Public Health England: E-cigarettes are around 95% safer than smoked tobacco

Public Health England: E-cigarettes are around 95% safer than smoked tobacco

For years those that  cannot stand e cigarettes have been telling us that they are evil incarnate. They say they will become a gateway to proper smoking to those who know no better.

But then Public Health England announced and I quote:

“An expert review of the latest evidence concludes that e-cigarettes are around 95% safer than smoked tobacco and they can help smokers to quit.”

While stressing that e-cigarettes are not free from risk, PHE now believes that e-cigarettes “have the potential to make a significant contribution to the endgame for tobacco”. 

The review found that almost all of the 2.6 million adults in the UK now thought to be using e-cigarettes are current or former conventional smokers, most using them to help them quit tobacco or to prevent them going back to smoking.

There was no suggestion that the products were a gateway into tobacco smoking, with less than 1% of adults or young people who had never smoked becoming regular cigarette users.

The message was backed by the government’s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, who nevertheless cautioned that “there continues to be a lack of evidence on the long-term use of e-cigarettes”. She said they should only be used as a means to help smokers quit.

And that’s all most of us want! The right to continue to use e-cigarettes unhindered in our fight to beat our addiction to tobacco products.

I do not know how good or bad these things are. All I do know is that since I stopped smoking tobacco and started using e-cigarettes, my health and well being has improved. I can truthfully say I have not had a cold in more than 2 years. Before e-cigarettes, I was catching 3 or 4 a year. And some of them laid me up for days. My cough was so bad I sometimes felt I was having a fit. It’s embarrassing to say the least.

Kevin Fenton, director of health and wellbeing at PHE, said: “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.”

Peter Hajek, of Queen Mary University, London, one of the independent authors of the review, 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.”

The well respected body Cochrane Reviews also supports those who wish to stop smoking and start using e-cigarettes. If anything, evidence is now building in our favour.

All any of us can do is hope that the powers that be do not stand in our way to build a normal healthy life, leaving tobacco behind us.

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