E-cigarettes should be on sale in hospital shops, health body says

E-cigarettes should be on sale in hospital shops, health body says

"We welcome this latest report from Public Health England which reiterates their view that e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking; that accurate information is needed about these new products; and that the evidence does not support that e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking, and may in fact be an important tool to help people quitting", said David O'Reilly, group scientific director at British American Tobacco.

PHE has published a review of the evidence, which states e-cigarettes are helping tens of thousands of smokers quit.

It also called on Britain's National Health Service to ensure e-cigarettes are available in hospital shops along with other nicotine replacement products such as gum and lozenges.

But PHE bosses insist smokers trying to quit should be encouraged to switch to e-cigarettes, and given the option of buying the equipment in hospitals.

Doctors and nurses can not prescribe e-cigarettes to smokers wanting to quit because none has yet been licensed by the Medicines and Health Care Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA).

PHE also encouraged employers to provide vaping areas.

The body also wants hospitals to become completely smoke-free.




PHE is already quoted around the world for its report in 2015 which said vaping was "95% safer" than smoking tobacco.

"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 study found many thousands of smokers incorrectly believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking.

Mr Dockrell said there was no reason why "a hospital shouldn't designate some indoor areas where patients and visitors can vape". We need to keep closely monitoring these trends, but so far the data suggest that e-cigarettes are not acting as a route into regular smoking amongst young people.

Academic Ann McNeill, professor of tobacco addiction at King's College London said: "When people smoke tobacco cigarettes, they inhale a lethal mix of 7,000 smoke constituents, 70 of which are known to cause cancer".

"If that happens they will nearly 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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