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What does the NHS think about vaping?

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What does the NHS think about vaping?

What Does The NHS Think About Vaping?

While there has been much controversy over vaping since the birth of e-cigarettes, in recent times there has been increasing support from government bodies and health experts. However, despite the obvious health benefits of giving up smoking with the help of electronic cigarettes, many people still want to know - what does the NHS think about vaping?

The NHS, as a long and respected British institution, is still very highly regarded, despite budget cuts and negative press. Their sitting on the fence until further evidence was found in support of vaping makes perfect sense, however recently, several public health bodies (such as the Royal College of Physicians) have made their support known for using electronic cigarettes as a means to quit tobacco smoking.

As the NHS reportedly buckles under pressure, the amount of patients with smoking related disease requiring treatment far from help the situation. This is something that can be tackled, as it is preventable. Gradually, we have seen the NHS come around to seeing the positive side of e-cigs, and while they do not outright endorse them, there is positivity surrounding their use. While some NHS quit smoking services are advocating vaping as a way to quit smoking, we have yet to see plans where e-cigs are actively prescribed to patients who want to quit tobacco.

Public Health England have declared e-cigs to be 95% safer than tobacco smoking, however the NHS have yet to issue any kind of supporting statement to advocate their use. One thing they haven't done however, is come out and ruled them out as a 'healthier' alternative. Anything that is promoted by the NHS has to go through rigorous trials first, and perhaps funding is not going to be prioritised for the used of e-cigs for a while yet.

Fortunately, people do have free choice to make up their own minds, with vaping equipment and information readily available either online, or on most high streets in the form of specialist shops. The fact that Public Health England have issued reports claiming e-cigs to be 95% safer than traditional tobacco smoking counts for something too. With all the known risks of tobacco smoking, in our minds vaping is only going to be better for you, if not 100% harmless. Vaping companies of all sorts, be them manufacturers or sellers, as well as users of electronic cigarettes, all eagerly await the NHS to issue their positive opinions on vaping as an alternative to smoking.

It is important to be aware too, that the media do not always present a balanced view of vaping. While awaiting new statements from the NHS regarding vaping, it makes far more sense to seek information from credible sources such as Public Health England, and The Royal College of Physicians - both of whom have issued positive, balanced and professional health related reports on the topic.

To quote the 2016 RCP report

However, in the interests of public health it is important to promote the use of e-cigarettes, NRT and other non-tobacco nicotine products as widely as possible as a substitute for smoking in the UK.

NHS Advice Summary relating to e-cigs

  • “On current evidence they carry a fraction of the risk of smoked tobacco.”
  • “E-cigarette use carries only around 5% of the risk of smoking.”
  • “There is no evidence of direct harm from passive exposure to e-cigarette vapour.”
  • “Evidence from a number of studies indicates that e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking, with similar or better results than nicotine replacement therapies such as patches or gum.”
  • “Daily use of tank models that can be refilled with liquid may give smokers a better chance of quitting.”
  • “E-cigarettes can help people to quit.”
  • “Among under-18s, while experimentation with e-cigarettes is fairly common, regular use is rare and almost entirely confined to those who have already smoked.”

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