“We don’t yet know the long term effects of vaping on the body”.
No, we don’t. We need long term studies for that. We can take a really good educated guess at what those long term effects are likely to be though. Look at this study. Peering through the mist: systematic review of what the chemistry of contaminants in electronic cigarettes tells us about health risks. Igor Burstyn
“Current state of knowledge about chemistry of liquids and aerosols associated with electronic cigarettes indicates that there is no evidence that vaping produces inhalable exposures to contaminants of the aerosol that would warrant health concerns by the standards that are used to ensure safety of workplaces. However, the aerosol generated during vaping as a whole (contaminants plus declared ingredients) creates personal exposures that would justify surveillance of health among exposed persons in conjunction with investigation of means to keep any adverse health effects as low as reasonably achievable. Exposures of bystanders are likely to be orders of magnitude less, and thus pose no apparent concern. “
So we know that there is a risk – and vapers are very much aware of the fact that vaping is likely to not be 100% safe. We do call for more research. In the meantime we do a benefit versus risk analysis and apply harm reduction. I have tried to give up smoking many times, each time I relapsed to smoking. Therefore I am at high risk of relapsing to smoking on any given quit attempt. The benefit versus risk has to include that added possibility of my relapsing to smoking. Given that we go to a direct statistical analysis to the benefit v risk of switching to a SAFER (not 100% safe) product, and sticking with it for life.
One common misleading claim is a risk-risk comparison that has not before been quantified: A smoker who would have eventually quit nicotine entirely, but learns the truth about low-risk alternatives, might switch to an alternative instead of quitting entirely, and thus might suffer a net increase in health risk. While this has mathematical face validity, a simple calculation of the tradeoff — switching to lifelong low-risk nicotine use versus continuing to smoke until quitting — shows that such net health costs are extremely unlikely and of trivial maximum magnitude. In particular, for the average smoker, smoking for just one more month before quitting causes greater health risk than switching to a low-risk nicotine source and never quitting it. Thus, discouraging a smoker, even one who would have quit entirely, from switching to a low-risk alternative is almost certainly more likely to kill him than it is to save him. [Source] Emphasis mine.
And this, from the same study.
Stated estimates for how much less risky ST is compared to smoking vary somewhat, but the actual calculations put the reduction in the range of 99% (give or take 1%), putting the risk down in the range of everyday exposures (such as eating french fries or recreational driving), that provoke limited public health concern. Even this low risk is premised on the unproven assumption that nicotine causes small but measurable cardiovascular disease risk (as do most mild stimulants such as decongestant medicines, energy drinks, and coffee), since such risks account for almost all of the remaining 1%. Perhaps just as important, even a worst-case scenario puts the risk reduction at about 95%, meaning that any scientifically plausible estimate shows THR has huge potential health benefits. There is no epidemiology for the new electronic cigarettes and very little useful epidemiology for assessing long term use of pharmaceutical nicotine products. But since most of the apparent risk from ST comes from nicotine, and the other ingredients in the non-tobacco products are believed to be quite benign, we can conclude that the risks across these product categories are functionally identical from the perspective of THR.
Lastly this, again from the same source;
The leading deontological tenet of modern health ethics is the obligation to provide people with accurate information so they can make informed autonomous decisions about their own health. Thus, whatever one might think about actively promoting THR as public policy, it is per se unethical to mislead people in order to manipulate their health behavior, even if it is “for their own good”
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