Campaigning public health charity, ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) is an organisation that works to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco. ASH was established in 1971 by the UK’s Royal College of Physicians. ASH recently (November 2014) issued a briefing on electronic cigarettes (personal vapourizers). ASH’s briefings aim to provide supporting evidence for a range of tobacco control measures.ASH states ‘Electronic cigarettes are marketed as a cheaper, safer alternative to conventional cigarettes. As they do not produce smoke, research suggests that electronic cigarettes are relatively harmless in comparison with smoking.’
Some of key summary points covered in the November briefing published 12/11/14 include:
- Electronic cigarettes (personal vapourizers) are not cigarettes and they do not contain tobacco and using e-cigarettes is not smoking.
- Quitting all forms of nicotine use in all forms is the best option for smokers.
- Whilst not recommending the use of unlicensed nicotine containing products, many smokers are finding unlicensed electronic cigarettes helpful.
- Research by ASH shows that their use has grown threefold in the last two years from 700,000 to 2.1 million users.
- Electronic cigarettes are proving more attractive to smokers than nicotine replacement therapy and there is evidence that they can be effective in helping smokers’ quit and little evidence that they are being used by people who are were non-smokers.
The number of children and young people regularly using electronic cigarettes remains low. Some of the topics covered in the briefing are:
- Nicotine Substitution
- What are electronic cigarettes?
- Are electronic cigarettes safe to use?
- Are electronic cigarettes effective in helping smokers quit?
- Who uses electronic cigarettes in the UK?
- Regulation of Advertising of electronic cigarettes
ASH states that they recognise the efforts to stop people smoking is a priority, the issue is many smokers find it difficult to quit the habit and for this group, nicotine alternatives should be available to assist them in moving away from smoking and key to this is quality and efficacy of the products available. The harmful toxins in traditional cigarettes cause harm and in comparison, electronic cigarettes or personal vapourisers with nicotine are a safer alternative to smoking. To download the full brief click here http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_715.pdf. Read more about ASH (http://ash.org.uk/about-ash).