Intended for healthcare professionals


E-cigarettes are safer than smoking but not without risks, concludes toxicity review

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 10 September 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m3529
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

Electronic cigarettes are significantly less harmful than smoking but are not risk-free, a report from the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products, and the Environment (COT) has concluded.1

COT, which is made up of independent experts, was commissioned to produce a report by the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England to review electronic nicotine delivery systems and devices that use an e-liquid that does not contain any nicotine.

In 2015 a review commissioned by Public Health England, which concluded that e-cigarettes were 95% less harmful than tobacco, led to widespread criticism with many questioning the evidence and the authors’ conflicts of interest.234 The COT report did not give any overall …

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