E-cigarettes can reduce the harm caused by smoking, Hull’s public health team have declared.

Tim Fielding, manager for health and wellbeing, explained that Hull City Council’s public health department echoed sentiments from Public Health England that e-cigarettes are safer than regular tobacco.

Hull has the highest rate of adult smokers in England and Mr Fielding described the finding for e-cigarettes, also known as vaping, as “an absolute game-changer in public health”.

He said: “While we don’t know everything and there is potentially some very small harm, they are absolutely better and less harmful than smoking and, therefore, should be supported.”

“Our position is still that stopping smoking completely through recognised routes is the best thing in terms of harm.”

“But we need to take a more common-sense approach to be able to acknowledge this is something that is happening and in no way put our heads in the sand and deny it,” said Fielding.

Councillor Linda Chambers said the council was changing providers for smoking cessation work because existing methods were under-performing.