Monday, 12 November, 2018

E-cigarettes: Important stop smoking aid or public health risk?

Woman smoking an e-cigarette Woman smoking an e-cigarette
Samantha Long | 19 August, 2018, 09:45

'If used correctly, e-cigarettes could be a key weapon in the NHS stop-smoking arsenal'.

According to the report, around 2.9 million people in the United Kingdom are now using e-cigarettes, with an estimated 470,000 using them as an aid to stop smoking.

"Concerns that e-cigarettes could be a gateway to conventional smoking, including for young non-smokers, have not materialised".

Researchers from the University of Birmingham (UK) stated that, despite the widespread belief that such cigarettes are alternative to Smoking, they should be treated with caution.

Public Health England (PHE) has estimated that e-cigarettes are at least 95% less harmful than smoking.

The report, produced by the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee, says that cigarettes and e-cigarettes should not be considered as one and the same thing.

'There is no public health rationale for doing so.

According to the report: "Expert opinion is that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful than smoking tobacco but not completely harmless". The approval systems for prescribing these products must be urgently reviewed.

Former health minister Norman Lamb - the committee chairman - wants the Government to consider allowing more freedom to advertise e-cigarettes.

EPL: Tottenhan vs Fulham: Michael Owen predicts scoreline
Everton's revolution under Marco Silva gained more momentum at Goodison with Richarlison scoring his third goal in two games. Chelsea maintained their winning start to the Premier League campaign with a 3-2 victory over Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.

Registering e-cigarettes as medical devices and relaxing restrictions around using them in public places could be for the greater good, a government select committee has advised in its latest report. A long-term research project into their health impact should also be launched with updated evidence available online for health professionals and the public, the committee concluded.

A study here this week, for example, found that e-cigarette vapour may cause adverse changes in lung cells.

Speaking on Tuesday, Hazel said: "This study provides some insights into what the implications could be of long-term use of e-cigarettes.

We will carefully consider the recommendations and evidence surrounding the use of inserts into cigarette packages".

The report also called for limits on refill strengths and tank sizes, which may put off heavy smokers looking for a strong nicotine hit, to be reviewed.

The report comes a month after Silicon Valley e-cigarette maker Juul launched its flash drive-sized vaping device in Britain, following huge success in the United States.

- NHS England should set a policy of mental health facilities allowing e-cigarette use by patients unless trusts can demonstrate evidence-based reasons for not doing so. A lit conventional cigarette contains tobacco and produces carbon monoxide, tar and smoke, whilst an e-cigarette does not contain tobacco and heats up its nicotine liquid rather than burning it, the report explains.

George Butterworth, from Cancer Research UK, said: "The evidence so far shows that e-cigarettes are far less harmful than tobacco". In the United Kingdom a person must be 18 to buy e-cigarettes or the e-liquids they vaporise.

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