Controversial? Perhaps. But is it sensible?

In 2015, Public Health England (PHE) announced that e-cigarettes were 95 percent less harmful than conventional cigarettes. They suggested vaping could one day be offered alongside nicotine patches as a smoking cessation aid. This is according to an article published in the Guardian.

While facing harsh criticism from various medical journals who say there is not enough evidence backing e-cigarettes to justify their use as a smoking cessation tool, Public Health England is in the news once again, instructing hospitals to start selling e-cigarettes and letting patients vape indoors– even in bed.

According to a recent article published in the Telegraph, PHE thinks:

“… every smoker struggling to quit, including pregnant women, should be encouraged to take up e-cigarettes. Patients struggling to kick their habit should receive vaping devices just as one would receive medicine for an ailment— by prescription.”

What do statistics say about vaping?

A report by King’s College London and the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, the University of Stirling and Cancer Research UK, suggests that e-cigarettes are helping roughly 57,000 smokers kick their habit annually.  Officials said smoking kills up to two in three smokers, yet almost half of all smokers (44.8%) still believe e-cigarettes are just as dangerous as smoking.

Findings in an independent review published by Public Health England back in August of 2015 brought forth further evidence that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than tobacco and have the potential to help smokers quit.

In order to drive home the severe damage that smoking can have on someone’s health, PHE has stated that anyone struggling to quit should be advised to try e-cigarettes. Health officials are urging hospitals to replace smoking shelters with hip vaping lounges.

While this move to fully endorse e-cigarettes in hospitals is clearly controversial, do you believe it to be sensible? Tell us why. We would love to hear your thoughts.

Especially relevant, check out our blog on England’s fight for e-cigarette acceptance, here.

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Andrew Figgs

Photography Major from Western Washington University . I joined MBV back in December 2014 and am happy to be working in an industry focused on helping others.

  • Heidi Prottas says:

    I smoked for 40 years> Tried to stop about a dozen times, patches, cold turkey, hypnosis, acupuncture. Nothing lasted started vaping and didn’t even want a cig. I am down to a minuscule amount of nicotine, My husband makes it at home. It has literally, I believe, saved my life. I had chronic bronchitis that often turned into pneumonia. I don’t cough anymore, I haven’t had bronchitis or even a bad cold since I switched. I will sometimes find myself in conversation with cig. smokers and encourage the change. It was the most pain free and even fun way to quit. I can’t even tolerate the smell of cig. smoke anymore.

    • Michael Ade` Craig says:

      You are amazing! Congratulations to you for finding a path to feeling better. Couldn’t be more happy for you. Thank you for sharing your experience and we hope to continue serving you! Thank you again for taking the time to comment on the blog.

  • Kristen says:

    I am a Respiratory Therapist. I see what smoking long term does to a body. I am also an ex-smoker. E-cigs are the only reason I no longer smoke cigarettes. When colleagues comment on how awful e-cigs are, I try to explain my experience with them. Yeah, if you were never a smoker then inhaling flavored nicotine is probably bad for you. But I feel 100% different since quitting analogs. No more coughing, phlegm, or shortness of breath. I believe in the power of e-cigs as a smoking cessation tool, personally and professionally.

  • Anne Maynard says:

    I, like the others had a horrible smoking addiction. 2 packs a day for 31 years. As my lungs were deteriorating my pulmonologist demanded I quit smoking. I t was approx. 5 years ago and in the small town where I lived vaping was basically unheard of so my experience began with smoking Blu ecigs. Shortly after a vape shop opened up and I was in love. My pulmonologist followed me for a year. The nodule I had on one lung disappeared and the general health
    Of my lungs had greatly improved in fact my pulmonologist said “I’m gonna reccomend those things (vapes) to all my patients!”
    Smoking in hospitals absolutely! That would absolutely change the opinion of many naysayers and probably save many lives. When I was hospitalized I snook a draw or two anyways who knew, the smell is so Inocuous!
    I’m a loyal customer of Mt. Baker Vapor! Keep up the good work!!
    Peace, Annie

  • Maralee says:

    ” Professor Linda Bauld, author and Professor of Health Policy, University of Stirling and Chair in Behavioural Research for Cancer Prevention, Cancer Research UK said: “Concern has been expressed that e-cigarette use will lead young people into smoking. But in the UK, research clearly shows that regular use of e-cigarettes among young people who have never smoked remains negligible, less than 1%, and youth smoking continues to decline at an encouraging rate. We need to keep closely monitoring these trends, but so far the data suggest that e-cigarettes are not acting as a route into regular smoking amongst young people. ” PHE is calling on smokers and a number of bodies to act on the evidence. Smokers Anyone who has struggled to quit should try switching to an e-cigarette and get professional help. The greatest quit success is among those who combine using an e-cigarette with support from a local stop smoking service. Local stop smoking services and healthcare professionals These should provide behavioural support to those smokers wanting to quit with the help of an e-cigarette. A new training course on e-cigarettes for healthcare professionals by the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training is now live. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) MHRA continue their work in regulating and licensing e-cigarette products and support manufacturers to expedite the licensing of e-cigarettes as medicinal quit aids.  PHE believes there is compelling evidence that e-cigarettes be made available to NHS patients. NHS Trusts To become truly smokefree, Trusts should ensure e-cigarettes, alongside nicotine replacement therapies are available for sale in hospital shops vaping policies support smokers to quit and stay smokefree smoking shelters be removed frontline staff take every opportunity to encourage and support patients to quit The government’s new Tobacco Control Plan for England includes a commitment to ‘maximise the availability of safer alternatives to smoking’.

  • evan says:

    Agreed! before, when i was a 13-year long smoker, I would constantly get sick. Tongsilitis, Bronchitis & constant sore throats. Now, i have not gotten sick once! Also, my lungs are so much better too. Vaping has been nothing but a win-win for me! 🙂

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