NICE Recommends Vaping to Help People Quit Smoking for the First Time

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has released their latest guidance on tobacco. The guidance covers the prevention of smoking uptake, promoting quitting and treating dependence, covering stop smoking support for everyone aged 12 and over. 

For the first time, NICE has included vaping as a quit smoking tool in their tobacco guidance, published on the 30th November. NICE is a world renowned and well respected body that provides evidence-based national advice and guidelines to improve health and social care. This is a huge step forward in promoting the health benefits of making the switch from smoking to vaping, and it’s hoped that this will be built upon as further scientific evidence emerges. 

The new NICE guidelines, developed in partnership with Public Health England (PHE), encourages health professionals to gain an in-depth understanding of the latest evidence on vaping to give their patients the best and most up-to-date advice available. This includes the fact that vaping is significantly safer than smoking and that e-cigarettes are an effective quit smoking tool.

The stop-smoking interventions section details the importance of ensuring that a range of options are accessible to adults who smoke, including behavioural support, medicinally licensed products and nicotine-containing e-cigarettes. 

Focussing on vaping

The guidance also details the latest vaping advice for those providing stop-smoking support to adults. It states that healthcare professionals should give clear, consistent and up-to-date information about nicotine-containing e-cigarettes and advice on how to use them. The guidance includes these key points: 

  • E‑cigarettes are not licensed medicines but are regulated by the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 
  • Use of e‑cigarettes is likely to be substantially less harmful than smoking
  • Any smoking is harmful, so people using e-cigarettes should stop smoking tobacco completely

NICE states that they should share advice on nicotine strengths and discuss how long the patient intends to use e-cigarettes for, how to prevent a return to smoking and how to stop vaping when they feel ready to do so. 

It was announced earlier this year that e-cigarettes could soon be made available via prescription on the NHS, with the MHRA currently taking applications for medically licenced vape devices.This, combined with the ever-growing wealth of evidence on vaping, makes it likely that future guidance could go much further in recommending e-cigarettes as an invaluable quit-smoking tool. 

Questions still remain over whether e-cigarettes will be viable on prescription, due to the cost of the registration process and the fact that vape products are already widely available through online and high-street retailers. 

Industry Response

The UKVIA has welcomed the update, stating, “This new guidance is yet another significant milestone towards the mainstream acceptance that vaping is a safe and effective smoking cessation method that we have campaigned years for.” John Dunne, Director General of the UKVIA, went on to say, “Not only do we have science on our side, we also have growing and widespread support from the world of politics and the health services.” 

If you would like to access quit smoking support, contact your GP or, if you think vaping could be for you, head into your nearest 888 Vapour store. Our knowledgeable and friendly team are more than happy to talk you through your options and discuss the benefits of switching to vaping. Alternatively, we have an extensive range of guides on our blog explaining the process, and you can always contact us at hello@888vapour.com for more information. 

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