Public Health England National Director Supports Vaping in HuffPo Article
Professor Kevin Fenton, National Director for Public Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England, recently came out in support of vaping in an article he wrote for HuffPo UK. Public Health England has long recognized the benefits of tobacco harm reduction through e-cigarettes - in 2015 it released a report in which it stated that vaping was 95% less harmful than smoking. Fenton is clearly concerned that only 15% of people in the UK know that e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking, despite all the research that PHE and the Royal College of Physicians has conducted.
Fenton states that e-cigarettes are now the quitting tool of choice in England, and it is necessary to provide clear, concise information on e-cigarettes to encourage smokers who are considering quitting to try them as a tool. In his conclusion, he says that e-cigarettes are the most popular quitting method, while local stop smoking services are the most effective. Two-thirds of people who both vaped and used a local quitting service over the course of 2014-2015 effectively quit smoking - a huge number.
Using a local quitting service
You can find your local quitting service on the NHS website. They provide both group and one-on-one counselling to support you in your quitting efforts. If, like many vapers, you are dual-using cigarettes and vaping to cut down on your smoking, it may help to register with the service. Or if you are looking to make the switch, but want to speak to a health professional before doing it, a quitting service is also a wise choice. It won’t take very much time out of your life, and it may help to save it.
The safety of vaping
Short-term studies which have been done have conclusively proved that vaping is much safer than smoking cigarettes. Fenton writes in his article:
“Harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke, including carcinogens, are either completely absent in e-cigarette vapour or if they are present, are mostly at levels 0.1% to 1% of that found in tobacco smoke with a few exceptions.”
Both the vapour inhaled into the lungs and second-hand vapour are far, far less toxic than cigarettes. The only cautionary note is that long-term studies have not been done since e-cigarettes haven’t been around that long - but the relative harm to smoking cigarettes is obviously much lower, and this will surely be reflected in long-term studies.
Additionally, many vapers consider vaping a smoking cessation aid, and may not consider vaping long-term once they have ramped down to zero nicotine levels in their juice.
It is refreshing to see Professor Kevin Fenton come firmly down on the side of vaping, which the UK’s own prestigious national bodies have found to be effective for tobacco harm reduction through solid science.
Image Credit: Alex R, Flickr