England: vapers wrongly think their habit is as bad as cigarettes

22 May 2020

An increasing number of smokers believe nicotine vaping products are equally or more harmful than smoking, says a report from Public Health England (PHE). 

This misplaced view rose rapidly among UK smokers following the US lung injury outbreak of autumn last year, which reportedly caused some 60 deaths.

This is despite experts in the UK and the US concluding that regulated nicotine vaping products are far less harmful than smoking.

The vaping deaths were also caused by substances banned in the UK.

US authorities have confirmed that vitamin E acetate, a thickening agent added to cannabis vaping products, was a primary cause of the US outbreak.

PHE’s advice remains that smokers should continue to switch to e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking (along with other stop smoking aids and behavioural support), but that non-smokers should not take up vaping.

PHE says that while e-cigarettes are much less harmful than tobacco, they are not completely safe, and the long-term impact of using e-cigarettes will remain unknown for some time.

Vaping use has remained stable since the last PHE report.

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