E-cigarettes are 95 percent less harmful than tobacco: UK study
According to an article posted on the official website of Reuters, research which was conducted by an agency of Britain's Department of Health confirms that the electronic cigarette is about 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes.
E-cigarettes, tobacco-free devices people use to inhale nicotine-laced vapor, have surged in popularity on both sides of the Atlantic but health organizations have so far been wary of advocating them as a safer alternative to tobacco and governments from California to India have tried to introduce bills to regulate their use more strictly.
"E-cigarettes are not completely risk free but when compared to smoking, evidence shows they carry just a fraction of the harm," said Professor Kevin Fenton from Public Health England, which carried out the study.
Most of the chemicals that cause smoking-related diseases are absent in e-cigarettes and the current best estimate is that e-cigarette use is around 95 percent less harmful to health than smoking, the study said.
The publicly-funded study goes against a 2014 report by the World Health Organization that called for stiff regulation of e-cigarettes and bans on their indoor use and sale to minors.
The Public Health England study said e-cigarettes, which are already the most popular quitting aids in Britain and the United States, could be a cheap way to reduce smoking in deprived areas where there remains a high proportion of smokers.
Tobacco companies such as Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco (BAT) have viewed e-cigarettes as a solution to declining sales in Britain and the United States and have bought makers of the metal devices.
Calling the study an "incredibly important milestone", a BAT spokesman acknowledged the risk posed by chemicals found in cigarette smoke and said increasing sales of e-cigarettes would greatly benefit their customers' health.
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