E-cigarettes: PHE expert review for those trying to quit smoking

  • Public Health England

  • from Antara Ghosh
  • Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • Public Health England (PHE) recently published an update on use of e-cigarettes among young people and adults.
  • Review was undertaken by leading independent tobacco experts and calls for smokers struggling to quit smoking to try e-cigarettes.
  • However, false fear regarding vaping being as harmful as smoking in majority of smokers is a major concern.

Key findings

  • Risk associated with vaping is a fraction of that with smoking and switching to vaping completely, has substantial health benefits.
  • Over the last year, e-cigarette use has improved quit success rates of smoking with estimated 20,000 successful new quits/year.
  • However, incorrect belief of vaping being as harmful as smoking exists among smokers.
  • Also, nicotine is largely misunderstood with less than 10% adults understanding that most smoking hazards are not caused by nicotine.
  • Use of e-cigarettes in the United Kingdom has remained stagnant over the last few years at just under 3 million.
  • With a decline in youth smoking rates in the United Kingdom, concern that e-cigarettes encourage smoking among young people is not supported by this evidence.
  • Evidence urges local stop smoking services and healthcare professionals to provide behavioural support to smokers wanting to quit with the help of an e-cigarette.
  • Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency are urged to expedite licensing of e-cigarettes as medicinal quit aids.