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Supporting Smokers to Switch

"An estimated 2.9 million adults in Great Britain currently use e-cigarettes and of these, 1.5 million people have completely stopped smoking cigarettes. They carry a fraction of the risk of cigarettes and can be particularly effective when combined with extra quitting support." Public Health England

 

Smokers smoke for the nicotine but die from the tar and thousands of other toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke. We believe in the principles of harm reduction and the importance of doing all we can to support smokers to come off the most lethal burned tobacco products. We recognise also that some individuals aren't ready yet to stop using all nicotine products but could significantly reduce their risks if they switch.

 

We are closely monitoring the emergence of electronic cigarettes and look at all the evidence on their use, what role they may play, what risks they may present and importantly how they may help to reduce health inequalities. This page to help signpost to the latest resources on this issue:

 

For smokers

 

If you're a smoker and are wanting to get advice on the benefits of e-cigs, or you are unsure about them, Health England's Smokefree NHS website has the latest advice on ecigs.

 

For professionals

 

Fresh has published our latest Position Statement on electronic cigarettes  which summarises the latest evidence and includes useful links to other documents. Other key documents  below:


The NE Vaping Standard for the NHS: - download 

 

The North East Smokefree NHS and Treating Tobacco Dependency Taskforce has provided five key recommendations to NHS Trusts aimed at a consistent position around vaping to adopt a harm reduction approach to e-cigarettes and their use within NHS Trust grounds.

This is part of the Taskforce work to implement National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance on smoking in Acute NHS services by April 2020Regular e-cigarette use among adults has plateaued over recent years, and remains largely confined to smokers and ex-smokers, with ‘quitting smoking’ the main motivation for adult vapers.

 

1. Regular vaping among young people remains low in BritainAll Health Care Professionals should routinely discuss smoking with patients, including relative risks of continuing to smoke, and be open to e-cigarette use in patients who are keen to try them.

2. Patients should be advised that e-cigarettes are deemed to be substantially less harmful than smoking and that switching completely from tobacco to e-cigarettes will substantially reduce health risks. Using e-cigarettes without stopping smoking (dual use) does not provide health benefits; anyone who is using both should be strongly encouraged to stop smoking tobacco as soon as they can.

3. E-cigarette use does not meet the legal or clinical 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 Smokefree. Vapers should not be required to use the same space as smokers. All Trusts should have clear policy as to where e-cigarettes can be used within the grounds.

4. There are no known additional specific risks to charging e-cigarettes– the risks associated with charging e-cigarettes and vape devices should be considered alongside the charging of any other battery-operated device such as a mobile phone.

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

 

The Royal College of Physicians:

 

The RCP in 2016 published its report "Nicotine without smoke: Tobacco harm reduction" which recommended:

  • the hazard to health arising from long-term vapour inhalation from the e-cigarettes available today is unlikely to exceed 5% of the harm from smoking tobacco, and
  • in the interests of public health it is important to promote the use of e-cigarettes, NRT and other non-tobacco nicotine products as widely as possible as a substitute for smoking in the UK

 https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/nicotine-without-smoke-tobacco-harm-reduction-0

 

Public Health England Evidence reviews

 

February 2018:  Public Health England (PHE) published its annually updated e-cigarette evidence review by leading independent tobacco experts.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/e-cigarettes-and-heated-tobacco-products-evidence-review

 

The main findings of this comprehensive review are: 

  • Vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking and switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys substantial health benefits.
  • E-cigarettes could be contributing to at least 20,000 successful new quits per year and possibly many more.
  • Many thousands of smokers incorrectly believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking; around 40% of smokers have not even tried an e-cigarette. The accuracy of public perceptions of the relative harmfulness of e-cigarettes vs tobacco cigarettes have worsened over recent years.
  • There is much public misunderstanding about nicotine. Less than 10% of adults understand that most of the harms to health from smoking are not caused by nicotine
  • Poisonings and fires from e-cigarettes are not common. Reports of poisonings have decreased and are rarely severe.
  • Use of e-cigarettes by adults in the UK has plateaued over the last few years at just under 3 million; over half of these have completely stopped smoking
  • The evidence does not support the concern that e-cigarettes are acting a route into smoking for young people. While experimentation is fairly common, regular use of e-cigarettes among young people is rare and almost entirely confined to those who have already smoked. Youth smoking rates in the UK continue to decline
  • Available evidence on heated tobacco products indicate they may be less harmful than smoking but so far most data comes from manufacturers.

 

Feb 2019 update: Public Health England also in Feb 2019 published: Vaping in England: an evidence update February 2019.

This focuses mainly on the latest evidence on prevalence and characteristics of electronic cigarette use in young people and adults in England. The main findings were that regular vaping among young people remains low in Britain and Regular e-cigarette use among adults has plateaued over recent years, and remains largely confined to smokers and ex-smokers, with ‘quitting smoking’ the main motivation for adult vapers.

Press release/ Executive Summary

 

PHE has also published advice to help inform evidence based policies around electronic cigarette use in public places and the workplace https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/use-of-e-cigarettes-in-public-places-and-workplaces

 

The National Fire Chiefs Council has published (June 2018) new guidance on: E-cigarette use in smokefree NHS settings, providing specific guidance around the use and charging of
e-cigarettes. This states that Trusts should support these strategies by maximising the opportunities while managing the lower, potential risks.

 

Ecigs Event - Feb 2018

 

On 22nd February 2018, under the Making Smoking History in the North East Partnership, Fresh held an event to disseminate the latest evidence on electronic cigarettes. The event was chaired by Professor Eugene Milne, lead Director of Public Health in the region on tobacco issues and featured Professor Ann McNeill, the lead author on the independent evidence review commissioned by PHE.

 

Electronic cigarettes: an evidence update - Professor Ann McNeill, Professor of Tobacco Addiction, King's College London

 

Should we be using e-cigarettes to support smoking cessation? Professor Paul Aveyard, Professor of Behavioural Medicine, University of Oxford

 

E-cigarettes in the UK: Getting regulation right - Martin Dockrell, Tobacco Control Programme Lead, Public Health England

 

Evidence, perceptions and misconceptions - Hazel Cheeseman, Director of Policy, Action on Smoking and Health

 

The Cancer Research UK perspective - Carl Alexander, Health Information Expert, Cancer Research UK

 

The role of electronic cigarettes in NHS smokefree policy implementation - Lesley Colley, Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust

 

Electronic cigarettes in the North East: how this fits within the 5% by 2025 vision - Ailsa Rutter OBE Director, Fresh

 

 

HEALTHCARE professionals in the North East are being encouraged to be open to patients switching to vaping to quit smoking as part of a new Vaping Standard designed to tackle the appalling burden of death and disease caused by tobacco

The North East Smokefree NHS and Treating Tobacco Dependency Taskforce has provided five key recommendations to NHS Trusts aimed at a consistent position around vaping to adopt a harm reduction approach to e-cigarettes and their use within NHS Trust grounds. This is part of the Taskforce work to implement National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance on smoking in Acute NHS services by April 2020

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