As Vaping Trends Increase, So Do the Warnings

Chair, Department of Health Behavior
Thursday, December 15, 2016 - 3:07pm
Andrew Hyland, PhD, Chair of Health Behavior at Roswell Park, adds the most important warning is about cigarette use, which causes one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day.

There is an ongoing debate over the safety of e-cigarettes as the trend continues to grow in popularity. So the question remains: Are e-cigarettes good or bad?

Unfortunately, there is not a simple answer. It depends on how they are used. Since vaping is less toxic than traditional tobacco, it might be a beneficial tool for smoking cessation. But young adults who vape in combination with regular cigarette smoking — and have no intention of using it to quit —  remain at risk for long-term health issues. It's a common misconception that occasionally swapping a traditional cigarette for an e-cigarette reduces toxins. But as long as people continue to smoke, they continue to be at very high-risk for cancer and other diseases. 

The U.S. Surgeon General is raising public health concerns about electronic cigarettes and vaping. A recent report shows high rates of youth and young adult use of e-cigarettes. In 2015 about one in six high school students used e-cigarettes in the past month.

The report, which was written and reviewed by more than 150 experts, including two from Roswell Park Cancer Institute, is the first comprehensive federal review of the public health impact of e-cigarettes on U.S. youth and young adults.

According to U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, “E-cigarettes are dangerous to youth and young adults. Any tobacco use, including e-cigarettes, is a health threat.”

Watch the video above for more information about the pros and cons of vaping.