NHS hospitals should sell e-cigarettes, says Government agency

Smoking shelters should become “vaping lounges” for less risky e-cigarette use, NHS bosses said

Hospitals should stock e-cigarettes for sale to patients and permit “vaping” in private rooms as part of the NHS ”smoke free” efforts, according to health chiefs.

The call comes from Public Health England, as part of an evidence update on the safety of tobacco alternatives which it says should be used more widely as quitting aids.

Meanwhile, Government officials should help manufacturers licence e-cigarettes as medical quitting aids.

Such a move would allow GPs to prescribe the devices to their patients who are trying to stop smoking.

In the independent review, which updates 2015 guidance, experts concluded that vaping only poses a small fraction of the risks of smoking and could be particularly helpful in mental health hospitals.

These patients are often on a long-term stay, and have high levels of smoking and tobacco related harm which could be mitigated by promoting vaping.

E-cigarettes could be contributing to 20,000 new quits each year, they estimated.

But the number of people using the products has “plateaued” and now stands at just under three million people in the UK, according to the review, which was conducted by experts from King’s College London and the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, the University of Stirling and Cancer Research UK.

One reason behind the stall in uptake could be misconceptions about the levels of harm linked to the devices.

Researchers found that thousands of smokers “incorrectly” believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking and two in five smokers had not even tried an e-cigarette.

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%.”

PHE officials also warned about the risks of tobacco industry efforts to promote “heat not burn” tobacco products as a safer alternatives to regular cigarettes.

It warns that while these combustion-free alternatives currently appear to have some reduced risk, the majority of the research has been conducted the tobacco industry.

Following the review, PHE has made a number of recommendations about e-cigarettes, including a call for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to support manufacturers to license the products as medical quit aids so they can be made available on the NHS; encouraging any smoker to switch to using e-cigarettes, and calling on NHS trusts to be “truly smoke free”, and as part of this, ensuring e-cigarettes are for sale in hospital shops.

Martin Dockrell, tobacco control lead for PHE, said: “We are saying no smoking anywhere on the grounds [of hospitals], no smoking in the smoking shelter – that shelter becomes a vaping shelter.

“There are two parts to being a smoke-free hospital, one is not allowing smoking on the premises, the other is helping every smoker to quit.

“Some hospitals will decide, especially with their longer-term patients or patients who don’t have a choice whether they are there or not, where it will be appropriate to have spaces indoors to have spaces where vaping is permitted.

“The strongest case for that is psychiatric hospitals because [these patients] have got the highest prevalence of smoking and the highest levels of smoking related harm.

“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.”

On acute hospitals he added: “It is going to be for each hospital to make their own policy but yes, we would certainly encourage them to make at least some single occupancy rooms where people can vape. Of course smoking is prohibited everywhere.”

When asked about indoor communal rooms for vaping, Mr Dockrell said: “There is no reason why a hospital shouldn’t designate some indoor areas where patients and visitors can vape.”

Professor John Newton, director for health improvement at PHE, said: “Our new review reinforces the finding that vaping is a fraction of the risk of smoking, at least 95% less harmful, and of negligible risk to bystanders.

“Yet over half of smokers either falsely believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking or just don’t know.

“It would be tragic if thousands of smokers who could quit with the help of an e-cigarette are being put off due to false fears about their safety.”

Ann McNeill, lead author and professor of tobacco addiction at King’s College London, said: “It’s of great concern that smokers still have such a poor understanding about what causes the harm from smoking.

“People smoke for the nicotine, but contrary to what the vast majority believe, nicotine causes little if any of the harm.

However pro-smoking groups argued PHE’s endorsement could be enough to keep people smoking tobacco, by making e-cigarettes “just another smoking cessation aid”.

“If that happens they will almost certainly lose their appeal to independent-minded smokers who don’t want the state dictating their behaviour,” said Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ group Forest.

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E-cig users ‘need more frequent work breaks’

By
WebMD UK Health News
Medically Reviewed by Dr Keith David Barnard
electronic cigarette

20th July 2016 – Employers should consider giving their staff who use e-cigarettes extra breaks and dedicated areas to ‘vape’, according to advice from Public Health England (PHE).

Workers who use e-cigarettes should not be treated in the same way as smokers because it would undermine their resolve to be tobacco-free, the advice says.

Creating vaping policies

The new guide recognises the need for appropriate policies in public places and workplaces to cover the 2.8 million electronic cigarette users in the UK.

It says the framework acknowledges that there is no one-size-fits-all approach and that different considerations would be appropriate for a nursery school and a factory.

However, it sets out 5 principles that will help employers create a suitable vaping policy. These are:

  • Make clear the distinction between vaping and smoking
  • Ensure policies are informed by the evidence on health risks to bystanders
  • Identify and manage risks of uptake by children and young people
  • Support smokers to stop smoking and stay smokefree
  • Support compliance with smokefree law and policies

The evidence on safety

Using an e-cigarette is thought to be around 95% safer than smoking. Passive intake from vaping is a concern, but there is no published scientific evidence of harm to bystanders from exposure to e-cigarette vapour. The risk of harm is extremely low, with laboratory work suggesting that e-cigarette use in an enclosed space exposes others to nicotine at levels about one tenth of that from a cigarette, but little else.

Fears that the young may take up smoking via the e-cigarette route seem unfounded. Among young people who have never smoked, regular use (at least monthly) is 0.3% or less.

The guidance recognises that although e-cigarette use remains controversial, the consenus from public health experts is that e-cigarettes are significantly safer for users than smoking tobacco.

Breaks and vaping areas

It says employers should be aware that e-cigarette users may need more frequent breaks than smokers because vaping takes longer to top up blood-nicotine levels.

It is never acceptable to require vapers to share the same outdoor space as smokers, it says, and e-cigarette users should have their own dedicated area to smoke.

Professor Kevin Fenton, national director of health and wellbeing at PHE says in a statement: “Different approaches will be appropriate in different places, but policies should take account of the evidence and clearly distinguish vaping from smoking.”

George Butterworth, Cancer Research UK’s tobacco policy manager, comments in a statement: “E-cigarettes are still a relatively new product, so it’s understandable that many people and businesses may not know how to deal with them.

“The evidence so far shows e-cigarettes are much safer than tobacco and they have the potential to help people give up a deadly addiction.”

E-cigarettes could cut smoking-related deaths by 21 percent

A window display with different colour models of electronic cigarettes is seen in a shop in Paris

E-cigarettes could lead to a 21 percent drop in deaths from smoking-related diseases in those born after 1997, according to a study published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

The study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Cancer Institute and the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network, found that under most plausible scenarios e-cigarettes and other vapor products have a generally positive public health impact.

Multiple studies have sought to assess the impact of e-cigarettes on public health, with conflicting results. Earlier this year a University of California study of high school students found that those who used e-cigarettes were more than twice as likely to also smoke traditional cigarettes.

The latest study differs from prior ones because it summarizes patterns of use from national data, the authors said. Previous studies have used local data that may have unusual patterns and are not necessarily representative of the whole country.

The study distinguishes between youths who vape who would not otherwise have taken up any nicotine product, and those who vape, who would otherwise have smoked cigarettes. When both those populations are taken into account, the benefit outweighs the harm, according to the study.

Many experts believe there are health benefits for smokers who switch completely to e-cigarettes.

“While the data are still not as clear as we would like, we present the entire picture with national data so we think our estimates are as good as we can get,” said David Abrams, executive director of the Schroeder Institute of Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at the Truth Initiative.

Most previous studies count as e-cigarette users anyone who has vaped within the past 30 days. That can include someone who goes to a party and vapes once or twice.

“Those are not the people we are concerned with,” David Levy, a professor of oncology at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the study’s lead author said in an interview. “We tried to get an idea of the number of people who progressed to established use.”

Capture

On May 5, the FDA announced a final rule extending its tobacco authority to include e-cigarettes, pipe tobacco, cigars and hookah. The rule, which becomes effective in early August, requires companies to seek marketing authorization for any tobacco product introduced after Feb. 15, 2007.

Levy and other e-cigarette advocates say excessive FDA regulation could stifle the development of safer products that could more effectively displace cigarettes.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/07/15/e-cigarettes-could-cut-smoking-related-deaths-by-21-percent-study.html

Understanding the popularity of the vaping culture

What is it? Who’s doing it? Is it really safer than smoking? Vaping has grown in popularity, with vapers creating their own jargon, games and sub-culture.

Vaper images posted to open access social media (instagram.com)

Vaping is the act of inhaling the vapor produced by heating a propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin-based liquid, mixed with small amounts of nicotine and flavoring, by means of a small battery-powered atomizer or “vape pen.” Vaporizers have long been used for inhaling marijuana, where the use of the device is seen as a safer way to get THC into the bloodstream.

E-cigarettes and vape pens launched the vaping revolution, but the vapes that seem to be most popular are “mods.” These vaping devices are a little more advanced than the original design. They are designed to create more vapor and utilize flavor additive options, and they are getting further from the traditional e-cigarette and closer to an actual cigarette.

https://www.slimvapepen.com/what-is-a-vape-mod/

Is vaping safer than smoking? Many users began using the technology to help them quit smoking or as an alternative. But assessing its safety and effectiveness is still difficult. The studies and data available about smoking are much more extensive than the research on vaping, which hasn’t been around as long.

Whether vaping is safer is an unanswered question. There is considerable disagreement between users and scientists. It is the case that whether you are smoking a traditional cigarette or vaping, you are inhaling chemicals and pollutants into your lungs.

Vaping with nicotine has the same short-term health effects that come with traditional smoking, like increased heart rate and higher blood pressure, and it can aggravate heart conditions. Large doses of nicotine are harmful and interfere with fetal development. When the propylene glycol is heated, it can degrade into formaldehyde, which is linked to increased risk of asthma and cancer.

The consensus opinion seems to be that vaping is safer than smoking, and if someone goes from smoking two packs of cigarettes a day to vaping, the health risks will be reduced. However, when non-smokers start vaping, they accept risks that are as worrisome as those coming from smoking cigarettes.

Even without the known dangers of nicotine, the metals, formaldehyde and issues with e-cigarettes exploding make vaping a questionable choice.

In addition to the perceived reduction in health risks, vaping comes with a price advantage. Vaping liquids are far cheaper than cigarettes.

Why the surge in popularity for younger generations who use vapes, not as an alternative to smoking, but as a lifestyle choice? The rise in popularity is probably for the same reasons that smoking itself gained popularity.

When e-cigarettes first became popular, they were legal for young people. They offered just the right amount of danger, something younger people knew they shouldn’t do but that seemed less dangerous than smoking an actual cigarette.

Vaping became cool and fashionable. It developed its own culture, and games, tricks and YouTube videos were created around it.

A vape mod carries a more powerful battery, which allows the production of a larger vapor plume. The tricks that people can do with this plume are often shared on social media.


Smoking made easy with the Char Broil Digital Smoker


Vape shops and vape lounges have appeared across the country. There are even vaping conventions and competitions. There are extensive and involved conversations on online forums about cartridges, wicks, atomizers, cartomizers, coils, mods and flavors.

Vapers can talk forever about vaping, just as gear heads or Harry Potter fans can talk forever about their chosen hobby. Many vapers work hard to fight negative perceptions about vaping and vapers, encouraging fellow vapers to not push vaping on others and not to vape where it isn’t appreciated.

Vape culture is similar to other popular cultures arising from shared interests. Car shows, comic-cons, sports fantasy leagues and art shows are all similar gatherings of of people with shared interests, and each develops its own jargon and traditions.

Younger generations have embraced vaping, and, while its popularity might fade, for now vaping culture is a reality.

Vaping IS better than smoking – and ‘one of the best ways in 50 years of improving the world’s health

 

  • Smoking kills 6 million a year and is the leading cause of ill health 
  • Vaping healthier than cigarettes due to not having other chemicals inside 
  • Tobacco smokers may be able to prevent artery cell damage by vaping 
  • Marcus Munafo is a professor of psychology at University of Bristol

Tobacco still kills six million people around the world every year. 

Despite huge public health efforts to help people quit and prevent young people starting, smoking remains the single greatest cause of ill health and premature death.

And even with restrictions on tobacco advertising and smoking in public places, many young people continue to take up smoking.

The situation is even worse in poorer countries, where support to stop smoking is limited, and tobacco control policies weaker.

So in light of this, how should we view the increasing popularity of electronic cigarettes?

The vastly reduced number of chemicals present in e-cigarette vapour compared to tobacco smoke means we can be confident that vaping will be much less harmful than smoking

The vastly reduced number of chemicals present in e-cigarette vapour compared to tobacco smoke means we can be confident that vaping will be much less harmful than smoking

The gadgets deliver a nicotine hit by heating a nicotine-containing propylene glycol (e-liquid) to create an aerosol (usually called ‘vapour’), which is inhaled.

Put simply, they deliver nicotine almost as effectively as a conventional cigarette, but without the vast majority of other chemicals present in tobacco smoke (either from the tobacco itself, or as a result of the burning process)

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3651898/Vaping-better-smoking-one-best-ways-50-years-improving-world-s-health.html#ixzz4CILzLaV9
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

 

Harsh Regulations Have Turned Vapers into Activists

For 30 years, Cheryl Richter was a pack-a-day smoker. She’d tried everything to kick the habit but nothing worked. Nothing, that is, until her first electronic cigarette. She hasn’t bought a pack since.

Not only that, but since she had this road-to-Damascus experience, she’s pretty much devoted her life to vaping, which to her, is more than a business. It’s her passion and way of helping people. In 2009, Richter partnered with her brother’s friend, Chris Mikovits, to sell batteries and atomizers—which turn the liquid inside e-cigarettes into a vapor—that they imported from China.

They quickly introduced products of their own. Mikovits created “drip tips” for e-cigarettes, as the devices were leaking and leaving nicotine on people’s lips. Richter, who’d always been fond of baking and didn’t like the taste of the e-liquid coming from China, began devising her own recipes. She spent two years perfecting one for pumpkin pie-flavored juice. “I was just absolutely nuts about getting it right,” Richter said.

E-liquid bottles lined up inside Richter and Mikovits’ shop. Under the new FDA regulations, products that were not on the market as of February 15, 2007—including e-liquids—will have to go through a pre-market approval process that small business owners like Richter worry will be unaffordable. Photo: Natasa Bansagi

Richter and Mikovits now run a retail store called Vape Den in Port Chester, New York, as well as an online wholesale business. But Richter and Mikovits are more than just entrepreneurs—they are advocates for vaping as an alternative to cigarette smoking and defenders against what they see as regulatory excess.

“It’s just something that I’m extremely passionate about, and now having done this for so long and seeing some of my customers that have been smoke-free for so long and, hearing their stories,” Richter said, “I know I’m doing the right thing.”

They have travelled to Capitol Hill on multiple occasions to talk to legislators, crusading for an evolving industry whose customers seem to share more than just a habit, but also a sense of mission and community.

“I think that in 20 years from now when the books are written about this, this is going to be the pivotal time in history.”

New rules regulating e-cigarettes—which will require warning labels, ingredient and product listings; the pre-market review of any products that were not on the market as of February 15, 2007; and a ban on sales to people under 18, among other things—were finalized last month. Small entrepreneurs in this industry fear that they may not survive the costly proposed measures. For example, Richter said that every e-liquid she makes and sells—each flavor, size, and nicotine level—would need to be approved for sale. This means approving 75 flavors at six different milligram levels, with cost estimates ranging from hundreds of thousands to over $1 million per application.

Richter said advocacy brings together the vaping community, especially at her shop, where it often comes up in discussions. “We feel vulnerable almost, we feel that we’re in a fight, so that kind of bonds the community as well,” she said in December, before the regulations were released. And, she contends, a lot of people agree with her.

Mikovits’ drip tips, on display inside Vape Den in Port Chester. Photo: Natasa Bansagi

She cited the founder of Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquist, who, in an address to members of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association during a fly-in to Capitol Hill in February, went so far as to claim that the millions of vapers in the US could be a deciding factor when it comes to selecting a president. “That is a huge voting block, and they are single-issue voters,” Richter said, adding that vape shops across the country—including hers—have been registering people to vote. In 2014, she said National Vapers Club compiled a database where any state or federal legislation related to e-cigarettes could be browsed to determine the bills’ co-sponsors, who voted for each bill, and how. The group plans to do this again in 2016.

In response to the regulations, she said a coalition has formed between consumer vaping and industry associations—a total of seven—and that together they are looking into what kind of litigation they might pursue. At her shop, Cherry Vape, Richter is focusing on effecting change by educating her clients.

“I think that in 20 years from now when the books are written about this, this is going to be the pivotal time in history, right now: you know, what did we do, what did we do when the government said, no, you have to keep smoking,” Richter said.

“Did we roll over, or did we prevail with a fight?”