LANCASHIRE County Council's health boss has backed a report by MPs which said that e-cigarettes can help people stop smoking.

But Cllr Shaun Turner has warned against non-smokers taking up 'vaping'.

On Friday a report from the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee said ‘vaping’ is less harmful than conventional smoking and the two should not be treated in the same way.

It said the use of e-cigarettes could help accelerate already-declining smoking rates.

The MPs also called for steps to make e-cigarettes available on prescription, and a wider debate on vaping in public spaces.

Cllr Turner, the county council’s cabinet member for health, said: “Anyone wanting to quit should always try our stop smoking service which offers expert advice and support from trained health professionals.

“E-cigarettes can also help as an alternative way to quit.

“Cancer UK highlight that all the evidence so far points to e-cigarettes being far less harmful than tobacco products and that they can help people stop smoking.

“We would only recommend them as a tool to help people stop smoking. We’d never recommend people to take up vaping if they don’t currently vape or smoke.”

Liam Humberstone, of Blackburn’s Totally Wicked, and Lucy Eden, of Darwen-based Liberty Flights, welcomed the report and its ‘positive recommendations'.