E-cigarette safety: the facts explained. Short video

Posted by DrMendelsohn on 1 November, 2017

This short video (2mins 20 sec) features the UK's leading tobacco and electronic cigarette experts talking about e-cigarette safety. The full text is printed below.

You can watch the full 13 minute video here.

John Britton, Professor of Epidemiology, University of Nottingham

Ann McNeill, Professor of Tobacco Addiction, Kings College London
Robert West, Professor Health Psychology, University College London
Linda Bauld, Professor Health Policy, University of Stirling

John Britton. 'Using e-cigs does differ from tobacco in a very clear way in that it doesn’t involve inhaling tobacco smoke, and as the constituients of smoke are the things that kill smokers, that has to be a good thing'

Ann McNeill. 'People die from the tar, the other constituents of smoke, but not the nicotine. So the nicotine isn’t the harmful component and electronic cigarettes allow smokers to get the nicotine without all the other stuff that comes along in cigarette smoke'

Robert West. 'The first thing to note is that vast majority of e-cigarette users are people who are either still smoking, and using them to to cut down on the amount they smoke, or have used them to stop smoking'

John Britton. 'If we try to put a figure on the relative risk of electronic cigarettes compared with smoking, my view is that its going to be well under 5% of the risk, possibly slightly more for cardiovascular disease but substantially less for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer'

Robert West. 'When you look at the concentrations of and the nature of the toxins in cigarette smoke, and then you compare that with e-cigarettes you see that really there’s no comparison. Most of the toxins in cigarette smoke aren’t present at all in e-cigarette vapour. Those that are present are in concentrations that are a hundred times less or more'

Linda Bauld. 'Some people say that the advent of electronic cigarettes is renormalising tobacco smoking – so we see people using these devices, and it’s making smoking more normal again. Interestingly, we’re just not seeing that in the data we have'

John Britton. 'All that it does is normalise electronic cigarette use. And if we could normalise electronic cigarette use for the nearly 9 million people in the United Kingdom who are still addicted to tobacco, that could only be a good thing'

Robert West. 'I think it’s really important that people be reassured that e-cigarettes, whatever you might see in the press, are considerably safer than smoking, and the evidence is pretty good that they can be effective in helping people to stop'



The video was made by the UK National Centre on Smoking Cessation and Training in association with New Nicotine Alliance and was part-funded by Public Health England

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