February 9, 2018
The recent publication of ‘e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products evidence review’ by Public Health England (PHE) provided findings that may shift attitudes and approaches to smoking globally. Its findings reveal a drop in smoking rates across the country, and associates e-cigarettes with this improved quit success rate across the last year. Further, the review highlights how vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking, and reports that switching from smoking to vaping could have substantial health benefits. It also reports that thousands of smokers “incorrectly” believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking combustible cigarettes, and 40% of them have not tried an e-cigarette.
This PHE review follows in the wake of the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report on e-cigarettes that similarly concludes that, based on available evidence, e-cigarettes are likely to be far less harmful than combustible tobacco cigarettes. Many tobacco control experts, however, are reluctant to embrace these alternative products because their long-term health effects are unclear.