Electronic cigarettes (e‐cigarettes) are devices that can vaporise a nicotine solution combined with liquid flavours instead of burning tobacco leaves. According to The New York Academy of Sciences, it has become increasingly more popular, and more widely available, as you can even purchase the nicotine solution in certain health shops!

But are E-cigarettes really healthier than conventional tobacco cigarettes? The American National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a new report on e-cigarettes that’s the most comprehensive look at the evidence to date. Vox.com took a closer look at the findings in the report and had 4 big takeaways:

E-cigarettes may or may not  help adults quit smoking

The report found there was “insufficient evidence” that e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking. They did however conclude that e-cigarettes may increase the odds of smokers quitting — but we don’t know that for sure.

Vaping increases the likelihood that young people will smoke cigarettes

“The evidence base was large enough and consistent enough and strong enough to conclude that there’s an association between e-cigarette use and ever-use of combustible tobacco [cigarettes],” said committee member Adam Leventhal, a professor of medicine at the University of Southern California

E-cigarettes are less harmful than conventional cigarettes

“Overall, e-cigarette aerosol contains fewer numbers and lower levels of toxicants than smoke from combustible tobacco cigarettes,” the committee found. There is also “conclusive evidence that completely substituting e-cigarettes for combustible tobacco cigarettes reduces users’ exposure to numerous toxicants and carcinogens present in combustible tobacco cigarettes” and “substantial evidence that completely switching from regular use of combustible tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarettes results in reduced short-term adverse health outcomes in several organ systems.” Just to be clear, there are still just a lot of unknowns about the long-term impact of e-cigarettes.

The health effects of e-cigarettes are still open for discussion

The report found limited evidence which could be used to conclusively say whether e-cigarettes are more helpful than harmful, however the researchers did conclude that e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes for individuals for now. More in depth and long term research should be done before we can say with 100% certainty whether e-cigarettes are healthier or not.

Learn more about apps that can help you stop smoking, here.