Expert says there's no evidence of danger to public from passive vaping

Vaping is 95 per cent less harmful than smoking but long-term use will still cause damage
Jemma Crew (PA)

VAPERS should not stand with smokers because it could entice them into smoking, but there is no danger to the public from passive vaping, an expert has claimed.

Professor John Britton, a consultant in Respiratory Medicine at the University of Nottingham, said of vaping in an enclosed space: "There's no evidence of harm to other people. Most of what comes out in the vapour is water.

"It's a courtesy issue, and if you send the vapers out to smoke or to vape with the smokers you are putting them directly into contact with the drug they are trying to quit. You wouldn't send the methadone user out with the heroin addicts."

Public Health England has said that vaping is 95 per cent less harmful than smoking but it has come under fire from some academics who say it is wilfully ignoring mounting evidence that vaping is harmful.

Speaking at a media briefing with experts on addiction and toxicology this week, Prof Britton said it was a "no brainer" to switch from smoking to vaping, but that non-smokers should not vape.

"My position would be that e-cigarettes are not without harm, and long-term use will cause some damage, but the amount of that damage will be minimal relative to smoking," he said.

However, the experts said it would be a "great shame" if people were deterred from vaping by the situation in the US, where regulators are examining cases of vapers with oil-like substances in their lungs.

They said the issue was specific to the US, with around three quarters of the cases involving cannabis products.

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