E-Cigarettes Can Help Smokers Quit, Says British Medical Group

In contrast to the majority of opinion by health professionals in the US, the Royal College of Physicians, a British medical organization, has recommended smokers switch to electronic cigarettes.

In a report published this week, the organization concludes the benefits of e-cigarettes far outweigh the potential harms of traditional tobacco use, especially with the absence of cancer-causing tar and chemicals. Specifically, e-cigarettes being only five percent as harmful as traditional cigarettes. The director of the UK Center for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies at the University of Nottingham and part of the published report says that e-cigarettes have the potential to help half or more of all smokers get off cigarettes, a bigger health benefit than just about any medical intervention.

On the American side, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention see many potential dangers of e-cigarettes, such as extending smoking habits, the vapor having long-term health effects, and that they act as a gateway to traditional cigarettes in children. When asked about this report, a CDC spokesman said that the agency would not comment on any report other than its own. Other US health professionals do agree with the report, likening e-cigarettes to giving clean needles to drug users.

The Royal College of Physicians issued a groundbreaking report on the dangers of smoking in 1962, which came out before the American Surgeon General’s report linking smoking with cancer in 1964.