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