transformed into vapor. Despite a federal requirement that purchasers be at least 18 years of age, use of the product in popular culture, combined with its fruity flavors, have proved a strong draw to younger, would-be vapers. These characteristics have been at the core of keeping youths interested in the devices,

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