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12

Dec

2018

Experts Recommend: E-Cigarettes Should Be Used More Actively to Help Smokers Quit

After years of trying to find the perfect tool to help smokers quit, it looks like it’s finally here. Nicotine patches and chewing gum have proven ineffective because they only satisfy the physical component of addiction and there is also a psychological aspect to consider. In simple terms, smokers miss taking a drag on a cigarette and inhaling the smoke.
This is precisely what makes e-cigarettes such an effective method for quitting smoking. There are many success stories of former smokers who have switched to electronic cigarettes. The interesting thing is that most of them reported how easy it was to make the switch. From one day to the next, they became non-smokers without any symptoms of addiction.
Despite this, the e-cigarette still has a very bad reputation. Many people still consider this new technology to be at least as dangerous as normal tobacco cigarettes. These opinions are almost always based on outdated online reports, which were spread in the early days of e-cigarettes.
However, we now have results from several long-term studies that conclusively prove e-cigarettes are not nearly as harmful as normal cigarettes. In addition, extensive research has been conducted on the ingredients in e-liquids. As a result, we know that they contain hardly any substances that are harmful to the human body. In fact, most liquids consist of substances that are used in food production.
The misconceptions regarding e-cigarettes are therefore not only wrong, but dangerous. After all, these prejudices lead to many people refusing to switch from normal cigarettes to electronic ones. And that could cost many lives in the long run.

Experts advise active use of e-cigarettes

Luckily, public opinion on e-cigarettes is slowly changing. Health experts are increasingly making statements that encourage people to trust this new technology and to view it as a safe alternative to normal cigarettes. This was the conclusion of a new study by the University of Exeter and the University of Melbourne which was funded by Cancer Research UK.
The scientists involved in the study made a recommendation for stop smoking services to use e-cigarettes more actively. Many of these organisations, even though they were aware of the importance of e-cigarettes, failed to pass on the new findings to smokers.
Dr Hannah Farrimond, a professor at the University of Exeter, organized the research together with Prof Charles Abraham, stating that smoking cessation services have many ways to incorporate e-cigarettes to help smokers quit. However, in order to achieve this, the policies in the UK have to be made more consistent. People have to share their best practices and exchange information. This is especially important since the services have been greatly reduced after the council budget was cut.
According to researchers, many non-smokers are nervous about the health consequences of e-cigarettes. Through studies such as theirs, they want to help alleviate this nervousness and finally change the general consensus about this technology. And they are not alone.
Many other institutions in the UK, such as Public Health England (PHE) as well as the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT), recently stressed that e-cigarettes should be used more actively among smoking cessation services. According to them, some of the most effective ways to help people overcome addiction are behavioural support and pharmacotherapy.
According to Dr Farrimond, it can be argued that smoking cessation can only succeed if it moves beyond special clinics that are only visited by a small number of smokers. Instead, stop smoking services should engage vulnerable populations in the communitiy. Examples for where to conduct smoking cessation are psychiatric units, community mental health settings, addiction clinics, community centres and smoke-free hospitals. Electronic cigarettes could offer new opportunities for stop smoking services to treat smokers who are marginalized and harder to treat.
It will probably take a while until the advantages of e-cigarettes are completely accepted in modern society. But the sooner this happens, the more lives could be saved along the way.

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