Vaping News

Official Approaches to Vaping

An international committee has been set up as GPs call for a ban on ecig prescriptions

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A conflict exists between the information medical practitioners should get and the opinions they can end up hearing. Good decisions can only be made from reliable evidence – and all the indications are that British general practitioners are not receiving the best advice.

Riccardo Polosa, a long-term friend of vapers, has set about creating an International Scientific Committee to promote the good science surrounding electronic cigarettes to the public health community and beyond. Professor Polosa has a vested interest as he’s been directly involved in research studies and recently gave a presentation to the Global Forum for Nicotine on the subject of e-cig evidence.

In an interview he gave to the La Stampa newspaper, Polosa said: “The benefits of the electronic cigarette tobacco control are demonstrated by studies published in the last five years, let us hope that its dissemination can reduce the leading cause of death in the world.”

“The epidemiological data on smoking and vaping over the last five years,” he continued, “show clearly that millions of smokers in the world switched from conventional to electronic cigarette use, and that many have gone on to abandon the latter too. This represents a revolutionary breakthrough for public health.”

He points out that despite this evidence there is still an on-going debate over vaping efficacy and safety, despite their being documented proof that the numbers and volumes of carcinogens in vape is substantially lower than those found in cigarette smoke. It is a debate he hopes to move forward with the formation of the committee compromising of (among others) David Nutt, Michael Siegel, Jaques Le Houzec and Umberto Veronesi.

The announcement of the new committee comes at the same time Royal College of General Practitioners call for a block on e-cigs being given out on prescription. Just 14% of British GPs believe that vaping products should be prescribed like traditional nicotine replacement products and 28% stating they were very unlikely to prescribe an electronic cigarette. This is despite the Royal College of Physicians and Public Health England throwing their full weight behind vaping as a harm reduction tool.

One GP is sadly quoted as saying: “I don't have any information on long-term consequences so feel unable to recommend them, but if a patient asked, I would agree that evidence based on short-term use suggests that they are less harmful than cigarettes, with the qualification that this does not mean they are safe.”

Hopefully Polosa can have an impact on convincing these professionals that vaping can reduce the harm posed by traditional cigarettes.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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