Public Health England (PHE) is one of the premier public health agencies in Europe and the first to publish findings proving that vaping is 95 percent less harmful than smoking. As millions of smokers around the world are growing increasingly interested in quitting smoking by transitioning to vaping, the PHE is well aware of the negative – but completely unfounded – public reputation of the vapor industry.
For several months in 2019, U.S. federal health agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wrongly implied that nicotine-based vapes causes a mysterious lung disorder called EVALLI. The rumor mill immediately began to churn across social media – so much so that today millions of average citizens now wrongly believe that vaping is more deadly than smoking, particularly in regard to respiratory health (The CDC would eventually acknowledge that EVALI is caused from contraband cannabis cartridges laced with a dilutive named Vitamin E acetate).
Tar-filled smoking versus tobacco-free vaping
By releasing a highly educational video that is easy to understand, the PHE organization is hoping to convince its British population of smokers to return to the healthier vape. In the video, tobacco control experts and world-renowned scientists Dr. Rosemary Leonard and Dr. Lion Shahab perform a simple experiment involving big glass jars filled with typical, everyday cotton balls. The jars represent the human lungs, and the cotton balls represent the interior lining that coats the lungs and respiratory airways.
The video begins by Drs. Leonard and Shahab attaching the jars to individual diaphragm pumping mechanisms which simulate the breathing or inhaling of cigarette smoke versus electronic cigarette vapor. A third jar filled with the same cotton balls sits nearby and will be infused with normal, everyday air.
By the end of the sometimes-revolting video, the jar representing a smoker’s lungs has cotton balls soaked with an icky, black substance that is gooey and totally disgusting. Even the clear, plastic tube running between the jar and the diaphragm pump is coated with the nauseating substance.
By comparison, the second jar designed to represent the lungs of a vaper have only trace amounts of discoloration, and the third jar saturated with normal air remains completely substance-free. The doctors what this video means to the typical smoker.
Vaping and smoking are completely different in one rather important regard. Smoking involves the burning of tobacco leaves which produces a thick, gooey tar known for decades to cause heart disease, cancer, and a variety of respiratory ailments like emphysema and bronchitis. Conversely, the nicotine-based e-liquids used in vaping are 100 percent tobacco-free – which means they are tar-free, as well. Thus, the differences in cotton ball saturation between the two glass jars.
The UK, and indeed many countries in Europe, are taking great strides in reducing their national smoking rates by publicly endorsing vaping as a smoking cessation product. The United States’ FDA will only go as far as to say that vaping might be an effective “tobacco harm reduction” aid…but “more research is needed” before they can even admit to that. Drs. Leonard and Shahab address this type of disinformation in the video.
“It would be tragic if thousands of smokers who could quit with the help of an e-cigarette are being put off due to false fears about safety. We need to reassure smokers that switching to an e-cigarette would be much less harmful than smoking. This demonstration highlights the devastating harms caused by every cigarette and helps people see that vaping is likely to pose only a fraction of the risk.”
For people who want to quit smoking but have had little success with Big Pharma nicotine-enhanced patches, gums, and lozenges, the PHE video makes a valid argument in favor of vaping. It offers a clear message that is easy to understand. And the fact that the video is so revolting only makes many smokers want to kick the habit immediately and head to their local vape shop or e-commerce vendor for the purchase of their very first vaping device.
(Image courtesy of Shutterstock; Video courtesy of Public Health England via YouTube)