On Sunday evening BBC Two aired the long awaited, BBC Horizon show ‘E-Cigarettes: Miracle or Menace’ presented by scientist Dr Michael Mosley.
The documentary which sought to find the truth about e-cigarettes, ascertaining the capabilities, benefits and potential ‘menaces’ of a product now used by over 2 million Britons.
Presenter Dr Mosley, prior to the show had never smoked or used an electronic cigarette, an odd choice for the documentary you may think, however he explained that as a non-tobacco user, this was an opportunity to test out the effects of “vaping” on healthy volunteers, a study that, as far as he is aware, not been done before.
The show followed his journey from novice to daily vaper, whilst speaking with scientists and e-cigarettes users – in order to understand the potential of electronic cigarettes.
So what happened..?
Dr Mosley met with a number of scientists each showing experiments that revealed similar results to the recently published Royal College of Physicians Study, which concluded that “provision of the nicotine that smokers are addicted to without the harmful components of tobacco smoke can prevent most of the harm from smoking”.
He also met with former smokers who have made the switch to e-cigarettes, with some of those no longer vaping anymore either, each with their own personal story. Dr Mosley explained that Horizon’s sound engineer, a 20-a-day, 20-year-long smoker, who took up vaping the same day as Mosley and hasn’t touched a cigarette since; “That’s a real success story right there,” he says.
Please note we neither cannot nor do not suggest using an electronic cigarette to stop smoking.
After the month finished Dr Mosley was tested to discover the effects of his month-long vape binge, with doctors did finding a slight increase in nitric oxide in his system – which ‘quickly reversed’ after stopping. But, his conclusion was the health effects were “piddling”, saying that “I’ve no doubt that they are a lot less harmful than regular smoking.”
Mosley concluded by saying, “I think vaping has the potential to make a huge difference. If it even converts a small number then you are potentially talking about tens of millions of lives.”
If you missed the show, what are you waiting for? Click here to watch the full documentary on BBC iPlayer; it is available for the next four weeks HERE