Six leading experts on e-cigarettes and public health re-examined the “95 per cent safer” claim in the editorial, calling it unreliable information that had been repeated so often that it has become accepted as a fact.
One of the experts, Thomas Eissenberg, Ph.D., co-director of the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products at Virginia Commonwealth University, said, “It's important to understand the "95% safer" claim is bogus, because it continues to be cited as a reason to start or continue vaping.”
The claim first emerged in July 2013 when experts in medicine, toxicology and public health areas rated the relative harm of different nicotine-containing products and concluded that combustible cigarettes were most harmful and e-cigarettes least harmful, according to the Medical Xpress.
Eisenberg says that the new editorial’s biggest takeaway is that the long-term risks of e-cigarette use simply isn’t known. “We've been studying combustible cigarettes for the last 60 to 70 years. And so we have a huge database with which we can look at how many people die from that behaviour," he says. "We don't have anything near that kind of history with electronic cigarettes.”