Expert verdict: ‘fewer respiratory harms than tobacco cigarettes’

How close are we to definitively identifying the respiratory health effects of e-cigarettes? That’s not our question but the title of a new paper in Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine, and one well worth addressing as there seems to be no let-up to the forces lining up against e-cigs as harm reduction devices.

Given that any health effects of e-cigs are almost entirely due to inhaling aerosol, this review paper is a timely summary of the various possible harms.

Its cautious conclusion – “Current evidence indicates that although e-cigarettes are not without risk, these products seemingly pose fewer respiratory health harms issues compared to tobacco cigarettes” – is generally acknowledged by scientists.

It is also generally accepted by regulators – but sometimes seemingly reluctantly and on balance not enough to free e-cigs from strict regulation.

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