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The Unfiltered Truth: Why Health Professionals Should Understand Vaping

by M Tajamul 25 Apr 2023

According to the Independent European Vape Alliance (IEVA), health professionals must know about vaping facts. IEVA highlights that in the EU, 700,000 individuals die annually due to smoking, and smokers have a life expectancy that is 14 years shorter than non-smokers.

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According to IEVA:

“Switching to vaping has helped millions of smokers worldwide significantly reduce their health harm. The principle of harm reduction works and millions more smokers could benefit from it. But for it to change society, smokers need the facts: and that starts with healthcare professionals.”

Debunking Myths About E-Cigarettes And Vaping:

A group of three distinguished experts from King's College London and the public health charity, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) delivered a recent address to healthcare professionals. The presentation focused on “myths about e-cigarettes and vaping” to dispel common misconceptions.

"E-cigarettes (vapes) are currently the most popular aid used to quit smoking in England and are used by around 4.3 million adults in Great Britain, the majority of whom are ex-smokers," the authors state, emphasising that " ... vaping poses only a small fraction of the health risks of smoking and that smokers should be encouraged to use vaping products ... for stopping." The experts fear myths about vaping “risk undermining the use of these products as cessation aids.”

According to IEVA president Dustin Dahlmann:

"The facts about harm reduction are on the table. If many more smokers who cannot quit by other means were to switch to e-cigarettes, millions worldwide could live better and longer lives. Health policy in the UK should be a shining example to all policymakers."

Various Studies And Analysis On Vaping:

According to guidance from the UK government, vaping products are believed to carry at least 95% less risk than smoking. Moreover, the likelihood of developing cancer is 99.5% lower among vaping individuals than those who smoke. Various publications have supported these assertions in recent years.

Despite evidence showing that vaping is less harmful than smoking, many smokers still underestimate the comparative harm of vaping. A mere 28% of smokers in Europe are aware of this fact.

“It is critical that smokers are given the facts about harm reduction. Health professionals have a responsibility as clinicians in direct contact with people who want to quit smoking”, says Dustin Dahlmann. 

References:

Public Health Overview, European Commission

“There are many myths about e-cigarettes and vaping”, Nursing Times 22/02/2023

Evidence review of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products 2018, Public Health England

European adult smokers’ perceptions of the harmfulness of e-cigarettes relative to combustible cigarettes, European Journal of Public Health 2020

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