Authorities: "Vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking"
E-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes and one of the most effective methods of quitting smoking. These are the findings of the Department of Health's annual report on vaping. At the same time, the report shows that smokers increasingly believe that e-cigarettes are more harmful than cigarettes.
For the sixth consecutive year, Public Health England is updating the report. "Vaping in England - an evidence update". The report analyses the risks and opportunities of e-cigarettes to reduce the harm of smoking in the UK.
"Smoking kills 220 people every day. E-cigarettes are significantly less harmful. Our advice is that smokers should quit smoking and that e-cigarettes are an effective way to do so," said Mr Higgins. John Newton, Public Health of England.
Educating doctors about e-cigs
The regular report has had a significant impact on e-cigarette legislation in the UK. The analyses also influence healthcare in the country. Doctors, nurses and midwives now receive training on how e-cigarettes work and how they can help patients quit smoking.
The general advice from the Department of Health is that smokers should switch to e-cigarettes. But non-smokers should not start using them.
The report also includes analyses on how smoking works for pregnant women and strategies to reduce smoking among the mentally ill. Pregnant smokers can benefit from the use of e-cigarettes, preferably in combination with other nicotine products. Public Health England. The aim is to keep them away from analogue cigarettes, as the smoke, but not the vapour, seriously damages the foetus.
Smokers hesitate - out of fear
However, despite the fact that Public Health England clearly emphasises the relatively low risk of e-cigarettes, the general perception has gone in the opposite direction.
According to the report, the every third smoker that e-cigarettes is as harmful as regular cigarettes. A major contributing factor to this is the media coverage of the events. lung damage affecting road users in the US in autumn 2019, says John Newton.
The lung damage, of which two cases were detected in Swedenwere traced to the substance e-acetate. E-acetate is sometimes used in illegal manufacturing to dilute cannabis oil (THC) in e-liquid. The e-juices in question were sold illegally in the US in 2019. In the autumn, the e-liquid caused several deaths after e-acetate clogged the pores of users' lungs. E-acetate is not found in regular e-juices. However, news coverage of the incidents often confused regular e-cigarettes with the harmful variant.
Regular e-cigarettes with nicotine could not ultimately be linked to a single lung injury, notes John Newton.
"It is worrying that so many smokers in the UK have been adversely affected by what has happened in the US. An unfounded fear of e-cigarettes may prevent them from taking the plunge and replacing the cigarette with a vape. It's a choice that will lead to a premature death," said Mr Higgins. John Newton to the Times.
Helping thousands to quit smoking
He is supported by the British anti-smoking organisation. Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).
"Vaping has already helped thousands of smokers quit smoking. Thousands more could do so. But right now, smokers are hesitant because of a fear of risks that are not scientifically supported. It is hoped that this clear report increase confidence in our legislation. The message is that e-cigarettes are a safer option than cigarettes," says Mr Perez. Deborah Arnott, CEO of ASH.