Indian Researches Say Vaping Can Save Lives

A variety of good news continues to pour in for vapers, and this time, it hails from India.

The Indian Express reported earlier this week that an evidence-based audit paper by Indian researchers concluded what vapers have known all along: Vaping can save lives. The paper, which was co-authored by several faculty members in the Department of Biochemistry at North-Eastern Hill University, stated that vape devices are an adequate and healthier alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes.

This paper was entitled “Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDs) as a Substitute to Conventional Cigarette: An Evidence-based Audit” and was not a formal survey or study. The paper instead focused on reviewing several studies and papers done on the subject of vaping. ENDs, the formal name for vaping devices, were found by the group of researchers to one of the best ways for smokers to quit smoking traditional cigarettes.

“Our systematic meta-analysis of published literature compares the health and safety aspects of vaping using ENDS with smoking conventional cigarettes. We find that ENDS have minimum health and safety concerns compared to the high risks associated with conventional cigarettes,” said RN Sharan, who is a professor at NEHU and was a contributing researcher on the paper.

This paper is followed by news earlier today from The Times of India, which reported on the fact that the country will host the Seventh Conference of Parties for the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in November. This conference is an annual event where public health officials, vaping advocates, anti-smoking advocates and politicians from 180 countries gather to discuss vaping and have open forums about potential changes in policies in various countries. It is the single largest event for the vaping industry and is widely covered by the industry’s media outlets, including this one.

Konstantinos Farsalinos, a research fellow at the University of Patras in Greece’s Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre, is visiting India this week to discuss vaping with the Indian medical fraternity as well as politicians. He has been a strong advocate for vaping, calling for countries to be open-minded about vaping and its benefits.

Farsalinos spoke to reporters at an event, saying that: “Just as medicines offer a harm reduction technique for diseases or helmets provide bikers harm reduction in case of accidents, e-cigarettes adds a harm reduction option for smokers.”

Although the conference isn’t until next month, Farsalinos made the journey early to discuss vaping studies done in the European Union that show vaping has helped over six million people quit smoking. He went on to point out that India, where 30 percent of adults use some form of tobacco, is in dire need of a smoking intervention. Vaping could potentially save lives in the country, but only if and when the Indian government deems it an appropriate alternative to smoking.

The paper and the fast approaching COP-7 are relevant to both smokers and vapers alike because the World Health Organization has estimated that there are currently one billion people in the world that smoke cigarettes. About six million people die each year from smoking-related causes, with one million of those people living in India. The study was conducted in order to begin a conversation within the country about making vaping devices more readily available in the country, which has been strict on the industry.

While the Indian government has not made any decision to change its policies on vaping, it is clear the country is thinking about it. By hosting the COP-7 and having researchers publish evidence-based analyses on the subject, India is paving the way to allow vaping to save the lives of its citizens.

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