Vaping is safer than smoking and could lead to the demise of the traditional cigarette, Public Health England (PHE) has said in the first official recognition that e-cigarettes are less damaging to health than smoking tobacco.
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.
While stressing that e-cigarettes are not free from risk, PHE now believes that e-cigarettes "have the potential to make a significant contribution to the endgame for tobacco".
The message was backed by the government's chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, who nevertheless cautioned that "there continues to be a lack of evidence on the long-term use of e-cigarettes". She said they should only be used as a means to help smokers quit.
"I want to see these products coming to the market as licensed medicines. This would provide assurance on the safety, quality and efficacy to consumers who want to use these products as quitting aids, especially in relation to the flavourings used, which is where we know least about any inhalation risks."
The 111-page review raises concerns about the length and cost of the the governmentâ€™s licensing process, which is a key part of the revised strategy to cut tobacco use.
No e-cigarettes have yet been licensed, unlike other nicotine-replacement therapies such as gums, lozenges and patches. Pilot schemes in Leicester and the City of London allow stop-smoking specialists to offer free e-cigarette starter kits, but smokers elsewhere cannot be offered e-cigarettes on prescription.
More at the link http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/aug/19/public-health-engl etc ...
Wow, that's really great news. Maybe we will see some easing off on the crackdown against vaping going on.