NICE Advice To Tackle Smoking Harm

Posted 29th June 2021 by Dave Cross
The National Institute for Health Care Excellence (NICE) has published “comprehensive” draft guidelines to tackle the impact of smoking in conjunction with Public Health England (PHE). The document aims to help healthcare practitioners deliver better services and is supportive towards electronic cigarettes and has been produced as part of NICE’s consultation process.

The consultation (1) continues until 6th August and NICE will produce final guidance on 30th November 2021. Key recommendations from the draft document (2) include a strong one regarding vaping:

  • Patients should be advised about using nicotine-containing e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool as the evidence shows that they are similarly effective to other cessation options.  They should be advised on where they can find information on nicotine-containing e-cigarettes, how to use them correctly, and that they should stop smoking completely if they use nicotine-containing e-cigarettes.”

NICE says: “The evidence shows that nicotine-containing e-cigarettes can help people to stop smoking and are similarly effective to other cessation options such as a combination of short- and long-acting nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). The expert committee agreed that people should be able to use e-cigarettes as one of several options to support smoking cessation, if they so choose.”

NICE adds that its committee, “also made recommendations for further research into both short and long-term health effects from e-cigarettes, and whether there are specific health effects related to e-cigarette use in certain groups such as pregnant women and young people.”

These draft guideline recommendations are a renewed effort to reduce the health burden of smoking and to encourage and support people to give up smoking” ~ Dr Paul Chrisp, director of NICE’S Centre for Guidelines

Dr Paul Chrisp, director of NICE’S Centre for Guidelines, said: “These draft guideline recommendations are a renewed effort to reduce the health burden of smoking and to encourage and support people to give up smoking. Smoking continues to take a huge toll on the health of the nation and accounts for approximately half the difference in life expectancy between the richest and poorest in society. It is therefore vitally important that we reduce the level of smoking in this country.

“We know that around 10% of women are known to be smokers at the time of giving birth and, given the significant health effects of smoking on both mothers and babies, it is clear that further efforts are required to encourage this group to give up smoking.

Freemax

“We need to use every tool in our arsenal to reduce smoking rates, including education, behavioural support, financial incentives, and e-cigarettes if people are interested in using them. Combined, we hope that people who smoke will feel enabled to give up tobacco products once and for all.”

This new guidance offers a welcome ‘how-to guide’ for reducing the harm caused by smoking including helping smokers to quit and preventing a new generation of smokers from starting” ~ Rosanna O'Connor, Director Drugs, Alcohol, Tobacco and Justice at Public Health England

Rosanna O'Connor, Director Drugs, Alcohol, Tobacco and Justice at Public Health England, said: “This new guidance offers a welcome ‘how-to guide’ for reducing the harm caused by smoking including helping smokers to quit and preventing a new generation of smokers from starting. This consultation is an important opportunity for all our partners to help shape these recommendations.”

There are currently no medicinally licensed e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes that contain or could contain nicotine in the form of e-liquid are covered under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 and need to be notified to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Other devices such as disposable e-cigarettes that do not contain nicotine, and 0% nicotine e-liquids, are regulated under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.

References:

  1. Comment to NICE on the draft guidance - https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/indevelopment/gid-ng10086/consultation/html-content-2
  2. Tobacco: preventing uptake, promoting quitting and treating dependence – draft guidance - https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/gid-ng10086/documents/draft-guideline


 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, motorbikes, and dog walker
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