In a new report published by Public Health England (Wednesday 4th March), the health body expressed concerns that public perceptions around e-cigarettes and vaping have been negatively impacted by misinformation, and that an increasing number of smokers now believe vaping is more harmful than smoking, in contrast to the widely-held view of researchers in the UK and US.
The report, titled ‘Vaping in England: evidence update March 2020’, includes up to date findings on the e-liquids and e-cigarettes among young people and adults, and use among those with mental health conditions and pregnant women.
In 2015, Public Health England (PHE) claimed that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking, a position supported by the Royal College of General Practitioners, the British Medical Association and Cancer Research UK among other institutions.
2019 saw an outbreak of vaping-related lung illness in the US that the reports says has contributed to the false impression among a rising number of smokers that e-cigarettes were as harmful, if not more, than smoking. The FDA and CDC have since confirmed that the illnesses were the result of black market THC products containing the harmful additive vitamin E acetate, but the false alarm around vaping, ignited further by fears about a rise in teenage use and marketing, had already led to sweeping regulations and distrust of vaping, amplified by US media.
“It is concerning to see how much the US lung disease outbreak has affected smokers’ views on e-cigarettes here in the UK,” says Professor John Newton, Director of Health Improvement at PHE. “Safety fears may well be deterring many smokers from switching, leaving them on a path to years of ill health and an early death due to their smoking. E-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking, which causes 220 premature deaths a day in England.
“Our advice remains that for anyone who smokes tobacco, the most important thing is to stop smoking altogether and e-cigarettes can be an effective way to help smokers do that.”
The report recommends that:
- Health professionals should use advice on using e-cigarettes during pregnancy
- More research is needed into vaping among smokers with mental health conditions and pregnant smokers
- More research is needed into e-cigarette flavour preferences among young people
PHE encourage smokers to try regulated nicotine vaping products along with other stop smoking aids and behavioural support, to increase their chances of successfully stopping smoking.
In 2015, PHE claimed that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking and are supported by the Royal College of General Practitioners, the British Medical Association and Cancer Research UK among other institutions.
We encourage all smokers and vapers to read Public Health England’s full report HERE.
What should you do if you have concerns about vaping?
- Only buy e-cigarette devices and e-liquid from reputable, TPD-compliant manufacturers and suppliers such as Vapestore.
- Talk to one of our professional customer services specialists for advice and guidance on all aspects of e-cigarettes and vaping at firstname.lastname@example.org call 0800 644 0000.
- Talk to your GP or another certified health professional about using e-cigarettes.