Are e-cigarettes really less harmful than conventional cigarettes? Influential health organizations have stated that “e-cigarettes are 95% safer than conventional cigarettes.” This claim originated from a single consensus meeting and associated publication without citing any specific evidence (Glantz & Bareham, 2018, Annual Review of Public Health). The lack of hard evidence was generally ignored by those quoting this report, as well as potential financial conflicts of interest associated with individuals involved (Lancet 2015, E-cigarettes: Public Health England's evidence-based confusion). Today, the e-cigarette safety claim stands in strong despite the 2019 epidemic outbreak with 2,290 cases of lung injury associated with the use of e-cigarette products in the United States (Center for Disease Control and Prevention Report). The recent evidence suggests that e-cigarettes may pose their own unique health harms and that comparison to cigarettes may not be the only relevant question for determining their impact on individual health.
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