Medical Licensing: How the Government Can Support Vaping
There has been much debate in the UK over recent months about how to change the public’s perception of e-cigarettes and encourage smokers to switch to vaping in order to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Although a survey carried out by Action on Health and Smoking (ASH) last month revealed that the number of UK vapers has hit 3 million, four times the amount of reported e-cigarette users in 2012; they also discovered that there is still a portion of the population that believe vaping is as damaging to health as smoking tradition cigarettes.
Although the number of people who falsely believe vaping to be as damaging to health as smoking has decreased substantially as more research is published discussing the benefits of e-cigarettes and debunking the myths and misconceptions that had been previously held; there are still changes that need to be made in order to ensure these misconceptions are no longer held by anyone.
Licensing E-Cigarettes as Medical Products
There are currently no e-cigarettes or e-liquids that are licensed as medical products, which prevents GPs from recommending them as stop smoking aids to patients who are looking to give up smoking or are in a position where their health requires them to kick the habit.
During a recent parliament debate regarding this issue, an MP questioned what the government is doing to encourage e-cigarette manufacturers to put their products forward for medical licensing, which garnered the discouraging response that the government is not currently taking any steps to encourage manufacturers in seeking licensing.
However, it was recognised that this would be a beneficial step in reassuring those people who need it that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to smoking, and a viable stop smoking aid.
The evidence used to support this debate came from a report published by the UK Science and Technology Committee (STC), which compliments the government’s plans to increase support for ‘innovative products’ designed for safer nicotine delivery.
How Could This Help Support Vaping?
For many people who are still dubious about whether e-cigarettes truly are a safer alternative to smoking, the introduction of medically licensed e-cigarettes would act as a seal of approval, reassuring them that not only is the product going to be less damaging to health than smoking, but also, that the product itself is safe and fit for use.
This would also make it easier for GPs to recommend e-cigarettes to their patients, which could in turn lead to health improvements and better quality of life for some people.
The reassurance of hearing about the benefits of vaping from your GP, a respected member of the medical community, could be the difference between whether someone continues to smoke or makes the switch to vaping, the healthier alternative.
Although it will surely take some time for these changes to be made and for medical licensing for e-cigarettes to come to fruition, the recognition that this could be beneficial both for the vaping community and for the health of the population is an encouraging step. If you have any views on this matter, please share them with us on social media using #VapeWithEvapo.