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UK Hospitals Should Sell E-Cigarettes

Public Health England has suggested hospitals throughout the UK should provide places where people can vape, alongside vaping supplies available for sale. The agency has also recommended e-cigarettes be made available on prescription for those wishing to quit smoking.

Thousands of people are making the switch every year

PHE recently published an independent review of the latest information and facts surrounding vaping. The report found at least 20,000 people are successfully quitting smoking by switching to e-cigarettes each year. Experts from Public Health England contributed an article to The Lancet, saying the health risks associated with vaping are “less than 5% of that from smoking tobacco.” They went on to say the risk of a vaper contracting cancer is lower than 1%, according to the latest calculations.

Could e-cigs eventually be official quitting aids?

The push to encourage e-cigarettes as an official quitting tool is clearly in contention. PHE has suggested the Government should support manufacturers in getting the proper licensing into place that would allow electronic cigarettes to be used as an official aid to quit smoking. Data has shown that just shy of three million people across the UK now use vaping supplies. However, while figures have shot up to reach that level in recent years, there are signs those figures have now flattened out.

This could be partly due to some people believing sources that claim vaping is dangerous to health and is no better than smoking. This is a concern, since all the evidence points to the contrary. Many people have successfully quit smoking by switching to vaping. Indeed, a recent study has confirmed no adverse health effects were seen in 200 volunteers who stopped smoking and switched to vaping.

“Two parts to being a smoke-free hospital”

It makes sense PHE would support every hospital in the drive to become smoke-free. The tobacco control lead for Public Health England, Martin Dockerell, pointed to the two aspects that contribute towards a hospital being truly smoke-free. The first is to ban smoking on site, while the second is to support smokers in quitting.

Mr Dockerell clearly wants to see more support for vaping, in the hope it will encourage more smokers to quit. Making it easier for people to vape, when this is by far the safer option, makes perfect sense. Whether the reality will follow through on this idea remains to be seen.

Would more people quit if electronic cigarettes were made available on prescription?

We think they would. Since some people mistakenly believe e-cigs are as dangerous as smoking, they have no incentive to make the switch. Yet if GPs were able to recommend vaping on prescription, many would no doubt take it up. If vaping was recognised more readily by the medical profession, as it seems it may be on the way to being, it could mean we see lots more people quitting smoking.

Have you made the switch yet? If not, would you be more likely to if e-cigarettes were made available on prescription? Let us know in the comments.

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By admin

Singapore to Completely Ban the Sale and Use of E-Cigs

As time goes on, more data emerges to confirm vaping is far safer than smoking. Despite this, Singapore is soon to bring in a ban on electronic cigarettes and vaping.

It has been against the law to import and sell vaping products for several years now. Possession was then outlawed from the end of 2015. Tweaks in the law will shortly see purchase of e-cigs and associated products made illegal, along with using and possessing such items.

It is no huge surprise to learn vapers are fighting back. There is a huge black market in Singapore owing to these laws, and it is only set to get bigger once the total ban comes into effect in 2018. Sadly, an unregulated black market is far more likely to present problems, since nothing is checked or confirmed to be safe. Rather like cutting off your nose to spite your face, wouldn’t you say?

Yet the Singaporean authorities continue to say vaping leads to smoking. It would appear they are ignoring the ever-increasing amount of evidence to the contrary. We also know numerous studies have confirmed vaping is far safer than smoking. Many people have found vaping is the easiest method to use to help them quit smoking – and by far the most successful. By denying their residents the chance to use this safe tool, the authorities should not be surprised if health problems related to smoking continue at the current level – or even get worse. While we hope those in control come to their senses and backtrack on the laws, we doubt this will happen anytime soon.

What are your thoughts on this? Can you imagine living in a country where vaping was banned but cigarette smoking was still legal – and still as dangerous to health as ever?

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By admin

Dave Chappelle Vapes in His New Stand Up Special

If you love great comedy, you’ve probably heard of Dave Chappelle. You may even have come across his name recently if you vape. Why? Well, he filmed four shows for Netflix last year, the last of which was unleashed for his fans to enjoy on New Year’s Eve.

And in that show, he was seen vaping. Dave was known as a heavy smoker. He never hid that fact – he has been seen smoking heavily in many of the shows he has done in the past. So, to see him vaping instead was quite a surprise for many.

Dave isn’t the first celebrity to make the switch from smoking to vaping. Maybe surprisingly, he didn’t make much of it during the show either. In fact, it was a fan who brought everyone’s attention to it while asking if they could take a hit from it. Dave said no, but that was about as close as his act got to mentioning the switch from smoking to vaping.

As someone who was known as being a heavy smoker, it is great to see him make the switch to vaping. It might just inspire some of those in the audience to make the switch too. After all, while we have Stoptober, there’s no denying the power of a New Year to make people set goals they want to try and hit. National No Smoking Day is on 14th March 2018, but the sight of Dave Chapelle quitting smoking in favour of vaping could help some people switch long before that.

Are you surprised he’s swapped cigarettes for e-cigs? Have you started the New Year in similar style? Do you think e-cigs will help you quit smoking this year? Let us know in the comments below.

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By admin

Giant Tobacco Company Promotes Anti-Smoking New Year Campaign

This is an odd one, and we wouldn’t be surprised if you read that headline twice (or maybe more than that). A giant tobacco company – namely Philip Morris International, or PMI – has kicked off the New Year in style. Many people begin the New Year with a resolution to stop smoking, and the tobacco company wants to gain some business on the back of that.

In common with other cigarette manufacturers, PMI is diversifying into smoke-free products as well as continuing to sell cigarettes. This has led them to launch huge adverts in notable British newspapers. The message? ‘Our New Year’s Resolution: We’re trying to give up cigarettes.’

Now, as a cigarette manufacturer, that headline is certainly going to grab some attention. And maybe that is the point. Responsible for brands including the famous Marlboro cigarettes, PMI is looking to continue to sell cigarettes while simultaneously offering a healthier alternative in vaping products. The aim is to let people know they can provide an alternative, rather than seeing their customers going to vape shops and websites.

If you visit their official website, you will see they are aiming to build the company’s future on smoke-free products. There is something of the hero riding in on a white charger about this, but of course, all cigarette manufacturers know they will lose money if they do not respond to the changing marketplace. Very few attempts to quit smoking are ever successful. That’s how hard it is to achieve this aim. Vaping has made it far easier to quit smoking. Statistics show it is by far the most successful way to make the switch.

If PMI did nothing, their profits would fall. So, they are positioning themselves to move into the smoke-free market and to develop and sell vaping products. In doing so, they can persuade people who want to stop smoking their cigarettes to stay with them and use the vaping products instead.

It’s a smart move.

With £2.5 billion already invested in this area, PMI has already introduced smoke-free products. This ad tells us we should expect lots more of the same to come. The ad goes on to state they want to put messages inside cigarette packets to provide info on quitting smoking and on switching to vaping products. And yes, they will be able to point the way to their own products.

Of course, some are cynical. In the end, PMI would lose money if it did nothing but continue to sell cigarettes. And while they are promoting their own vaping alternatives, they aren’t stopping their sales of cigarettes. They will never do that… unless perhaps they become too expensive to produce to be viable. And we cannot imagine that will happen anytime soon.

What are your thoughts on the new adverts released by PMI? Do you think this is a step in the right direction? Or is it simply a way to encourage people to keep buying their products – albeit in a different format?

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By admin

British Medical Association Has a Change of Heart on ECigs

Until now, the British Medical Association has been standoffish in its approach to vaping. While other major organisations (Cancer Research UK among them) have stepped forward and provided their support for vaping, the BMA has failed to follow.

But as we said, that was until now. They have changed their stance and finally decided to be more positive about vaping. That is huge news, especially when you consider this is the trade union for all UK doctors. That means GPs should now be supportive of people switching from smoking to vaping, instead of limiting their options to other smoking cessation products.

A big change of heart

This huge U-turn is even bigger when you consider that only last year, the BMA was recommending electronic cigarettes should be banned in public. Dr Iain Kennedy of the Public Health Medicine Committee said vaping should be prohibited in public places. He argued there was a lack of evidence on whether long-term vaping was safe. Thankfully for vapers up and down the country, Public Health England decided not to go ahead with such a ban.

The BMA website issued an updated report on e-cigarettes on 29th November. This report said there are “clear potential benefits to e-cigarettes in reducing the harms associated with smoking”. Additionally, it points to a “growing consensus” that vaping is a lot safer than smoking. They are still keen to point out the lack of information focusing on the effects of vaping over the long term, but admit there are only minimal risks associated with short-term vaping.

Further insight from the BMA report

They suggest continual monitoring of the possible effects vaping might have on health, to provide more information on this aspect. Furthermore, they point out the importance of assessing how safe long-term use of flavoured e-liquids is. But again, they admit these flavourings seem to have no impact on the health of those that use them.

Impressive, indeed. When you consider these statements come from an association that previously wanted to ban the use of vaping in public places, it becomes clear how significant the updated stance from the BMA is.

Acknowledging the role of electronic cigarettes used by the young

Another key area of concern was the theory that young people may be tempted to start smoking by vaping first. This has long since been debunked by more than one study, but until now, the BMA was concerned that vaping could be a temptation to lure young children to try smoking.

However, the drop in young smokers that has coincided with the ready availability of e-cigs has contributed to the change of stance. While there is a small proportion of young children who vape, most of those are doing so either as a replacement for smoking, or as a method to help them quit smoking.

A huge step forward

No doubt many vapers will feel vindicated by this news. It will be interesting to see how things develop from here, and how many GPs will recommend vaping as a practical and common-sense alternative to smoking. It is far safer than smoking, is one of the most successful ways to quit for good, and it’s cheaper, too. With so many benefits on offer, and plenty of proof pointing to its safety, it is good to see the BMA has finally joined many other organisations in supporting vaping.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you relieved the British Medical Association has finally seen sense? Where do you see things going now, as a result of this new stance?

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By admin

The British Psychological Society Endorses E-Cigarettes

The British Psychological Society has joined the growing number of British organisations that have decided to support the use of electronic cigarettes. A new report from the BPS, called Changing Behaviour: Electronic Cigarettes, points out 96,000 people in the UK die every year from a smoking-related illness. They also highlight the drop in smokers that has been achieved. However, “success rates… remain very low.”

Authors Hayden McRobbie and Lynne Dawkins are both keen to highlight the “potential” of electronic cigarettes to help people quit – and to do so successfully. We’ve seen other statistics that bear out the fact that vaping is most likely to result in successfully quitting smoking, and is far more successful a method than any other nicotine replacement therapies that could be used.

They also highlight the Stop Smoking Services provided by the NHS at present, and suggest that electronic cigarettes should be incorporated into this. In doing so, a greater success rate could be attained. They go as far as to say e-cigs could be provided as a part of the service, along with support in using them.

The report also goes into the need for investment in further research on the topic, not to mention the idea that smoking should become more expensive, and vaping should be cheaper. That is an interesting and valid idea we haven’t heard elsewhere, so it makes refreshing reading.

Since the report comes from the British Psychological Society, we would expect it to cover this aspect of vaping too. They say the easier something is, the easier it is to make a positive habit change. Therefore, the easier it is to vape without running into problems, the more likely it is the person will quit smoking for good. And that is great news, don’t you think?

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By admin

E-Cigarettes Lead to No Harmful Health Effects According to New Study

How much do we know about the potential effects vaping could have on someone over the course of several years? Until now, not much. It’s hard to conduct an accurate and reliable study on this, because just 0.01% of vapers have never smoked. Most vapers are either trying to quit, or have already done so and have switched to vaping because it is believed by most to be safer. If ex-smokers who had switched to vaping had taken part, it would not be known whether any lung damage seen was caused by smoking (highly probable) or vaping.

But there is a study that has taken place over three and a half years, and while it only involved nine participants (nine, at least, who completed the study), it gives us our first picture of what vaping might do to the lungs over a longer period. Additionally, a group of people who had never smoked or vaped before were used as a control.

The study was conducted by Professor Riccardo Polosa – a notable expert in his field, focusing on tobacco harm reduction. He is also the director of the Institute of Internal Medicine and Antismoking Center, a key establishment at the University of Catania. The abstract from the study revealed there were “no significant changes” in the three and a half years it was run for. This applied both to the vapers compared with the control group and the vapers conditions from the beginning of the study compared to the end.

The researchers pointed out they could not completely rule out the possibility of potential damage occurring over a longer period. However, over the period of the study, no evidence was gleaned to suggest there was any chance of negative effects relating to vaping.

This is great news, and will hopefully go some way to proving vaping is much safer than smoking. While many countries want to stop people from smoking, they also seem to have it in for vapers. This study proves it is far safer to vape than to smoke, but we suspect it may well take more studies of this nature to change the approach taken by some lawmakers.

What are your views on this study? Do you think vapers are sometimes unfairly demonised for their habit, especially when they are trying to quit smoking? Let us know your thoughts.

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By admin

Taiwan Plans to Blanket Ban All Things E-Cig

Anyone who wants to vape in Taiwan had better find something else to do. That’s because the Taiwanese government has suggested an amendment to the current legislation in force in the province. There is already a ban on using e-cigarettes, but the new amendments could see a complete ban on manufacturing, selling, and promoting all vaping products. Oh, and you can add a ban on importing them, too.

Reports state the government is adhering to advice provided by the World Health Organisation. A government spokesperson said that between 60,000 and 70,000 school students are thought to have used vaping products. The same spokesperson also reiterated the usual – and as-yet unproven – ‘fact’ that teens using vaping products are “six times more likely to smoke regular cigarettes”.

In contrast, there have been studies that indicate using e-cigarettes is around 99% safer (if not more) than using tobacco cigarettes. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Taiwanese government has failed to mention that study in their decision. While the province has already banned vaping in theory, a recent meeting with government members and local law enforcers was aimed at working out how to enforce the ban. Significant fines will be put in place to combat this, thereby detracting many from switching to e-cigarettes.

And yet research has also shown that e-cigs are a highly-successful quitting tool when used to help people quit smoking. One American study by the CDC showed cigarette smoking had been cut by 50% in just five years, while vaping had seen a huge increase in that same period.

This is surely bad news for Taiwanese people looking for a way to help them quit smoking. It certainly doesn’t look as though the government is eager to make things any easier for them. What’s your view on this development? Let us know in the comments.

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