Electronic cigarettes don’t help people to quit, and may increase the likelihood that young people start smoking, a new study has suggested.
While ‘vaping’ is much healthier for individuals than smoking, the net effect of e-cigarettes may be to make society more unhealthy, researchers argue.
Dartmouth Institute researchers analysed published reports into the benefits and harms of e-cigarettes – and believe that the technology could lead to 1.5 million years of life being lost.
This is mainly due to encouraging young people to try smoking.
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Lead author Samir Soneji said: ‘E-cigarettes will likely cause more public health harm than public health benefit unless ways can be found to substantially decrease the number of adolescents and young adults who vape and increase the number of smokers who use e-cigarettes to successfully quit smoking.
‘Although the tobacco industry markets e-cigarettes as a tool to help adult smokers quit smoking, e-cigarette use actually only marginally increases the number of adult cigarette smokers who are able to successfully quit,’ he said.
‘On the other hand, e-cigarettes may facilitate cigarette smoking initiation and confer substantial harm to adolescents and young adults once they are introduced to nicotine.’