Most of my reporting on e-cigarettes has not been very positive. Studies are continuing in this area and I have no particular bias, but this is the first really positive bit of scientific or study information I have come across in the last year. I am reporting it here to help readers make good decisions about their personal habits and health.

According to investigators who examined e-cigarette substitution scenarios, a switch from cigarettes to e-cigarettes may prevent almost 90,000 premature deaths in the US in the year 2026. The scenarios are based on certain assumptions. Specifically, an optimistic scenario was constructed that assumed that new smokers would use e-cigarettes instead of regular cigarettes, that smoking prevalence would fall to 5% of the population (percentage of adult smokers 18 years or older in the US was 15.9% in 2015) over a 10 year period and would result in only 380,832 premature deaths. However, the investigator also constructed a more pessimistic scenario which projected current smoking and cessation rates without the use of e-cigarettes. In the more pessimistic scenario the estimated premature deaths in 2026 would be 470,743. If e-cigarettes are added to this scenario along with smoking prevalence falling to 10% the estimated premature deaths would be 456,297 only 14,446 fewer, but still a reduction.

The potential implication of this projection needs to be put into context, and those reading this article must understand the assumptions and the many things that must happen to reduce premature deaths with e-cigarettes.