Public Health England or PHE has become the first government body to officially recognize that vaping is safer than smoking and might help people in staying away from traditional cigarettes.
The UK health body has said that e-cigarettes are around 95% less dangerous than their tobacco counterparts. It has also stated that a day might come when e-cigs will be dispensed as licensed medicines as an alternative to patches and other such antismoking products.
In spite of admitting that electronic cigarettes are not 100% risk-free, PHE mentioned that it believes that these vaping devices can bring an end to the habit of tobacco smoking.
This message got support from Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer of the British government. However, Davies cautioned that still they don’t have enough evidence on the effects of long-term use of e-cigs. According to her, e-cigarettes should be used only as a way of helping people quit tobacco cigarettes.
Davies added that she wanted to see e-cigarettes getting launched onto the market in the form of licensed medicines. According to her, getting these products licensed would provide assurance on their quality, efficacy, and safety. The chief medical officer stated that having these assurances is importance particularly for the different flavoring agents used.
Experts at Public Health England have also raised concerns about the cost and length of the licensing process adopted by the government. This concern is a valid one as the licensing process is one of the main steps in the process of revising strategies for cutting tobacco use.
To date, not a single e-cigarette has been licensed; but, the health authorities have already licensed a range of other products designed to offer nicotine-replacement therapies, which include patches, gums, and lozenges.
Some pilot schemes in London and Leicester allow quit-smoking experts to offer e-cig starter kits free of cost. However, smokers living in other parts of the United Kingdom cannot get the product on prescription.
According to the PHE, each of the 2.6 million adults who are now believed to be using e-cigs is either a former or a current conventional smoker. The majority of these people are using the product for quitting tobacco or for stopping themselves from taking up smoking again.
These disclosures by PHE have come after public health specialists and antismoking campaigners started working to help the NHS in offering more effective smoking cessation support and becoming slightly more positive about the effects of e-cigarettes.