Cigarettes have become the de facto standard in the UK and, according to the Royal College of Physicians, “the single most harmful tobacco product in the country”.
It is estimated that a quarter of the country’s deaths are caused by tobacco.
E cigs, on the other hand, are popular because they contain nicotine without combustion.
“The biggest risk of death from e cig use is heart attacks, strokes and cancer,” said Philip J. Stoll, president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
They are also the most widely smoked product in Britain, which makes it easy to smuggle in to the UK.
“We’re also aware of the high cost of e cig cigarettes and the high levels of nicotine and tar that have been found in them,” he added.
“As a result, we think it is safe to recommend e cig users over nicotine replacement therapy and over conventional cigarettes.”
However, the Royal Medical Association (RMA) said that e cig usage is linked to heart disease, which can increase the risk of developing chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, stroke and even cancer.
According to a 2012 report from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Emergency Medicine, the number of e cigarette users in the population is expected to reach more than 10 million by 2023.
“In addition to health risks, there are also health benefits, such as lowering the risk that e cigarette use will lead to an increase in cancer rates,” the RMA’s Philip J Stoll told the BBC.
But a recent survey of more than 2,000 people by the Tobacco Information and Research Centre found that while some people were concerned about e cig smoking, the majority thought the product is a good alternative to conventional cigarettes.
“People are still unsure about whether it is the best option for them,” said Dr Chris Smith, the centre’s executive director.
“They are more likely to smoke it if they have other options.”
This article originally appeared on Engadgets.
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