E Cigarettes Are ‘Far Safer’ than Smoking, Say Health Experts

The first long-term study of the effects of vaping in ex-smokers found that people who switched from real to e cigarettes had far fewer toxins and cancer-causing substances in their bodies than regular smokers.

Researchers said the findings of the study provided strong reassurance that vaping was safer than smoking. Funded by Cancer Research UK, the scientists studied a total of 181 individuals, including smokers and ex-smokers, who had used e cigarettes or nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT) products, such as patches and nasal sprays, for at least six months.

VIP E Cigarette has called on the Irish Cancer Society to endorse the research that was carried out by their British counterpart.

“We are hoping that this report and its findings will be looked at by the relevant bodies here in Ireland with a view to following the UK bodies in endorsing e cigarettes as a less harmful alternative to smoking” said Joe Dunne from VIP E Cigarettes.

Head of services and advocacy at the Irish Cancer Society, Donal Buggy said the charity had been saying for some time that the use of e cigarettes presented potential benefits and risks. He said the research demonstrated the potential benefit of consuming nicotine through e cigarettes rather than through smoking tobacco in the form of traditional cigarettes.

“This research, however, does not address the safety of not smoking in comparison to e cigarette use. Therefore, it is not saying that e cigarettes are safe to use,” he said.  

The Irish Cancer Society’s view is not one of reason. They are asking “Are e cigarettes safer than not smoking at all?” This is not the comparison that should be looked at as the main point of the report is that e cigarettes are safer than smoking.  

A study published in the Journal Annals of Internal Medicine also found that those who consume both e cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes had similar toxins in their systems as those who only use tobacco cigarettes.

The study’s lead author, Dr Lion Shahab from University College London, said their study added to evidence showing e cigarettes and NRT are far safer than smoking, and suggested there was a low risk associated with long-term use.

“We’ve shown that the levels of toxic chemicals in the body from e cigarettes are considerably lower than suggested in previous studies using simulated experiments. This means some doubts about the safety of e cigarettes may be wrong,” said Dr Shahab.

Alison Cox, director of cancer prevention at Cancer Research UK said: “Around a third of tobacco-caused deaths are due to cancer, so we want to see many more of the UK’s 10 million smokers break their addiction. This study adds to growing evidence that e cigarettes are a much safer alternative to tobacco, and suggests the long-term effects of these products will be minimal. Understanding and communicating the benefits of nicotine replacements, such as e cigarettes, is an important step towards reducing the number of tobacco-related deaths here in the UK.”

Other British experts hailed the study, published in the Journal Annals Of Internal Medicine, as “unique” and “important”.

Dr Ed Stephens, senior research fellow at the University of St Andrews, said: “This paper confirms the potential benefits of e cigarettes and contributes to the growing body of evidence that the risk from chemicals in vapour is far lower than in cigarette smoke when an e cigarette is used as the manufacturer intended.”

Jamie Hartmann-Boyce, senior health behaviours researcher at Oxford University and managing editor of the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group, said: “We still need more studies on the long-term safety of electronic cigarettes, but this study adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting electronic cigarettes are considerably safer than smoking regular cigarettes, as is using NRT long-term.”

Professor Kevin Fenton, international director of health and well-being at Public Health England, said the findings provided further evidence that switching to e cigarettes can “significantly reduce harm” to smokers.

This report follows up on the recent HIQA Report showing that E Cigarettes are helping smokers to QUIT and should be looked at as a less harmful alternative to smoking by the Irish Health Bodies.  

We are just asking our relevant bodies here in Ireland to look at the UK’s approach and endorse e cigarettes as an alternative to smoking.

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