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e-cigarettes safer than smoking, says Public Health England

"The health body concluded that, on “the best estimate so far”, e-cigarettes are about 95% less harmful than tobacco cigarettes and could one day be dispensed as a licensed medicine in an alternative to anti-smoking products such as patches."

e-Cigarettes as good as patches for quitting, research shows

The study, carried out by the internationally regarded Cochrane Library, found a third of long-term smokers were able to cut their cigarette consumption in half by using e-cigarettes.

The review investigated the findings of randomised trials, where some smokers were given e-cigarettes containing nicotine while others were given ones which did not contain nicotine.

Those who consumed nicotine were twice as likely to stay off tobacco, the study found.

Health risks

None of the studies, according to Jamie Hartmann-Boyce of the University of Oxford, found increased health risks for e-cigarette users, though she qualified her judgment saying the number of trials was small.

Illustrating the difficulties faced by those trying to quit tobacco, she said more than half of smokers failed to stay off cigarettes for more than a week, while fewer than 5 per cent managed to do so for a year unless they were given support.

 ‘Alarmist language’ used in WHO e-cigarette report, say experts (Source: Irish Times) 

A group of tobacco experts has criticised a World Health Organisation (WHO) report calling for more regulation on e-cigarettes, saying the evaluation used “alarmist language” to describe its findings. 

For every million smokers who switch to e-cigarettes, more than 6,000 lives a year could be saved, according to the University College London team. 

Prof Robert West from University College London said: "You have to be a bit crazy to carry on smoking conventional cigarettes when there are e-cigarettes available," he said. 

 "The vapour contains nothing like the concentrations of carcinogens and toxins as cigarette smoke. 

 "In fact, concentrations are almost all well below a twentieth of cigarettes." Using these estimates it would mean 6,000 lives a year being saved for every million smokers who exchanged real cigarettes for e-cigarettes, he said

"So killing benefits, which are huge, for risks which are small is like asking people to stop using mobile phones and tablets, or restrict their use and further development, because of a one in 10 million chance that the battery might overheat in your device.".