Starting smoking cigarettes is an easy habit to start, often people begin smoking during their late teens or early 20’s and continue to do so into full-on adulthood. The hard part comes when people decide they want to quit smoking cigarettes. Longtime habits and nicotine withdrawal can make even the most resolved person struggle to break the cigarette habit. The organization Public Health England (PHE) is encouraging smokers to switch from standard cigarettes and cigars over to E-cigarettes. While many people in the medical field have also spoken out to promote the benefits of using e-cigarettes to quit smoking, PHE hopes to make it more widely accessible to the public.
John Newton, PHE health improvement director, has been working tirelessly to make e-cigarettes a prescription smoking cessation aid. Their organization has been working with the British government in an effort to reduce tobacco-related deaths. Everyone knows that cigarettes contain carcinogens that cause lung, throat, and mouth cancer. The PHE is vocalizing how vaping e-cigarettes is a much healthier alternative. Smokers are able to get their nicotine fix without all of the harmful chemicals. A hurdle that PHE is working to overcome is the resounding public belief that vaping is more harmful than cigarettes. This isn’t true according to Ann McNeil, King’s College London professor of tobacco addiction. She largely contributed to the report studying the usage of traditional cigarettes versus e-cigarettes.
So far it has been an uphill battle to make e-cigarettes a prescription item. The major problem is that currently there are no e-cigarette brands that are deemed medicinal and thus cannot be prescribed. Ideally, Newton wants to even allow patients in hospitals to be able to vape during their stay, have vape lounges in hospitals, and have employee ‘vape rooms’ in company offices. Experts say that thanks to e-cigarettes nearly 20,000 people are annually giving up smoking. Giving more access and acceptance to vaping can increase that number and potentially save lives according to the PHE.