Define And Discuss Niche Healthcare Topic

Vaping Health

I need some help with a difficult assignment for one of my classes about public health in the public space. We just concluded a segment on alcohol abuse since the American prohibition and now we’re beginning a new segment on tobacco. Last Friday, I was given a research assignment to present to the class this Friday. I’m supposed to outline the history and investigate the pros and cons of vaporizing versus combusting tobacco. This is a huge topic. Most of what I’ve found already focuses almost exclusively on traditional cigarettes. All I need is some basic guidance and a few comparisons to explain the health aspects behind everything. Understanding and presenting the implications should be straightforward after that.

Questions concerning the comparable risks associated with traditional smoking and vaping emerge fairly regularly. There’s no doubt the rise of vaporizing marketed as a healthier alternative to conventional smoking has incited an equivalent rise in public curiosity. As a result, much has been written and published examining the practice and its widespread implications.

Writers at Vaping Daily published an informative overview explaining the most common pros and cons. Nothing should strike you as surprising. Combusted cigarettes release over twenty carcinogenic chemical compounds, whereas vaporizing only releases a few. Some people are under the false assumption that switching from conventional cigarettes to e-cigarettes will completely eliminate the health risks. The expert consensus is somewhat different.

It wasn’t that long ago that The New York Times published a piece promoting new research that claimed vaping could be more harmful than traditional cigarettes. As you might imagine, the article and several others generated tidal waves in the general public, especially amongst those already using e-cigarettes. However, one crucial caveat within the scientific study was that the carcinogen (in this case: formaldehyde) was only produced when users relied almost exclusively on a specific setting on the tested vaporizing device. In other words, the results were hardly representative and generalizable to separate cases.

One contributor at Financial Times explains that, for the most part, scientists generally agree that vaporizing is better for your health than smoking, but neither is ideal. Those who elect to switch from smoking to vaporizing as a stepping stone to eventual and permanent abstinence are obviously the ones that see the most benefit. The Financial Times article also goes out of its way to again contextualize the controversial study cited and publicized by the earlier NYTimes piece.

The author writes, “... the study actually conveys good news. When used at normal voltage, vaping does not produce formaldehyde.” She then further reveals that the solution to the findings is simply to regulate device temperature outputs to prevent users from ever inhaling toxic chemicals in the first place. The key takeaway is that people should have a realistic understanding of the risks associated with vaping rather than a totally exaggerated one.

You might also consider doing some primary research on vaping devices to see what varieties are manufactured, how products are marketed, and how much they cost. Vape Sale could be a useful place to begin, since it also showcases numerous peripheral accessories. Tapping into that data could let you make some basic estimates with convincing implications. For instance, your data could suggest that using e-cigarettes is more cost-effective than traditional smoking or vice versa. Those are great statistics to conclude with, because they bring the activity outside the realm of public health.

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” -- Peter F. Drucker

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