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The rise of e-cigarettes

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A second generation e-cigarette and vapour liquid A second generation e-cigarette and vapour liquid

E-cigarette use (also known as ‘vaping’) in the UK has grown rapidly over the past few years. Estimates say that there are currently 2.6 million adults in Great Britain using them.1

E-cigarette use may have contributed to the reduction of smoking prevalence in the last few years2 and in 2014 may have helped approximately 20,000 smokers to stop who would not have stopped otherwise.3 A large population cross-functional survey involving 5863 adults suggested that they are more effective than nicotine replacement therapy bought over the counter or no aid at all.4

It is not clear whether long-term use of e-cigarettes carries health risks, but from what is known about the contents of the vapour, these will be much less than smoking. The current best estimate is that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than smoking.5

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