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An article published this morning cites a UK study that claims that more than half of people who smoke in the UK now wrongly believe that nicotine-containing vapor products are as dangerous as tobacco cigarettes and these “false fears” are preventing smokers from switching.

The report, which was commissioned by the health agency Public Health England (PHE), scientists at King’s College London said the mistaken belief had gained ground rapidly following the reported cases of lung injury in the United States in late 2019. But that belief is “out of line” with expert reviews across Britain and the US saying that these regulated products are far less harmful than smoking.

It is important to note that it is likely that primary cause of those cases of lung injury across the US have been linked to vitamin E acetate, a thickening agent added to cannabis vapes. That substance, vitamin E acetate, is banned from UK-regulated nicotine vapes.

John Britton, director of the UK Centre for Tobacco & Alcohol Studies, said the PHE report’s findings were “disturbing” and that “Smoking remains the biggest avoidable cause of death and disability in the UK, and using electronic cigarettes is an effective means of quitting smoking,” he said. PHE says smoking causes 220 premature deaths a day in England alone.

All of this is happening as the U.S. government has proposed a sweeping ban on all vaping flavors that are seen as attracting young users. The PHE cautioned against any similar move in Britain, saying it would deter people who smoke from switching and would “ultimately cost lives”.

 

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