Surge in Growth and Popularity of E-Cigarettes
Sarah Hartley from The Daily Mail (11 January 2014) writes (Source http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2537707/Now-doctors-say-e-cigarettes-help-quit-smoking-ban-public-places.html#ixzz2qnN4gbRt) The Royal College of Physicians is backing e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to smoking. Small studies suggest they help smokers quit the real thing and the surge in growth of e-cigarettes is upsetting the big tobacco companies with their sales of traditional cigarettes falling 8% last year.
Public health charity, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), established by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) believes 'there is little evidence of harmful effects from repeated exposure to propylene glycol, the chemical in which nicotine [in e-cigarette cartridges] is suspended'. ASH board member Professor John Britton who leads the tobacco advisory group for the RCP, and is director of the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies at Nottingham University says in the Daily Mails article: 'There are ten million smokers alive today who will eventually be killed by smoking. If they had used e-cigarettes, those deaths could be avoided. It's a massive potential public health prize. Successive governments have failed to tackle tobacco smoking, watching as millions die in an entirely preventable epidemic’.
'It is vital to do all we can to help people to quit smoking tobacco, and prevent young people from starting to smoke. Given the right controls, e-cigarettes could make a huge contribution to that.'
The Daily Mail article goes on to write about a UK GP who has successfully converted his smoking patients e-cigarettes, his name is Dr John Ashcroft, 'I've always had a number of patients who I've unsuccessfully tried to help stop smoking, and suddenly they've stopped by using e-cigarettes,' he said.
'The public health gain is going to be very, very large - the biggest we're likely to see this century. We could ban cigarettes in a few years' time and tens of thousands of lives would be saved. Are e-cigarettes totally safe? The answer is probably, but we don't really know. I'd like to see funding for proper research.'
Dr Ashcroft has recently managed to have a code put on the national GP system so that doctors are now able to record patients using e-cigarettes. 'We need to start recording figures of patients using e-cigarettes and health changes as they swap over. The health gains are immense.
e-Cigarettes are gaining in popularity and attention, Max Pemberton of the UK Telegraph 5 Jan 2014 (Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/features/10551970/Why-e-smoking-has-got-me-fuming.html) writes ‘Many smokers prefer e-cigarettes to the conventional nicotine replacement therapy offered by doctors, but the medical profession is notoriously slow to accept new or alternative options.’
Smoking is increasingly seen in a bad light and most smokers know it is causing them harm, yet they continue to smoke. Some say e-cigarettes offer a smarter alternative to smoking. In the UK, US and Europe people are using e-cigarettes in public places such as restaurants and bars, they are becoming common place and they are generally accepted.
There are also the naysayers who believe e-cigarettes will make smoking acceptable again but users of e-cigarettes say such comments are short-sighted. There is little evidence that e-cigarettes are re-socialising smoking and evidence is growing that the use of e-cigarettes is mostly among existing smokers.
Research published in The Lancet (September 2013) showed that e-cigarettes were at least as effective as patches in helping people to stop smoking: 7.3 per cent using e-cigarettes had quit after six months, compared with 5.8 per cent using patches. After six months, 57 per cent of e-cigarette users had halved the number of cigarettes smoked each day, compared with 41 per cent of those using patches.