Is it safe to vape or use e cigarettes?
It's the number one question every vaper gets asked ..... and it's not always easy to answer. Most of us just describe our own experience of switching from traditional smoking to vaping, how empowering this has been and how great we now feel.
Australian legislation relating to the sale, purchase and use of e cigarettes, e liquids and nicotine is still quite confusing. Having different e cigarette laws in each State and Territory doesn't help either.
Vaping is hugely popular in the US, but so much of the information coming from the US is conflicting, confusing or simply opinion pieces with very little hard science to back it up.
It looks like the United Kingdom is now leading the charge with millions of people switching from traditional smoking to vaping.
The UK Government endorses the use of electronic cigarettes as a harm reduction strategy and way for long term smokers to kick the habit.
The UK Government commissioned a research study into the safety of electronic cigarette use in 2015. Not only did this research have positive findings, the UK Government published the reports on the website for ..... wait for it ..... Public Health England (PHE).
This is essentially the British equivalent of the Australian Federal Department of Health!
We've included the link to the PHE website and research papers at the end of this post. The main finding of the research paper, backed by credible medical experts is that:
The use of e cigarettes is considered to be around 95% less harmful than tobacco and traditional smoking.
To help you answer those tricky questions about vaping, here are some highlights from the research paper:
Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England said:
"Smoking remains England’s number one killer and the best thing a smoker can do is to quit completely, now and forever. E-cigarettes are not completely risk free but when compared to smoking, evidence shows they carry just a fraction of the harm.
The problem is people increasingly think they are at least as harmful and this may be keeping millions of smokers from quitting. Local stop smoking services should look to support e-cigarette users in their journey to quitting completely."
Professor Ann McNeill, King’s College London and independent author of the review, said:
"There is no evidence that e-cigarettes are undermining England’s falling smoking rates. Instead the evidence consistently finds that e-cigarettes are another tool for stopping smoking and in my view smokers should try vaping and vapers should stop smoking entirely.
E-cigarettes could be a game changer in public health in particular by reducing the enormous health inequalities caused by smoking."
Professor Peter Hajek, Queen Mary University London and independent author of the review said:
"My reading of the evidence is that smokers who switch to vaping remove almost all the risks smoking poses to their health. Smokers differ in their needs and I would advise them not to give up on e-cigarettes if they do not like the first one they try. It may take some experimentation with different products and e-liquids to find the right one."