E-cigarettes cause more harm than good on a population level – Healio

Samir Soneji

Source: Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Although some adults may successfully quit smoking through the use of e-cigarettes, the number of those who benefit from the product is far outweighed by the number of teenagers and young adults who transition from e-cigarette use to cigarette smoking and the number of years lost on a population level, according to research published in PLoS ONE

“Teenagers may perceive e-cigarettes as a less harmful alternative to cigarettes because of the way in which they are marketed by the tobacco and e-cigarette industries,” Samir Soneji, PhD, from the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, told Infectious Diseases in Children. “There is conclusive evidence that e-cigarette vapor contains known toxins. No one knows the long-term consequences of vapor inhalation because e-cigarettes are relatively new, but there is substantial evidence that it may affect health.”

To measure the health benefits and harms of e-cigarette use in adolescents and adults at the population level, the researchers conducted their study using a Monte Carlo stochastic simulation model, which had parameters pulled from census data, national health and tobacco use surveys, as well as published studies.

E-cigarette use leads 168,000 teenagers and young adults to cigarette smoking and caused the general population to lose 1,510,000 years in 2014.

Source: Shutterstock.com

In addition to the benefits and harms of e-cigarette use, Soneji and colleagues determined the number of years gained and lost as a result of e-cigarettes, with consideration given to smoking cessation in current smokers and escalation to long-term cigarette smokers in never-smokers. All data were pulled for those residing within the United States in 2014.

Through the simulation model, the researchers observed that approximately 2,070 adults aged between 25

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