According to new NHS Health Scotland-led study, it has been suggested that e-cigarettes and other vaping devices are not as harmful to smokers as traditional tobacco cigarettes, the BBC reports.
More than 20 health organizations have supported this claim so far, though they were quick to clarify that vaping devices, while less harmful, still do not offer any benefits to the smoker. These results were found to be so conclusive that the Scottish government, many health academics, and charities like British Lung Foundation and Cancer Research UK were found to agree with the declaration.
The research currently suggests that e-cigarettes were about 95% less harmful to a user’s health. This can be seen as especially good news considering an estimated 50% of UK smokers claim to have given up traditional cigarettes entirely in favor of vaping.
“E-cigarettes have been around for a number of years now and we are learning more and more about them but I think it is safe to say that they are a lot safer than cigarettes,” said director of public health science at NHS Health Scotland Dr. Andrew Fraser. “If we are trying to help people make a decision about giving up smoking tobacco then e-cigarettes are a good option to consider.”
Despite these alarming results, the NHS has yet to approve vaping as a form of prescription treatment for nicotine addiction at this time. Even so, Dr. Fraser and others still consider it a helpful alternative.
Dr. Fraser still warns of the dangers of vaping that, while less pronounced, can still be harmful. He cites additives like nicotine, as well as various other chemicals contained in e-liquids, as potential health hazards smokers would be breathing in. He also emphasizes that his personal views are that vaping should be used as a stepping stone to giving up smoking entirely, and warns against the practice of smoking both tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes in sequence.