E-cigs should be offered to smokers to help them quit
The RCP (Royal College of Physicians) of the UK is an organization that a lot of people respect, and for good reason. They are, after all, an independent professional membership organization, as well as a registered charity – and they represent over 32,000 different physicians located not just in the UK, but also internationally.
As such, most people tend to take note when they make a statement – and in a recent report that was released about vaping, it seems that the College has decided that the time has come to speak out about electronic cigarettes.
According to a new 200 page report that was published by the College, there is resounding evidence that electronic cigarettes are ‘much safer’ than smoking and aid quitting. The report even went as far as to say that labeling E-cigs as a gateway to smoking is ‘unfounded’, and that with a number of checks and measures, vaping could help to contribute to the health and well-being of millions of people who are either smoking or at a high risk of doing so.
You can find the official copy of the report here, on the RCP’s official website. But here are some of the major highlights and ‘key recommendations’ that the report included. It said…
- That smoking accounts for the most preventable number of deaths in the UK
- That people need to stop smoking to increase their health and to prevent harm to themselves and others
- That quitting smoking is very difficult, and many smokers will continue to smoke for years
- That people are addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes – but that it is the other chemicals in the tobacco products that do the most damage
- That if people could obtain the nicotine without the rest of the damaging chemicals found in tobacco products, most of the harm done by cigarettes could be prevented
- Until just recently, nicotine products have been sold and marketed as medicines intended to help people with their tobacco habit
- NRT is quite effective when combined with professional help and support, but much less effective when people use it on their own
- E-cigs, which are currently marketed as a consumer product, are much more popular than other NRT options
- E-cigs seem to be effective as a smoking cessation aid
- E-cigs are, as of right now, not crafted to medical standards, and are probably more hazardous than other NRT options
- The hazard level involved with vaping, however, is unlikely to exceed 5% of the harm that you would be subjected to by smoking tobacco
- Increased technological development and better standards could help to further reduce the hazards associated with E-cig use
- Some people believe that vaping will act as a gateway to smoking, but there is, as of right now, no evidence that indicates that this is the case within the UK
- The evidence actually says that E-cigs are being used almost exclusively by people who smoke and are trying to quit/reduce harm
- E-cigs do require some regulation, but not so much that it would negatively impact their usefulness as harm-reduction tools for smokers
These were the basic key-notes from the rather lengthy report, but it certainly seems that this is positive news. E-cigs are certainly approaching the smoking problem from a unique angle, and for them to be noticed and recognized as the useful tools that they can be by an organization as prominent as UK Royal College of Physicians is nothing short of outstanding.
Hopefully, the medical community will pick up on this information, and will urge regulatory officials to make positive, healthy, and helpful rules and regulations involving the use, sale, and manufacturing of E-cigs in the long-term that will contribute to a better health and safety outlook for smokers who desperately need a cessation method that works.
E-cigs might not be miracle devices – but it is possible that they are the silver-bullet for smoking cessation that the world has been looking for.