Health experts urge smokers to switch to e-cigarettes

Health experts urge smokers to switch to e-cigarettes

Health experts urge smokers to switch to e-cigarettes

Pregnant women who smoke should be encouraged to switch to e-cigarettes, health officials claim.

Joyce Robins, of campaign group Patient Concern, told The Times that it was a bad idea to use up much-needed spaces in hospitals to create vaping areas.

But they called on NHS hospitals to lead the way in "making it easy" for vapers to find somewhere to enjoy e-cigarettes within their buildings, while enforcing a total ban on smoking anywhere on hospital grounds.

Professor Linda Bauld, of Cancer Research UK, said: 'If a pregnant woman is smoking and she's struggling to stop, she shouldn't be discouraged from using an e-cigarette.

It wants the NHS to prescribe them due to their success in recent years in helping people to stop using cigarettes. However, "the number of e-cigarette users has plateaued at just under three million people in the UK", the website says.

PHE called on smokers and health authorities to act now on the evidence reviewed in these latest reports.

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But Professor Martin McKee, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, pointed out that a more extensive review in the United States, published two weeks ago, was much more "cautious" about e-cigarettes' long-term safety.

PHE experts, writing in The Lancet, said: "Although not without risk, the overall risk of harm is estimated at less than 5% of that from smoking tobacco; the risk of cancer has been calculated to be less than 1%". "One is not allowing smoking on the premises; the other is helping every smoker to quit".

In a radical new move, patients should instead be allowed to vape to help them quit regular smoking, it said.

When asked about indoor communal rooms for vaping, Mr Dockrell said: "There is no reason why a hospital shouldn't designate some indoor areas where patients and visitors can vape".

"Every minute someone is admitted to hospital from smoking, with around 79,000 deaths a year in England alone". Yet more than half of smokers either falsely believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking or just don't know.

In the independent review, which updates 2015 guidance, experts concluded that vaping only poses a small fraction of the risks of smoking and could be particularly helpful in mental health hospitals. Thousands of smokers think e-cigarettes are just as unsafe and 40% of smokers have not tried one, it says.

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