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Umesh Modi is a chartered accountant, and Pamini Jatheeskumar is a chartered certified accountant at Silver Levene...
  Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead...
Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
More inWhite Papers  

a no smoking signOctober 17 2017

Electronic cigarettes should be promoted as a method of stopping smoking, the British Psychological Society has said.

In a new report on change behaviour, the BSP makes a number of recommendations, including:

  • there needs to be an improvement in education about the relative harms of smoking, nicotine and e-cigarettes;
  • combining e-cigarettes (the most popular method used for stopping smoking) with the existing best practice of NHS Stop Smoking Services could increase uptake of stop smoking schemes and improve success rates;
  • use taxation methods to further disincentivise smoking of tobacco products while reducing the price of e-cigarettes.

The proposals are set out in the BPS report, ‘Changing behaviour: electronic cigarettes’. One of the co-authors, Dr Lynne Dawkins, Associate Professor at London South Bank University, said: “For smokers trying to quit, e-cigarettes are more attractive than traditional smoking cessation methods, such as nicotine replacement therapy, and at least as effective.

“There is also mounting evidence that they are much safer than tobacco smoking. As a consumer product, although most Stop Smoking Services are not currently able to supply these, we recommend that they endorse them and support their use by smokers trying to quit.”

The charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has seconded the proposals. Hazel Cheeseman, director of policy said: “Many smokers have found e-cigarettes helpful in quitting but confusion persists among some about the relative safety of vaping compared to smoking. 2.9 million adults in England currently use electronic cigarettes, over half have already quit smoking and many of the rest are actively seeking to do so.

“Evidence shows that the most effective way to quit smoking is through a combination of professional face to face support and stop smoking aids. What health professionals tell smokers about e-cigarettes is important to ensure that smokers have an accurate view of what switching to vaping might mean. It is hoped that if smokers are better informed this will help more to successfully quit tobacco for good.”

Links:
BPS announcement        
BPS ‘Changing behaviour: electronic cigarettes’                   
ASH comment  

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