The Royal College of Physicians has published a new report concluding that e-cigarettes have the potential to save millions of lives and that doctors should encourage smokers to take up vaping instead.

The new findings follow last year’s report by Public Health England (PHE), which found that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than tobacco and that there is no evidence that vaping is a gateway to smoking.

Responding to the report. Paul Hunt, UK managing director of e-cigarette brand V2 Cigs, said: “We greatly welcome the new report by the Royal College of Physicians. This is yet another piece of evidence from a well-respected academic source that tells us just how much potential e-cigarettes have to improve, and even save, millions of lives in the UK.

“Vaping is a very young phenomenon and while it has been steadily growing in popularity from day one, it has also been surrounded by misunderstandings and controversy over past weeks and months.

“This 200-page report offers scientific research to underline the many benefits of vaping while not ignoring the potential unknown risks. We hope that it will help to further educate the public and clear up much of the confusion that people who are looking to take up vaping still are confronted with.”