John Newton, director of health improvement at Public Health England (PHE), insists e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking, even after a spate of vaping-related deaths and illnesses in the United States.
As of Oct. 31, 1,604 Americans have been hospitalized and at least 34 have died from a mysterious lung illness attributed to vaping, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
PHE claims vaping is 95 percent less harmful than smoking and encourages traditional smokers who can or will not quit smoking to switch.
Newton reiterated that PHE’s advice on nicotine-containing e-cigarettes had not changed in the wake of the American vape scare.
“Our concern is that the responses we have seen to the problem in the U.S. and in other countries may increase the already widespread misunderstanding about the relative safety of nicotine e-cigarettes, deterring smokers from switching and risk driving vapers who have switched back to smoking,” said Newton, adding that vapers should avoid buying unregulated devices.
Newton’s comments come after new data revealed that a record number of Britons are vaping.
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) estimates that there are 3.6 million vapers in Great Britain compared with 7.2 million smokers in the U.K. in 2018.
The proportion of vapers who are ex-smokers continues to grow, reaching 54.1 percent in 2019. Only 0.8 percent of never-smokers are current vapers.
A declining proportion, 39.8 percent, of vapers also smoke, according to ASH.
Category: Breaking News
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