E-cigarettes Help Smokers Quit, Say Doctors
A leading medical body of UK has advised that smokers should be offered and encouraged to use e-cigarettes to help them quit.
The UK’s Royal College of Physicians said that there is concrete evidence that e-cigarettes are “much safer” than regular cigarettes and help smokers in quitting the habit of smoking.
The report said that vaping could improve the lives of millions of people by helping them quit smoking.
It added that the fear of e-cigarettes being a gateway to smoking was unfounded.
The Royal College of Physicians also said that smokers who use e-cigarettes or prescribed medications are more likely to quit permanently.
According to Public Health England, smokers should use e-cigarettes alongside NHS quit-smoking services.
The report also said that e-cigarettes are at least 95% safer than regular cigarettes, something Public Health England has also said.
However, people will need to buy them rather than get them on the NHS. Also, UK doctors can only prescribe e-cigarettes if they have been licensed as a “quit smoking aid”.
However, manufacturers just sell e-cigarettes to satisfy users’ desire for nicotine without the harmful chemicals of tobacco.
E-Cigarettes Are The Best Way To Quit Smoking
Since 2012, e-cigarettes have replaced nicotine patches and gum to become the most popular choice as an aid for helping quit smoking in UK.
The e-cigarettes first went on sale in 2007 in the UK. Around one in 20 adults in England now use e-cigarettes, to help them cut down on smoking or quit smoking.
However, despite resounding evidence that e-cigarettes help quit smoking, e-cigarettes have remained controversial and this year ministers in Wales attempted to ban them from public places.
Prof Simon Capewell, of the Faculty of Public Health, said,
“We don’t know enough yet about the long-term effects of vaping on people’s health, which is why we need more research.
“The best thing anyone can do if they want to quit smoking is talk to their GP: there’s solid evidence that NHS quit-smoking services help people kick the habit for good.”
However, Prof John Britton, who co-authored the RCP report, says e-cigarettes are beneficial for public health and should be “encouraged and endorsed”.
“The public need to be reassured this is not a new nicotine epidemic in the making. E-cigarettes have very little downside and a lot of potential benefit.”
New Laws For E-Cigarettes
New EU laws are likely to come into force in May this year that will set safety and quality standards for all e-cigarettes and refills.
Under the new laws, manufacturers will be required to disclose the purity of their products to consumers.
Dr Tim Ballard, from the Royal College of GPs, said,
“Moving forward we would be looking for clear evidence that making e-cigarettes available on prescription as part of a wider smoking cessation scheme is a wise use of both scant NHS funds and GP practice resources, before the College could get behind it.
“It is not just the cost of the product that needs taking into account, but the time and resources that are involved in assessing patients, and monitoring their progress over a prolonged period of time.
A Department of Health spokesperson said,
“We know that there are now over a million people who have completely replaced smoking with e-cigarettes and that the evidence indicates that they are significantly less harmful to health than smoking tobacco.
“We want to see a wide range of good quality e-cigarettes on the market including licensed products whose safety, quality and effectiveness are independently assured.”