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smoking cigarettes vs. Steaming: The UK health campaign shows how much worse cigarettes are



A UK Department of Health and Social Affairs agency published a video comparing the effects of smoking and vaping, claiming that the latter was 95 percent less harmful.

As part of a new campaign to encourage smokers to leave, Public Health England (PHE) released a video showing the effects of smoking and fuming for one month on two separate groups of cotton balls. The group exposed to traditional cigarette smoke for one month showed significantly more damage and tar build-up than the Damping group.

  PHOTO: A picture published by Public Health England indicates the relative differences in tar formation on cotton balls after one month of cigarette consumption versus one month of e-cigarette vapor. Public Health England, Smokeless Experiment
An image published by Public Health England indicates the relative difference in tar formation on cotton balls after one month of cigarette consumption versus one month of e-cigarette vapor.

"It would be tragic if thousands of smokers who could get out with an e-cigarette were deterred because of false safety concerns," said Professor John Newton, director of health improvement at PHE, in a statement.

"This demonstration highlights the devastating damage caused by each cigarette and helps people realize that vaping is likely to be only a fraction of the risk," Newton said.

The growing popularity of vaping among teenagers has sparked a debate over whether they are as damaging to health as smoking cigarettes. In 2018, more than 3.6 million US middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in the last 30 days before the survey, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, when asked about the content of their e-cigarettes, only 13 percent of adolescents knew that the fluid contained nicotine, as a survey by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse shows. Sixty-six percent believed that their e-cigarettes contained only flavorings. The survey also found that 30.7 percent of teenagers who used e-cigarettes started smoking within six months.

  PHOTO: This undated camp photo shows a person smoking an electronic cigarette. STOCK PHOTO / Getty Images
In this undated stock photo shows a person smoking an electronic cigarette – cigarettes are not safe for human health, but the agency said that smokers use an e-cigarette have stopped less likely to start smoking again.

A study by the CDC found that many adults use e-cigarettes to quit smoking, but do not stop smoking and instead use both. Due to the relatively new technology of e-cigarettes, scientists are still learning about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes.


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