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UK Royal College of General Practitioners Position Statement

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 6,246 ✭✭✭ jonski

    The key messages were

    The most effective quitting method is a combination of behavioural counselling by a health professional with proven stop-smoking medications.
    Based on the evidence to date, vaping is a lot less harmful than smoking tobacco.
    The long term safety profile isn’t known but we do know a lot about them. Research shows switching to vaping does significantly reduce toxicant exposure and carcinogen exposure. But smoking must be ceased completely.
    The evidence so far that e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking isn’t convincing. We know that teens are experimenting with these products. But when you look at the surveys from across the UK, the rate of regular use in teenagers who have never smoked are very low, <1%. Youth smoking rates in the UK continue to decline. If e-cigarettes were a gateway, those trends would be reversed or would stop.
    The evidence on passive vaping is that it is not harmful...and it is not something we should be overly concerned about
    The evidence to date suggests that e-cigarettes are more effective than nicotine replacement therapy over-the-counter or willpower alone. They reduce cravings and withdrawal. Smokers report that the behavioural aspects of e-cigarettes are helpful, the hand to mouth action, taking a break to use an e-cigarette.


  • All the evidence points to having the support of a trained professional counselor. I used to wonder if e-cigs success was due to the support of other vapers and the online vaping community. This forum here was a huge help to me in the beginning.
    I also suspect theirs less evidence for e-cigs because they are so new and have been ignored by researchers most of that time. Unless the researchers are looking for negative things to say. Remember Chochran found them to be as effective as any other treatment but classed the evidence as 'low' because of the lack of studies rather than the quality of studies.
    As the UK cessation services are now including e-cigs in their list of stop smoking aids, it will be interesting to see how they compare other options when both have professional counseling support.