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In a recent survey of 500 Healthcare professionals in the UK which included GPs, cancer doctors and nurses,researchers from Oxford Brookes University found a staggering 29% would not recommend e-cigs whilst 25% were unclear if vaping was safer than smoking.

Given that these GPs and other healthcare professionals are in the front line of healthcare and often the first point of contact for members of the public who want to quit smoking, this endemic lack of knowledge about the positive benefits of vaping as a pathway to quit smoking and lack of awareness of the stated positions of Public Health bodies in the UK is inexscusable.

Dr Jo Brett, Senior Research Fellow in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Oxford Brookes University, said:

"Smoking is a well-established risk factor for many common cancers. It is the single biggest avoidable cause of cancer in the world.Problems caused by smoking continue after a cancer diagnosis. It increases the risk of treatment complications, cancer recurrence and the development of a second primary tumour, leading to an increased risk of death. So it's vital that these patients are encouraged to stop smoking."

"E-cigarettes are now the most popular intervention for smoking cessation in the UK. However, little is known about health professionals' knowledge and attitude towards e-cigarettes and whether they are endorsing use of e-cigarettes with cancer patients."

"These results suggest that there's a lack of clear policy on e-cigarettes at the local level."

Can we do anything about this?

Yes we can! In fact the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT) has an online training resource aimed directly at solving this issue.

Funded by the department for health the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT) is a social enterprise committed to support the delivery of effective evidence-based tobacco control programmes and smoking cessation interventions provided by local stop smoking services.

It has created a detailed online training resource , free for use and aimed at healthcare professionals such as GPs to use and learn about e-cigarettes as a cessation tool

So next time you are with your GP, politely ask if they have seen this officially recognised resource and if not then give them this url



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