'Nicotine without smoke: tobacco harm reduction'

RCP report on e-cigarettes. Released: 28/04/2016

Promote e-cigarettes widely as substitute for smoking says new RCP report

The Royal College of Physicians' new report, ‘Nicotine without smoke: tobacco harm reduction’, has concluded that e-cigarettes are likely to be beneficial to UK public health. Smokers can therefore be reassured and encouraged to use them, and the public can be reassured that e-cigarettes are much safer than smoking.

Tobacco smoking is addictive and lethal with half of all lifelong smokers dying early, losing an average of about 3 months of life expectancy for every year smoked after the age of 35 (some 10 years of life in total). Although smoking prevalence in the UK has reduced to 18%, 8.7 million people still smoke. Harm reduction provides an additional strategy to protect this group from disability and early death.



Vaping and the RCP report: Prof John Britton & Sarah Jakes

BBC2 28/04/16

Since e-cigarettes became available in the UK in 2007, their use has been surrounded by medical and public controversy. This new 200-page report examines the science, public policy, regulation and ethics surrounding e-cigarettes and other non-tobacco sources of nicotine, and addresses these controversies and misunderstandings with conclusions based on the latest available evidence:

E-cigarettes are not a gateway to smoking – in the UK, use of e-cigarettes is limited almost entirely to those who are already using, or have used, tobacco.
E-cigarettes do not result in normalisation of smoking – there is no evidence that either nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or e-cigarette use has resulted in renormalisation of smoking. None of these products has to date attracted significant use among adult never-smokers, or demonstrated evidence of significant gateway progression into smoking among young people.
E-cigarettes and quitting smoking - among smokers, e-cigarette use is likely to lead to quit attempts that would not otherwise have happened, and in a proportion of these to successful cessation. In this way, e-cigarettes can act as a gateway from smoking.
E-cigarettes and long-term harm - the possibility of some harm from long-term e-cigarette use cannot be dismissed due to inhalation of the ingredients other than nicotine, but is likely to be very small, and substantially smaller than that arising from tobacco smoking. With appropriate product standards to minimise exposure to the other ingredients, it should be possible to reduce risks to physical health still further. Although it is not possible to estimate the long-term health risks associated with e-cigarettes precisely, the available data suggest that they are unlikely to exceed 5% of those associated with smoked tobacco products, and may well be substantially lower than this figure.

The report acknowledges the need for proportionate regulation, but suggests that regulation should not be allowed significantly to inhibit the development and use of harm-reduction products by smokers. A regulatory strategy should take a balanced approach in seeking to ensure product safety, enable and encourage smokers to use the product instead of tobacco, and detect and prevent effects that counter the overall goals of tobacco control policy.

It’s Just the Science – Royal College of Physicians’ John Britton Talks e-Cigarette Benefits & Regulation.

Regulator Watch 02/05/16

Professor John Britton, chair of the RCP’s Tobacco Advisory Group, said:

"The growing use of electronic cigarettes as a substitute for tobacco smoking has been a topic of great controversy, with much speculation over their potential risks and benefits. This report lays to rest almost all of the concerns over these products, and concludes that, with sensible regulation, electronic cigarettes have the potential to make a major contribution towards preventing the premature death, disease and social inequalities in health that smoking currently causes in the UK.
Smokers should be reassured that these products can help them quit all tobacco use forever"

RCP president Professor Jane Dacre said:

"Since the RCP’s first report on tobacco, Smoking and health, in 1962, we have argued consistently for more and better policies and services to prevent people from taking up smoking, and help existing smokers to quit. This new report builds on that work and concludes that, for all the potential risks involved, harm reduction has huge potential to prevent death and disability from tobacco use, and to hasten our progress to a tobacco-free society.
With careful management and proportionate regulation, harm reduction provides an opportunity to improve the lives of millions of people. It is an opportunity that, with care, we should take."

Linda Bauld, an author of the Royal College of Physicians report and Cancer Research UK’s expert in cancer prevention based at the University of Stirling:

“E-cigarettes are still a relatively new technology... However, we already know a lot about these products, as today’s Royal College of Physicians report outlines. Smokers and the public should be reassured that e-cigarettes offer a viable route away from tobacco and are unlikely to have a negative impact on bystanders. There’s likely to be the most benefit where we can combine the most popular route to stopping – e-cigarettes – with the most successful – free local Stop Smoking Services. The combined benefit of these approaches could really help prevent cancers caused by tobacco, and we need to seize this opportunity.”

News coverage of the report:

New EU rules on nicotine strength not a problem for most vapers

Tags: Leonie Brose,
Deborah Arnott, TPD

16/05/2016
Hospitals Abandon Vaping Ban After Evidence On E-Cigarette Safety

Tags: John Britton,
University of Nottingham

13/05/2016
What You Need To Know About Vaping"

Tags: John Britton, Ann Mcneill, Cochrane

10/05/2016
Nicotine and the heart

Tags: Linda Bauld,
University of Nottingham

05/05/2016
Lizzy Buchan: Vaping closer to being accepted as a good thing

Tags: RCP, Public Health England

04/05/2016
Why is the government out to destroy vaping?

Tags: RCP, Public Health England

01/05/2016
UK medical group endorses vaping for smokers

Tags: RCP, Public Health England

30/04/2016
British Scientists Think Vaping Has 'Huge Potential'

Tags: John Britton, RCP

28/04/2016
Herald View: Progress on vaping

Tags: John Britton, RCP

28/04/2016
E-cigarettes backed by Royal College of Physicians as harm reduction

Tags: John Britton, Linda Bauld, Ram Moorthy

28/04/2016
E-cigarettes ‘should be promoted’ as safe smoking substitute

Tags: John Britton, Linda Bauld, Sheila Duffy

28/04/2016
Experts and doctors believe e-cigarettes should be offered to smokers

Tags: John Britton, Duncan Selbie, Alison Cox

28/04/2016
Doctors warn of big tobacco firms entering e-cigarette market

Tags: John Britton, Jane Dacre

28/04/2016
E-cigarettes could save millions, say doctors

Full Article Not Available

28/04/2016
GPs advised to 'promote e-cigarettes widely' as smoking substitute

Tags: RCGP Vice Chair: Time Ballard, BMA Board deputy chair: Ram Moorthy

28/04/2016
Vaping Vindicated

Full Article Not Available

28/04/2016
REVEALED: E-cigarettes could boost health of Brits and reduce deaths from smoking

Tags: John Britton, Jane Dacre, Duncan Selbie, Mike Knapton

28/04/2016
UK doctors urge wide promotion of e-cigs to help smokers quit

Tags: John Britton, Linda Bauld, Deborah Arnott

28/04/2016
E-cigarettes could save millions, say doctors

Full Article Not Available

28/04/2016
E-cigarettes should be offered to smokers, say doctors

Tags: John Britton, RCP

28/04/2016
E-cigarettes get doctors' seal of approval and should be 'widely' promoted

Tags: John Britton, Alison Cox, Jane Dacre, Duncan Selbie

28/04/2016
Vaping Is About Reducing Harm, Not Being Harmless

Tags: John Britton, RCP

27/04/2016
Smokers Urged to Switch to E-Cigarettes by British Medical Group

Tags: John Britton, Robert West, TPD, RCP

27/04/2016
'Give smokers e-cigarettes,' doctors urge after landmark report finds they DO help people quit

Tags: John Britton, Alison Cox, Jane Dacre, Duncan Selbie

27/04/2016
E-cigarettes 'much less harmful than smoking and should be encouraged'

Tags: John Britton, Alison Cox, Jane Dacre

27/04/2016

Related online videos:

The Newsmakers - The Vape Debate

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BBC Horizon - E Cigarettes: Miracle or Menace?

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Vapour Trails TV discussing the report

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Docs Say E-Cigs Best Way to Quit Smoking

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Dr Nick Hopkinson on the safety of E-Cigs

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