Think of vaping, think of politicians and you probably think of policies, controversy and laws surrounding whether or not we are allowed to vape in certain locations. You probably wouldn’t think of politicians actually joining in.
And yet they do. Many politicians have spoken out at one point or another about their fight to quit smoking. Indeed, only very recently the Prime Minister, David Cameron, has said he has been “relatively successful” in quitting smoking. He was asked about it at Prime Minister’s Questions, and although he didn’t say he had used electronic cigarettes to help him quit, he did point out that other people had. He also confirmed that around a million people had taken to vaping to help them give up smoking.
This follows the leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage, saying he was trying vaping earlier this year. It has also been reported that the former leader of the Lib Dems, Nick Clegg, has switched from smoking to vaping to help him give up.
Uncertainty over the safety of e-cigs?
Some people have questioned how safe electronic cigarettes actually are. There hasn’t been much in the way of research on this yet, and what there has been has seemed to indicate e-cigs are safer than tobacco.
Everyone knows tobacco is dangerous and harmful to health. Smoking is a habit that, once attained, is very hard to give up. It would be virtually impossible to estimate how many people have tried to give up smoking over the years, only to fall back into the habit again.
However, while electronic cigarettes are still something of a new entity, Public Health England seems to be backing them as a good way of helping people quit smoking. They released a report back in August this year that revealed their opinion that e-cigarettes were “95% less harmful than conventional tobacco”. Since smoking is thought to cost the NHS £2 billion every year, it’s no big surprise to see Public Health England supporting the use of electronic cigarettes. These could indeed be a good alternative to smoking, and a good way to help people quit.
Vaping in the public eye
There is no doubt that vaping has become more recognisable in recent times. Now we see celebrities, politicians and other famous people doing it. We also see people vaping as they walk by us on the street. Recently it was reported that electronic cigarettes may even be made available on the NHS for those who wish to quit smoking.
The original report released by Public Health England highlighted the significantly-lower risk associated with electronic cigarettes as opposed to tobacco. Some have pointed out there could still be a risk associated with using e-cigs. However, when compared to smoking a real cigarette, surely it is better to vape than to smoke?
When the Prime Minister seems to support the use of electronic cigarettes, it is time to sit up and take notice. And he isn’t speaking as a lifelong non-smoker either – he has clearly tried and failed to give up smoking a few times before being successful in doing so. He may not have tried vaping in order to quit smoking, but he clearly understands why many people do.
Perhaps most notably, Public Health England recognised that e-cigs are not completely without risk. But when you compare them to smoking, it’s clear there are major differences. Since some of our politicians have made the switch, along with celebrities, film stars and all manner of other famous people, doesn’t it make sense to consider the benefits of doing so in your own life?