E-cigs might be much less harmful than actual cigarettes
Public Health England recently published a review that found electronic cigarettes to be 95 percent less harmful than conventional cigarettes. Most chemicals that cause smoking-related diseases are not found in the electronic version.
The number of people who believe e-cigarettes are just as dangerous or more dangerous than regular cigarettes has jumped 14 percent since 2013, however. And perhaps counterintuitively, the over-cautiousness worries researchers.
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A director at Public Health England said this misperception "may be keeping millions of smokers from quitting." He suggested that "local stop smoking services should look to support e-cigarette users in their journey to quitting completely."
Debates over e-cigarettes' appeal to youths has caused some controversy.
Public Health England's study, however, found an overwhelming majority of e-cigarette users are former tobacco users, and found no evidence that e-cigarettes lead children to smoke regular tobacco.
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But a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published earlier this year found e-cigarettes have become the most-used "tobacco product" among high schoolers, and almost half of all middle and high school students who smoked one type of tobacco product used multiple types.
Critics worry that steps to increase e-cigarettes' popularity with adults will translate to an increase in use among children.
Both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes can contain nicotine. Fears about a younger group starting that addiction may hold back measures helping older generations to quit.
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