Report: E-cigarettes are 95 percent Less Harmful Than Smoking

Public Health England, an agency of the British Department of Health, published a report which describes e-cigarettes as 95 percent less hazardous than the regular, “normal” cigarettes and recommends them as a quitting aid.

“Best estimates show e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful to your health than normal cigarettes and when supported by a smoking cessation service, help most smokers to quit tobacco altogether,” Public Health England Chief Executive, Duncan Selbie, says while one of the study’s authors, Peter Hajek, professor at the Queen Mary University adds:

“My reading of the evidence is that smokers who switch to vaping remove almost all the risks smoking poses to their health.”


Anti-smoking activists and public health officials do not believe in vaping as a method for smokers to quit their unhealthy habit and believe that e-cigarettes are making smoking seem glamorous luring non-smokers into nicotine addiction.

The report though says that almost all of the 2,600,000 adults who use e-cigarettes in Great Britain used to be smokers and that most of them are using their devices in order to quit. In addition, less than 1% of adults and less than 1% of teenagers have become regular e-cig users without ever being smokers in the past.

In other words, as in the United States, smoking rates in the U.K. have decreased as vaping rates have risen and “there is no evidence so far that e-cigarettes are acting as a route into smoking for children or non-smokers.”

PHE’s report calculates that 44.8 percent of the population in Great Britain have not realized that e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking. This number is quite small compared to the 65 percent of Americans who, according to a Reuters poll, believe that e-smoking is either worse than regular smoking or don’t know.

Related Post: Are E-Cigarettes Bad for Your Health?

Misleading pronouncements by anti-smoking organizations and public health agencies about vaping have made the masses believe that e-cigarettes may be, in fact, more dangerous than smoking. For example, CDC Director Tom Frieden says that “When it comes to tobacco products we really have to assume they’re dangerous until they’re proven safe, rather than the other way around.” However, e-cigarettes do not contain any tobacco at all.


This kind of misinformation may lead smokers to serious behaviors, making them believe that e-cigs are, at least, as harmful as normal cigarettes. This could keep million of smokers from quitting.

Kevin Fenton, PHE’s director of health and wellbeing, says:

“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,”

Ann McNeill, professor of psychiatry, psychology, and neuroscience at King’s College London, who co-authored the study adds that in her view smokers should try vaping and vapers should stop smoking entirely, in order to prove that e-cigarettes could change everything in public┬áhealth.