NHS in North East will promote vaping to smokers

North East healthcare professionals will recommend vaping to patients as an alternative to smoking going forward.

Tuesday, 25th June 2019, 2:34 pm
The Vaping Standard recognises that smoking is not a lifestyle choice but is a chronic relapsing long term condition and within the NHS should be treated as such.

An NHS anti-smoking group has provided recommendations for NHS Trusts to adopt a harm reduction approach to e-cigarettes.  Dr Tony Branson, clinical lead for the Northern Cancer Alliance, said:  “With e-cigarettes there is no smoke, no tar and no carbon monoxide. E-cigarettes are now proving more popular and it important that we get across to patients the short-term and longer-term health benefits from quitting smoking tobacco.”  

What are the recommendations?

- Health Care Professionals should routinely discuss smoking with patients, including risks of continuing to smoke, and be open to e-cigarette use in patients.

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- Patients should be advised that e-cigarettes are deemed to be substantially less harmful than smoking and switching completely from tobacco to e-cigarettes will substantially reduce health risks.

- Using e-cigarettes without stopping smoking does not provide health benefits; anyone who is using both should be strongly encouraged to stop smoking tobacco.

- E-cigarette use does not meet the definition of smoking and there is no evidence of harm from exposure to second hand Vape.

- E-cigarettes are almost exclusively used by smokers and ex-smokers to help smokers stop smoking and stay smoke free. Vapers should not be required to use the same space as smokers. 

- There are no known additional specific risks to charging e-cigarettes.  

- Patients should be advised that ‘Heat-not-Burn’ products do contain tobacco, so are not recommended and use of these products should not be allowed on NHS premises and grounds.