Vaping could increase the risk of youth smoking but would be less dangerous to health than smoking cigarettes, according to a report from the Academies of Science and Medicine published Tuesday, presented as the most extensive on the subject so far.
The authors, after analyzing more than 800 scientific studies, concluded that the nicotine in electronic cigarettes can create addiction in young people which predisposes them to smoke tobacco.
But, according to them, the electronic cigarette nonetheless would be less harmful than the conventional cigarette and could help smokers stop.
Therefore, “at this stage, it is not known whether e-cigarettes has a positive or negative impact on public health”.
In order to be able to do so, it would be necessary to carry out additional and better studies on the short and long-term effects of vaping and its links with conventional cigarettes, the authors emphasized.
“E-cigarettes can not simply be considered beneficial or harmful,” said David Eaton, Dean of the University of Washington in Seattle and chair of the editorial board for the report commissioned by Congress in 2016.
This decision followed the addition of tobacco regulations to the jurisdiction of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“In some circumstances, the adverse effects of e-cigarettes on the health of adolescents and young adults who do not smoke tobacco undoubtedly raise concerns,” Eaton said.
In the case of “smokers using electronic cigarette to quit smoking, vaping offers a way to reduce smoking that affects health,” he continued.
Millions of Americans vape, especially young adults. The popularity of e-cigarettes decreases with age and is used more by teenagers and young adults.