Medicine

Should NHS hospitals offer e-cigarettes and vaping lounges?

Should NHS hospitals offer e-cigarettes and vaping lounges?

PHE's evidence review comes just a few weeks after a US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report on vaping, which also found that based on the available evidence "e-cigarettes are likely to be far less harmful than combustible tobacco cigarettes".

It also suggests at least 20,000 people a year are quitting smoking with the help of vapes.

Single occupancy rooms are quite common in mental health trusts so that makes it very easy for people to vape in a single occupancy room without any annoyance to anybody else.

The review, which updates that report, is even more positive in its conclusions but warns that many people who could possibly quit their smoking habit with e-cigarettes have got the wrong impression and think vaping has its own dangers.

The authors of the review said pregnant women who smoke should be encouraged to switch to e-cigarettes, though they said research on this is only just underway. Thousands of smokers think e-cigarettes are just as risky and 40% of smokers have not tried one, it says.

The latest analysis comes just a few days after a widely reported study in the U.S. claimed that vaping caused cancer and DNA damage.

It has called for e-cigarettes to be made available for sale in hospital shops.

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In a linked editorial, published in The Lancet, experts from PHE said: "Although not without risk, the overall risk of harm is estimated at less than 5% of that from smoking tobacco; the risk of cancer has been calculated to be less than 1%".

Martin Dockerell, PHE tobacco control lead has advised that smoking should be completed banned from hospital grounds - with smoking shelters re-purposed as vaping shelters.

"There is no reason why a hospital shouldn't designate some indoor areas where patients and visitors can vape".

PHE's Professor John Newton said it 'reinforces the finding that vaping is a fraction of the risk of smoking, at least 95 per cent less harmful, and of negligible risk to bystanders.

The study found many thousands of smokers incorrectly believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking.

"Every minute someone is admitted to hospital from smoking, with around 79,000 deaths a year in England alone", said Newton.

Public Health England has carried out a monster review of the e-cigarette world, and has decided they're so much better for the health of smokers that vaping products should be sold in hospital shops and their use embraced on the premises, as an aid to assisting those who can't fully quit to transition to the electronic world.


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