Sixty years after the U.S. surgeon general released a report on the dangers of smoking cigarettes, some public health experts are calling for a similar report on vaping, AP reports.
Public health experts disagree about how harmful or helpful e-cigarettes are. Lawrence Gostin, a public health law expert at Georgetown University, tells AP that clarifying information is urgently needed. “There have been so many confusing messages about vaping,” Gostin said. “A surgeon general’s report could clear that all up.”
Dr. Kelly Henning, who leads the public health program at Bloomberg Philanthropies, notes e-cigarettes have not been available long enough for scientists to collect long-term data. “There’s a remarkable lack of evidence,” Henning said.
In 1964, when U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry released a report that said smoking causes illness and death, 42% of U.S. adults smoked. By 2022, that rate had fallen to 11%. Some experts say e-cigarette use helped reduce the rate of cigarette smoking.
The studies that have looked at the health effects of vaping have come up with conflicting results, according to Dr. Neal Benowitz of the University of California, San Francisco, who studies nicotine and tobacco addiction.