E-Cigs Promoted As Part Of New NHS Guidance

Last week saw new guidance published for NHS professionals and health care experts by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and Public Health England. The guidance update promoting electronic cigarettes and vaping is accompanied by a public consultation exercise that customers of Vapekit can take part in.

stethoscope with vaping devicesWho was involved?

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) approached Public Health England (PHE) to help it update its advice for experts trying to help smokers quit tobacco use.


What is the purpose of the advice?

The aim is to improve the quality of advice given to smokers about electronic cigarettes, advanced vape devices and the process of vaping.


What advice existed before?

NICE’s latest guidance on smoking cessation replaces all of the following:

  • Smoking: workplace interventions (PH5, published April 2007)
  • Smoking: preventing uptake in children and young people (PH14, published July 2008)
  • Smoking prevention in schools (PH23, published 2010)
  • Smoking: stopping in pregnancy and after childbirth (PH26, published February 2010)
  • Smokeless tobacco: South Asian communities (PH39, published September 2012)
  • Smoking: harm reduction (PH45, published June 2013)
  • Smoking: acute, maternity and mental health services (PH48, published November 2013)
  • Stop-smoking interventions and services (NG92, published March 2018)


Is the advice just for public health experts?

No, NICE say the guidance is also useful for members of the public, including: children, young people, their parents and carers; people using health and social care services, and their families and carers; women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, or who have a child aged

up to 12 months, and their families and carers; and, people over 16 who smoke and are in paid or voluntary employment.


What does NICE’s guidance say about ecigs?

  • Evidence showed that nicotine-containing e-cigarettes can help people to stop smoking”
  • “The committee had low confidence in… small amount of evidence about short-term adverse events of e-cigarettes
  • NICE’s call for evidence produced no contributions demonstrating harm from long-term vaping
  • NICE dismissed claimed links between vaping and the American lung disease outbreak in 2019
  • Regarding short- and long-term harms: “no major concerns had been identified
  • Many of the harmful components of cigarettes are not present in e-cigarettes”
  • “Switching to nicotine containing e-cigarettes was likely to be significantly less harmful than continuing smoking
  • NICE say everyone should be able to access electronic cigarettes at all quit smoking services
  • People should be encouraged to use as much [nicotine] as they need


Has the guidance been welcomed?

Yes. Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) says NICE’s guidance is vital in addressing the situation where 30% of smokers have never tried an e-cig, and that vaping is “a proven aid to quitting, more effective than nicotine patches or gum”.


ASH says it is vital to address concerns and misunderstanding honestly “as only one in ten smokers (12%) are aware that e-cigarettes are much less harmful than smoking”.


Where can I find out more or contribute to the consultation?

Tobacco: preventing uptake, promoting quitting and treating dependence (update) – https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/indevelopment/gid-ng10086

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