Vaping As Lesser Evil: Boston Expert's Top Takeaways From Big E-Cig Report – WBUR

Smoking electronic cigarettes is substantially safer than smoking tobacco, according to a major new national report. But while adults may vape to help with quitting, it finds, e-cigarettes also serve as the gateway through which most adolescents now come to smoking.

Most public health officials reject e-cigarettes as just another means for tobacco companies to lure customers. But professor Michael Siegel of the Boston University School of Public Health has stirred up controversy among his peers in recent years with his support for e-cigarettes as a lesser evil. He argues that vaping is a better alternative for people who are likely to smoke anyway.

WBUR spoke with Dr. Siegel about the new report, cigarettes versus e-cigarettes, and how he has been ostracized by his public health peers. An edited transcript:

Why do you think this new report is significant? 

The report really lays to rest several major misconceptions that have been kind of lurking around for quite some time.

• First of all, I think it’s very clear that vaping is much

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