Research: Nicotine without smoke Tobacco harm reduction

Nicotine without smoke Tobacco harm reduction

A report by the Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians



Some highlights we wanted to share.  Feel free to read the entire report here:


·       There is no evidence that either NRT or e-cigarette use has resulted in renormalisation of smoking.

·       None of these products has to date attracted significant use among adult never-smokers, or demonstrated evidence of significant gateway progression into smoking among young people

·       Substituting medicinal nicotine (NRT) for tobacco almost completely prevents any further damage to self or others from nicotine use.



·       The proportion of smokers using NRT has fallen by about half over this period, but the proportion using any non-tobacco nicotine product has increased to just under 30%.

·       These trends are similar but more marked among recent ex-smokers, 40% of whom use an e-cigarette.

·       Use of e-cigarettes among adults who have never been regular smokers is very rare.

·       Regular use is almost exclusively limited to young people who are already either regular or occasional smokers, or have experimented with smoking in the past.

·       Young regular users of e-cigarettes also favour later-generation devices, and fruit, tobacco or menthol flavours.

·       In adults and young people in the UK, therefore, use of e-cigarettes is limited almost entirely to those who are already using, or have used, tobacco.

·       Uptake of smoking is falling in the UK, but most current smokers are likely to continue smoking for many years

·       Harm reduction has the potential to complement conventional tobacco control policy by offering an alternative means for smokers to stop smoking tobacco.

·       Although the long-term hazards of e-cigarette use are not yet clearly defined, e-cigarettes are probably close to NRT in the harm that their use confers on the user and others

·       The long-term hazard associated with e-cigarette use is likely to fall, as a result of regulatory and technological developments.

·       The e-cigarette market has demonstrated massive growth in value and, until relatively recently, has been driven by independent e-cigarette companies.

Lisa Gregory