Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Scotland has sought to clarify its position on the subject of electronic cigarettes after noticing an increasing amount of media coverage incorrectly portraying e-cigarettes as equally harmful as tobacco.

The organisation, which is funded by the British Heart Foundation and the Scottish Government, in order to provide reliable, evidence-based information on tobacco and the harm it causes to Scotland’s health, society and economy, has decided to outline its key stances on the use of electronic cigarettes.

The organisation presents:

- Smoking greatly increases the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and dementia so it is no surprise that most smokers say that they want to quit. We encourage anyone who smokes to try the options available to help them to stop, and many ex- smokers say they have found that electronic cigarettes helped them to quit tobacco.

- While not completely safe, using an e-cigarette is much less harmful than smoking. All the information we have suggests that someone moving completely from tobacco cigarettes to electronic cigarettes will greatly reduce the health risks, but to get these benefits they need to stop using tobacco altogether.

- Electronic cigarettes need to be regulated to improve quality and reliability. There should also be restrictions to prevent promotion to non-smokers, particularly children. But we should maintain the strongest regulation on tobacco, which is the most harmful product.

ASH Scotland argues that although this information is brief, it is their duty as an evidence-based organisation to collate and review the facts as they become available. Especially, as without this information it could leave huge numbers of people, especially smokers, unaware of the “large risk gap between electronic cigarettes and the tobacco variety.”

 Information sourced from HERE