Public Health England and Their Support Of Vaping

Public Health England (PHE) is an executive agency of the UK Department of Health and Social Care, and it plays a crucial role in protecting and improving the nation's health. One of the areas where PHE has taken a progressive stance is in their support of vaping as a harm reduction tool.

What is vaping?

Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling aerosol, often referred to as vapour, produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. E-cigarettes work by heating a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavourings, and other chemicals. The user then inhales the resulting vapour.

Why does PHE support vaping?

PHE supports vaping as a way to help smokers quit or reduce their tobacco consumption. According to their extensive research, vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking traditional cigarettes. This is because e-cigarettes do not produce tar or carbon monoxide, which are the most harmful components of tobacco smoke.

PHE recognizes that smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease, and they believe that e-cigarettes have the potential to save thousands of lives. By promoting vaping as a less harmful alternative to smoking, PHE aims to encourage smokers to switch to e-cigarettes and ultimately quit smoking altogether.

What does the evidence say?

PHE's support of vaping is based on a comprehensive review of the available evidence. Numerous studies have shown that e-cigarettes are an effective tool for smoking cessation. In fact, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that e-cigarettes were more effective than nicotine replacement therapy (such as patches or gum) in helping smokers quit.

Furthermore, PHE has found no evidence to suggest that vaping is a gateway to smoking for young people. While experimentation with e-cigarettes among young people has increased in recent years, regular use remains low and is almost entirely confined to those who have already smoked.

Regulation and safety

PHE acknowledges the importance of regulating e-cigarettes to ensure their safety and quality. In the UK, e-cigarettes are regulated as consumer products under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. This means that they must meet certain standards of quality, safety, and labeling.

PHE also actively monitors the safety of e-cigarettes and publishes regular updates on any potential risks. They have found that while e-cigarettes are not completely risk-free, the risks are significantly lower compared to smoking.


Public Health England's support of vaping as a harm reduction tool is based on extensive research and evidence. By promoting vaping as a less harmful alternative to smoking, PHE aims to improve public health and save lives. While e-cigarettes are not without risks, they are a much safer option for smokers who are looking to quit or reduce their tobacco consumption. It is important for smokers to have access to accurate information about the potential benefits and risks of vaping, and PHE plays a crucial role in providing this information.

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