A new study by Public Health England has examined the use of e-cigarettes, with specific research into the safety of vaping devices as well as providing recommendations for the future.
The study concluded that as evidence of vaping being healthier than smoking and e-cigarettes helping smokers quit piles up, public perception of vaping is becoming worse.
Another key finding is that very few young people are vaping without using cigarettes, conflicting with many reports that argue that vaping is a gateway to smoking.
Public Health England have also called for smokers looking to quit to be given vaping devices by the NHS.
The first half of 2017 had the highest success rates of smokers quitting in England.
After scientific analysis of the chemicals released from cigarettes and e-cigarettes, e-cigarette cancer risks could be 100 times lower than that posed by traditional tobacco.
Despite a rapid decade-long ascent for e-cigarettes, the number of vapers in the UK appears to be static at just under 3 million. The report argues that an increasing amount of people could be incorrectly determining e-cigarettes are as harmful as tobacco cigarettes.
26% of adults in the UK in 2017 believed that e-cigarettes were as harmful or more harmful than regular cigarettes.
“It would be tragic if thousands of smokers who could quit with the help of an e-cigarette are being put off due to false fears about their safety,” said Prof John Newton, Director for Health Improvement at Public Health England.
Suggestions that vaping is a gateway to smoking also appear to be doubted by the study.
“In the UK, research clearly shows that regular use of e-cigarettes among young people who have never smoked remains negligible, less than 1%,” said Professor Linda Bauld, cancer prevention expert at the University of Stirling and author of the report.
“We need to keep closely monitoring these trends, but so far the data suggest that e-cigarettes are not acting as a route into regular smoking amongst young people.”