Friday, 30 October 2015

Healthy Shropshire News: An Update on E-cigarettes

An update on E-cigarettes

News from our partners at Help2Change
Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigs or vapourisers, are often made to look or feel like real cigarettes. Most (although not all) electronic cigarettes contain nicotine (but don't contain tobacco) and as nothing is burning they don't produce smoke.
Whilst e-cigarettes do not produce smoke, users exhale a smoke-like vapour consisting largely of propylene glycol and glycerine. There is little evidence of harmful effects in the short to medium term from repeated exposure to these chemicals, and an absence of evidence of significant harm to bystanders caused by e-cigarettes.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend that quitting all forms of nicotine use is the best option for smokers.  However, e-cigs are proving more attractive to some smokers than Nicotine Replacement Therapy, and can be effective in helping smokers quit.  Emerging evidence suggests some of the highest successful quit rates are now seen among smokers who use an e-cigarette and also receive additional support from their local stop smoking services.
An evidence review published by Publish Health England in August 2015 concluded that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than tobacco and have the potential to help smokers quit smoking.
Key findings of the review included:
  • the current best estimate is that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than smoking
  • nearly half the population (44.8%) don't realise e-cigarettes are much less harmful than smoking
  • there is no evidence so far that e-cigarettes are acting as a route into smoking for children or non-smokers
The comprehensive review of the evidence finds that almost all of the 2.6 million adults using e-cigarettes in Great Britain are current or ex-smokers, most of whom are using the devices to help them quit smoking or to prevent them going back to cigarettes. It also provides reassurance that very few adults and young people who have never smoked are becoming regular e-cigarette users (less than 1% in each group).
All current evidence finds that e-cigarettes carry a fraction of the risk of smoking although there are some concerns that electronic cigarettes will re-normalise smoking and threaten the established practice of smokefree public places.  
Do you need help to quit smoking? Contact the Help2Change team by calling 0345 678 9025. Take a look at their website for more information.