Public Health England have reaffirmed their support for e-cigarettes as a form of smoking cessation, arguing that the NHS should be prescribing vaping products to help people quit smoking.
PHE, an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care, which previously said e-cigs are 95% safer than regular cigarettes, wants e-cig prescription, as vaping has proven so successful in helping smokers quit.
According to recent data published by PHE, 20,000 people are quitting smoking every year by using e-cigarettes, and the agency is now calling for hospitals to accommodate vapers and distribute e-cigarette products.
Moreover, PHE laid out their e-cig recommendations to employers, and has called for employers to allow employees to vape in the past.
It’s fair to say PHE have been entirely consistent with their support of e-cigarettes as a method of smoking cessation, and even backed the use of e-cigs in the Stoptober campaign late last year.
“Almost half of smokers have never tried an e-cigarette possibly because they have views about how risky they are which are not founded on the evidence,” said PHE director John Newton.
“We really want to get the message out that they really should consider using an e-cigarette because they’re a lot better for them than continuing to smoke.”
Newton added that there is overwhelming evidence that e-cigs are healthier than cigarettes and only pose negligible risks to bystanders.
Ann McNeil, a professor of tobacco addiction and frequent commentator and contributor to such studies, authored the report, and said smokers still have a bad understanding of the health risks smoking can cause.
“When people smoke tobacco cigarettes, they inhale a lethal mix of 7,000 smoke constituents, 70 of which are known to cause cancer,” she said.
“The constituents in tobacco smoke that cause the harm are either absent or at much lower levels… in e-cigarettes so we are confident that they are substantially less harmful than cigarette smoking.
“People smoke for the nicotine – but contrary to what the vast majority believe, nicotine causes little if any of the harm.
“The toxic smoke is the culprit and is the overwhelming cause of all the tobacco-related disease and death.”