E-cigarettes could save 3.3 million life-years by 2070

Warner KE, Mendez D., ‘E-cigarettes: Comparing the Possible Risks of Increasing Smoking Initiation with the Potential Benefits of Increasing Smoking Cessation,’ Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 2019 Jan 1;21(1):41-47.

  • The research simulated the impacts of vaping on smoking cessation to the year 2070, using a model that tracks the US adult population’s smoking status and smoking-related deaths over time.
  • Key findings: 
    • The US is predicted to gain almost 3.3 million life-years by 2070.
    • Even if smokers lose 10% of the benefit of quitting smoking, the net life-year gain falls to 2.4 million. 
    • The study tested the model under a wide range of parameters and continually found that vaping had a net positive impact on life-years saved. 
    • The upside health benefits of vaping exceed the risk that they will potentially increase the number of young smokers. 
    • Policies to prevent youth uptake should not limit vaping’s potential to help adult smokers to quit.