Published: Sun, August 19, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Is vaping safe? Here's what we know about e-cigarettes

Is vaping safe? Here's what we know about e-cigarettes

Committee chairman Norman Lewis says e-cigarettes can be "a key weapon" in the fight against smoking.

In their report, they suggest e-cigarettes could be allowed on buses and trains and should be available on prescription to help people give up smoking.

Vaping, or using e-cigarettes, is estimated to be 95 percent less harmful than smoking conventional ones, according to the British parliament's science and technology committee, which sees big health benefits if smokers can be encouraged to switch.

Critics argue that e-cigarettes could act as a "gateway" to smoking, especially for young people - but this report claims non-smokers are very unlikely to take up vaping.

The Department of Health and Social Care estimates e-cigarettes contribute to between 16,000 and 22,000 people successfully quitting smoking each year "who would not otherwise have done so had they used nicotine replacement therapies or willpower alone".

E-cigarettes, the report said, present an opportunity to "significantly accelerate already declining smoking rates".

The report comes days after scientists warned that the perception that e-cigarettes are safe should be treated with caution.

"The Government should carefully consider the report's recommendations, but any changes to current e-cigarette regulations should be aimed at helping smokers to quit whilst preventing young people from starting to use e-cigarettes".

- There should be a wider debate on how e-cigarettes are to be dealt with in our public places, to help arrive at a solution which at least starts from the evidence rather than misconceptions about their health impacts.

Norman Lamb MP, the committee chair, said: "Smoking remains a national health crisis and the government should be considering innovative ways of reducing the smoking rate".

'This is about comparing e-cigarettes to normal cigarettes, not fresh air.

The government has been urged to make e-cigarettes available on the NHS after a probe by MPs found numerous health concerns around "vaping" are wrong.

The report also called for limits on refill strengths and tank sizes, which may put off heavy smokers looking for a strong nicotine hit, to be reviewed.

Speaking on Tuesday, Hazel said: "This study provides some insights into what the implications could be of long-term use of e-cigarettes".

MPs want rules around e-cigarettes to be loosened to help smokers quit.

"E-cigs in teens are a gateway to subsequent smoking lit cigarettes and e-cig vapour contains a large number of toxins which in time will obviously harm users, and bystanders".

Meanwhile, NHS England's "default" policy should be that e-cigarettes are permitted on mental health units, to address the "stubbornly high" levels of smoking among people with mental health conditions, the report said. E-cigarettes were first introduced to the United Kingdom market in 2007.

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