This site is intended for health professionals only

E-cigarettes ‘save lives’, fifth of child deaths preventable and woman almost breaks neck doing ice bucket challenge

The benefits of e-cigarettes are debated again in today’s papers as a study from UCL researchers claimed they could help save tens of thousands of lives.

The researchers estimated that for every one million smokers switching over from tobacco over 6,000 premature deaths would be avoided, the Daily Mail reports.

At the same time, a group of scientists have written in the journal Addiction saying a recent WHO report on the dangers of e-cigarettes was ‘alarmist’ and ‘misleading’, the Independent reports.

Professor Ann McNeill, lead author from the National Addiction Centre at King’s College London, said: ‘We were surprised by the negativity of the review, and found it misleading and not an accurate reflection of available evidence… What we do know is that they are much safer than cigarettes, which kill more than six million people a year worldwide.’

Thousands of children’s lives could also be saved if more was done to tackle preventable causes of death such as accidents, fatal assaults, abuse or neglect, the Telegraph reports.

Around 5,000 infants, children and adolescents die prematurely in England and Wales each year but a study has shown 20% of deaths could have been avoided.

Another unnecessary death was prevented, only just, as a woman ‘nearly broke her neck’ doing the viral ‘ice-bucket challenge’ in aid of ALS research.

The Independent writes that Amanda Davey, from Southport, Merseyside, immediately went sprinting from her garden into the house, slipped on the floor, banged her head and was knocked out. Ms Davey said the hospital had told her they had treated a number of people in connection with the online dare and she is now warning others to be careful.