With one in two lifelong smokers dying from their addiction, everyone agrees that finding ways to help smokers quit is a priority.
There are now over 1.1 million users of e-cigarettes in the UK, and more than 10 times as many people use them to kick the habit than use local NHS stop smoking services. However their use remains controversial, with media stories questioning their safety appearing on a regular basis, putting many smokers off trying to quit.
Now 13 of the UK’s major health organisations, including Public Health England, Action on Smoking and Health, the British Lung Foundation, Cancer Research UK, the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal Society for Public Health have come together to issue a joint statement on the use of e-cigarettes.
Having reviewed all the available evidence they believe that whilst the long term effects of smoking e-cigarettes are not yet fully understood, and should continue to be monitored, the health risks they pose are relatively small in comparison to the risks posed by cigarette smoking.
Vaping should be seen as a tool to help in cutting down and eventually stopping the smoking of tobacco completely, rather than as a lifestyle choice. Wherever possible e-cigarettes should be used alongside other local stop smoking services, which have been proven to be the most effective way to quit for good.
There is no circumstance in which it is better for a smoker to continue smoking – a habit that kills 1 in every 2 and harms many others, costing the NHS and society billions every year.
For further information visit Public Health England https://www.gov.uk/government/news/e-cigarettes-an-emerging-public-health-consensus