Nicotine without smoke – why electronic cigarettes can improve public health. ASH comment on RCP report

28 April 2016.  A new report by the Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians concludes that electronic cigarettes are a safer alternative to smoking and are beneficial to public health. [1]

The report also reflects research by ASH which shows that use of electronic cigarettes is almost exclusively confined to former or existing smokers who use the device to cut down and quit smoking, and there is no evidence that vaping has re-normalised smoking. [2] [3] Of great concern, however, is that only around half the population understand that electronic cigarettes are less harmful than smoking, with more than one in five thinking they are equally or more harmful and a similar proportion saying they don’t know.[2]

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of health charity ASH said:

“The RCP report has looked at the evidence and it is clear that it is the smoke in tobacco not the nicotine that makes cigarettes so deadly. Electronic cigarette vapour does not contain smoke, which is why vaping is much less harmful than tobacco cigarettes. Smokers should be reassured that switching to vaping is a positive and sensible life choice, which can help them quit smoking.”


Notes and Links:

[1] Nicotine without smoke – putting electronic cigarettes in context. RCP, London. Deborah Arnott is a co-author of the report.
[2] ASH Fact sheet: Use of electronic cigarettes among adults in Great Britain
[3] ASH Fact sheet: Use of electronic cigarettes among children in Great Britain