The Vaping Industry is gaining momentum in the fight against extreme government regulations throughout the world in the UK. A solid win was had when Public Health England announced that they would like to see e-cigarettes prescribed by their doctors on the National Health Service (NHS) within the next few years. This is due to the increasingly available evidence that e-cigarettes have been a very useful proponent in helping people quit smoking.
This announcement comes on the coattails of the release of the latest evidence from an independent review published by Public Health England (PHE), that suggests, “..at least 20,000 people a year are quitting with the help of e-cigarettes.” The PHE review also stated that e-cigarettes “are at least 95% less harmful than smoking.”
This is indeed a positive progression from a 2016 legislation introduced from the Welsh Government that had attempted to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed areas that included, “…schools, hospitals, and places selling food, fearing that vaping would ‘renormalize smoking’.” However, it failed and two years later the PHE is now encouraging prescriptions for e-cigarettes to individuals struggling to quit smoking, as well as supporting the idea that hospitals be able to sell e-cigarettes and establish areas in the hospital where patients can vape. In addition to this, PHE is suggesting that employers also establish areas where employees can vape.
In the UK, no e-cigarette manufacturers are licensed to provide e-cigarettes as aids to quit smoking, but the PHE is advocating for simpler avenues so manufacturers will be able to more easily acquire medicinal licenses. It will take time for the vapor to settle on this however due to differences in opinions as to what constitutes proper distribution of public funding. And, there is still much work to be done to increase awareness of evidence presented in the current studies as there is an astounding amount of confusion regarding the minimized risks inherent with e-cigarette use.
John Newton, Director of health improvement for the PHE stated that, “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 evidence” and “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.”
Ann McNeil, professor of tobacco addiction at King’s College London, is the lead author of the report and she also stated that it is, “..of great concern that smokers still had ‘such a poor understanding’ about what caused the harm from smoking.” She assured her confidence in the facts and that e-cigarettes are “substantially less harmful than cigarette smoking…” and that “when people smoke tobacco cigarettes, they inhale a lethal mix of 7,000 smoke constituents, 70 of which are known to cause cancer.”
The studies are being performed and released by public health institutions on e-cigarettes are becoming overwhelmingly telling in regard to the detriment of tobacco smoke in comparison to e-cigarettes. It is good news all around for the vaping Industry as well that the “research suggests less than 1% of young people who have never smoked use e-cigarettes regularly and the number of young people smoking continues to decline at an ‘encouraging’ rate.” So, there might still be hope that the disparaging fight against e-cigarettes all around the world will eventually dissipate and the benefits of e-cigarette products will become increasingly more understood and accepted.
With the vaping industry gaining momentum, Public Health England advocates inclusion of e-cigarettes prescribed by their doctors on the National Health Service (NHS) within the next few years. However, e cigarette manufacturers cannot directly provide these products as aids to quit smoking, but the PHE is looking for simpler avenues so that the manufacturers can acquire medical licenses for these easily.