Study: Vaping has helped millions of people quit smoking

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Teen Cigarette Smoking At All-Time Low As More Turn to Vapes

Ask someone who vapes if they're worried that it might be unsafe, and they'll often give you the same answer: Hey, at least it's better than smoking.

A study published in the journal Addiction looked at e-cigarette usage among over 27,000 people in 28 European countries. The study found that "an estimated 6.1 and 9.2 million EU citizens had quit and reduced smoking with the use of e-cigarettes respectively."

Vaping is an industry in its infancy, allowing cigarette addicts to trade in tobacco for "e-liquids," compounds of nicotine, simple oils and flavoring chemicals.

Vaping Has Helped Millions of People Quit Smoking, Study Says
Vaping
Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Some controversial and contested studies show that these flavorings — particularly one chemical called diacetyl — are linked to lung disease. But many vaping advocates and health organizations like the American Heart Association believe that the potential dangers of vaping are negligible compared to the threat of smoking.

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Hudson Kerker minds his booth at the Vape Summit 3 in Las Vegas, Nevada May 2, 2015.REUTERS/David Becker/File Photo
Jerred Marsh (R) samples flavored vape juice from Nancy Reyes at the Vape Summit 3 in Las Vegas, Nevada May 2, 2015. REUTERS/David Becker/File Photo
A visitor uses an electronic cigarette at Beijing International Vapor Distribution Alliance Expo (VAPE CHINA EXPO) in Beijing, July 24, 2015. According to the organizer, the Expo, which is held in Beijing from July 23 to 25, attracts over 120 companies, including global high-end e-cigarette and e-liquid brands. Chinaâs capital city unrolled ambitious new curbs on smoking in early June. Under the new rules, anyone in Beijing who violates the ban, which includes smoking in restaurants, hotels, schools and hospitals as well as in certain outdoor public places, must pay a 200 yuan ($32.25) fine. REUTERS/Jason Lee
An exhibitor staff member uses an electronic cigarette at Beijing International Vapor Distribution Alliance Expo (VAPE CHINA EXPO) in Beijing, July 24, 2015. According to the organizer, the Expo, which is held in Beijing from July 23 to 25, attracts over 120 companies, including global high-end e-cigarette and e-liquid brands. Chinaâs capital city unrolled ambitious new curbs on smoking in early June. Under the new rules, anyone in Beijing who violates the ban, which includes smoking in restaurants, hotels, schools and hospitals as well as in certain outdoor public places, must pay a 200 yuan ($32.25) fine. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Staff members from an exhibitor perform with electronic cigarettes at Beijing International Vapor Distribution Alliance Expo (VAPE CHINA EXPO) in Beijing, July 24, 2015. According to the organizer, the Expo, which is held in Beijing from July 23 to 25, attracts over 120 companies, including global high-end e-cigarette and e-liquid brands. Chinaâs capital city unrolled ambitious new curbs on smoking in early June. Under the new rules, anyone in Beijing who violates the ban, which includes smoking in restaurants, hotels, schools and hospitals as well as in certain outdoor public places, must pay a 200 yuan ($32.25) fine. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Annie Young (L) and Dan Leano smoke e-cigarette at the Vape Summit 3 in Las Vegas, Nevada May 2, 2015. According to new research provided to Reuters, youngsters say that the flavors of the vaping liquids, and the "ability to do tricks" are the top two reasons they consider electronic vaping devices cool. REUTERS/David Becker
Angel Huezo (L) blows a plume of vapor through a vapor ring created by Bodie Hultz at the Vape Summit 3 in Las Vegas, Nevada May 2, 2015. According to new research provided to Reuters, youngsters say that performing tricks is one of the top two reasons they began using e-cigarette. REUTERS/David Becker
Monique Agra samples flavored vape juices at the Vape Summit 3 in Las Vegas, Nevada May 2, 2015. According to new research provided to Reuters, youngsters say that the flavors of the vaping liquids is one of the top two reasons they began using e-cigarette. REUTERS/David Becker
Angel Huezo, right, creates jellyfish-like figurines as he exhales at the Vape Summit 3 in Las Vegas, Nevada May 2, 2015. According to new research provided to Reuters, youngsters say that performing tricks is one of the top two reasons they began using e-cigs. REUTERS/David Becker
Enthusiast Brandy Tseu uses an electronic cigarette at The Vapor Spot vapor bar in Los Angeles, California March 4, 2014. The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to ban the use of electronic cigarettes, popularly known as "vaping," from restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other public spaces within the nation's second-largest city. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY HEALTH)
Paul Frohman smokes an electronic cigarette outside an office building in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015. California health officials declared electronic cigarettes a health threat that should be strictly regulated like tobacco products, joining other states and health advocates across the U.S. in seeking tighter controls as "vaping" grows in popularity. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2014 photo, Talia Eisenberg, co-founder of the Henley Vaporium, uses her vaping device in New York. Under a New York City law taking effect Tuesday, April 29, 2014, vaporizing devices will be treated the same as a tobacco-based cigarette. The New York ban, along with similar measures in Chicago and Los Angeles and federal regulations proposed last week, are again igniting debate among public health officials, the e-cigarette industry and users lon the future of the popular devices. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
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In April, the Royal College of Physicians urged nicotine users to switch over to vaping, saying that even if vaping was not wholly safe, it could be thought of as a harm reduction strategy akin to "providing clean needles and syringes to intravenous drug users to reduce the risk of infection, promoting condom use by sex workers, drink-driving laws, protective clothing in sport, and motor vehicle safety measures and emission controls."

Vaping Has Helped Millions of People Quit Smoking, Study Says
Vape life
Source: YouTube

Still, vaping has a bad reputation because of its testosterone-fueled convention culture, misogynistic marketing and bad devices that maim users when they explode.

Vaping may deter people from smoking, but all of these factors — combined with a lack of research, could keep people from using vaping as an escape from cigarettes, an addiction that kills more Americans every year than heroin, alcohol, car accidents, AIDS, murder and suicide combined.

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