Every discussion of the health risks of vaping should begin with a comparison to cigarette smoking. Vapes are designed to be reduced-harm alternatives to cigarettes, and it’s important to weigh vaping versus smoking because the vast majority of vapers are smokers or ex-smokers.

When it comes to the science though, research often doesn’t directly compare vaping and smoking. That’s a missed opportunity. It’s understood that smoking is bad for you with many health risks, but is vaping bad for you? How does vaping affect your health? Apart from understanding the absolute safety of vaping, it’s imperative to know if vaping is much safer than smoking.

Public Health England has been unequivocal in its findings: PHE says vaping is at least 95 percent safer than smoking. They understand that studying the dangers of vaping alone is only half of the subject, since vaping exists primarily as an alternative to smoking. But because there aren’t many studies that make a direct comparison, the available information on vaping must usually be measured against separate sources discussing the risks of cigarette smoking.