The Department has been clear that for smokers, quitting smoking completely is the best way to improve health. E-cigarettes are not risk free. However, the evidence is increasingly clear that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than cigarettes and can help smokers to quit, particularly when combined with support from stop smoking services.
The Government committed Public Health England (PHE), through the Tobacco Control Plan, published in 2017, to include messages about the relative safety of e-cigarettes in their quit smoking campaigns. PHE’s 2017 Stoptober campaign included e-cigarettes among the array of tools that smokers can use to help them quit and, in their New Year smoking health harms campaign, PHE reprised these messages. It is through this consistent messaging that the Government hopes to reverse the harmful, mistaken – and increasingly widespread – belief that vaping is no safer than smoking.