Public Health England reports that Vaping is 95% Less Harmful than Tobacco Cigarettes
Public Health England has recently concluded that electronic cigarettes are significantly less harmful than tobacco cigarettes. Public Health England stated that e-cigarettes help smokers quit smoking.
Public Health England reports that:
- Electronic cigarettes are approximately 95% less harmful than traditional tobacco cigarettes.
- Half of the population do not realise vaping is much less harmful than traditional tobacco smoking.
- No evidence suggests that e-cigarettes act as a route to start smoking for young people or non-smokers.
The review suggested that e-cigarettes are contributing to adults and young people reducing smoking.
A key finding is that almost all of the 2.6 million vapers in England are current or ex-smokers. The majority of e-cigarette users are using e-cigarettes to help quit smoking or to prevent them returning to cigarettes. The report found that very few adults or young people who have never smoked are regular users of e-cigarettes. The report found less than 1% in each group.
Public Health England’s concern was that growing numbers of people think vaping may be equally or more harmful than smoking. However all current evidence shows that e-cigarettes have significantly less health consequences than smoking. In fact, e-cigarettes have been found to have the highest success rate for quitting smoking.
Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England said:
Smoking remains England’s number one killer and the best thing a smoker can do is to quit completely, now and forever.
E-cigarettes are not completely risk free but when compared to smoking, evidence shows they carry just a fraction of the harm. The problem is people increasingly think they are at least as harmful and this may be keeping millions of smokers from quitting. Local stop smoking services should look to support e-cigarette users in their journey to quitting completely.
Professor Ann McNeill, King’s College London, said:
There is no evidence that e-cigarettes are undermining England’s falling smoking rates. Instead the evidence consistently finds that e-cigarettes are another tool for stopping smoking and in my view smokers should try vaping and vapers should stop smoking entirely.
E-cigarettes could be a game changer in public health in particular by reducing the enormous health inequalities caused by smoking.
Professor Peter Hajek, Queen Mary University London, said:
My reading of the evidence is that smokers who switch to vaping remove almost all the risks smoking poses to their health. Smokers differ in their needs and I would advise them not to give up on e-cigarettes if they do not like the first one they try. It may take some experimentation with different products and e-liquids to find the right one.
Professor Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK’s expert in cancer prevention, said:
Fears that e-cigarettes have made smoking seem normal again or even led to people taking up tobacco smoking are not so far being realised based on the evidence assessed by this important independent review. In fact, the overall evidence points to e-cigarettes actually helping people to give up smoking tobacco.
Free Stop Smoking Services remain the most effective way for people to quit but we recognise the potential benefits for e-cigarettes in helping large numbers of people move away from tobacco.
Cancer Research UK is funding more research to deal with the unanswered questions around these products including the longer-term impact.
If you are interested in reading the full report issued by the Government’s Public Health England, follow this link https://www.gov.uk/government/news/e-cigarettes-around-95-less-harmful-than-tobacco-estimates-landmark-review