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False Fears preventing smokers from using e-cigarettes to quit

“False fears” preventing smokers from using e-cigarettes to quit

More than half of smokers within the UK now wrongly believe that e-cigarettes containing nicotine are as dangerous as tobacco cigarettes, according to new reports.

In a new study by health agency Public Health England (PHE), scientists at King’s College London have claimed that the recent spate of lung illnesses in the United States of America has led to people falsely believing that vaping is more harmful than smoking. 

Professor John Newton, Director of Health Improvement at Public Health England said: 

“The US authorities have now confirmed that vitamin E acetate, a thickening agent added to cannabis vaping liquid, was a primary cause of the US outbreak”

The substance vitamin E acetate is banned in the UK, meaning it will not be found in any regulated vaping products on these shores. Professor Newton then continued to voice his concerns about the view held by the majority of UK smokers and how they will affect the health of Brits in the long term: 

“It is concerning to see how much the US lung disease outbreak has affected smokers’ views on e-cigarettes here in the UK. Safety fears may well be deterring many smokers from switching, leaving them on a path to years of ill health and an early death due to their smoking”

PHE says that smoking causes 220 premature deaths a day and have called for more backing for campaigns towards a smoke-free Britain. 

John Britton, director of the UK Centre for Tobacco & Alcohol Studies, said the PHE report’s findings were “disturbing”. He added that “smoking remains the biggest avoidable cause of death and disability in the UK, and using electronic cigarettes is an effective means of quitting smoking”. 

PHE’s report also warns that a ban on flavoured liquids could deter some smokers from switching to e-cigarettes completely. The U.S. government has proposed a nationwide ban on all vaping flavours as they deem them to be attractive to the younger demographic. The PHE cautioned against any similar move in Britain: “A ban on flavoured liquids could have adverse effects and unintended consequences for smokers using vaping products to quit. It should only be considered with caution”. 

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