Public Health England review validates smoking cessation benefits of e-cigarettes

E-cigarettes

E-cigarettes should be on sale in hospital shops, health body says

Vaping should be widely encouraged as a way to help people quit smoking, and e-cigarettes should even be offered for sale in hospital shops, the government's public health body has said.

Joyce Robins, of campaign group Patient Concern, told The Times that it was a bad idea to use up much-needed spaces in hospitals to create vaping areas.

But PHE bosses insist smokers trying to quit should be encouraged to switch to e-cigarettes, and given the option of buying the equipment in hospitals.

E-cigarette use was also associated with improved quit success rates over the last year and an accelerated drop in smoking rates across the country, and could be contributing to at least 20,000 successful quit attempts per year.

However the number of people using the products has "plateaued", now standing at just under three million people in the UK.

The agency wants them to be prescribed on the NHS within the next few years because of how successful they have been in helping people give up smoking.

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But they added that "the government must deliver on its commitment to review and reform vaping related regulation as we leave the European Union to create a system that better reflects the public health reality".

Such a move would allow Global Positioning System to prescribe the devices to their patients who are trying to stop smoking.

PHE is already quoted around the world for its report in 2015 which said vaping was "95% safer" than smoking tobacco.

Mr Dockrell said there was no reason why "a hospital shouldn't designate some indoor areas where patients and visitors can vape".

Newton, PHE's director for health improvement, said that every single minute someone is admitted to a hospital in England from a smoking-related illness.

In an editorial published in The Lancet, tobacco control lead for PHE Martin Dockerell, said: "We are saying no smoking anywhere on the grounds [of hospitals], no smoking in the smoking shelter - that shelter becomes a vaping shelter".

Undertaken by leading independent tobacco experts, the review indicated that vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking, meaning switching completely from smoking to vaping can deliver substantial health benefits.

Ann McNeil, professor of tobacco addiction at King's College London and author of the report, supports the claim.

"People smoke for the nicotine, but contrary to what the vast majority believe, nicotine causes little if any of the harm".

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