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E-cigs to be prescribed on the NHS?

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The UK newspapers were full of this story yesterday, many radio talk shows discussed the possibility of this and many TV news programs did the same, after Public Health England (PHE) released a comprehensive report regarding e-cigarettes.

The ITV website wrote, “Government health officials want to see e-cigarettes handed out to smokers on the NHS, after a review that claims vaping removes all the risks smoking poses to health.

Public Health England says that much of the public wrongly believes that e-cigarettes carry health risks in the same way cigarettes do. However, new research claims that this is not the case and PHE wants to see smokers taking up the electronic devices to reduce the thousands of people dying from tobacco-related diseases every year.

With no evidence of e-cigarettes acting as a route to smoking and 2.6 million e-cig users within the UK, PHE are seeing e-cigarettes as a possible public health prize.

GP’s have not been allowed to prescribe e-cigarettes as they are currently not licensed for medicinal purposes, and there are many that believe it should stay this way with e-cigs remaining as a consumer product, yet with the twin track approach as legislated by the Tobacco Products Directive, there is according to the ITV news page, a hope that more electronic cigarettes will be licensed. At present there is only one that has a medicinal license, but this is more of an inhaler than an e-cig.

Vapers have had mixed reactions to this news, delighted that PHE have come out with such an extensive report that is positive for vapers, stating that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than tobacco cigarettes, but vapers are also showing concern that this could be the start of a slippery slope that leads more e-cigarettes towards the medical route.

 

20th August 2015, 12:12