Surveys and Questions: Is the Electronic – Cigarette the Answer?

The e-cigarette is a subject of debate for many years and there is no scientific study out there which not ends with the phrase “further research is mandatory”.

For the time being, the only research on the e-cig out there has been ordered either by producers of the device, by companies in big pharma, government agencies or tobacco companies. None of them are unbiased agents in this scenario, which is why independent, double-blinded, peer-reviews studies are necessary. On the other hand, the vaping community grows larger and stronger every day, with people sharing their experiences and getting to know each other better. If you go to, you will notice how well received the e-cigs are among users.

What is an independent study?

In terms of scientific methodology, an independent study is, first of all, conducted by an institution which has no hidden agenda as part of a process. The best examples of such organizations are usually universities and other academic groups, such as research facilities. A double-blinded study is one which uses two control groups in the process: one that is administered a placebo substance and another that receives no special treatment whatsoever and is included in the research in order to compare the effects of a substance or device against the normal standard of life.

Last but not least, a peer-reviewed study is one that gets sent out to other independent experts in the same research field, with the name of the researchers and their institution eliminated. The independent experts review the research, provide feedback, and make suggestions for improving the quality of the research. When a study doesn’t meet all of the above criteria, it’s credibility is automatically questioned, since the suspicion of bias cannot be reasonably eliminated from the equation.

Electronic cigarettes: a controversial case

In what concerns the electronic cigarette industry, the situation seems to be temporarily stuck in a vicious circle of sorts. On the one hand, the community of vappers and e-cig modders continues to grow from one day to the next. On the other, however, the actual health effects of electronic cigarettes cannot be yet determined. Producers are not allowed to market them as nicotine replacement therapies, nor can they claim their devices are safer for human consumption than tobacco products. All the evidence we have at the moment is purely anecdotal and comes from the users themselves.

At the same time, while some major governmental agencies such as the FDA are still mum on this topic, other governments are embracing and promoting the e-cig. In numerous parts of the world, both in Europe and overseas, e-cigs can be used in public spaces, such as airports and even means of public transport, as they do not produce any smoke. These countries sanction the belief that electronic cigarettes are not as detrimental as others may think. Yet, the reality of the matter is that until unbiased, 100 per cent scientifically thorough studies are issued on the topic of electronic cigarettes, everything will remain in a purely speculative area. Meanwhile, in terms of potential for economic development, the e-cig industry is thriving and will most likely continue to do so in the years to come, once more underlining the importance of having such research published.

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