PHE and NICE Agree: Vaping Is Safer Than Smoking

Vaping Is Safer Than Smoking: PHE and NICE Agree!

In the past year there has been a few contradictory opinions from some of the big health organisations in the UK. Some were fully in support of e cigarettes being a viable stop smoking aid while others were on the fence awaiting further results.

This came to the forefront when Public Health England (PHE) announced an advertising campaign advocating e cigarettes on the same day that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said they were not ready to get behind e cigarettes.

It’s safe to say that this could be very confusing to the public, so it’s a great relief that PHE and NICE have now come together to publish a joint guideline document with recommendations and support regarding vaping and its benefits. In this post we will discuss the guidelines suggested by PHE and NICE, and how they could affect current and future vapers.

Who are PHE and NICE?

Public Health England is a government run agency that works as part of the Department of Health and Social Care. They work to provide local government, the NHS and the public with evidence-based support and advice about health, wellbeing and future initiatives.

They work to ensure equal health opportunities for everyone, and their scientists carry out a lot of research to help further our knowledge and ensure the public is always well informed. PHE has helped provide much of the research into e cigarettes that has proved they are healthier than smoking.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence started as the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, a health authority working to ensure equal availability and quality for all people. They merged with the Health Development Agency to become NICE and started developing guidelines to promote healthier lifestyles and combat ill-health in the UK.

What do the New Guidelines Say?

The new guidelines are aimed at stop smoking services and healthcare practitioners to advise them on the best ways to help people quit smoking. It highlights the specific groups that are most at risk such as pregnant women and those who already suffering from smoking-related illness. It also gives the recommendation that GPs:

‘At every opportunity, ask people if they smoke and advise them to stop smoking in a way that is sensitive to their preferences and needs.’

Ideally, advising smokers about stop smoking aids and NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) on every visit. Stop smoking clinics have been set the target to treat at least 5% of their local population who are smokers per year.

In a section of the report dedicated to e cigarettes they outline some suggestions for those smokers who are looking to use vaping as a stop smoking aid. These suggestions include letting them know that e cigarettes are regulated by the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, that evidence has found that e cigarettes are:

‘Substantially less harmful to health than smoking but are not risk free.’

Once they are using an e cigarette they should give up tobacco altogether because any tobacco is harmful.

What Does This Mean for Vaping?

With the support of the leading UK health organisations, we can ensure the spread of knowledge about vaping is factual and informative. Many people have been put off the idea of vaping by reading articles falsely claiming that e cigarettes are just as dangerous and harmful to health as smoking.

These organisations are also carrying out continuing research into vaping and the long-term effects it can have, this means they can continue to update information and make sure that the facts and figures available to the public are always up to date and reflective of the most recent research.

Additionally, the information that can be provided by stop smoking clinics can ensure people who are new to vaping can find the right device and nicotine strength for them and help the number of people successfully quitting smoking steadily rise.

If you would like to learn more about the guidelines and suggestions made by NICE and PHE they are available here and the accompanying article is available here.
In the past year there has been a few contradictory opinions from some of the big health organisations in the UK. Some were fully in support of e cigarettes being a viable stop smoking aid while others were on the fence awaiting further results.

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