Millions of people smoke electronic cigarettes, but little is known about the effects of these devices
The United States National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine have published a new report on e-cigs

In line with the previous approach of the Academies to many drugs, the report groups its results into categories based on the criterion of evidence
Two key findings from the report suggest that while the “vape” can help adults stop smoking traditional cigarettes, the practice may also encourage young people to start

Almost a decade has passed since the first electronic cigarettes arrived on store shelves. Pen-sized devices that vaporized liquid nicotine instead of burning tobacco and consuming tar were designed as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes that are the main cause of lung cancer.

Thousands of models of electronic cigarettes have been made available since then , but one question among researchers has continued to persist: do these devices help smokers quit or aim to tend to perpetuate a potentially unhealthy habit ?

The answer, according to a new broad report from the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine is that both are true. Although electronic cigarettes can help adults stop smoking cigarettes, the practice can also encourage young people to start . However, even if “svapare” entails health risks, it is likely to be much less harmful in general than tobacco.

Also read: Do you want to quit smoking? Go to Finland

“Electronic cigarettes cannot simply be classified as beneficial or harmful, ” said David Eaton , chairman of the committee that wrote the report and dean and vice-rector of the Graduate School of the University of Washington in Seattle.

Eaton claims that under certain circumstances the “side effects” of electronic cigarettes deserve concern. But in other cases – such as when adults turn to e-cigs to quit smoking – ” offer the opportunity to reduce smoking-related illnesses “.