- Multiple scientific studies show switching completely to vaping with high-quality products has reduced health risks* compared to smoking, contrary to many consumer beliefs
- Study data indicates that vaping products can provide an alternative for smokers who would not otherwise quit
- Review supports the important role for vaping products in Tobacco Harm Reduction
- Reinforces the importance of BAT’s unique consumer-centric model and how we are reducing the health impact of our business and building A Better Tomorrow™ through our multicategory approach
To mark World Vape Day, BAT has today published a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence for vaping products (e-cigarettes), their potential health effects and their role in Tobacco Harm Reduction.
This review shows that, over the past decade, the number of people who incorrectly believe vaping is as harmful or more harmful than smoking conventional cigarettes has risen in the UK, Europe, and the U.S. This is despite several scientific reviews[i],[ii],[iii] published in the same period showing that vaping products manufactured in accordance with quality standards present less risk to health than cigarettes.*
According to population modelling studies cited in the review, a significant reduction in premature deaths could be achieved if current smokers switched exclusively to vaping rather than continuing to smoke. These modelling studies use population data and simulations to project the health-related outcomes associated with the long-term risks of smoking versus vapour use over time.
Dr. David O’Reilly, Director of Scientific Research at BAT, commented: “This paper is a comprehensive summary of more than 300 peer-reviewed scientific papers and other evidence published by an estimated 50 institutions over the past decade.
“The scientific evidence is clear – but consumer misperceptions remain. In England and the United States, only one in three adults is aware that there is scientific evidence available, including from leading public health authorities, that supports the conclusion that vaping is less harmful than smoking.
“The reality is that many leading public health authorities have reported that vaping is less harmful than smoking, and that this harm reduction potential can be maximised if those smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke switch exclusively to using vapour products.
“We hope this paper will be used as a resource by public health authorities, and support adult smokers seeking to understand the breadth of scientific evidence that exists to inform their choices.”
“Reducing the health impact of our business is at the heart of our purpose – to create A Better Tomorrow by offering the widest range of reduced-risk alternatives to cigarettes*,” David O’Reilly continued. “This is why we aim to have 50 million consumers of our New Category products, which include our vapour product range, Vuse, by 2030.”
This review highlights that vaping products can effectively compete with combustible cigarettes by providing nicotine and the sensorial enjoyment sought by smokers. Therefore, access to high-quality, extensively tested and well-regulated vapour products is crucial. However, vaping will only be considered a compelling alternative to smoking if public health institutions unambiguously and accurately inform smokers that switching completely to vaping can reduce their health risks.
The paper also reviews current vapour product regulations, and notes that these regulations largely relate only to labelling, ingredients and taxation – but not manufacturing standards. This has resulted in highly variable product quality standards globally.
The review stresses the need for consistent product manufacturing regulations and the universal adoption of robust product stewardship standards by manufacturers with the aim of increasing public confidence in vaping.
“In South Africa, we had the consultation on the upcoming Tobacco and Vaping Bill with the Department of Health during the month of May. We reiterated to the Department that it is imperative that the basis of any regulation must be peer reviewed science and empirical evidence from countries that have adopted Vaping as a harm reduced product,” said BATSA General Manager Johnny Moloto.
Read more by clicking on these links:
- Scientific Review Summary
- Full Review paper: Camacho, Oscar M., Ebajemito, James K., Coburn, Steven, Prasad, Krishna, Costigan, Sandra and Murphy, James J.. “Evidence From the Scientific Assessment of Electronic Cigarettes and Their Role in Tobacco Harm Reduction” Contributions to Tobacco & Nicotine Research, vol.30, no.2, 2021, pp.63-108. https://doi.org/10.2478/cttr-2021-0007