Smoking adversely affects the human body and sometimes leads to health and life-threatening complications. Therefore, there is an ongoing search for alternative means to help quit smoking or reduce its harms in addition to the major health burden resulting from smoking cigarettes. This endeavor depends on studies and scientific research that is underway in many countries, especially in developed countries that pay attention to the health and well-being of their citizens, such as the United States and Great Britain. In this regard, UK’s Public Health Agency published in a press release issued on February 23, its seventh independent report on the use of e-cigarettes known as “vaping”. The report, which was conducted by researchers at the prestigious King’s College in London, includes evidence on the use of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation and useful information regarding the policy and regulation of these alternatives.
The studies asserted that e-cigarettes are a better option than standard cigarettes for smokers. They also highlighted the misunderstandings and misconceptions surrounding the relative harm of non-combustible alternatives and that governments must act by setting policies that encourage smokers to switch to e-cigarettes in case they are unable to quit smoking. They also stipulate that the use of e-cigarettes is a more efficient method than nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to quit smoking.
The report takes an in-depth look at the latest facts regarding the effectiveness of using e-cigarettes in helping people quit smoking, provides an update on the use of these products among youth and adults and examines the data on people’s perception of risk. It underlined that e-cigarettes turned out to be the most common method used by smokers who are trying to quit smoking in England over the past year.
It should be noted that one of the effective new alternatives is the mechanism of heating tobacco instead of burning it. It has triggered a fundamental change and aims at achieving a smoke-free future. It is one of the alternatives that is considered a more effective process for adults to avoid smoking.
What is innovative about these alternative products is that rely on heating tobacco instead of burning it. It greatly contributes to reducing the levels of harmful chemicals causing most smoking-related diseases, as well as providing a sensory experience very similar to the taste and flavor of nicotine, but without smoke.
Speaking of the report and its findings, Professor of Tobacco Addiction at King’s College in London and the lead author of the report, Ann McNeill, said: “Our report collects data from randomized controlled trials, smoking cessation services and population studies. It has found that nicotine smoking products are an effective method to successfully quit smoking. What worries us is that smokers, especially those who belong to disadvantaged groups, increasingly and mistakenly believe that vaping is just as harmful as smoking. However, that is not the case”.
For his part, the Director of Health Improvement at the UK’s Public Health Agency, Professor John Newton, said that smoking remains the leading cause of premature death and preventable disease. He added that the best thing a smoker can do is to quit smoking completely. He also indicated that studies show that the use of vaping methods is one of the most effective approaches available to quit smoking.
Professor Newton added: “Thousands of people could have given up smoking had it not been for the unfounded safety concerns regarding e-cigarettes. We highly recommend any smoker, especially those who have already tried other methods, to switch to electronic alternatives and quit smoking. Combining this shift with additional support from a local smoking cessation service would be ideal, to get the best chance to quit smoking for good”.