UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) has welcomed health watchdog National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)’s newly published guidance on use of vaping within NHS settings calling it as yet another win for advocates of e-cigarettes’ effectiveness in helping people quit combustible tobacco while promoting harm reduction.
Called “Tobacco: preventing uptake, promoting quitting and treating dependence”, NICE’s guidance says vaping should be “accessible to adults who smoke” and included alongside other nicotine replacement therapies such as gums and patches.
In addition, smoking cessation teams should also include e-cigarettes when they “advise people (as appropriate for their age) that the following options, when combined with behavioural support, are more likely to result in them successfully stopping smoking”.
NICE points out that people providing stop-smoking support or advice should emphasise that most smoking-related health problems are caused by other components in tobacco smoke, not by the nicotine. Any risks from using medicinally licensed nicotine-containing products or other stop-smoking pharmacotherapies are much lower than those of smoking, NICE says.
“This new guidance is yet another significant milestone towards the mainstream acceptance that vaping is a safe and effective smoking cessation method that we have campaigned years for,” said John Dunne, Director General of the UK Vaping Industry Association.
“Day by day the anti-vaping lobby’s arguments grow weaker and more nonsensical to the point now where they are pretty much an irrelevance.”
In September the UKVIA, in partnership with the Smoke Free app, launched a national education campaign aimed at providing healthcare workers across the UK with the information they need to help smokers transition from combustible tobacco to vaping.
Louise Ross, Business Development Manager, the Smoke Free app, commented: “We welcome this guidance; we know that many of our app users have successfully stopped smoking using a combination of behavioural support and nicotine-containing vapes.
“We hope that healthcare professionals will feel more confident now in supporting their patients to try vaping in order to stop smoking. In this way, we should see a significant fall in smoking rates, and a greater likelihood of achieving the Smokefree 2030 ambition.”