Intended for healthcare professionals


Public Health England insists e-cigarettes are 95% safer than smoking

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 28 December 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k5429
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. The BMJ

England’s public health agency has reiterated its claim that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, in a new campaign to encourage smokers to quit in January.1

A film, part of the Health Harms campaign, features Lion Shahab, a leading smoking cessation academic from University College London, and the GP Rosemary Leonard carrying out an experiment in which bell jars filled with cotton wool balls capture the smoke from a month’s worth of cigarettes and from electronic cigarettes.

The results show that smoking produces brown and tar filled cotton wool balls while those from the e-cigarette bell jar remain unstained.

Public Health England says that around 2.5 million adults in England are using e-cigarettes and that the devices have helped thousands of people to quit smoking. But it says that many smokers (44%) either …

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