Vaping 'not risk-free, but far less harmful than smoking tobacco': Public Health England

13 September 2019 - 12:42 By Matthew Savides
The US government is considering banning vaping.
The US government is considering banning vaping.
Image: 123RF / Leszekglasner

Public Health England (PHE) on Thursday said vaping was still significantly safer than smoking tobacco, despite its health implications.

“Our advice on e-cigarettes remains unchanged — vaping isn’t completely risk free but is far less harmful than smoking tobacco. There is no situation where it would be better for your health to continue smoking rather than switching completely to vaping,” PHE said on Twitter.

PHE is an agency of the UK's health and social care department, which says on its website that it provides “evidence-based professional, scientific expertise and support” to government spheres, the National Health Service (NHS), parliament, industry and the public.

The comment comes as the US government considers a ban on vaping, after an outbreak of vaping-related severe pulmonary disease left six people dead and hundreds sick.

“Smoking kills thousands every year & creating a smoke-free generation is one of our top priorities. Vaping is a fraction of the risk of smoking and makes it much more likely you’ll quit successfully than relying on willpower alone. The sooner you stop smoking completely the better,” the agency said.

In a blog linked to its latest tweets, the PHE said: “In summary, e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes are not the same and shouldn’t be treated as such ... E-cigarettes aren’t completely risk free but carry a fraction of the risk of smoking and are helping thousands of smokers to quit and stay smoke-free.”