E-cigarettes are much less harmful than smoking according to report

28 April 2016        

Cigarettes in an ashtray

A report published today by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) suggests that electronic cigarettes have the potential to contribute to reducing death and disability caused by smoking.

The report suggests that using e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid is significantly less harmful to your health than smoking tobacco.

The report also says that the role of e-cigarettes in helping to prevent deaths and disability caused by smoking should be considered carefully.

Dr Mike Knapton, our Associate Medical Director, said: "Stopping smoking is the single best thing you can do for your heart health. Smoking directly causes heart disease, respiratory disease, as well as many cancers and despite 70% of smokers wanting to quit, there are still nearly ten million adults in the UK that smoke.

“E-cigarettes are new devices commonly used by smokers that deliver nicotine without tobacco, and are an effective way of reducing the harm caused. We welcome this report which says that e-cigarettes can be an effective aid to potentially reduce harm from smoking and lower the risk of death and disability.

“There are 2.6 million e-cigarette users in the UK, and many smokers are using them to help quit. Although more research is needed to establish the long term safety of e-cigarettes, they are likely to cause
significantly less harm to your health than smoking tobacco.” 

Earlier this year BHF funded research found that e-cigarettes have overtaken licensed nicotine replacement therapies such as NRT, gum or skin patches as the most popular form of support to stop smoking, and they continue to increase in popularity.