A recent health study has revealed that air pollution could be as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. Those living in densely populated areas — like China and India — with especially high levels air-pollution were placed in a “high risk category.” While areas with mild-moderate air-based pollution were placed in a “moderate risk category.”
Those breathing the dirty air were experiencing heath complications similar to ones normally associated with smoking, such as COPD and lung cancer.
The Lancelot Commission report, published earlier this year, found that nearly 9 million premature deaths were caused by “dirty air” in 2015 alone (an estimated 16% of all deaths worldwide). In 2015, 150,000 deaths were attributed to air-pollution in the U.S. alone.
Those living in European countries were inhaling .4 – 1.6 cigarettes worth of polluted air a day. Citizens of heavily industrialized areas like China were breathing an estimated 60 cigarettes a day (the equivalent of three packs). To see your city’s air pollution measured in daily cigarettes, check out the Sh*t I Smoke App (avail. on apple and google play stores…).
Smokers living in populated areas (New York and Chicago, for example) are put at the greatest risk; with their health and well-being being deteriorated by tobacco products and the air they breathe at the same time. However, there is a viable option on the market for those looking to quit.
Vaping as a means of harm reduction has often been criticized as “not safe”, or “not proven.” But with the Earth’s population growing (7.6b+ at the time of this article), and air quality on a steady decline, any measure that can be taken to increase human health and longevity should be taken seriously.
Dismissing e-cigs as a safer alternative because long term effects have not been studied could be a costly mistake. Millions of lives are at risk every day, now is the time for change.