Experts’ advice on e-cigarettes pushed

Philippine vapers say that the latest Public Health England (PHE) report validated their position that e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking, and that it should form part of the country’s tobacco control program.

The new e-cigarette evidence review, undertaken by leading independent tobacco experts, provides evidence that vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking, and switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys substantial health benefits. It also recommended that e-cigarettes be made available in hospitals in the United Kingdom for those who wish to quit smoking.

“Listen to the experts. It is time for the Department of Health  to look into this report so that they can recommend e-cigarettes and heated-tobacco products to smokers who want to quit,” said Tom Pinlac, president of the The Vapers Philippines.

Pinlac added it is an outrage that smokers are denied the proper information about e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. “Educate smokers about vaping and heated-tobacco products instead of resorting to fearmongering,” he said.

“More than 17 million Filipino smokers can benefit from vaping e-cigs or other heated-tobacco products because they are significantly less harmful than smoking” said Edward Gatchalian, president of Philippine E-Liquid Manufacturers Association.

“It is said that 87,000 deaths every year are attributed to smoking-related diseases. Smokers should switch to vaping or tobacco-heated products if they want kick the habit of smoking. This is a very clear message embodied in the PHE report”, Gatchalian added.

The PHE evidence review also tackled for the first time heated-tobacco products as possibly considerably less harmful than tobacco cigarettes and more harmful than e-cigarettes.” The study stated that “heated-tobacco products use reduced urges to smoke.”

Heat-not-burn tobacco products, also known as heated-tobacco products, heats tobacco instead of burning it to release flavor and nicotine without combustion.

The PHE recommended that e-cigarettes, alongside nicotine replacement therapies, are made available for sale in hospital shops to smokers who want to quit.

The PHE review also stated that many thousands of smokers incorrectly believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking; around 40 percent of smokers have not even tried an e-cigarette, and there is much public misunderstanding about nicotine (less than 10 percent of adults understand that most of the harms to health from smoking are not caused by nicotine).

Professor John Newton, director for Health Improvement at PHE said: “Our new review reinforces the finding that vaping is a fraction of the risk of smoking, at least 95 percent less harmful, and of negligible risk to bystanders. Yet, over half of smokers either falsely believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking or just don’t know.”

It would be tragic if thousands of smokers who could quit with the help of an e-cigarette are being put off due to false fears about their safety.

Professor Ann McNeill, lead author and professor of Tobacco Addiction at King’s College London, said: “It’s of great concern that smokers still have such a poor understanding about what causes the harm from smoking. When people smoke tobacco cigarettes, they inhale a lethal mix of 7,000 smoke constituents, 70 of which are known to cause cancer.”

People smoke for the nicotine but, contrary to what the vast majority believe, nicotine causes little if any of the harm. The toxic smoke is the culprit and is the overwhelming cause of all the tobacco-related disease and death. There are now a greater variety of alternative ways of getting nicotine than ever before, including nicotine gum, nasal spray, lozenges and e-cigarettes.

Professor Linda Bauld, author and professor of Health Policy, University of Stirling, and chairman in Behavioural Research for Cancer Prevention, Cancer Research UK, said: “Concern has been expressed that e-cigarette use will lead young people into smoking. But, in the United Kingdom, research clearly shows that regular use of e-cigarettes among young people who have never smoked remains negligible, less than 1 percent, and youth smoking continues to decline at an encouraging rate. We need to keep closely monitoring these trends  but, so far, the data suggest that e-cigarettes are not acting as a route into regular smoking among young people.”

On smokers, the message was clear: “Anyone who has struggled to quit should try switching to an e-cigarette and get professional help. The greatest quit success is among those who combine using an e-cigarette with support from a local stop- smoking service.”

Turning Points 2018
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