'The public has been misled about the risks of e-cigarettes'

Posted by DrMendelsohn on 21 January, 2017

A landmark report on electronic cigarettes from Canada provides further support for their widespread use. “The public has been misled about the risks of e-cigarettes,” concluded Dr Tim Stockwell, principal investigator of the review. “Many people think they are as dangerous as smoking tobacco but the evidence shows this is completely false.”

The comprehensive review of all the available evidence on the harms and benefits of  e-cigarettes was released this week by University of Victoria’s Centre for Addictions Research in a report called “Clearing the Air.”

The researchers also found that fears that “vaping” is a gateway to tobacco smoking are unfounded. Instead, vaping is replacing—rather than encouraging—the smoking of tobacco cigarettes among young people. Evidence shows that tobacco use by youth has been declining while use of vapour devices has been increasing.

There was strong evidence that the vapour from e-cigarettes is less toxic than tobacco cigarette smoke. Vapour devices do not release tar, and vapour emissions contain only eighteen of the 79 toxins found in cigarette smoke, including considerably lower levels of certain cancer causing agents and volatile organic compounds. Almost all substances tested were substantially lower, or not detected, in vapour devices compared to cigarettes.

In addition, vapour from electronic devices is airborne for less than 30 seconds compared to 18 to 20 minutes for tobacco smoke, substantially reducing the time of second-hand exposure.

Finally, the researchers found encouraging evidence that vapour devices could be at least as effective as other nicotine replacements as aids to help tobacco smokers quit.

The report  was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, an independent agency that's federally funded and accountable to the Ministry of Health.

Click here to download to read the Executive Summary of the report.

For news reports, click here, here, here and here.

The researchers prepared the following infographic summarising the key findings:


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