Dr Stuart Flint, Senior Research Fellow at Leeds Beckett’s University Carnegie School of Sport, says not enough is known about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes and suggesting they are a ‘healthier alternative’ to normal cigarettes is worrying.
Dr Flint recently wrote a letter, which was published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, expressing his concerns:
“Offering e-cigarettes as an alternative to normal cigarettes, alongside evidence-based medicinal products, such as nicotine patches, is premature, and preliminary evidence even suggests e-cigarette use may actually have a harmful effect in relevant patient groups.
“We need to understand more about the potential health effects of e-cigarettes before they are promoted as a safe alternative.
“NICE have previously called for caution regarding recommendations for e-cigarettes as a suitable alternative due to lack of evidence regarding long-term health effects. This contradicts the view of a range of expert advice.
“Until there is substantial evidence on the health implications of e-cigarettes, it is irresponsible, unethical and potentially harmful for health organisations to promote the use of e-cigarettes.”