Report: E-Cigarettes 95% Safer Than Traditional Smoking

A recent, independent scientific review has found that e-cigarette devices are approximately 95% less dangerous than traditional cigarettes.

The review, commissioned by Public Health England, also found that about 44.8% the population is not aware that e-cigarettes are less dangerous than smoking.

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Further, not only are e-cigarettes not as harmful as previous research has suggested, but the use of e-cigarettes may be contributing to the falling rates of smoking among citizens of Great Britain, as the vast majority of the 2.6 million adults using the products are either current or former smokers. Overall, less than 1% of adults and adolescents who have never smoked begin using e-cigarettes.

Despite the safety of these products, researchers found that, due to recent worldwide media headlines, the number of individuals who believe e-cigarettes to be as harmful as traditional smoking has risen from 8.1% in 2013 to 22.1% in 2015.

“The ongoing negative media campaigns are a plausible explanation for the change in the perception of e-cigarette safety,” they wrote.

In fact, they wrote, “while vaping may not be 100% safe, most of the chemicals causing smoking-related disease are absent and the chemicals which are present pose limited danger.”

Researchers also noted that while risks of electrical fires and poisoning from ingestion of e-liquid exist, they are comparable to risks present with similar electrical and potentially poisonous household items.

“Encouraging smokers who cannot or do not want to stop smoking to switch to e-cigarettes could be adopted as one of the key strategies to reduce smoking related disease and death,” they concluded.

—Michael Potts


McNeill A, Brose LS, Calder R, et al. E-cigarettes: an evidence update. Public Health England. August 2015.