Vaping in England: evidence update March 2020

Public Health England commissioned group of leading UK tobacco control researchers to produce this updated report, which looks at prevalence of vaping among young people and adults and also reviews literature on vaping among pregnant women and people with mental health conditions

SPS commentary:

In a press release, Public Health England states its advice remains that smokers should switch to e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking, but non-smokers should not take up vaping. It reiterates that E-cigarettes are much less harmful than tobacco but are not completely safe. They contain significantly less harmful chemicals which cause diseases related to smoking but the long-term impact of using e-cigarettes will remain unknown for some time. It notes the mistaken belief that e-cigarettes are more harmful than smoking increased rapidly among UK smokers following the US lung injury outbreak in autumn 2019, but US authorities have now confirmed that vitamin E acetate, a thickening agent added to cannabis vaping products (but banned from UK-regulated nicotine vaping products) was a primary cause of the US outbreak. The report identifies a need for continued monitoring of public perceptions, as the researchers fear that smokers are being deterred by safety fears from using e-cigarettes to quit, which will ultimately cost lives. It also warns that a ban on flavoured liquids could also deter some smokers from switching to e-cigarettes completely.


Public Health England

Resource links:

Press release