Smokers than switch to vaping could live longer, according to a study published on Tobacco Control in the British Medical Journal.

The study, classified as a ‘pessimistic scenario’, still showed a link between fewer premature deaths and a switch from smoking to vaping.

The research, carried out by David T. Levy, ph.D., of Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington D.C. with his colleagues, sought to project health outcomes and smoking rates if cigarettes were replaced by vaping devices over a 10 year period.

Two substitution models were constructs; optimistic and pessimistic.

In the optimistic scenario, research found that over a 10-year period with e-cig use compared with current rates, there would be 6.6 fewer premature deaths, amounting to 86.7 million fewer life-years lost.

The pessimistic scenario projected that there would be 1.6 million deaths averted, with 20.8 million fewer years lost. This means that even with the pessimistic scenario, switching to e-cigs will at the very worst cause less premature deaths, according to the research.

“The tobacco control community has been divided regarding the role of e-cigarettes in tobacco control,” the study states. “Our projections show that a strategy of replacing cigarette smoking with vaping would yield substantial life-year gains, even under pessimistic assumptions regarding cessation, initiation, and relative harm.”

Separate studies have recently found that smoking cessation rates are helped by e-cigs.