They officially removed the ban on ecigarettes in large part due to the overwhelming evidence that they are significantly safer than tobacco cigarettes.
The Royal College of Physicians, the most respected medical institution in the UK, released a 200-page report on vaping and ecigarettes. The report found that vaping should be viewed as a tool to help people quit smoking, and it also corrects a number of common myths about ecigarette use.
“Among smokers, e-cigarette use is likely to lead to quit attempts that would not otherwise have happened, and in a proportion of these to successful cessation. In this way, e-cigarettes can act as a gateway from smoking,” said the report.
Key Recommendations from the Report
Here are some of the key findings from the Nicotine without smoke: tobacco harm reduction report:
- E-cigarettes are marketed as consumer products and are proving much more popular than NRT as a substitute and competitor for tobacco cigarettes.
- E-cigarettes appear to be effective when used by smokers as an aid to quitting smoking.
- The hazard to health arising from long-term vapour inhalation from the e-cigarettes available today is unlikely to exceed 5% of the harm from smoking tobacco.
- The available evidence to date indicates that e-cigarettes are being used almost exclusively as safer alternatives to smoked tobacco by confirmed smokers who are trying to reduce harm to themselves or others from smoking, or to quit smoking completely.
- The tobacco industry has become involved in the e-cigarette market and can be expected to try to exploit these products to market tobacco cigarettes, and to undermine wider tobacco control work.
- However, in the interests of public health, it is important to promote the use of e-cigarettes, NRT and other non-tobacco nicotine products as widely as possible as a substitute for smoking in the UK.
The UK Hospitals Response to the Report
“We have a duty to help our patients and staff make healthy life choices and can’t ignore the potential benefits of electronic cigarettes as a nicotine replacement therapy,” said Dr. Stephen Fowlie, Medical Director, to The Daily Caller.
“We’re now allowing e-cigarettes on our grounds to give our patients, staff, and visitors more choice in how they quit smoking,” he added.
Professor John Britton, a respiratory consultant at the trust and contributor to the RCP report, had this to say:
“This report lays to rest almost all of the concerns over these products, and concludes that, with sensible regulation, electronic cigarettes have the potential to make a major contribution towards preventing the premature death, disease and social inequalities in health that smoking currently causes in the UK.”
“Smokers should be reassured that these products can help them quit all tobacco use forever.”
While this news is reassuring and a feather in the cap for vapers, we suspect we won’t see any hospitals in North America allowing ecigarettes anytime soon. But it’s still a step in the right direction.