It’s official, vaping is now the doctor’s orders. Today, the Royal College of Physicians have released a 200-page report promoting use of e-cigarettes to help people quit. The RCP say there is resounding evidence that e-cigarettes are much safer than smoking and actively facilitate quitting.
Following on from the Public Health England report that issued findings of e-cigarettes being 95% safer than smoking in August last year, this new study further endorses the safety of these devices and will be a strong reassurance for the public.
Professor John Britton, the chair of RCPs Tobacco Advisory Group said “electronic cigarettes have been a topic of great controversy, with much speculation over their potential risks and benefits. This report lays to rest almost all of the concerns over these products.” The report is a welcome addition to help address the misunderstandings that exist in regard to e-cigarettes. Many people worry about e-cigarettes potentially being a gateway to smoking, yet the study confirms the use of e-cigarettes is limited almost exclusively to those who already use or have used tobacco. This is just one of the many concerns the Royal College of Physicians have addressed successfully.
E-cigarettes on the NHS
Image credit to: buddyloans.com
This report could be highly influential in the introduction of e-cigarettes on the NHS. Currently, people are unable to obtain electronic cigarettes from the National Health Service and need to buy them instead. With only a few select stop smoking services around the country offering e-cigarettes in trial areas such as Leicester. This may change in the near future, if more devices are licensed as a “quit smoking aid”, although this process involves tight regulations.
A fresh approach to e-cigarette regulations
Regulations were discussed in depth, as the RCP called for regulation to reduce indirect effects of e-cigarette use, but the regulation must be relative and not inhibit the development and use for harm-reduction by smokers. We appreciate the common sense approach the RCP have suggested, which makes large strides from the types of over-regulation we have seen proposed in the past.
The RCP declare that e-cigarettes have a huge potential to prevent death and disability from tobacco use and will streamline our progress to a tobacco-free society. Vapourlites owner Charles Bloom has welcomed the new report saying “we have had to keep quiet about the health benefits of e-cigarettes that we’ve known about for a long time now. Thanks to this report we can now inform customers with confidence about e-cigarettes as a positive alternative to tobacco cigarettes.”
Smoking prevalence has reduced
The report recognises that smoking prevalence has reduced in the UK to 18% since the introduction of e-cigarettes in 2007, 8.7 million people are still smokers. They confirmed that e-cigarette use is likely to lead to quit attempts and a proportion of these to complete cessation. Concerns surrounding the long-term health hazard of vapour inhalation was reported to be unlikely to exceed 5% of the harm that smoking presents or less. The RCP praised the upcoming introduction of legislated product standards in May and technological developments which could reduce the long-term hazard of e-cigarettes.
The report suggested more could be done to increase the proportion of smokers who try to quit, with scope for healthcare professionals to give advice and support to help quit smoking. They go on to approximate that encouraging smokers to experiment with e-cigarettes would generate more quit attempts and increase smoking cessation.
Find out how you can quit with e-cigarettes and save money by speaking to one of our knowledgeable team members or by visiting one of our physical Vape stores located in Peterlee, Harrow and Watford.