The debate on e-cigarettes

Peer-reviewed, scientific evidence is clear – electronic cigarettes are significantly less harmful than smoking; the UK Government believe that they are likely to be around 95% less harmful. But this is not well understood by the public, over half of whom believe that they are as harmful as smoking. This has consequences for public health – if smokers are not given accurate information on relative risk then most will simply continue to smoke. The cost of this misperception will be measured in lives lost. This paper explores how the misperception came about, and what industry, government and civil society should do to correct it.