• April 24, 2024

UK GPs endorse e-cigs

 UK GPs endorse e-cigs

Smoking cessation is one of general practice’s most effective interventions in the battle against cancer, and electronic cigarettes could be a crucial weapon in the GP’s arsenal, according to a story by David Millett for GPonline.com quoting experts at the annual conference of the UK’s Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

All evidence pointed to e-cigarettes being an effective tool in helping smokers to quit, experts told the conference held in Liverpool on October 12-14, but only if they were coupled with specialist support and complete cessation of tobacco use.

In a session on cancer care in general practice, GPs said smoking cessation was one of the most cost-effective ways GPs could help prevent cancer.

Dr Linda Bauld, a professor of health policy at the University of Stirling, said that the current consensus favored use of e-cigarettes as a quitting aid.

And evidence suggested they were used almost entirely by ex-smokers and current smokers, and by only very small numbers of never smokers, implying they do not act as a gateway to tobacco use.

“The crucial message is that e-cigarettes are hugely safer than tobacco – but patients won’t realise any health benefits unless they switch entirely to vaping and stop smoking cigarettes completely,” she said.

“We should see very encouraging results for smoking cessation. If used every day and with high concentration, these products can help people move away from smoking.”