Health experts urge smokers to switch to e-cigarettes

The eVoke Device The NHS Planned To Prescribe To Help Smokers Quit Got Canceled

The recommendations from the government agency Public Health England claim vaping is less than 5 per cent as risky as smoking.

The health body also called on the British Government to make the devices available on prescription through the National Health Service (NHS) based on how successful they have been in helping people give up smoking.

Researchers found that thousands of smokers "incorrectly" believe vaping is as harmful as smoking, with the use of e-cigarettes hitting a plateau.

A new study from Public Health England has found that vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking and switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys substantial health benefits.

E-cigarette use was also associated with improved quit success rates over the last year and an accelerated drop in smoking rates across the country, and could be contributing to at least 20,000 successful quit attempts per year. "Focusing on a group of adolescents who are traditionally at low risk for using cigarettes but who might use e-cigarettes can help prevent youth from transitioning from e-cigarette use to other tobacco product use".

Outdoor smoking shelters should be replaced with vaping areas and patients should be allowed to buy e-cigarettes in hospital shops in the hope it will reduce the number of people who smoke tobacco cigarettes.

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The recommendations follow the publication of the PHE's latest independent review into the evidence surrounding e-cigarettes.

PHE experts, writing in The Lancet, said: "Although not without risk, the overall risk of harm is estimated at less than 5% of that from smoking tobacco; the risk of cancer has been calculated to be less than 1%".

"Almost half of smokers have never tried an e-cigarette possibly because they have views about how risky they are which are not founded on the evidence".

"The strongest case for that is psychiatric hospitals because [these patients] have got the highest prevalence of smoking and the highest levels of smoking related harm".

"Every minute someone is admitted to hospital from smoking, with around 79,000 deaths a year in England alone", says John Newton, PHE health improvement director.

"When people smoke tobacco cigarettes, they inhale a lethal mix of 7,000 constituents, 70 of which are known to cause cancer", she says.

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