According to a study published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, the increasing popularity and availability of e-cigarettes could lead to a 21 percent drop in deaths caused by smoking-related diseases in those born after 1997.
This study gathered and summarised data distinguishing between youths who use an electronic cigarette who would not otherwise have taken up any nicotine product, and those who vape who would otherwise have smoked cigarettes. When both of these populations are taken into account, the study found the benefits of electronic cigarettes "heavily outweigh any potential harms."
Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Cancer Institute and the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modelling Network, all based in the USA, this study found that by following the most likely potential scenario in the future of electronic cigarettes there will be a "positive public health impact."
This study comes at a time when e-cigarettes have received further support from Public Health England and specifically from Professor Kevin Fenton the National Director for Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England.
Writing in the Huffington Post, Professor Fenton argues that switching to vaping can “maximise benefit and minimise harm”
Public Health England published a study last year that revealed in their opinion e-cigarettes are at least 95% safer than tobacco smoke.
Professor Fenton explains that “Clearly e-cigarettes have the potential to help many more people to quit smoking, and we need to embrace that, while minimising any potential harms.”
Responding to concerns that e-cigarettes may attract young people and non-smokers, potentially acting as a route to tobacco, he says that “despite high levels of experimentation, the current evidence shows that regular e-cigarette use among young people in the UK is almost exclusively seen in people who have previously smoked tobacco, and that the number of young smokers is actually continuing to fall.”