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Dr Nick Hopkinson

MA PhD FRCP, Reader in Respiratory Medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute Imperial College London

We know that e-cigarettes are substantially safer than smoking, because the toxic substances present in cigarette smoke are either completely absent, or present at much lower levels.

Evidence from randomised controlled trials shows clearly that e-cigarettes can help smokers to quit.

Smokers who switch completely to vaping will gain a significant health benefit. Long term use of e-cigarettes is not completely harmless, so people who vape should aim to quit that too, though not at the expense of going back to smoking.

Products on sale in the UK are regulated by the MHRA and have to meet the requirements of the EU tobacco products directive which limits their contents, strength and advertising.