A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims that the number of cigarette smokers has hit an all-time low. In 2005, there were 45 million smokers across the country; in 2015, there were 37 million – a 15% difference. Many people believe electronic cigarettes have played a major role in reducing that rate. In fact, a study out of Ohio State University shows that people under age 35 believe that ecigarettes are far safer than their traditional counterparts.
Ohio State University gathered some 2,000 volunteers, all under the age of 35, who used cigarettes, smokeless tobacco (chew), or e-cigarettes for the study. Overall, 44% of the people who participated said they believed ecigs to be less harmful to the lungs than traditional cigarettes. Among the men who were surveyed, that number jumped up to a whopping 54%. This means that the younger generation feels that ecigs are a better, safer alternative to traditional tobacco products.
Peter Shields, MD, a thoracic oncologist, says that there is really not enough data to determine whether ecigs are truly safer than traditional cigarettes. Fortunately, some studies are currently in the works to help get to the bottom of this.
The FDA strives to provide consumers with valid and valuable information. This group, along with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has provided funding to Ohio State University’s Tobacco Center of Regulatory Sciences to make these studies possible. The goal is to use science to back up the FDA’s regulations on tobacco products. Ohio State is one of the biggest research universities in the country when it comes to cancer and tobacco, and they are excited to learn more about the real effects of ecigs on consumers’ health.
Although people under age 35 believe that ecigs are safer than traditional cigarettes, the truth is that there isn’t enough research and information to back that belief. Fortunately, thanks to the FDA, the NIH, and the talented researchers at Ohio State University, two unique and groundbreaking studies will help to shed more light on the effects of ecigs.
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