E-cigarettes are significantly less harmful than smoking, but their long-term effects must continue to be studied. E-cigarettes commonly contain nicotine, as well as other substances including propylene glycol and flavourings. But unlike cigarettes, they don’t expose people to the harmful chemicals found in tobacco, 70 of which are known carcinogens.
In this country, e-cigarettes are the most popular quitting tool. However, it is known that using a stop smoking service alongside medication or a vape is by far the most effective way to quit.
By encouraging people who choose to use e-cigarettes as a tool to help them quit smoking with the help and support of the local stop smoking service, we are combining the most popular choice of stopping smoking with the most effective method.
What this means for health care professionals and support to stop advisors:
We are not saying e-cigarettes are risk free, but they are less harmful than smoking tobacco: There is a misunderstanding that e-cigarettes are at least as harmful as smoking, and this may have unintended consequences as many smokers may put off considering quitting with e-cigarettes
We suggest: smokers who decide to use e-cigarettes to quit smoking should be able to get behavioural help, support and pharmacotherapies from their advisor.
We ask you: to accept it as one of the tools a quitter might choose to include in their attempt to stop smoking. There are currently no electronic cigarettes or nicotine vaporisers licenced and available for use as stop smoking medications, consequently, stop smoking services are unable to prescribe them.
We do not advise: e-cigarettes be taken up by anybody who does not smoke, and it is illegal to sell them to under-18s or to buy them on their behalf.
EU legislation requires that from 2016: all nicotine vaporisers containing over 20 mg/ml of nicotine are to be licensed as medicines. Products of this strength will continue to be sold to the consumer, with controls similar to those applied to tobacco products.
Currently: we are unable to fund the purchasing of e-cigarettes.
Finally: The advice that should still be given to smokers is that the use of licensed stop smoking medication (NRT, Champix, Zyban), combined with behavioural support provided by stop smoking services, remains the most effective and successful method of stopping smoking.
North Somerset Stop Smoking Service will continue to keep you updated with any new information regarding e-cigarettes.
What to do when your clients wants to stop vaping:
As a service we cannot fund this as vaping is not smoking and we need to concentrate on helping those addicted to tobacco. However, we have added guides for your information or how to deal with this issue.
Helpful videos on Vaping
Click this link for the NCSCT video “The switch”: https://www.youtube.com/user/NCSCTfilms