From: Nature | Editorial
The United States must act quickly to control the use of e-cigarettes
The nation needs to end the long-running battle between regulators, lawmakers and industry.
In the time it takes you to read this article, at least one cigarette smoker in the United Kingdom will have switched to vaping. As economic uncertainty grips many industries, the use of e-cigarettes is booming. The £6.1-billion (US$7.9-billion) global market for them is now about 20 times what it was in 2010. It is expected to double again in the next three years.
Does vaping encourage adolescents to move on to the real thing? Precisely how much safer is it than smoking? Are there hidden dangers? Much remains for researchers and clinicians to debate. But studies suggest that e-cigarettes are considerably less harmful than cigarettes, and that they may help smokers to substitute a safer habit for a deadly one. In the United Kingdom, for example, public-health advisers have declared e-cigarettes safer than conventional cigarettes, and 850,000 UK vapers now consider themselves ‘ex-smokers’ — a likely win for public health.