Public Health England (PHE) e-cigarette evidence review

On February 6th 2018, Public Health England released its latest report on vaping. The report covered e-cigarette use among young people and adults, public attitudes, the impact on quitting smoking, an update on risks to health and the role of nicotine. The main findings where:

  • vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking and switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys substantial health benefits
  • In the UK, e-cigarettes could be contributing to at least 20,000 successful new quits per year and possibly many more
  • E-cigarette use is associated with improved quit success rates over the last year and an accelerated drop in smoking rates across the country
  • many thousands of smokers incorrectly believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking; around 40% of smokers have not even tried an e-cigarette
  • there is much public misunderstanding about nicotine (less than 10% of adults understand that most of the harms to health from smoking are not caused by nicotine)
  • the evidence does not support the concern that e-cigarettes are a route into smoking among young people (youth smoking rates in the UK continue to decline, regular use is rare and is almost entirely confined to those who have smoked)

PHE’s evidence review comes just a few weeks after a US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report on e-cigarettes. Their conclusion on e-cigarette safety also finds that based on the available evidence ‘e-cigarettes are likely to be far less harmful than combustible tobacco cigarettes'.

Read PHE's full report HERE.


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