And it’s finally here. HOORAY! (About time too!)
After a recent study published evidence that vaping is estimated to be around 95% safer than commercial tobacco smoking, health officials of the British central government finally came out with a very public statement professing what appears to be a clear desire to see the NHS prescribing electronic cigarettes to smokers in an effort to reduce illness and deaths attributed to tobacco use.
Here is a quote from Gov.uk (yes the British Government website!):
“An expert independent evidence review published today by Public Health England (PHE) concludes that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than tobacco and have the potential to help smokers quit smoking.
Key findings of the review include:
- the current best estimate is that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than smoking
- nearly half the population (44.8%) don’t realise e-cigarettes are much less harmful than smoking
- there is no evidence so far that e-cigarettes are acting as a route into smoking for children or non-smokers”
While I don’t personally subscribe to the notion that E-Cigs are 100% safe to use, Public Health England believes the public (i.e. ME!) is “wrong” to believe that e-cigarettes carry similar health risks to tobacco.
Currently GP services, such as the Stop Smoking Services offered by most surgeries, are not permitted to offer ecigs as a prescription to smokers, but in light of this recent announcement, I feel it’s a when, not an “if” this eventually happens.
Interestingly, PHE said they dont believe e-cigarettes are an “easy route into smoking” for youngsters. I actually disagree with this point, which is interesting considering I am a fan of e-cigs! I see more and more teenagers using them. Only the other day I took my kids to a skate park, and I saw no end of children sat vaping, it was honestly quite depressing to see. It reminded me of when I was a kid and we sat smoking my grandad’s cigarettes behind the bike shelter! Have we really progressed? I fear not. 🙁