In January 2019 a task force from the European Respiratory Society, comprising of researchers from Germany, UK, Italy, USA, The Netherlands, Spain, Greece and Sweden, published their report on the use “electrical devices that generate an aerosol from a liquid” (ie e-cigarettes). Following a review of the medical and scientific literature the Task Force concluded that e-cigarettes contain potentially toxic chemicals, although they are fewer and generally in lower concentrations than those found in conventional cigarettes. Second-hand exposure to chemicals found in e-cigarettes may also represent a potential risk, especially to vulnerable individuals, eg those with respiratory disorders. Following a review of the evidence they were able to state they could not currently support the view that e-cigarettes are an effective aid to stop smoking. In addition the effects of long-term usage of e-cigarettes are unknown and there is, at the moment, no evidence that e-cigarettes are safer than tobacco in the long term.
Bals R et al. Electronic cigarettes: a task force report from the European Respiratory Society. Eur Respir J. 2019 Jan 31;53(2). pii: 1801151.