ASH briefing on electronic cigarettes

ASH briefing on electronic cigarettes

Released earlier this month, the UK charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), published a review on e-cigarettes. The review focused on the benefits and risks, the use as well as the prevalence of e-cigarettes in the UK. It also examined its use as a quit-smoking aid, which is quite important in the current debate in Australia.

A summary of the more important points as it relates to the debate in Australia is listed below.


E-cigarettes don’t produce smoke, they produce vapour
This is common knowledge for most e-cigarette or vape users, but many people in the community don’t realise this point. Vapour is not smoke, and as such, is not as harmful for the body.


E-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes
Again, this statistic is one that our community would know about as we have published this research in the past. The statistic comes from research undertaken by Public Health England.


There is little risk to others from second-hand vapour
This is related to the first and second points above. Because e-cigarettes do not produce smoke, they are much less harmful for the body than traditional cigarettes. This is the case for both consumers, and those nearby.


Most e-cigarette users are ex-smokers or current smokers
Obviously this is a UK-centric study and while no robust study has been undertaken in Australia, our surveys within our own community indicates that most e-cigarette users are ex-smokers only.


E-cigarette use does not lead to increased smoking rates in young people in the UK
Individuals and groups that oppose the legalisation of e-cigarettes in Australia generally use the argument that legalisation will lead to an increased uptake in youth smoking rates. What this review in the UK found, however, was that it is simply not the case. The prevalence of e-cigarette use does not lead to an increase in youth smoking.


If you would like to find out more, read the complete report at: