The NHS are now planning to use E-Cigarettes as medical treatment for those looking to quit smoking. This has come about a result of a study conducted by Public Health England who found that vaping is 95% safer than traditional smoking and the change from tobacco to E-Cigs could save up to 76,000 lives a year.
In May 2016, Electronic cigarettes are to be licensed and regulated as an aid to stop smoking. E-Cigarette brands currently market themselves with medicinal claims which will from 2016 require authorisation under medicines legislation and only the ones that are will be able use this marketing tactic as well as being made available on prescription in the same way nicotine patches, gum and nicotine replacement therapy is.
This idea has been described as a ‘game changer’ by the public health experts which, as pointed out by the Daily Mirror Health Editor means that it is something significant and the message is clear – if you can’t quite quit smoking altogether, for the love of God, get vaping.
So what are Electronic cigarettes, are they safe and how do they work?
What are they?
Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes/e-cigs as they are more colloquially referred to as, are electrical devices which imitate real cigarettes through creating vapour rather than smoke. This is significantly less harmful than tobacco smoke but still gives the nicotine hit needed by addicts. E-Cigarettes came onto the market around 5 years ago and since then have become increasingly popular due to the fact that they are healthier and also cheaper than traditional cigs. Another big advantage of e-cigarettes is that they can be used in public places where normal smoking is banned such as restaurants, bars, public transport etc due to the fact that they don’t produce smoke.
Are e-cigarettes safe?
It’s difficult to answer this directly as they have not been thoroughly assessed on a large population over a period of time. However, it is indisputable that in comparison to regular cigarettes, they are leaps and bounds ahead and as previously stated, are 95% safer. This is due to the fact that e-cigarettes don’t contain any tobacco, just nicotine which whilst is still highly addictive, much less dangerous. The public healthy charity, Action on Smoking and Health is optimistic about e-cigarettes and have said in a January 2013 study that ‘There is little evidence of harmful effects from repeated exposure to them’.
How do they work?
The majority of e-cigarettes are made up of a battery, an atomiser and a replaceable cartridge containing nicotine and sometimes flavourings. When the device is sucked on, a sensor starts up the heating process so that the liquid starts to evaporate and turn into water vapour which is what gives the nicotine hit.
Do they help people to quit smoking?
Evidence suggests so, hence the move from the NHS. A few studies support this idea such as one from 2011 and one from 2013 which both found that e-cigarettes reduce the number of traditional cigarettes consumed by smokers as well as reducing cravings. A large difference and benefit of e-cigarettes in comparison to other quitting aids is that fact that they look and feel like real cigarettes. Even using one without nicotine (a placebo one) reduces cravings of smokers.
This is an exciting time for the NHS and for the smokers who are desperately trying to quit. The medical support for e-cigarettes gives hope to the health conscious addict and is less daunting than going cold turkey. E-cigarettes will often be met with a warmer reception in the GP’s room than the thought of patches or gum too.
If you’re looking to quite smoking, get a head start and try some e-cigarettes today. We recommend and fabulously good quality and good value store called Grey Haze: http://greyhaze.co.uk who sell a variety of e-cigarette favours and types.