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HomeFront PageBreaking NewsUK Group Presents Evidence That Vaping Is Far Less Harmful Than Smoking

UK Group Presents Evidence That Vaping Is Far Less Harmful Than Smoking

A leading industry group in the United Kingdom has presented a wealth of scientific evidence and expert opinions showing that while vaping is not entirely risk-free, it is far less harmful than smoking combustible cigarettes.

The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) said, “While vaping is not entirely risk-free, it is significantly less harmful than smoking – which claims around 80,000 lives every year in the UK alone.”

UKVIA, which champions the benefits of shifting from smoking to vaping, made this statement after the vaping industry and vapers were excluded from discussions during the parliamentary committee stage of the Tobacco and Vapes Bill.

The group highlighted that the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), a government agency, maintains that vaping is “at least 95% less harmful than cigarettes.” 

They added that vaping poses a “small fraction of the risks of smoking” and that “completely switching from smoking to vaping conveys substantial health benefits.”

Sir Chris Whitty, England’s Chief Medical Officer, confirmed that vaping is “much safer” than smoking and called the switch a “positive health move,” according to the UKVIA.

A study by Brunel University London found that the National Health Service “could save more than half a billion pounds per year if just half of England’s adult smokers switched to vaping.”

A 2019 investigation into reports of vaping-related lung illness in the U.S. found that the cases stemmed from contaminated, illegal products containing THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis, rather than legal nicotine vaping products. 

Alice Davies, a health information officer at Cancer Research UK, said, “headlines could be misleading as these cases were due to contaminants in illegal products and not linked to regular nicotine vaping. There was no similar outbreak in the UK and the chemicals of concern are banned in the UK.”

The OHID’s Nicotine Vaping in England: Evidence Update noted that there were “lessons to be learnt from the mislabeled US EVALI (electronic cigarette or vape associated lung injury) outbreak” and that communications about EVALI should clearly distinguish vaping illicit substances from nicotine vaping.

Cancer Research UK confirmed that “there have been no confirmed cases of popcorn lung reported in people who use e-cigarettes” and that vapes don’t cause this lung injury.

The UKVIA cited data from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), a public health charity, showing that “almost 4.5 million adults in Great Britain have used vaping to cut down on or completely stop smoking.”

The National Health Service (NHS) regards vaping as “one of the most effective tools for quitting smoking,” while the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities reports that vaping products “remain the most common aid used by people to help them quit.”

James Tucker, head of health analysis at the Office for National Statistics (ONS), said, “vaping has played a ‘major role’ in reducing smoking rates across the UK…which are now at a record low.”

A comprehensive analysis by Cochrane, a global independent network of health researchers, reviewed data from over 300 clinical trials involving more than 150,000 people and found that e-cigarettes are among the most effective aids available to help adult smokers quit.

The UKVIA also denied a correlation between regular vaping and taking up smoking. An ASH UK dossier titled “Addressing Common Myths About Vaping,” reviewed by leading scientists, found that vaping is not a “proven gateway into smoking.” 

The dossier noted that as e-cigarette use rose in England between 2010 and 2021, smoking rates among young people “continued to fall at least as rapidly as previously.” ASH UK said this “does not support the gateway hypothesis at a population level.”

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