UK doctors encourage smokers to use E-cigarettes

If you're a smoker and you've had enough of the coffin nails, you'll be much better off puffing on an E-cigarette.

That's according to the Royal College of Physicians, which has just published a report recommending smokers switch to E-cigs.

The docs want to quash the "increasingly common misconception" that vaping is dangerous, and said smokers should be "reassured and encouraged" to switch to the gadgets over traditional tobacco products.

This counters recent research that claimed E-cigarettes were no safer than normal ones. Researchers at the University of California claimed that the vapour from E-cigarettes damaged the smoker's DNA in ways that could cause cancer.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US also recently warned that E-cigarettes were still harmful, especially for young people.

"Nicotine is an addictive drug and use during adolescence may cause lasting harm to brain development," said CDC director Tom Frieden.

While the Royal College of Physicians' report admits the long-term health effects of E-cigarettes aren't yet known, they say they're still almost certainly safer than normal cigarettes.

In fact, the likelihood of long-term vaping causing health hazards is "unlikely to exceed 5% of the harm from smoking tobacco".

This bolsters a recent Public Health England report that said E-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than tobacco.‚Äč

The report also claims there's no evidence that E-cigarettes encourage more people to take up smoking.

While it does call for greater regulation of E-cigarettes, its findings are conclusive.

"The growing use of electronic cigarettes as a substitute for tobacco smoking has been a topic of great controversy, with much speculation over their potential risks and benefits," writes Professor John Britton, chair of the Royal College of Physician's Tobacco Advisory Group.

"This report lays to rest almost all of the concerns over these products, and concludes that, with sensible regulation, electronic cigarettes have the potential to make a major contribution towards preventing the premature death, disease and social inequalities that smoking currently causes in the UK."