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Seychelles Vape Ban to Come to an End

There is good news for anyone intending to head to the Seychelles in the future. While vaping is currently illegal in the African island archipelago, this is set to change. Legislation is shortly to be approved that will confirm vaping products can be legally purchased in the Seychelles. While e-cigs will be regulated at every stage from creation to sale, this about turn will come as great news for those wanting to vape on the islands.

“A good way to help smokers quit the habit”

That was the opinion of Bharathi Viswanathan, who works in the department for the Prevention and Control of Cardiovascular Diseases at Seychelles Hospital. Statistics confirm that around a third of adult males and boys smoked on the islands in 2015. This is far higher than the 6% figure given for the same age group in the female population. Clearly, the country is determined to bring down that figure, and it sees vaping as one way to do this.

Providing a legal alternative to smoking

Every former smoker knows how difficult it is to quit the habit. Many in other countries have successfully quit by switching to vaping. Smoking rates have gone down as a result. By making vaping legal in the Seychelles, it is hoped the high smoking rate among males will begin to drop. With a practical and much safer method available for quitting smoking, sales of vaping products via licensed traders could soon become a flourishing industry on the islands.

What are your thoughts on this change in policy in the Seychelles? Do you expect to see a huge drop in smoking rates on the islands in future years? Let us know what you think by leaving your comments below and taking part in our discussion.

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E-Cigarette Training for Health Practitioners?

Could health practitioners soon be given training on the use and advantages of electronic cigarettes? That’s the idea that stems from a recent report from Cancer Research UK.

One recent study found that vaping is the most likely support method chosen by those who are trying to give up smoking. However, despite its visibility and potential as a source of support for those wishing to quit smoking, it seems we are barely scratching the surface. The Cancer Research UK report pointed out that a survey revealed just 27% of health practitioners are advising patients about vaping as a potential quitting tool. This is despite many people asking their GPs and other healthcare professionals for advice on how to stop smoking.

Are electronic cigarettes only half the equation?

Various studies have highlighted the best and most successful method for quitting smoking is to use electronic cigarettes in conjunction with professional support. As such, it seems strange that just a little over a quarter of healthcare professionals are providing information about vaping as part of that support.

What benefits could be gleaned from proper training?

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) found that around 3.2 million adults used e-cigarettes in Great Britain in 2018. This is a huge rise from just 700,000 people six years previously. Over half of those who vape count themselves as former smokers. Most other vapers are using the devices to help them quit.

However, stories keep arising that claim vaping is just as harmful as smoking – stories that have been proven false. While e-cigs contain nicotine – the addictive substance that makes it so hard to quit smoking – they do not contain any of the other harmful substances found in the average cigarette. Switching to vaping means many more people could avoid potentially fatal illnesses and conditions that can arise from smoking.

Should smokers be able to get advice on vaping from healthcare professionals?

We think so, and we think this suggestion from Cancer Research UK could help push things in that direction. Thousands of vapers are now former smokers, having quit with the help of e-cigarettes. Thousands more could join them if they received ample advice and information concerning vaping from their healthcare team.

What are your thoughts on the report from Cancer Research UK? Do you think vaping should be further highlighted and supported within the NHS? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Free E-Cigarettes for Manchester Smokers

It is not unusual to hear of people finally quitting smoking by switching to vaping products instead. However, while England is leading the way in providing support to those who wish to quit smoking, a new trial in Manchester looks set to garner big headlines.

Trafford Council is supporting a scheme whereby smokers in the Trafford region of Manchester can get their hands on a free vaping starter kit. Six local chemists are involved in the scheme, and those who are interested can visit one of the chemists to sign up for their free kit.

Public Health England already supports the use of electronic cigarettes to help people stop smoking. The scheme will see the kits given out along with advice from an advisor on how to stop smoking. E-cigs have already been confirmed as the most popular product chosen by smokers to help them quit. We suspect many other councils up and down the country will be watching the results of this trial very closely. Should it meet with success, we have every confidence we will start seeing similar trials popping up in other parts of the country.

The scheme clearly aims to make vaping more visible. Electronic cigarettes are already the most popular aid chosen by those who want to give up smoking. However, rates are still low, with PHE figures stating that just 4.1% of people trying to stop smoking using vaping tools to assist in their efforts.

By giving away free advice along with the free vaping kit, it is easy to see how that percentage could soon begin to rise. Could this be the first step towards seeing further drops in the percentage of smokers in England? Let us know what you think about this scheme in the comments below.

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Supermarket Criticised for Displaying Vaping Products

In recent years, vape shops have popped up on many high streets around the UK. As more people switch from smoking to vaping with the aim of improving their health, it’s no great surprise to discover other shops getting in on the action too. No doubt you have spotted vaping supplies appearing in your local supermarket, for example.

However, while easier access to these vaping kits and electronic cigarettes is to be commended, there are no clear guidelines on how such items should be displayed. Some stores have chosen to display their vaping products next to the cigarettes. This makes sense as someone going to buy a tobacco product might consider switching if they see e-cigs on offer as well. Other stores have chosen to display vaping supplies next to the nicotine gum and patches that are commonly on offer.

One MP disagrees with the latter option

If you are thinking of quitting smoking and you’re looking for some support, you might well consider nicotine replacement therapy. So, imagine you wander into your local supermarket (possibly Sainsburys, as that is the store that displayed the vaping items with the patches and gum), and you look at that display. Do you think it would be a huge issue if you spotted the vaping display?

We don’t think it would be an issue, but MP Bob Blackman, who chairs the Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health, does. He doesn’t believe vaping supplies should ever be on “open shelves” (his words). He also said, “There may well be dangerous chemicals in the e-liquid.”

A danger to youngsters?

Another reason for Mr Blackman’s reaction seems to be that young kids and teenagers will easily be able to see the vaping supplies when displayed on shelves as Sainsbury’s decided to do. However, we know there is very little evidence that any young people are encouraged to start vaping unless they’re switching from smoking to start with.

Furthermore, research has indicated more than once that vaping is far safer than smoking. If we lock the vaping supplies away, we are merely making it easier for smokers to continue with this dangerous habit. We know smoking is harmful to health. One in four people who find themselves in hospital are smokers. Surely Sainsbury’s should be congratulated rather than vilified?

Do you agree with Mr Blackman or do you believe supermarkets are right to make it easy for people to view vaping supplies? Let us know your thoughts below.

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Ireland to Follow in the UK’s Footsteps

Ireland has set a target of reducing the rate of smoking in the country to under 5%. An admirable target, to be sure, but one that could be a challenge to meet by 2025, thanks to the current rate sitting at 17% of the population.

Meanwhile, the UK has enjoyed a huge reduction in smoking in the last few years. Dropping from 19% in 2012 to less than 15% today, Ireland is now considering following in the UK’s footsteps and endorsing the use of electronic cigarettes as a potential smoking cessation tool.

There is far greater positivity surrounding e-cigarettes in the UK than in Ireland. Public Health England has come out in support of vaping to help people quit. It has been shown as one of the best methods for quitting smoking. The Health Service Executive in Ireland is yet to stand up and publicly endorse vaping as PHE has done. Yet it could make a profound difference if more support is provided.

Both the UK and Ireland are working towards becoming smoke free. However, while this is hoped to be achieved by 2030 in the UK, Ireland won’t be able to achieve it for another 22 years after that date.

While it is early days, there are signs that Ireland may be starting to consider the potential benefits of vaping to support those who want to give up smoking. If Ireland does follow the UK in becoming more vocal about vaping benefits, we could yet see a stark drop in the number of Irish smokers who have yet to quit.

What do you think about the potential for a sea change in Ireland? Could vaping see the number of smokers in the country finally begin to drop by a larger amount? Let us know your thoughts below.

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Public Health England Release New Pro-Vaping Film

Vaping has already been proven to be far safer to health than smoking. However, many people are still unsure about how safe electronic cigarettes are, and whether they represent a better option. Fortunately, Public Health England (PHE) are taking a positive attitude to getting the message out about the dangers of smoking, and why it is better to switch to vaping to help quit the habit.

This approach has been seen again this month as PHE has released a film that reveals how harmful smoking is. It conducted an experiment using three jars, each filled with cotton wool balls to represent the lungs. A pump was connected to each jar. The first one drew in normal air, the second drew in air associated with e-cigarette vapour, and the third jar drew in air filled with cigarette smoke.

What were the results?

Predictably, and somewhat alarmingly, the cotton wool balls subjected to cigarette smoke had turned brown, with tar clogging up the tube connecting the jar to the pump. The experiment lasted for one month. Obviously, the one exposed to regular air was unchanged. But most notably, the jar that received vapour from electronic cigarettes was almost no different from when the experiment had begun.

PHE is using this experiment to encourage more smokers to quit for the New Year by switching to vaping. It is already known that many smokers find vaping the easiest and most supportive method for quitting. However, some think vaping is just as harmful as smoking and either do not quit or find some other way to help stop smoking.

The idea behind the campaign and the film was to highlight how much safer vaping is when compared to the carcinogens, tar, and other nasties in cigarettes. By seeing the difference between the two, as is now possible thanks to this campaign, it is hoped many more smokers will quit in 2019.

2018 saw a drop of one million in official figures of smokers in England. The fall in smokers has led the percentage to fall below 15% – the first time this has happened. Will this new film encourage yet more smokers to switch to vaping to improve their health? Let’s hope so.

Were you aware vaping is safer than smoking? Has the film helped you make the switch? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

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Vaping Health Claims No Longer Banned

When you look at the attitudes to vaping around the world, it doesn’t take long to realise the UK has one of the most positive and forward-thinking attitudes to the habit. Smoking is bad for health in lots of ways. However, while plenty of other countries around the world think the same applies to vaping too, that’s not the case here.

There have been restrictions though. While the UK is still under EU rule, regulations put forward by the EU must be adhered to. Furthermore, in the past, it was impossible to make claims relating to health when advertising electronic cigarettes and associated products.

Two words are taken out of the advertising regulations on vaping

Yep – just two words. Previously, marketing communications could not “contain health or medicinal claims unless the product is authorised for those purposes by the MHRA.” The change to the rules has led to the removal of the words “health or” from the paragraph.

That means claims relating to health can now be made… to a point.

Good news for the vaping industry?

Yes… but the wording still means there are strict limitations on how vaping products can be promoted. For example, the only claims that could be made would be in a broad sense, rather than being specific to one product. If a manufacturer is going to promote a product with a claim attached, it must be able to prove that claim with suitable data and evidence. If it cannot, the wording would need to be changed.

So, while the change is a small one that could potentially have huge consequences for the industry, it still presents those wishing to promote the health benefits of their products with a minefield to pick their way through.

Could health claims mean more people switch to vaping as a safer option?

It’s clear there are still hoops to jump through if anyone wishes to make health claims connected to one or more vaping products. However, this change is a step in the right direction. We can only hope it leads to a clearer picture of how much safer vaping is when compared to smoking. One survey found nearly half of those questioned thought vaping was just as bad as smoking. Clearly, there is still some work to be done here. Will this change to the rules surrounding advertising turn the tide in a more positive direction?

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E-Cigarette Regulations to Be Reviewed Post Brexit

Few people can be unaware of the importance of 29th March this year. This is the date the UK is set to leave the European Union, timed at 11pm that night. While uncertainty over this event still reigns (the Government is about to vote on the Brexit deal even as we write this), the Government has confirmed it intends to review regulations surrounding electronic cigarettes once we have left the EU.

As many will know, the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) was extended to include electronic cigarettes and refills from May 2016. The following year, further limitations were brought into play. Many believe the rules are ineffective and could damage the vaping industry. Vaping has been proven to be far safer than smoking yet is often included under the same banner. Limitations on vaping products, as brought in under the new TPD rules, have led to a stark drop in the number of smokers using vaping tools to help them quit.

One of the main reasons why smokers are now less likely to switch to vaping is that e-liquids with nicotine in them cannot now be marketed at above 20mg/ml. This means those who want to quit will need to drop their intake of nicotine markedly right from the start – therefore making it harder to succeed at quitting.

While there is no clear sign on how the Government would proceed or make changes as yet (we assume they have greater worries on their minds), it is a welcome confirmation that the cumbersome and unnecessary TPD rules will be looked at.

Do you think the Tobacco Products Directive is harming the vaping industry? Have you found it harder to quit owing to the reduction in nicotine levels in e-liquids? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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