The American Cancer Society Has Stated That Vaping Is “Less Harmful Than Smoking”
The American Cancer Society (ACS) has stated their support for vaping and vapor products for smokers who are struggling to quit smoking analog cigarettes. A definite 180 turn on their views on vaping, as for a long time the ACS along with the CDC and FDA had viewed vapor products in the same light as tobacco cigarettes.
But in light of the growing evidence, the American Cancer Society has become one of the first major influential health organizations to now advocate the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), as a viable smoking cessation aid in an effort to reduce the amount of deaths that occur from combustible cigarettes. As according to the ACS, in the US, “98% of all tobacco-related deaths are caused by cigarette smoking.”
The ACS takes their new views on vaping further, stating that “it is critical that consumers receive accurate information” on the differences in risk between vapor products and tobacco cigarettes. They also regret the misinformation that was pushed to the public regarding vaping.
“Many adults believe, erroneously, the ENDS are as harmful as combustible tobacco products, and the level of public understanding has deteriorated over time,” the ACS stated. “Although many ENDS deliver nicotine, flavor additives, and other chemicals, they do not burn tobacco, a process that yields an estimated 7,000 chemicals, including at least 70 carcinogens. Thus, public misunderstanding underscores the urgent need for consumer education about the absolute and relative risks posed by different tobacco products and to reinvigorate smokers’ understanding of the importance of quitting combustible tobacco.” Read their full statement here.
In an effort to reduce the amount of smoking related deaths in the US, the ACS states that they want to help correct the misinformation on vaping with three new strategies, all of which involve vapor products and further supports vaping as a feasible tobacco cessation method.
“There is sufficient information to allow ACS to act now with a clear focus on the primary goal of ending deadly combustible tobacco use, which is responsible for approximately a one-half million deaths per year and 30 percent of all cancer deaths in the United States, “the ACS outlined in their statement. “Given this imperative, ACS will provide smokers and the public with clear and accurate information available on the absolute and relative health impact of combustible tobacco products, nicotine-based medications, ENDS and other novel tobacco products.”
The ACS’ Three Strategies to Eliminate All Combustible Tobacco Use:
1. Promote Increased Access and Utilization of Cessation Options for Smokers, With an Emphasis on Preventing Dual Use
a. Promote tobacco-cessation strategies on risks associated with tobacco products and other cessation treatment options.
b. Communicate to the public that current vapor products are less harmful than tobacco products
c. The ACS will contribute research on using vaping as an evidenced based cessation option.
2. Prevent Initiation of ENDS by Youth and Other High-Risk Demographic Groups
a. Protecting youth from smoking and using other tobacco related products remains as a priority.
b. The ACS will continue to advocate for tobacco-free policies, including vaping, and to raise the minimum age for sale of all tobacco and vapor products. The ACS will also continue to oppose, what they have stated as the “widespread exposure of youth to e-cigarette advertising.”
3. Promote and Support a Comprehensive Tobacco and Nicotine Regulatory Framework
a. Though the research seems divided, the ACS states that vapor products are much less harmful than smoking tobacco cigarettes and they will continue to work on correcting the misinformation on vaping.
b. The ACS looks to conduct more scientific research on the use of vapor products, on the short and long-term risks of vaping and the impact of vapor products on tobacco use behavior.