Cancer isn't a new disease, Hippocrates coined the original cancer term carcinoma between 300-500 BC when discussing tumors.
While there has definitely been a rise in the public awareness of such illnesses, it's important to note that big increases in actual cancers did occur in recent history. Most of them were from new carcinogens introduced to our environment and our habits.
Most noticeably was the rise in cancers caused by smoking.
Back in 2012 a meta-analysis found that there were 454 new instances of cancer per 100,000 people. The number of people dying from cancer, around the same time, was 171 per 100,000 people.
As of 2015, the number of people dying from cancer has dropped to 158 per 100,000 people. That's a 3-year span! Now, let's compare that data with the data from a time when smoking was far more common: 1991.
In 1991, that number was 26% higher!
While different breakthrough medicine has helped the total number, the cause that's had the most impact is the decrease in smoking rates.
There's been a 45% decrease in deaths from lung cancer alone, from 1991 to 2015.
Back in 2013-2015, e-cigarettes were a little more prevalent and less regulated around the globe. In the US, over 49% of recent quitters had tried e-cigarettes and almost 20% were currently vaping.
With all the data out there on e-cigarettes, there's no reason why we can't assume that vaping has had a large part to play in the decline of smoking rates. Especially in North America and Europe where devices are easily obtainable and affordable.
Researchers are now agreeing that electronic cigarettes could potentially help millions switch to a less harmful alternative.
The number of deaths from cancer will continue to decrease, regardless of vaping. But if we want to see that number decrease significantly, we should give people looking to stop smoking, as much power and as many options as we can.