Despite all of the contention and controversy surrounding E-Cigarettes and the Vaping trend in recent months, it was confirmed in the press last week that E-Cigarettes are “significantly less harmful” than their traditional counterparts. Experts and official bodies have been reluctant to officially comment on the validity of manufacturers ‘health’ claims previously due to the lack of comprehensive research on the subject. But thanks to Professor Ann McNeil from Kings College in London and Professor Peter Hajek from London’s Queen Mary University, a review commissioned by PHE found that by the best estimate, E-Cigarettes are approximately 95% less harmful than smoking and 44.8% of the population hadn’t realised or acknowledged this.
Although not currently offered as an option for smoking cessation programs by the NHS because the products are not currently regulated, not being medicinally licensed and there is much debate over the ingredients and nicotine levels in the E Liquid, there is also worry that the long term affects aren’t yet known; E-Cigarettes have gone as far as to be at least recognised, although not promoted, by the National Health Service as a device that may aid the user in stopping smoking – which we can all agree, will only ever be described as a positive step.
However, thanks to the Public Health England review, we could see this change as the Royal Society for Public Health are calling for more counties to follow in the footsteps of Leicestershire and the North East by offering behavioural support coupled with E Cigarettes. Cloudstix are ready to welcome some light regulation in the vaping industry, this will ensure that there is an industry standard that will be adhered too, however we discourage the introduction of E Cigarettes being classed as medical products, Vaping is recreational and the licensing fees associated with these products would vastly increase the price of the units – potentially making it outpriced for some users.
Smoking currently maintains its position as the UK’s number 1 killer, killing 80,000 each year and costing the NHS around £13.7 billion; but that could be set to change now that the review has identified an educational gap, steps can be taken to ensure that the population has access to the correct information regarding the benefits of E-Cigarettes that allows to make educated decisions on smoking cessation tools. Although one could argue that the ‘unhealthy’ perception the general public have been geared to is down to the consistent negative reviews in the media.
Amid concerns that Vaping acted as a gateway trend for children and non-smokers to come to pick up the habit, this new research reports the reassuring information that, “There is no evidence so far that e-cigarettes are acting as a route into smoking for children or non-smokers”. It could be this statement that holds the most ground when it comes to making vaping more widely available and could even force the Welsh government to reconsider their radical ban, set to be implement by late 2016 – a movement that incredibly, was supported by the WHO.
One thing is for sure, the latest review is a step in the right direction for the entire industry and one that we hope will shed a positive light on the vaping industry, making it a more viable option for smokers who are wishing to stop.by