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Vapers Rejoice: A British Report Says E-Cigs Are Safer Than Cigarettes

Vaping could help smokers quit, according to Public Health England.

by Zach Sokol
Aug 19 2015, 8:35pm

Image via Flickr user TBEC Review

Read: Meet the Vapers of E3

Today, British government agency Public Health England (PHE) published an expert independent review that says, straight-up, "E-cigarettes are 95% less harmful to your health than normal cigarettes. When supported by a smoking cessation service, they help most smokers to quit tobacco altogether." According to the Guardian, this is "the first official recognition that e-cigarettes are less damaging to health than smoking tobacco."

Professor Peter Hajek of Queen Mary University London, one independent author of the review, wrote, "My reading of the evidence is that smokers who switch to vaping remove almost all the risks smoking poses to their health." Another independent author wrote, "E-cigarettes could be a game changer in public health in particular by reducing the enormous health inequalities caused by smoking."

England's Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, agrees with the report's conclusions, but also told the Guardian that "there continues to be a lack of evidence on the long-term use of e-cigarettes."

In the US, e-cigarettes haven't yet been regulated by the FDA, and vaping is banned in many places, despite protests by people who say that the devices look cool and don't hurt anyone. The question of whether they seriously harm users will likely be settled by science relatively soon—though whether anyone can make sucking on a metal tube with a light at the end look glamorous will be a topic of debate for much longer.

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