Cancer research endorses vaping a harm reducing quitting tool

Cancer Research UK, the largest independent cancer research charity in the world has been endorsing and advocating use of vaping as a smoking cessation tool since research found vaping to be 95% safer than cancer causing tobacco cigarettes.

With over 40 thousand regular volunteer donors, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) is known for being funded publicly and free of corporate influences, making its endorsement both authoritative and influential.  Dedicated to reduced deaths from smoking-related cancer and support measures to help people quit, CRUK came out strongly in favourof vaping as a cessation tool.

Endorsing vaping, also known as e-cigarettes, is a part of the organization’s strategy for achieving its goal of making the UK tobacco free by 2030. Its position paper on vaping states that e-cigarette or vaping presents an opportunity for harm reduction, and while “the long-term effects of e-cigarettes are unknown, the long-term harms of tobacco are indisputable.”  It takes on board a number of studies done on vaping that show it to be significantly less harmful than tobacco cigarettes. “The evidence so far indicates e-cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco smoking and can be an effective quitting tool,” the organization’s official policy position states.

It maintains that non-smokers should never use vapes and vaping should be effectively regulated to ensure they are only used by smokers when making a quit attempt or to prevent relapse. Its policy recommendations urge the government to enact appropriate regulations to prevent young people and non-smokers from taking up vaping, but stresses that it should not stifle the development of vape products or make accessing these products harder for smokers.

“Evidence so far indicates that e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking as they don’t contain tobacco or involve combustion. There is no smoke, tar or carbon monoxide, and studies looking at key toxicants have generally found much lower levels than in cigarettes. They do contain nicotine, which is addictive, but isn’t responsible for the major health harms from smoking,” CRUK information for the general public states, citing multiple academic research.

Cancer Research UK has a joint positioning statement with many health organisations, outlining a shared agreement that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful than smoking, as well as a positioning statement with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).