The question of whether e-cigarettes are healthier than traditional cigarettes or not is increasingly important in light of vaping’s rise in popularity. While research continues into the health implications of vaping, there is no definite conclusion on the matter. What we have today, however, is a growing body of scientific evidence that, according to Public Health England’s e-cigarette evidence review, suggests vaping is likely less harmful than smoking and much less at that.
While PHE estimates that vaping is likely 95% safer than smoking, there is, as stated, no definite conclusion on the matter. Part of the reason for that is due to the fact that vaping has only been around for a short period of time and only found widespread popularity in an even shorter period of time. As a result, science does not yet understand the long-term implications, if any, of vaping. Let alone how it compares to smoking over the scope of a lifetime.
PHE’s study examined the scientific evidence of various e-cigarette studies. According to their findings, e-cigs do not pose any risk of nicotine poisoning to vapers, however, e-liquids should still be childproofed through the application of proper packaging. They also found no identified health risks to bystanders via secondhand vaping. For those who don’t vape, that appears to be a good thing. The same can most definitely not be said for smoking, as secondhand smoke is known to be potentially deadly to bystanders. In fact, there is evidence to show that millions of people have died as a result of secondhand smoke.
Their evidence review also found most of the chemicals found in cigarette smoke that cause smoking-related disease are not present in the vapor produced by e-cigarettes.
One interesting aspect of their findings pertains to the perception of vaping and its health implications. Specifically, PHE found that many incorrectly believe e-cigs to be at least as harmful as cigarettes.
These findings have led the UK government to support the use of e-cigarettes for smokers in a bid to reduce harm to the general population. If smokers were to switch to vaping, then there wouldn’t be any secondhand cigarette smoke for innocent bystanders to worry about.
Summarizing all of this we find that while vaping may be far less harmful than smoking, there is still much that we do not yet know about vaping, such as its potential long-term health implications. While those who aren’t smokers or vapers may well be better off never taking up vaping and obviously smoking as well, smokers may stand to benefit from switching to vaping.