Vaping 95 percent less harmful than smoking

Vaping 95 percent less harmful than smoking

August 20, 2015

Vaping electronic cigarettes is 95 percent less harmful than is smoking tobacco, according to a story by Adam Brimelow for BBC News, citing a recent expert review.

One of the report’s authors, Professor Ann McNeill of King’s College London said electronic cigarettes could be a game-changer in public health.

“At the moment, 80,000 people [in England] die every year as a result of cigarette smoking,” she said. “If everybody who was smoking switched to e-cigarettes that would reduce to about 4,000 deaths a year. That’s the best estimate at the moment. It may well be much, much lower than that.”

The experts who compiled the report for Public Health England (PHE) said also that there was no evidence that electronic cigarettes provided children with a gateway into smoking.

The report said that though general practitioners and stop-smoking services were currently not able to prescribe electronic cigarettes because none of the products on the market were licensed for medicinal purposes, it was hoped that hurdle would be removed in the future.

PHE said it was committed to ensure that smokers had a range of evidence-based, effective tools to help them to quit, and that it looked forward to the arrival on the market of a choice of medicinally-regulated products that could be made available to smokers by the NHS on prescription.

The review also highlighted evidence that growing numbers of people have doubts over the safety of electronic cigarettes. It said that nearly 45 percent of the population did not realise that vaping electronic cigarettes was much less harmful than was smoking.

Professor Kevin Fenton, director of health and wellbeing at PHE, said it was important to tackle what he called “harmful myths”.

Electronic cigarettes are now used by 2.6 million adults in Britain.

Read the full story here.

Category: Breaking News

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