PHE publishes updated review of e-cigarettes

PHE publishes updated review of e-cigarettes

February 6, 2018

Public Health England (PHE) has published a new independent expert evidence review of e-cigarettes which provides an update on PHE’s 2015 review.

In light of the review, PHE is advising anyone who has struggled to quit smoking to try switching to an e-cigarette and get professional help. It also states that the greatest quit success is among those who combine using an e-cigarette with support from a local stop smoking service.

The main findings of PHE’s evidence review are that:

  • vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking and switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys substantial health benefits;
  • e-cigarette use is associated with improved quit success rates over the last year and an accelerated drop in smoking rates across the country;
  • there is much public misunderstanding about nicotine (less than 10% of adults understand that most of the harms to health from smoking are not caused by nicotine); and
  • the evidence does not support the concern that e-cigarettes are a route into smoking among young people (youth smoking rates in the UK continue to decline, regular use is rare and is almost entirely confined to those who have smoked).

Community pharmacy teams may also be aware that Cancer Research UK has published the latest edition of Cancer Insight for pharmacy staff with a focus on e-cigarettes. The newsletter covers information on e-cigarette use, common queries and a patient poster. Community pharmacy teams can download or order the newsletter to be delivered free of charge.

The findings of the PHE review and the Cancer Research UK resources may support you in your conversations with patients around the use of e-cigarettes.

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