American Heart Assoc. Says Vaping Is Safer Than Smoking

.0258The American Heart Association isn’t known for being all that into smoking. But vaping? It can get down with it, in certain cases.


The group has taken a remarkably measured stance on e-cigarettes, suggesting in a lengthy statement this weekend that the technology could help smokers quit, and refraining from outright condemning the tech, like other organizations have.


It’s something of a win for the industry, which is expected to top $5 billion in revenues this year. At every turn, health groups and politicians have taken shots at vaping and the companies who make e-liquid, suggesting that they are every bit as dangerous as cigarettes, despite there being some evidence (and the common sense-argument) that they’re leaps and bounds safer than combustibles.


The AHA had avoided making any sort of statement until now. In a 20-page policy paper, the association cites research that suggests vaping is less dangerous than smoking and suggests it can be used as a smoking cessation aid.


“E-cigarettes either do not contain or have lower levels of several tobacco-derived harmful and potentially harmful constituents compared with cigarettes and smokeless tobacco,” it states. E-cigarettes also “present an opportunity for harm reduction if smokers use them as substitutes for cigarettes.”


That’s not to say that the AHA wholeheartedly endorses the use of e-cigarettes. Like many other health organizations (and like some in the industry itself), the group suggests that e-cigs should be regulated much like tobacco products are now, and it also cites the oft-stated worry that e-cigs could “renormalize” tobacco use and serve as a gateway for children and teens to get into smoking.

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