Is vaping safer than cigarettes?

Best estimates show e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful to your health

NEW YORK (CNN) – When you’re trying to stop smoking, are electronic cigarettes a good alternative?

It’s a hotly debated topic: the effectiveness of electronic cigarettes as a way to stop smoking. Studies on the subject have not been clear, but one UK study has made a bold statement on “vaping.”

The popularity of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed, but the verdict is still out as to how safe and effective they are in helping people to stop smoking.

A new UK government study says, “Best estimates show e-cigarettes are 95-percent less harmful to your health than normal cigarettes, and when supported by a smoking cessation service, help most smokers to quit tobacco altogether.”

The authors also recommend the electronic cigarettes be made available with a prescription, like other therapies such as the nicotine patch.

Right now, e-cigarettes are generally not regulated in the United States or the UK.

Critics of e-cigarettes worry that the report’s findings might encourage ex-smokers and potential smokers to pick up the habit. Others say more studies need to be done before it’s known what effects vaping has on a person’s health.

Even with the uncertainty, vaping is growing in popularity. The CDC says between 2013 and 2014, the number of high school students using electronic cigarettes has tripled.

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