Africa Check has stated there is not enough evidence to back up the claim that smoking e-cigarettes is 95% safer than traditional cigarettes.
The organisation found that studies backing the claim by Twisp and Vaperite did not have sufficient evidence.
The claim originally stems from the conclusion of a Public Health England report published in 2015.
This report was based on research conducted in 2013, which comprised of a panel of 12 international experts using analytical methods to estimate the relative potential harm of nicotine-containing products.
It was during this panel meeting that e-cigarettes were rated as only having 4% maximum relative harm, with cigarettes scoring 99.6%.
However, the panel pointed out there was a lack of data regarding the health risks of e-cigarettes and that panelists weren’t selected based on formal criteria – meaning a bias possibly influenced the decision.
Both the Lancet medical journal and British Medical Journal said the research was “incredibly flimsy” and lacked sufficient data to substantiate their claims.
Africa Check concluded that claiming “vaping is 95% safer than smoking cigarettes” is unproven, due to the lack of research and data about the relatively-new product.