Quitting smoking can be a very difficult thing to do for a lot of people and they are willing to try anything that might help. Now a new study has shown that switching to E-cigarettes may help with the quitting process.
The study was undertaken by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and looked at a range of subjects including the science, the regulations, public policy regarding e-cigarettes and also the ethics of using them.
The conclusions reached in the study included that e-cigarettes were not a ‘gateway to smoking’ and that in the UK, the majority of users were those who had already used or were using tobacco products. Nor did they find any evidence that the use of e-cigarettes has led to a ‘normalisation’ of smoking. They did find that there are benefits for those trying to quit smoking cigarettes however.
According to the institution’s Tobacco Advisory Group chair, Professor John Britton, the use of e-cigarettes as a substitute for tobacco cigarettes and other products has been the subject of great controversy and speculation as to the benefits and dangers. But the new report concludes that use of e-cigarettes combined with sensible regulation can actually be beneficial for smokers. It can help to prevent premature death, disease and health inequalities that tobacco smoking currently causes across the country.
There has been some concern that there could be long-term harm from inhalation of ingredients in the e-cigarettes but tests have shown that they harm is likely to be much less than that caused by nicotine.
Alison Cox from Cancer Research added that e-cigarettes have shown ‘real promise’ to help reduce the death toll from tobacco that the UK currently has. Tobacco kills some 100,000 people a year in the country and any opportunity to reduce this number should be taken, according to the charity’s director of prevention.
According to Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, there are currently around 9 million people in the UK who still smoke although 70% of these are said to want to quit. He believes that e-cigarettes can deliver the nicotine needed without the tobacco and help make it possible for these people to achieve their aim. He welcomed the new report showing that there is a lower risk from e-cigarettes than previously believed.
For Public Health England, vaping is a much less harmful option than smoking but more importantly, it is a great quitting aid for those millions of people that want to kick the habit. Currently, e-cigarettes are the most popular aid to stop smoking in use in the UK and the new report confirms that the risks associated with them are far less than the risks of smoking.
Chief executive Duncan Selbie said he believes that a combination of using quitting aids such as e-cigarettes combined with the use of local ‘stop smoking’ services can lead to a significant rise in the number of people successfully stopping smoking.
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