It might come as no real surprise, but the use of electronic cigarettes has really increased over the past few years. ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) have looked into how many smokers and ex smokers now regularly use electronic cigarettes and results show that numbers have trebled over the past four years. The report also shows that around a fifth of tobacco smokers now use electronic cigarettes alongside their traditional cigarettes.
It isn’t just larger number of smokers that use electronic cigarettes though – according to this ASH reports that around 50% of ex smokers use some kind of electronic cigarette – which just goes to show that these are really helping people to kick the habit.
This report from ASH has come at exactly the right time. Over the past few weeks there have been two studies released which have both praised the health benefits of using electronic cigarettes in public.
Queen Mary University
A report by this London based university recently carried out by Professor Peter Hajek, director of the university’s Tobacco Dependence Research Unit looked into the safety of electronic cigarettes including looking at carbon dioxide levels before smoking and whilst smoking both a tobacco cigarette and an electronic cigarette.
Perhaps unsurprisingly the report shows that after people smoked tobacco they had double the amount of CO2 in their body. However there was really no difference between not smoking at all and smoking an electronic cigarette.
Here’s what Professor Hajek has to say about the report “Many people are saying that nicotine itself is a dangerous poison, but if nicotine is taken without the accompanying toxicants then the health effects would be very similar to drinking coffee. “
Robert West Report
Another report by the University College London, headed by Robert West also looked into similar usage of electronic cigarettes. However it is important to note this report has not yet been fully published and we’ll have to wait a month or two to see that.
He told the BBC “What we’ve found is that those who were using e-cigarettes were about 60% more likely still not to be smoking than those who were using either the licensed product or nothing at all. [It’s] not dangerous to be near someone who’s using an electronic cigarette; there’s no evidence and actually very little reason to believe that it’s going to renormalize smoking, so what’s the problem? I can understand people wanting to be cautious but if we fail to take this opportunity that electronic cigarettes are potentially providing then we’re really condemning people to death who would otherwise have lived – that’s what’s at stake.”
So whilst we probably need a little more research into this in order to get fully conclusive results, both of these results are a nod in the right direction. They should go some way to reassuring people that using electronic cigarettes in public is find and has no health risk to those nearby.