It’s long been established that e-cigarettes are an effective method of quitting smoking.

Public Health England’s Stoptober endorsement came towards the end of last year. Then in February this year, a study by conducted by University College London which was funded by Cancer Research UK showed people who use e-cigarettes have far fewer toxins and cancer-causing substances in their bodies after just six months.

A European Commission-funded study also found that smokers looking to quit in EU countries were more likely to choose e-cigarettes over other means of cessation, and that e-cigarettes had tripled in popularity since 2012.

This week, PHE further endorsed e-cigarettes as a means to quit smoking completely at the parliamentary science and technology committee’s final evidence session for its inquiry into e-cigarettes. The hearing was attended by Professor John Newton, director of health improvement at PHE, who told the room studies have shown how smokers who use e-cigarettes for cessation are likely to then quit smoking altogether.

He said, “many smokers have used e-cigarettes to quit completely, not just dual usage.”

He added that approximately 700,000 smokers who have used e-cigarettes have stopped, going from being a smoker to using an e-cigarette to stopping completely.

In response, Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) showed some concern, saying,

“The question is whether it becomes a long-term, lifestyle choice and I think there might be questions about that because of the way e-cigarettes are being marketed. They’re 95 per cent safer than cigarettes but there’s five per cent that we don’t know about.”