E-Cigarettes Beneficial To UK Public Health

A new report published by The Royal College of Physicians has concluded that e-cigarettes are “likely to be beneficial to UK public health”.

Smoking is still considered the “biggest avoidable cause of death and disability in the UK” and being able to access nicotine replacement therapies can therefore prevent these smoking related illnesses. E-cigarettes are proving to be a popular nicotine substitute in the UK without the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes, as well as allowing smokers to maintain the repetitive motions associated with smoking. 

Professor John Britton, chair of the RCP’s Tobacco Advisory Group, said:

"The growing use of electronic cigarettes as a substitute for tobacco smoking has been a topic of great controversy, with much speculation over their potential risks and benefits. This report lays to rest almost all of the concerns over these products, and concludes that, with sensible regulation, electronic cigarettes have the potential to make a major contribution towards preventing the premature death, disease and social inequalities in health that smoking currently causes in the UK.

Smokers should be reassured that these products can help them quit all tobacco use forever."

RCP president Professor Jane Dacre said:

"Since the RCP’s first report on tobacco, Smoking and health, in 1962, we have argued consistently for more and better policies and services to prevent people from taking up smoking, and help existing smokers to quit. This new report builds on that work and concludes that, for all the potential risks involved, harm reduction has huge potential to prevent death and disability from tobacco use, and to hasten our progress to a tobacco-free society.

With careful management and proportionate regulation, harm reduction provides an opportunity to improve the lives of millions of people. It is an opportunity that, with care, we should take".